2023 NYC Winter Jazzfest Second Night
DJ and the team finally got the chance to cover the Winter Jazzfest and we was invited to a special treat on the second night when Donald Harrison Music Omniverse performed at Town Hall. It was quite the experience and for those who was there would tell you the same thing. Big Chief Donald Harrison with his Music Omniverse took the audience through different eras of Jazz and Music altogether. Within the first 20 minutes of the performance Donald went from Duke Ellington to James Brown to rapping. For us witnessing him perform for the first time it was definitely a sight to behold and worthy of hearing the music instead of listening. From there the guest appearance started to trickle in a bit as he changes genres for example the selection Bye Bye Blackbird Fred Wesley plays trombone and right after that Bill Summers from the legendary Headhunters plays percussion on Temporal. You could sense from there it was going to be a funky good time(more on that later) The next three songs there was a collaborative effort from Dave Holland on bass, Joe Dyson on drums and Charles Tolliver on trumpet in a rotation. The ebb and flow of the songs was so fluid that when Harrison talk in between it seem like a natural segway. The soul medley portion was the apex of the night as Fred Wesley plays his part on the J.B.'s classic track Doing It To Death better known as Going Have a Funky Good Time and that where the crowd really got energized and stayed that way until the end of the show.
The Headhunters medley was next and with Mike Clark and Bill Summers from the original lineup then add Donald from the current lineup and it was a great history lesson and most of the night was mainly a history lesson. To learn about Donald Harrison's influences and how they not only inspire but played along side him too which is a blessing to us to witness. For us the highlight of the night was the sax driven rendition of Living Colour's Cult Of Personality with Vernon Reid on guitar. A riveting guitar solo could not take away from Harrison's sax playing of Corey Glover's lyrics. It was completely magnificent to witness. After that a New Orleans medley closed out the show which focused on Harrison's Indian background and it was a great way to close out the show. Overall it was a great show to end the second night of the festival and lead into the weekend showcases.
Hopefully you will catch the rest of the festival before it closes January 18th. For schedule of the concerts and information go to winterjazzfest.com