Jazz in Central Park

Jazz&Colors2012ALast weekend I wandered around Central Park for a bit. The fall colors were in full glory. I thought it was one of those perfect park moments. I was wrong. Well, sort of.

This Saturday, Nov. 9th, Central Park will serve as the showcase for Jazz & Colors – 30 bands in 30 locations simultaneously playing one exceptional set list. I attended this last year (see the clip below) and it was as if I took the subway to amazing but missed my stop (i.e., it was beyond amazing). It’s one of those events that reminds you why you want to live in New York City.

Jazz&Colors2012BThe concert kicks off at noon (fortunately jazz musicians tend to keep the same hours that I do), with the first set running from 12:00-1:30. There will then be a 30-minute intermission, which should allow you sufficient time to move to a different location, with the second set running from 2:00-3:00. That will be followed by another intermission and then an encore from 3:30-4:00, which should give each band a chance to do its own thing.

The First Set: 12:00-1:30
Caravan – Juan Tizol
Bemsha Swing – Thelonious Monk
Cherokee – Ray Noble
A Night in Tunisia – Dizzy Gillespie
So What – Miles Davis
Footprints – Wayne Shorter
Maiden Voyage – Herbie Hancock
Take 5 – Paul Desmond
Tenor Madness – Sonny Rollins

The Second Set: 2:00-3:00
Take The A Train – Billy Strayhorn
Harlem Nocturne – Earl Hagen
Stompin’ at the Savoy – Chick Webb
Grand Central – John Coltrane
Central Park North – Thad Jones and Mel Lewis
New York City – Gil Scott Heron/Brian Jackson
A Foggy Day in London Town – George Gershwin
Las Vegas Tango – Gil Evans
We Live in Brooklyn Baby – Harry Whitaker

Visit the Jazz & Colors Central Park site to get all the details. You can simply wander into the park on Saturday and listen for the music. But I recommend downloading this map and doing a little research – matching the prettiest settings with the most interesting bands. Like the park itself, you’ll find a tremendous variety of artists performing – and no two groups will tackle the set list in the same way.