July 4th weekend has rolled around, which means Jazz is back on the streets of The Fillmore. Now in its 32nd year, Fillmore Jazz Festival brings people from all over The Bay to the streets of the Fillmore for a celebration of jazz, and jazz-inspired music.
I started out early, strolling down Fillmore between the vendors and the bystanders; soaking in the art and politics trapped next to one another. My first stop was to see Lilan Kane perform her blend of jazz-tinged neo -soul to a quite busy lawn on the corner of Fillmore and Eddy.
Lilan Kane’s music was brewing with a sense of warmth. This warmth was well needed as one point I thought the wind was going to blow her away! I liked the way she built covers in to the set, and I almost lost my mind when her and the band covered Toto’s Georgie Porgie! Shouts out to Raphael Saadiq with a cover of Still Ray, alongside raspy-brutish Trombone playing was a really nice touch. The thing I love about Fillmore Jazz Festival is the length of the sets – no half-measures, these are full sets and Lilan Kane had plenty of time to weave in her own music all – leaving stories of learning how to love yourself to settle poignantly in the air.
A quick pitstop over at Black Bark to catch the thrilling end of the Germany vs. Italy Euro Championships Quarter Final and it was back out to Eddy for the riotous sounds of Zakiya Harris & Elephantine.
Their set was fire! I loved the way it was always so edgy; they fused rock and soul together to create a sound and an energy which felt bigger than the stage. Full of not at all subtle political undertones it was music that lives and breathes the Bay Area mentality in which it was conceived.
I had to take five after their performance to gather my thoughts and recover. The day was winding up quickly so I had to make one more stop over at Brooklyn Circus for their 8th annual block party! This year they had the super-talented Masego to create beats live and a party atmosphere; his Jamaican heritage and good looks being key!
Joking aside, he is a very talented performer, one I am sure not many knew before they showed up (I certainly did not) yet one very few will forget. Musically blessed he was switching between beat-making and sax in what felt like a completely spontaneous set.
As a song-length electric slide morphed in to a full on Soul Train, the party looked set to go until they pulled the plug on the sound. That was the point I wondered home looking forward to the fun that is was in store for day 2!