I will try to be brief here in trying to convey my view regarding what was offered as Bradenton's first test alternative to blues.
To be honest with you, to have something billed as a "smooth jazz event" says something about those who made the decision to produce this mockery of musical justice. Frankly, I was disappointed in this three-day event.
There are a host of options all around the Tampa Bay area that could have offered a better smooth jazz experience. We who live south of the Skyway Bridge know that for a fact, since many play it, as I do, or have been exposed to it.
Take note of the old Clearwater Smooth Jazz Festival. When offered, the Clearwater Smooth Jazz Festival would often have local musicians as part of its extravaganza. As a result, some would get to play in front of local listeners.
One of these local musicians, as a 13-year-old, became well known. He would often bedazzle the crowds when he played. Now at age 22, this young man is playing for the legendary Prince out of Minneapolis.
By the way, this festival is not what it used to be since it changed its format from smooth jazz to something else. I stopped going soon after the smooth jazz format was removed.
As you might have expected, there were people from around the state here over the weekend ready to listen and see if the Bradenton festival could offset the loss of the Clearwater experience. However, some like me, were disappointed.
So, organizers, if you want to bring jazz into the area, especially smooth jazz, I think you should try doing your homework first and maybe using some of the local talent that is around in the Tampa Bay area.
I am sure that you will quickly recognize that there is some good talent out there.
Bill Clyburn, Jazz Saxophonist