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Dharma All Stars recap 2; A wild Sunday September 9, 2008

Posted by Mike C. in Jazz, Personal.

Saturday night, I spoke to my friend Kat Sarracco.  She told me she would be coming to Long Island on Sunday to attend the Long Beach Jazz Festival.  I had considered going on my own because Dharma All Stars – drummer John Favicchia’s band – were playing, but decided a few hours before I spoke to her that I wouldn’t go.  Her admission changed my plans swiftly.

We arranged to meet at Rockville Centre’s Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) station at 1:30 Sunday afternoon.  She called at 12:30 to let me know she hadn’t left Connecticut yet and would call back when she was close to the station.  I boarded the 1:19 train out of Wantagh LIRR and arrived in Rockville Centre 13 minutes later.  (I didn’t even get my ticket punched!)  I called Kat back and she told me she wasn’t even in the Bronx yet.  The Hutchinson River Parkway was partially flooded as a result of the rains of Tropical Storm Hanna the night before.  So, as she kept driving, I started walking in the direction of Long Beach.  About 90 minutes later…

The walk to Long Beach
Courtesy Google Maps via screencap

…I had walked 5.1 miles; sunburned parts of my body that weren’t covered by a shirt, shorts, or socks; finally stopping at a McDonald’s in Long Beach, seconds away from the drawbridge into the city, where Kat and I finally met.

Then, it was off to the Long Beach Public Library for the Jazz Festival, which was in its last day of three.  The sixth annual festival was produced by guitarist and stick player Steve Adelson, who multiple performances on Friday and Saturday.  Before the Dharma All Stars performed, it was steel pan player Alan Bates’ turn with his Island Breeze Caribbean Ensemble.

For this performance, the ensemble featured legendary percussionist Nydia “Liberty” Mata:

Nydia had a performance of her own the night before at the Long Beach Historical Society Museum.

In between Island Breeze and Dharma All Stars, Steve Adelson held the last of three drawings for a guitar.

After the winner was chosen and received his guitar, and as Dharma finished setting up, Steve told a brief music joke: “C, E-flat, and G walk into a bar.  The bartender says, ‘Sorry, we don’t serve minors.'”  As a piano student, I got the joke.  I probably wouldn’t have gotten it before two years ago when my lessons started.

With that, the performance was underway.  Kat took pictures from various spots in the room.  I took pictures from various spots in the first row.

The set list was:
1. Coincidence
2. Horizons
3. Snakes
4. Sing a Song of Song
5. Kukuc

The band was primarily the same as it was at Mirelle’s in July, but without a horn player (Carl Fischer was touring with Billy Joel) and with a different bass player.

On this day, the band was comprised of John Favicchia on drums:

Bill Heller on keyboard:

Bill Harris on tenor sax:

Chieli Minucci on acoustic guitar (for first part of “Coincidence” only)…

…and electric guitar:

And Mike Pope on bass:

Afterward, Kat took a group shot of the band and me:

And that ended the Long Beach portion of my day.  From there, Kat was nice enough to drive me home.  While a drawbridge on the Meadowbrook Parkway was up, I took this sunset pic:

Now, you’d think that would be the end of this post.  You’d be wrong.  Once the drawbridge came back down, the moving barrier would not come back up.  It was stuck, and so were we, and everyone else driving to the bridge in either direction.  For some perspective, here is where the bridge is:

Drawbridge location
Courtesy Google Maps via screencap

Here was the view in front of Kat’s car:

And the view from behind:

After 10 to 30 minutes (I lost track of time), a state trooper and technician arrived on the scene.

Within seconds, the problem was fixed, and the barrier rose again.

From there, it was smooth sailing (or driving, in this case) all the way home.  Hopefully, it was the same for Kat once she drove back to her home.



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