Discovering Jazz in Burlington

across the way from the skatellitesThere’s an episode of The Simpsons where Homer daydreams about being in the Land of Chocolate. Skipping around, he takes bites out of random parts of the landscape. Everything is made out of chocolate – even a passing dog, which Homer chomps a mouthful of before letting it scamper off.

As I wandered around the Burlington Discover Jazz Festival this weekend, I felt a bit like Homer in the Land of Chocolate. Everything was so good, and if I found something that didn’t particularly suit my fancy, I could stop for a taste and mosy down the block to the next one. Here are a few of the acts we saw that I definitely fancied.

Avi and Celia I actually got to see Avi & Celia play twice. My Special Lady Friend and I heard some intoxicating tunes drifting out of the alley behind American Flatbread on Friday evening, and found the duo giving a performance in what turned out to be a wonderfully cozy venue. The next day we found them performing in front of City Hall. At that point I was with my folks who were up for the afternoon to wander around with me, so I got to hang out and watch them perform again, and mom got to pick up their album after the show. 1 Looks like they are going on tour down the east coast, but will be back around later this summer for the Champlain Valley Folk Festival and the Vermont Roots Reggae Festival.

After watching the sunset on the waterfront with the Skatelites in the background, we headed up the hill. Walking by City Hall Park, we joined a crowd in rapt attendance of The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band.2

Later on that evening, we got to see a mosh pit on church street, driven by The Mathematicians rocking, thrashing notes. It was quite a show. The music samples on their MySpace page don’t do them justice – I thought they were a different band (well, ok, I’m still not sure) until I read their description.

Anyway, keep an eye out for these acts coming to a venue near you. I’m off to go find some chocolate.

  1. During that show, a shout went up from someone sitting at one of the restaurant tables behind me, and I turned just in time to catch the naked bike riders go by. Note that while these links may not be too racy, they might also be NSFW. []
  2. The Wikipedia bio on this group is a fascinating read, by the way []

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