As per Albert's request for someone else to write about the 41st Bix Fest....
Performances by Andy Schumm and His Flatland Gang and the Josh Duffee Orchestra were hugely attended and received frequent applause and aways standing ovations. Andy & Josh just get better and better, which is hard to imagine, but still true. There was a lot of interesting new material in their playlists without getting too far from the purpose of the Bix Fest. Jim Cullen's last stage performance and presentation at the Bix Liturgy service were very moving. I especially remember his saying that if it hadn't been for Bix Beiderbecke, he would have been in another line of life's work. He especially concentrated on Bix's standard tunes in his last stage appearance. His substitute clarinetist, Evan Arntzen, was extraordinary and Hal Smith held down the drums admirably, as did Andy's guest bassist (filling in for Vince Giardano, so to speak) Beau Samson, who was also very talented, as were all of the musicians.
A particularly moving performance was the "Future of Jazz Set," with Andy Schumm and Dave Bock, and guest clarinetist Dave Bennett in the front line. Josh Duffee was there, too, of course, and the whole ensemble just came out, no music in front of them, and blew from the heart. It was a very joyful performance of pure improvisation, and they seemed to be having as much fun as we were.
The young dancers who performed on the adjacent dance floors in the Adler and Rivercenter added a lot of visual interest as they danced the period dances of the 1920s and early 1930s as only the very young can and also got a lot of the rest of the, er, more mature audience out on the dance floor, too!
Gerri Bowers bus tour hit all the Bix spots in town--with time inside Dreamland and the Beiderbecke home and a photo op the Beiderbecke Inn, a nice addition to the events. Except for a much needed heavy rainstorm that blew through for a few minutes, the weather was very agreeable, warm but not too hot at all. The family, volunteers of the BBMS, and the facility staff couldn't have been more helpful. They was so much good music it was impossible to get around to all of it.
The 41st Festival went a long way toward equalling the epic 40th Fest, which is hard to imagine!