A2 Summer Festival Shines

This year’s Ann Arbor Summer Festival has featured several inspiring performances by area jazz and blues groups at top of the Park on Ingalls Mall. The Ron Brooks Quintet kicked things off on June 10 with trumpeter Don Swindell, tenorist Vincent Bowens, pianist Rick Roe, and drummer David Alvarez III. The group was a real standout and an audience favorite, particularly when Swindell sang some blues at the end after switching over to the harmonica. They were followed by bassist Paul Keller with Sarah D’Angelo on clarinet while Roe stayed on until the concert was interrupted by a downpour. More avant gardish was the group assembled by singer Estar Cohen with keyboardist Josh Catania. Cohen was most impressive in her “Prayer of Tad” referring to her late mentor pianist Tad Weed.