Edgefest 2019

This year’s Edgefest had an Out West theme, with the major players from California.

L.A.-based trumpeter/cornetist Perry Bradford and reedman Vinny Golia teamed up in an intense quartet performance at the Kerrytown Concert House, which could have brought back memories of Bradford’s work with edgy pioneers like Ornette Coleman and John Carter.

Pianists Myra Melford and Mara Rosenbloom were integral parts of the Edgefest invasion of the Blue LLama Jazz Club on Thursday night. Melford was astounding in her interplay with Vinny Golia, while Rosenbloom showed that she is a rising star on the avant/free improv scene in a group led by dynamic drummer/poet William Hooker.

On Saturday the traditional Edgefest Parade was held at the Kerrytown Farmers’ Market with students from Ann Arbor’s Scarlett Middle School, under the direction of Andrew Bishop, prominent University of Michigan Music Professor and versatile saxophonist.

Later in the afternoon, a heartfelt and well-attended tribute to pianist Tad Weed, who passed away last year, was held by musicians he played with on the Coast and in this area. Shown here are from left tenorist Andrew Bishop, Vinny Golia, vocalist Estar Cohen (partially shielding drummer Bob Sweet), and bassist Ken Filiano.

Reedman Oluyemi Thomas from the Bay Area treated us to his powerful Positive Knowledge ensemble Wednesday night. SEMJA sponsored workshops at Scarlett Midde School in Ann Arbor.

This was another well-executed Edgefest thanks to the excellent work of artistic director Deanna Relyea!

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: the Tad Weed tribute; Oluyemi Thomas; Myra Melford; Mara Rosenbloom; Perry Bradford and Vinny Golia; the Edgefest Parade.

photographs by Lars Bjorn