Beaches International Jazz Festival 2011: Streetfest

Am heading up to the cottage tomorrow and staying for the weekend, so tonight was my one and only chance to see any of the Streetfest portion of the local Jazz Festival. The “jazz” festival is increasingly a misnomer, since the majority of the bands playing are Blues, Latin or something other than Jazz, but the music is fun, free and good, so what’s there to complain about? Unfortunately one of my favourite bands from last year — Big Rude Jake — was not making a return appearance. Oh well. :-(

The day had been the hottest so far this summer, hitting a peak at 37C, and with the humidity feeling much hotter. By the time the bands started up things had started to cool down, but it was still hotter than most people would like. So the energy of some of the bands was a bit “muted”. Diablo de Puente was particularly sedate compared to what I had seen them do last year. (Postscript: apparently the people from a local fitness place brought them cold, wet towels for cooling down, and the energy of the band picked up considerably afterwards).

This was the first time I have taken my f/2 200mm telephoto (and my trusty Olympus E-510) to the festival, and I wanted to see how it would perform in the relatively low light conditions you get after the sun goes down/the music starts up. On the whole, am happy with what I came away with, and the “Supersonic Wave Drive” makes for fast and smooth focusing when needed.

I managed to make it down to Wineva Avenue before heading back, so what you see here is only about half of the extent of the Streetfest festival. In terms of the acts there were several welcome returns by the like of the Dr. Draw, The David Rotundo Band, Fathead, and the Downtown Dixieland Band, but it was good to see a lot of fresh blood as well, including the likes of Dr. Nick and The Roller Coasters, Sambacana, K.C. Roberts and The Live Revolution, and Suzana da Camara.

Here’s a selection of photos I took while roaming Streetfest:

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