Smooth Jazz Festival Augsburg 2013 - Saturday

Saturday night, the festival continued with the appearance of trumpet player Cindy Bradley with saxophonist Dan Cipriano. The two musicians are a newly wed couple, having married only three weeks ago, and one could feel their happiness. Dan Cipriano was tagged being one of the busiest saxophone players in NYC, and his resume was impressive with some of the biggest names from the rock and pop business he played with in the past. Now, since having fallen in love with Cindy, Dan started to appear with her more frequently and moved a bit more into smooth jazz territory. Being an accomplished player, he had no trouble to adapt to this format. It was clear from the beginning that this was a Cindy Bradley concert, they kicked off the show with "Deja Blue" and moved on to "Lifted", both tracks from her awesome Unscripted album, giving both players some time to solo. Another nice one was Wayne Shorter's "Footprints" that allowed for some more extensive soloing, while "You Don't Know What Love Is" played on the muted trumped proved to be a highlight of the show, showing Cindy Bradley's skills as a jazz player. In addition, Dan Cipriano did some cool flute playing. The band contributed some nice solos, especially Martin Feske on guitar and Lutz Deterra on keys made some outstanding contributions. They concluded their show with their #1 hit "Massive Transit" that went down very well with the crowd. An encore was demanded, the band played "Curves Ahead", finishing a truly great concert. This concert was the highlight of the whole festival for me.

Next was Canadian saxophonist Warren Hill who appeared at the first Mallorca Smooth Jazz Festival two years ago, where he left a lasting impression. He was invited back and would guarantee an energetic show, and we were not disappointed. He started the concert with the Beatles' "Come Together", that brought things nicely up to speed, segueing into the next funky track right away, supported by the cooking house band. Another memorable track was "Skinny Dippin'" from his current release La Dolce Vita. He slowed things down with two "baby making songs" featuring his soprano sax, before he invited his daughter Olivia onto the stage. Olivia is 14 years old and pursues a career in acting/music under the name of Olivia Rox, she did a cover of a Beyoncé song and brought the house down with her expressive and soulful vocals. During another song, Warren made a stroll into the audience and played his sax standing on a chair to the delight of the crowd. The pace picked up with "Mambo 2000", one of this biggest hits, Martin Feske provided some nice Santana-like guitar playing to this song. Going a bit back in time, Warren did a cover of "Frankenstein" by the Edgar Winter Group, before it was time to party with "Play That Funky Music" with some audience participation. This brought another great issue of the Augsburg Jazz Festival to a rousing end.

This year's edition of the festival proved to be another winner and it is safe to say that the Augsburg Smooth Jazz Festival has established itself firmly by now and will be a place to hear our favorite smooth jazz artists for years to come. I applaud Christian Bössner for his hard work and dedication to bring this music to us in such a nice package. I already look forward to the Mallorca Smooth Jazz Festival 2014, which will take place May 1-4, 2014 in the Protur Biomar Gran Hotel & Spa, a 5 star hotel in Sa Coma, Mallorca. The lineup will be announced earlier next year, more infos here.