The 3rd issue of the Algarve Smooth Jazz Festival took place as usual at the 5 star Vita Vila Parc hotel in Porches, Algarve in Portugal from Oct 16-21, 2018. This hotel is basically a huge gated resort with many little villas, restaurants, pools, shopping area, spa and private beach. The top class service and the many facilities provide a special experience and make this the prefect place to hold this festival. The concerts took place in a little pavilion holding a few hundred people, plus bar areas inside and outside, where also the after show chillout parties featuring DJ Richard Edwards took place.
The festival was opened with the Smooth Jazz All Stars Jam Session featuring all players of the festival that were present that night which were most. The band consisted of Oli Silk on keys, Mark Jaimes on guitar, Orefo Orakwue on bass and Andrew Small on drums, they accompanied a host of players who collectively started the show with "Canteloupe Island" featuring Brian Bromberg on bass, Rocco Ventrella, Paul Taylor and Michael Lington on sax, Matthias Beckmann and Lin Rountree on trumpet, plus Marc Antoine on acoustic guitar, bringing things nicely up to speed. During the rest of the night, the players alternated playing some of their own material, Rocco Ventrella did "Rocco Funk" and "Soulful Strut", Paul Taylor did "Super Nova", Lin Rountree gave us his rendition of "People Make The World Go Round", Michael Lington raised things a notch with his always heartfelt playing, while singer Lindsey Webster, who was accompanied by her musical partner Keith Slattery, impressed us with her powerful voice. My personal highlight were the impeccable contributions of acoustic guitarist Marc Antoine, who even did a brief stroll into the audience. Apart of the main players, the rest of the band got their solo spots as well, especially Oli Silk played some of his original material. They wrapped it up with "Superstitious" having everybody on stage, even bassist Andrew Tolman stepped in briefly, plus the encore "Chicken" that had us groove along. This was a nice start of the festival, and a little rain during the show didn't bother us.