If you’ve never been to Jazz on the Square, you should know that the event isn’t as uptight as Symphony on the Prairie but just as much fun. Located right in the center of town, the event does take on a more casual tone. After all, it has to contend with large trucks rumbling past and motorcyclists who rev their engines whenever possible. The crowd treats it more as a coffee shop setting, and often talks over the music. You have to contend with people coming and going without a pause but it is a charming setting and a town favorite.
Of course, you can’t argue with the price: FREE. Unlike Symphony on the Prairie, there wasn’t a $27 charge to get in and parking is reasonably close. You don’t need a boy scout with a wagon to get your supplies to the site.
Best of all, the music was spectacular. The Blue Dorian Jazz Combo is made up of three very gifted musicians: Daniel Sterner, who keeps the rhythm going with his creative and complex drumming. Bethany Robinson, who’s amazing bass playing adds depth and feeling to each number whether it’s with the standup Bass or the electric stick. And Eric Baker, who on keyboard and vocals is front and center but often steps back to allow his team to shine. As individuals, they are each a talent unto themselves but as a trio, they combine to provide fantastic music that covers everything from Duke Ellington (Take the A Train) to Coldplay (Viva la Vida). At one point in the evening the trio was rocking James Taylor’s “How Sweet It Is”. A woman clearly in her 70’s yelled out, “I LOVE this song!” I think nearly everyone in the crowd felt that way about the entire evening.
The weather was stunning, the band was hot and we enjoyed great jazz under a perfect sky with all our neighbors from Middle Harbour (a break-away faction of homes located between South Harbour and West Harbour).
It was just a great night.