Hundreds of people flocked to downtown Brea for this year’s Jazz Fest. Birch street was closed down once again this weekend to give people a local taste of live jazz.
“It’s a lively vibe. It’s nice to be able to walk around and listen to music. It’s my second year coming to the festival and I like that it’s not too crowded,” said Brea resident Jaylynn Stein.
Every weekend the festival hosts a performer who takes the stage and fills the street with the sounds of jazz. This weekend the crowd was set for Joey DeFrancesco who took center stage behind his keyboard, surrounded by his band mates. The sound of the their up-tempo music had many people in the crowd tapping their feet or bobbing their head to the beat. The band interacted with the crowd and encouraged them to dance and sing along to the high-energy music.
“I like this music. It’s so relaxing and soothing. It gives me nostalgia for Billie Holiday,” said Michael Huntley.
This was Huntley’s first year at the event and he is expecting to return again next year.
The band’s performance allowed the audience to get a taste of music that is not easily found. The vibe of being in a classy jazz club filled the atmosphere as the audience listened to “The Bull,” which was a slow-paced and mellow piece by DeFrancesco. He not only displayed his solo skills on the keyboard, but on the trumpet as well.
Each member of DeFrancesco’s band played a role in creating a unique sound of soulful blues music that harken back to the days of husky voices bellowing in smoky lounges.
The band played two sets to round that night. DeFrancesco took time after his first set to interact with the audience and sign copies of his CD. It was his first year performing at the jazz festival.
“I’m having a ball. It seems like the audience is having a good time,” DeFrancesco said. “They should keep doing more festivals. It raises awareness about the music and it’s educational.”
The outdoor event had vendors set up for people to look around before the concert started. An area designated especially for children allowed them to participate in arts and craft or rock climbing. Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital was also at the festival giving people the opportunity to donate blood.
The Brea Jazz Festival will continue to fill the street with music during the weekends of Sept. 21-29.