The weather outside was a little frightful, but the small and mighty crowds that gathered for our CityPlace Caroling and Winter Solstice Jazz Trail kept up the holiday cheer!
As the windy rain toppled umbrellas on an unseasonably warm Winter Solstice, The Music Moves Hartford Downtown Singers filled the CityPlace Lobby with song as they sang a 20 minute set of carols and other classics with a few members of local favorites, the Hartford Hot Several Brass Band. The contingent of almost 30 musicians/singers as well as passersby also had the opportunity to enjoy hot chocolate, generously provided by United Healthcare.
It wasn’t long before City Steam Brewery, the first stop on the Winter Solstice Jazz Trail, was alive with the contemporary stylings of jazz guitarist Dan Liparini along with drummer Kirk Woodard and bassist Matt Dwonszyk completing the trio! Chango Rosa Tacos was the perfect venue for Damian Curtis’s Latin Jazz Quartet with Dwonszyk (who would also later reappear with Sarah Hanahan’s quartet), trombonist Emmett Goods, and percussionist Nelson Bello. The third stop, Rocking Horse Saloon, familiar with country music fans, was host to pianist Andrew Wilcox, bassist Conway Campbell Jr. and Woodard returned on the drums for his second out of three stops. Saxophonist Peter Greenfogel led his own quartet at The Russian Lady for a steadily growing crowd of about 40 people with Wilcox, Campbell Jr., and drummer Jimmy Gavagan. Dwonsyzk and Woodard converged yet again for the fifth and final stop to join the Sarah Hanahan Quintet, complete with Hanahan on saxophone, Brian Simontacchi on trombone, and Mike Carabello on keyboard. Hanahan’s set capped off the Jazz Trail in a meaningful way as a nod to her alto sax idol, Jackie McLean, who founded the institute of the same name at the Hartt School of Music where a number of the night’s performers got an education.
The Arts Council would like to thank all of the musicians, venues, collaborators, and attendees for participating, and we’re already excited for June 21! Special thanks to Maurice D. Robertson and Nick Caito for their photography.