The 2006 Vancouver Wine & Jazz Festival
Sunday, August 27, 2006
Downtown Vancouver, Washington, Esther Short Park has been inundated with out-of-towners and locals attending the Wine & Jazz Festival, an event that has become the largest jazz festival of its kind in the Northwest.
White plastic exhibition areas, stalls gleaming in the sun, their canopies flutter in a playful breeze, sheltering renowned vineyards, fine arts and crafts and delicious local cuisines. Intermingled smells of sausage, onions, and spicy barbecue sauce waft lazily in the air, while the inquisitive amble from booth to booth, taunting their palates. International and local jazz artists perform in an airy band shell, while the entire area is surrounded by a cyclone fence enclosure.
Tonight the noise of the city changed its tune to one of jazz -- relentless spirits, Eddie Palmieri and his Afro-Caribbean Jazz Sextet, turned up the heat with hard core Latin Jazz, hard core salsa, a spicy gumbo that energizes the soul.
The background music and driven percussion solos become a mega dose of adrenaline that adds to the tension and resistance of riding high in synch with the rhythm. Then your body surrenders to the gravitational pull of the earth, and you start to move involuntarily, you mambo, cha cha cha, or you just sit and watch all the swiveling hips.
Too soon, thunderous applause pierces the still night air, another celebration has come to an end, the noise of the city returns, a freight train rattles over the nearby trestles on a cool night breeze.