Adventures in the world of Traditional Jazz and Ragtime.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Fresno Dixieland Society Sounds of Mardi Gras -- Friday

It was a short day, with the music not starting until 3:00. We were watching news about the happenings in Egypt, and didn't get to a set until 4:00.

There's no real name for this group -- it was made up of Katie Cavera (guitar/banjo/vocals), Georgia Korba (bass), Dawn Lambeth (piano), and George Probert (soprano sax). They put the group  together just for fun, and it definitely was fun. The photo is fuzzy because people were moving around in front of them and I had to snap it fast.

We also heard the New El Dorado Jazz Band, one of Hal Smith's brainstorms. Hal has been working with the Jim Cullum Jazz Band in San Antonio, TX for a few months, but had to leave them due to some wrist and shoulder problems. He put the El Dorado group together from other bands and is playing washboard instead of drums until his injuries are taken care of.

This band is one of the most excellent you could find in this genre: Carl "Sonny" Leyland (piano), Mike Baird (reeds/Titanic Jazz Band), Howard Miyata (trombone-tuba/High Sierra Jazz Band), Marc Caparone (cornet/Climax Jazz Band), Katie Cavera (banjo), Georgia Korba (Bass), and Hal Smith (washboard). This is the hottest group at the festival. I'll get a photo of them tomorrow.

The only other band I photographed today was the Grand Dominion Jazz Band. They're from all over the US and Canada and are one of the best on the circuit. They and the Climax Jazz Band were on the Panama Canal Cruise we were on last month. This pic was taken early in the set  -- the seats did fill up.

The last time we came to the Fresno festival we found a great Basque/American restaurant, the Shepherd's Inn. This year they advertised in the festival's program. We went there for dinner tonight, and it's exactly the same as last time. For that matter, it's probably pretty close to the same as it was a hundred years ago! In addition to the entre of your choice (served with french fries), they serve bread, soup, green salad, potato salad, pasta, beans, and finish with a little dish of vanilla ice cream.  If you don't know what's about to come, you can easily be full before the entre arrives!

Tomorrow the music starts at 10:00 a.m., and I'll try to get more photos. I can't promise they'll be better, because I forgot the Canon at home and am depending on my phone camera.


  1. looks like a marvelous evening of fun, food and music! wish I was there :) ♥♥♥

  2. Jess and I are sorry we had to miss it. Sounds like a great festival.