VACAVILLE — Rain put a damper on the Vacaville Jazz Festival Saturday as organizers had to scramble to keep the music going.
The 14th annual event started Friday evening and was supposed to continue Saturday at Town Square and Nut Tree Plaza. However, a morning rain storm forced the closure of the Town Square stage as well as the plaza stage at Nut Tree. Some bands performed in the Vacaville Library. Others cancelled.
Blackrock Project and the featured headliner, Stan Johnson’s “J Harrison B” band, were two of the Jazz Festival’s casualties. The Vacaville High School Jazz Band also cancelled rather than relocate, said organizer Keith Stout, of the Vaca Jazz Society.
To accommodate the festival, Stout said three sections of the breezeway near the Jelly Belly store at Nut Tree were used for performances. Rescheduling the shows at staggering times presented a “coordinating challenge,” he said.
But the show went on for several performers, including the Vallejo Community Jazz Band.
Leader Steven Logoteta said the band’s time was cut short, but the performance went well.
“I don’t think we ever played in the rain,” he said.
The “big band” – composed of teachers, professional musicians, community members and a couple of students – performed pieces by William James “Count” Basie, Buddy Rich, Sonny Rollins and the Weather Report, Logoteta said.
After the clouds cleared above Nut Tree, Delbert Bump’s septet played Latin jazz as Fenton’s Creamery customers came and went. More than a dozen audience members watched as Bump, of the University of California, Davis, played the keyboard and his fellow band members tackled drums, saxophone, trumpet and the congas.
Caroline Ford, of Vacaville, was enjoying the show.
“The talent is fabulous,” she said. ”. . . It’s equivalent to what you’d see at Yoshi’s in Oakland.”
But Ford, who also attended Friday’s festivities, had one question.
“Where’s the town of Vacaville, I want to know,” she said.
The Vaca Jazz Society supports school music programs through its free “Save Our Music” camps and clinics, according to its website. A morning performance by the youngsters in the Society’s Youth Camp was cut short Saturday when it started raining, said Stout. The group’s recital was tentatively rescheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday at Golden West Middle School, he said.
While some had to forgo the show, other youths were able to share their talent with the community Saturday. The Vanden High School Jazz Ensemble performed in the morning, and Vacaville Christian School’s Radio Jazz band were scheduled to play after Delbert Bump.
Tyler Smith, a member of Radio Jazz, said music students can learn a lot from other band members.
“Some players are better, and you can learn a lot from them – and you can help other people who aren’t as good as you,” he said.
He also believes music programs in school are important.
“Everybody listens to music,” said the 13-year-old alto saxophone player. “. . . Music is a big part of life, so every school should have a music program,” he said.
The Vacaville Jazz Festival continues from 1 to 7: 30 p.m. Sunday at Nut Tree Plaza, 1681 E. Monte Vista Ave., Vacaville.
Keith Stout’s Alive Music Orchestra, 1 p.m.
Alive Music Orchestra Rhythm and Brass, 3 p.m.
Show at Panera Bread to be announced, 5 p.m.
Freedom’s Gate POW/MIA Military Tribute with U.S. Air Force Band of the Golden West, 5:30 p.m.