Among the performers will be the Will Calhoun Trio, featuring the drummer from the powerful rock band, Living Colour. Playing a different style of music, Calhoun’s band nonetheless exudes a potent and dynamic sense of energy. Also coming to BeanTown’s stages will be Meshell Ndegeocello, an especially funky and soulful vocalist, and sometimes bass player. Her most recent album pays homage to Nina Simone, and cuts from the disc will likely make it onto the set list at the festival. Check out Ndegeocello's live version of Simone's Feeling Good.
There will be plenty of other acts at the festival. There will also be lots of food and crafts booths along the event's six-block promenade as well as activities for kids (and kids of all ages if any grownups want to get their faces painted or jump in bouncy houses) and something called an "instrument petting zoo," which I am guessing will give festival-goers an opportunity to make their own music.
Getting back to the musical fruit thing, I know Boston is supposedly famous for its baked beans, but I have to say that neither I nor any of my hometown buddies regularly indulge in the gaseous delicacy. Chowder? Sure. Lobster? You bet. And other than the Jazz Festival folks, I'm not aware of too many local references to our fair city as "Beantown."
It's not as if the vendors are hawking bowls of baked beans at Fenway Park. ("Hey! Getchya tootahs heah!") I wonder whether any of the food tents at the jazz festival will be offering baked beans. If they will be, I hope it won't have anything to do with making your own music at the instrument petting zoo.
Berklee Beantown Jazz Festival
Saturday, September 28, Noon to dusk
Columbus Avenue between Burke Street and Massachusetts Avenue in Boston's South End