Sights and sounds: 2009 AT&T San Jose Jazz Festival

A first class event.

That would be the 2009 Jazz Festival here in San Jose. And to think it almost didn’t happen, if it weren’t for AT&T replacing former sponsors Southwest and Comcast.

Luckily the show went on, because it was terrific on all accounts. Lots of top tier jazz, first and foremost. In total 100 performances, 10 stages, 3 days. Musical performances covered the gamut: Straight Ahead Jazz, Salsa, Blues, Latin, Swing, R&B, Hip Hop, Smooth, Fusion… you name it.

The expected attendance is well over 100,000 although we won’t know until the official count comes in. But that would put it at twice the attendance of the Monterey Jazz Festival and almost 9 times that of the Newport Jazz Festival—the two most well known festivals in the United States.

It was great to see downtown transformed, with closed streets providing unique walking and sonic experiences. Food was out in full force; no shortage of choice or quality. Same with beer, wine, water, and, of course, smoothies.

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