Jazz lovers of all ages filled the Kibbie Dome Saturday night as the 2013 Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival drew to a close with a performance by festival headliner and saxophonist, Maceo Parker.
High school students Kelcie Baldwin and Mackenzie Woodworth came to the festival with Liberty Bell high school, which is in Winthrop, Wash.
Baldwin plays the upright bass, although she began her musical career playing the viola.
“I first started out in orchestra playing the viola and it just came to the point where bass looked like a lot of fun, and it’s a naturally left-handed instrument and I’m left handed so it kind of made sense,” Baldwin said.
Woodworth, an alto saxophonist, said music has been in her family for generations and attending Jazz Fest is a great experience to help her continue the tradition.
The night opened with a tribute to the late Lionel Hampton, who died in 2002. The video montage presented the 46-year history of Jazz Fest and introduced John Clayton, the artistic director for the festival. Clayton spent the first half of the show on stage with the Lionel Hampton Big Band and Youth Orchestra.
Warren Wolf, vibraphone, and Traincha Oosterhuis — a Dutch jazz-pop vocalist — joined Clayton and the big band on stage for the opening act of the final 2013 concert. They performed Jazz Fest favorite Hamp’s Boogie as well as originals composed for the Lionel Hampton band by Grammy winning jazz artist and composer, Quincy Jones.
Once the music got going jazz enthusiasts, including Baldwin and Woodworth, crowded the dance floor to celebrate the festival and show off their swing moves.
“Winthrop is such a small town … everyone does it, everyone knows how to swing dance,” Baldwin said.
Woodworth said she learned to dance because “it’s just what you do in Winthrop.”
“Every month there’s a country swing dance at the barn and everyone goes,” Woodworth said.
The two agreed it was a great way to end their week at the festival as the Maceo Parker band took the stage for the second half of the show.
Parker is best known as the leading sax-man for James Brown, but in recent years has pursued a solo career in jazz-funk. Parker began by playing a traditional jazz piece and stopped abruptly to let the audience know, “We don’t play that.”
Parker and the band played the night away as dancers continued to pack the dance floor and the 46th annual Jazz Fest concluded.
“It’s a blast,” Baldwin said. “I would recommend it to anyone, especially every high school.”
Kaitlyn Krasselt can be reached at email@example.com