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Jazz Fest flourishes under sunny skies

LAKE GEORGE - Sunny skies and soaring music meant a magical experience for jazz fans Saturday and Sunday during the 2009 Lake George Jazz weekend held in Shepard Park. The annual festival is organized by the Lake George Arts Project.

Laura Von Rosk of the Arts Project said Tuesday the crowd was perhaps the largest in a decade, and they enjoyed a wide range of musical offerings, from a classical-jazz fusion of the Bill Mays Inventions Trio to the Grammy-winning Cuban stylings of Ignacio Berrora.

"I think we had the biggest crowd ever - Shepard Park was filled with people enjoying the jazz, and the weather was fabulous.

Saturday's bands were capped off by Giacomo Gates Quintet. Gates is renowned for his vocalese idiom and his ability to mimic the sounds of instruments.

Sunday's lineup was launched by the Roland Vazquez Quintet. Vasquez, a renowned drummer and composer, plays Afro-Cuban and Puerto Rican stylings.

Vazquez was followed by internationally acclaimed trombonist Steve Turre, an award-winning mainstay of the Saturday Night Live band since 1985.

Wrapping up the 2009 jazz fest was Diane Moser's Composers Big Band, with lively jazz originals, which Van Rosk said resonated with the crowd.

"Diane Moser and her group were incredible," she said.

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