The Brantford International Jazz Festival is five for five when it comes to putting on a first-rate music event – and five for five when it comes to the weather co-operating for organizers of the three-day festival.
Sunday afternoon brought out the biggest crowd of the weekend for a performance by the legendary Buckwheat Zydeco in Harmony Square.
“I think we’ll have a new record,” festival organizer Frank DiFelice said. “Last year we had between 28,000 and 29,000 people out over three days. I think we topped 30,000 this year.”
When it comes to the weather, perhaps the trick for organizers is to keep talking about how lucky they are.
“Friday I looked up at the sky and it looked like rain,” DiFelice said. “But at about 4:15 p.m. the sun came out and the clouds went away.”
Sunny skies remained for the rest of the weekend.
Asked about how satisfying it was to put together a lineup of internationally acclaimed jazz, samba, blues and R&B musicians to perform in downtown Brantford, DiFelice again talked about the weather.
“I thought we were going to get rained out,” he said. “It was beautiful here on Saturday and Harmony Square was absolutely jammed. That’s where I take my satisfaction.”
The festival kicked off on Friday night with Samba Squad getting the crowd in Harmony Square out of their seats. On Saturday, a full lineup on three outdoor stages was followed by a performance by David Clayton Thomas at the Sanderson Centre for the Performing Arts.
Aside from his secret recipe for winning weather, DiFelice said he has found a winning formula for steady growth of Brantford’s jazz festival.
“One of the things we’ve learned is to raise the bar just a little bit each year,” he said. “I have a wish list – and it’s a huge wish list – and we’ll get there eventually.”