Front Yard Fest 2021 | Beginning Of An Ending

In the many months that most of us have not played with or hung with other fellow humans, it seemed like it would be a long way away to getting back into music making. This is beginning to change, shockingly quickly. It makes the heart beat faster.

I’d been planning a masked, socially distanced outdoor event here at my home for several months. Events of the last few weeks have significantly changed conditions as my family, and most everyone in my circles in New York has been vaccinated. What began as a discrete, distanced, audience-less experiment, became Front Yard Fest 2021 as more and more of us are able to venture out. Front Yard Fest featured some of my closest friends and several musicians I’d never met. Several interlocking bands played in my front yard. All bands in some way associated with Greenleaf Music.

Greenleaf Mashup 2: (left to right) Fay Victor, voice; Lawrence Fields, piano; Dave Douglas, trumpet; Jason Nazary, drums; Jorge Roeder, bass; Alain Metrailler, sax; Joe Lovano, sax. Photo by Nate Chinen. Blues Connotation by Ornette Coleman

It was sublime. This happened on Thursday, May 20th. Weather conspired with a perfect day. Friends and family pitched in to arrange for wonderful blessings of food and drink. The much touted cicada plague has so far failed to materialize. And we are well past the two week point of being vaccinated. Some of my neighbors acquiesced in providing additional parking. We kept it on the down low, but we were able to accommodate friends and family in way we have not seen for 14 or 15 months. It was a joy. Smiling and hugging never seemed so novel and fresh.

Sorry we couldn’t invite everyone we’d have liked to invite. The whole event was captured in audio and film by Geoff Countryman. At some point we will be sharing excerpts.

Thanks to these wonderful musicians. And thanks to all of you for following Greenleaf Music during this long period of change and uprooted expectations.

We’re thrilled that the Overcome vinyl project was successful. We’ll have the LP ready by August of this year.

Here’s what happened:

Angela Morris Quartet: (left to right) Sana Nagano, violin; Jason Nazary, drums; Angela Morris, sax; Luke Stewart, bass. Photo by Dave Douglas.
Overcome: (left to right) Fay Victor, voice; Rudy Royston, drums; Dave Douglas, trumpet; Andy Clausen, trombone; Jorge Roeder, bass. Photo by Geoff Countryman.
Sound Prints: (left to right) Lawrence Fields, piano; Dave Douglas, trumpet; Rudy Royston, drums; Joe Lovano, sax; Yasushi Nakamura, bass. Photo by Nate Chinen.
The Westerlies: (left to right) Chloe Rowlands, trumpet; Riley Mulherkar, trumpet; Willem de Koch, trombone with low trigger (not bass trombone, Willem would like you to know); Andy Clausen, trombone. Photo by Dave Douglas
Little Giant Still Life: Dave Douglas, trumpet; The Westerlies, brass; Clarence Penn, drums; Joe Lovano, sax. Photo by Nate Chinen.
Greenleaf Mashup 1: (left to right) Chloe Rowlands, trumpet; Willem de Koch, trombone; Jason Nazary, drums; Riley Mulherkar, trumpet; Luke Stewart, bass; Angela Morris, sax. Photo by Nate Chinen. Improvisation
Greenleaf Mashup 3: (left to right) Sana Nagano, violin; Chloe Rowlands, trumpet; Clarence Penn, drums; Yasushi Nakamura, bass; Andy Clausen, trombone. Photo by Geoff Countryman. Improvisation.