Heat, Swing, Bluegrass and Booze: Niigata Jazz Street 2023

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1 year ago
Topics: Music, Jazz, Japan, Summer, Travel

Niigata, Japan's Duke Ellington Memorial jazz festival, known as Niigata Jazz Street, is two days of citywide jazz, folk, and bluegrass, and a day pass only costs ¥2,000, or about 15 bucks USD, and will get you into any venue in the city. I've been before, but this year I did it with unprecedented focus and attention. I ate it alive. I also drank it alive — most of the whisky sodas in the city! Maybe a slight exaggeration...

(Edit: I have a video of jazz fest highlights I was going to post right here, posted on Odysee, and the channel is AlternativeJapan. Once again I mysteriously am not allowed to post links on Read, though it allowed me to for a short while. I hope you'll check it out!)

Along the way I saw some world-class jazz acts from Tokyo and Niigata, hung out with a really good pal, felt like I was going to pass out from heat and dehydration, ate the best fish and chips I've had in my life, got to meet many uber-talented players, got autographs, shouted too loud at the bluegrass show, had my own music played at a Japanese indie music guru's bar, and then ended up singing karaoke with my family at another friend's bar in the city. I'm still recovering and wondering if next time I should take it a bit easier — but I'm not sure I will.

じゃあ、また!

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Avatar for AlternativeJapan
1 year ago
Topics: Music, Jazz, Japan, Summer, Travel

Comments

Resfreshing to observe there exist venues that are unmasked there. For awhile I was worried Japan would be the next maskville icon.

$ 0.05
1 year ago

Yeah, I was very relieved to see that, myself. Super slow going here in this town, where everyone's much more self-conscious than people in other parts of the country, and many are still wearing masks even after the official announcement that they're not needed.

Am actually grateful to the humidity and heat. Forcing some folks to finally take the dumb thing off and breathe!

$ 0.00
1 year ago

Wow! That was an absolute fun and relaxing activity. It looks like you really enjoyed it.

$ 0.01
1 year ago

Thanks! Had a great time!

$ 0.00
1 year ago