The 2nd annual Community Unity Music Festival which is headed by Carol Mitchell-Faulkner was a grand occasion. You could have went to several different music events throughout the Philadelphia area on this day. Well, I chose this one. There was a of blood and sweat that went into pulling this one off. The tears probably came later after it’s success. The day started out with singer Rhenda Fearrington, Karen Smith, and The Universal African dancers and drum ensemble, all of which I missed because of a late start to my day. I wasn’t worried though. Upon my arrival, pianist Alfie Pollitt had the crowd up and dancing. He was teaching everyone how to Bop. This dance goes back a few decades, but it’s always nice to teach these young kids that there WAS dancing before The Dougie appeared on the scene. Soon after, a smokin’ group featuring Nasir Dickerson on tenor, Charles Washington on trumpet, Aaron Goode on trombone, Adam Faulk on keyboard, Nimrod Speaks in bass, and Khary Abdul- Shaheed on the drum kit, SMOKIN’ the set up. I barely wanted to photograph as my attention was focused on Charles’ slick trumpet runs. Up next was the always swinging Robert Henderson trio with James Collins on the keys, Nick Krolak on bass, and Robert Henderson on the kit. They came through with that trio stuff that makes you love trio stuff! That’s how I care to explain it.
I know you’re wondering who was up next. Well, Lisa Chavous & Friends brought down the house with their heavy Blues set. The crowd got up and did more of the Bopping I mentioned earlier. Tenor saxophonist Donald Willams and his sultry tenor horn were featured on several songs. The Fisher Twins put their bid in next, one on vibes, the other taking double duty on electric and acoustic bass with Nazir Ebo holding things together on the drums. These young fellas may be twins, but each bring their own story to the game. Nazir was incredible as always, more on him later. While waiting on the next group, I saw a gentleman arriving in all white. I thought, “This is something special here!” He even had all white bass speakers to match his suit. SHARP! Jamaaladeen Tacuma was in the house! He had a killer band in which Nazir Ebo held down again. This young cat must have had a few ©Monster drinks before each performance. They brought the house down with their slick compositions and the crowd truly enjoyed their company. Last, but in no way the least, The Branford Marsalis Quartet. Individual members showed up at different intervals but you can bet your best socks,when they got on stage it was like jelly in a jar. Everything was so together as if they’d been playing together for 10 years or more. I say this because only in the last few years has Philadelphia native Justin Faulkner been added to the group. He has stepped in grown man shoes with grown feet. The twenty something leaves you wondering if you can check his ID at the door as his playing surpasses his youth. Branford is a beast on both tenor and soprano horns. Not much needs to be said, only that he was, and to me will always be a down to earth guy that loves to play music, PERIOD! Eric Revis was on bass holding all those notes together like some glue that someone needs to put a patent on. Man, this group is a super group. When you throw Joey Calderazzo on the piano, (I will add that it was specially delivered from The Cuningham Piano Company at precisely the right moment to be tuned and ready), you now have a powder keg of music ready to explode. The crowd rose to their their feet when the band was introduced by Philadelphia radio personality J. Michael Harrison. We were all treated to composition after composition of music that went through our veins. From thundering drums of an up-tempo chart, to the soft soprano of a ballad, the quartet pleased everyone. What a day!
Next year when you hear about The Community Unity Music Festival, take a trip back to this blog just to remind yourself what you either were a part of this year, or what you missed this year. But next year, whatever you’re doing, wherever you are, and whomever you’re with GET YOURSELF ON DOWN TO CLARK PARK!!!!!!
Have a great time viewing some of these highlights from the day. To see all of the photos or to make a purchase, click on the following link which will take you to my store. Thank you.