Watch the video of Omar Sosa @ Middelheim Jazz Festival 2011

Watch the video of Omar Sosa @ Middelheim Jazz Festival 2011

Long before Arman was born I was dreaming of taking him to Middelheim jazz festival (celebrating its 30th year), but as we approached the festival date, I became a little pessimistic thinking that the weather would not be nice, there would be rain pouring and we would not be able to enjoy the best jazz festival in Belgium. After all, what’s the point of taking a 45 day old baby to an open air jazz festival at a park when it rains and you can’t enjoy lying on the grass? Never before in my life di I follow weather forecasts so meticulously. And on 15th of August, Monday, the final day of the jazz festival, I was pretty relieved to wake to a sunny morning.

I consider Arman lucky not only because the last day of the festival brought sunshine but also it brought a diverse spectrum of performances from romantic solo piano improvisations by Omar Sosa to real avant-garde free jazz performances by Fred Van Hove Ochgot Octet.

Arman listening to music @ Middelheim Jazz Festival 2011

Arman listening to music @ Middelheim Jazz Festival 2011

I don’t know if he really liked free jazz that much, I have my doubts but then I leave the comments to the readers after they watch the following video (click on the picture to watch the video):

Watch the video of Fred Van Hove Ochgot Octet @ Middelheim Jazz Festival 2011

Watch the video of Fred Van Hove Ochgot Octet @ Middelheim Jazz Festival 2011

Luckily, at least for Arman and some other members of the audience I guess, the next concert provided us with more traditional jazz by Randy Weston’s African Rhythms Tribute to James Reese Europe. It didn’t feel like being a subject in a thought-provoking musical experiment but rather like listening to a beautiful and exciting story with some elements to which you can find resemblances from your personal memories (click on the pictures to watch the videos):

Watch the video of Randy Weston’s African Rhythms Tribute to James Reese Europe - Part 1 @ Middelheim Jazz Festival 2011

Watch the video of Randy Weston’s African Rhythms Tribute to James Reese Europe - Part 1 @ Middelheim Jazz Festival 2011

Watch the video of Randy Weston’s African Rhythms Tribute to James Reese Europe - Part 2 @ Middelheim Jazz Festival 2011

Watch the video of Randy Weston’s African Rhythms Tribute to James Reese Europe - Part 2 @ Middelheim Jazz Festival 2011

I hope Arman enjoyed the festival and the picnic as much as we did and I’m looking forward to getting feedback from him in meaningful sentences; during this festival his feedback consisted of carefully observing the blue sky, yawning and making strange sounds and sometimes opening his eyes wide open, somewhat terrified (especially during the free jazz session ;-)).