Healdsburg Jazz Festival


Fountain pen, brush pen, watercolor in Strathmore mixed media sketchbook, 8 X 5.5″

Free outdoor concerts are always a highlight of the summer.  Every town in Sonoma county has them, and Healdsburg starts off the season with their week-long Jazz Festival.  The people watching possibilities in the free venue in the plaza are stellar!  People start staking out their territory with chairs and such hours before the performance and then bring dinner and drinks to enjoy before and during the performance.


Ritmos Unidos was heating up the plaza that night with their Latin Jazz beats. I had to sketch this from a picture since there were dancers blocking the view of the musicians.

jazzplaza3This old guy hardly moved more than an inch on the dance “floor”, but it was clear that he was totally intoxicated with the music (at least). This is my favorite sketch, done standing about 3 feet from him (painted later)


The sketch on the left was done on site.  I was so intrigued with this guy’s outfit.

The one on the right was done from pictures I took.  And yes, that is a live snake, which was brought onto the dance “floor”.  I suppose snakes can groove to Latin Jazz too?


Another night we heard the Wayne Wallace Latin Jazz Quintet at the Shed with Jackie Ryan (on percussion).

I’m working on building my skill with hands in movement, not an easy task, especially when you are spellbound with the fluidity of hands on drums.

jazzshed2This was a study in tracking the form of an instrument I’ve never drawn before, not even really understanding how the hands move it.  Now I’d love to do more trombone playing sketches, and preferably with good light and from many angles, which are not available when you’re watching a performance from the sixth row and with heads in front of you.

There is something about sketching while listening to live performance. . . the passion in the music takes over the pen and channels through it onto the paper.  Maybe not as exciting as actually performing music, but certainly a real high.  And by the way, this was another extraordinary group!

One comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s