Saturday, August 19, 2006

Dubuque ... And (not) All That Rain

The incredible string of good luck for organizers of "Dubuque ... And All That Jazz" continues. Over the 15 summers of monthly events -- right around 60 dates -- precious few have been adversely affected by the weather. (The worst was the cancellation due to the Hail Storm of August 1994.) Nearly every time, the weather cooperates for "Jazz."

That was the case yesterday, when it rained virtually all day. At our 4 o'clock Page One meeting, I even suggested that the headline for our photo, to be taken within an hour or two, might have to read "Dubuque ... And All That Rain."

Wrong again.

The rain stopped and the show went on under only cloudy skies. Thousands of people converged on the Town Clock. The performer was C.J. Chenier, my personal favorite among the "Jazz " regulars. (Very few of the acts actually play jazz -- Chenier's specialty is zydeco -- but that's another story.)

Some of these "Jazz" evenings turn into such social events that I rarely get time (or take time) to watch and listen to the bands. I contend that organizers could just play recorded music down there and experience only a marginal drop in attendance. Most people seem to go down to talk with friends and acquaintances, fairly oblivious to what is occurring on stage.

Anyway, Chenier was in good form Friday night, though I didn't hear him perform my favorite, "Man Smart, Woman Smarter." Perhaps he did play that one -- and I was visiting with folks farther up Main Street.

Next "Jazz" is right around the corner: Friday, Sept. 1.

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