Port Townsend: Dynamic duos light up Centrum jazz festival

PORT TOWNSEND — Jazz is synonymous with trios and quartets, but it was jazz duos that held sway at Centrum’s 25th Jazz Port Townsend festival this weekend.

Jim Wilkie, host of KPLU radio’s Jazz Northwest, was master of ceremonies for the festival’s three mainstage concerts, which played to capacity crowds in the cavernous balloon hangar at Fort Worden State Park.

“We have a lot of great duos on the program this year, including John Clayton and friends, and Bud Shank and Bill Mays,” Wilkie said at Friday night’s concert. “It’s a very intimate form of music.”

Friday’s concert featured the best-known duo, pianist Kenny Werner and harmonica legend Toots Thielemans, who composed the Sesame Street theme song and is featured on several movie soundtracks, including “Midnight Cowboy.”

At 81, Thielemans is still touring internationally with Werner, with whom he produced the Grammy-nominated song, “Inspiration,” last year.

Watching the two play together was like sitting in on a conversation between old friends.


The rest of the story appears in the Sunday Peninsula Daily News.

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