The Benny Green Trio in performance at the 2019 Duck Jazz Festival.

The Benny Green Trio in performance at the 2019 Duck Jazz Festival.

The 2019 Duck Jazz Festival may have been the best one yet. What made it so great wasn’t so much the big name bands that took the stage, but how engaged they were with the audience and how great the music the created was.

News of the event and how fantastic it was probably got sidelined just a bit by other news—the original Cotton Gin burned down on Saturday, which had to be reported. That’s just the way it goes sometimes.

The Leroy Jones Quintet from New Orleans was the headliner this year, and it did begin to sprinkle just a bit when he got on stage. After a day filled with music, a number of people left.

Too bad too. Jones’ combination of traditional New Orleans music with his own compositions based on that sound was wonderful.

The Jazz Festival Bands

There was not, however, a weak performance anywhere…including the First Flight High School jazz band. There are some really good young musicians in that band.

There isn’t room to report on every group that played, but two truly stood out.

Andrew Sanchez, who is a graduate of FFHS and played in that jazz band came back to the Outer Banks gave one of the most wonderful tours of the history of jazz and how it has impacted all forms of music. Performing with six friends, everything from its origins in New Orleans to improv was explored.

For good measure, the wind instruments, with Sanchez on trumpet, marched around the amphitheater playing the Birthday Song in a New Orleans style.

The Benny Green Trio had to beg seen to be believed. Very much a traditional jazz trio with a drummer, piano and stand-up bass, their musicianship was astonishing. Very much a modern, freeform performance, it would be great if they came back to the Outer Banks.

More Festivals on Tap

The music keeps coming. Up next on the music scene is Mike Dianna’s Rock & Roast this coming weekend. Saturday it’s all you can eat barbecue with a full day of music. Sunday it’s all you can eat oysters with full day of music. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Or, for anyone who is all about seafood, the Outer Banks Seafood Festival is Saturday.

Wow is there a lot to do on the Outer Banks! Come stay with Brindley Beach Vacations and take in the real Outer Banks.