First Friday Jazz Festival

Last Friday night was the kickoff to Scranton’s Jazz Festival, beginning with a rocking (is that the right term for jazz-centric bands?) First Friday downtown.  It’s been at least a year since we went down to First Friday, although I’m not entirely sure why, since it’s really a nice time.  The downtown is lively and there’s no shortage of things to do, or see.  Especially when it’s part of a bigger event.

Of course, the definition of jazz was stretched a little.  The crew in the photo above was doing a pretty good job, but the band in front of the Steamtown Mall was a bit off-topic.  Which isn’t to say they were bad, because they were anything but – good band, a trio of singers with great voices, and a great sense of stage presence.  But in the 40 minutes we spent listening to them, they covered pretty much everything from 60s favorites to LadyGaga.  Fun, dancing music…but maybe not strictly jazz.

But what the heck, it got people out in the streets dancing.  I don’t think that happens in a lot of cities, so it’s something pretty special.  Just another one of the things that Scranton, and its residents, seem to get right.

This isn’t serious photography; just me with the camera in tow, grabbing a few shots.  The lighting was all over the map, stage colors mixing with that sickly glow of sodium vapor streetlights.  It’s dark and there’s blur where people were moving.  And I like them for all of those reasons.  I didn’t have to lay any gloss on this event, just capture it the way it was, because the way it was, was fun.

And of course the obligatory girlfriend photo.  Because if you don’t get a photo of your honey having a good time, it probably makes you a bad photographer 🙂

I’ll throw a another pair out there before wrapping this up:

Sunset paints the sky pink and purple behind the courthouse in downtown Scranton, PA, on the evening of 03 August 2012.

A full, orange moon rises behind the courthouse square in downtown Scranton on 03 August 2012.

The first one is from the mid-level of the parking deck, looking out at the Courthouse Square from over Carl von Luger’s.  Sunset and the courthouse, who could resist?  The second is the Square again, this time with a very orange moon rising in the background.  They had the streets blocked off for the festival, which means we had to walk down the middle of them.  Because when else can you do that?  Seemed liked a good enough reason to us!


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