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Meet The Jazz Audience: George Blouin

In the last few decades, June has become the busiest month for jazz in New York City, home to the biggest jazz scene in the world. But who is actually going to these shows? A small team of Bloggers Supreme has been attending the festivities -- primarily, the CareFusion Jazz Festival New York. In between our reports on various goings-on, we spoke to of the people who were actually in the audience. We started off every conversation with the simple question: how did you hear about this show? And be sure to check out more of our Meet The Jazz Audience series. --Ed.

George Blouin, 21
Performer: McCoy Tyner Quartet feat. Ravi Coltrane, Esperanza Spalding, Francisco Mela / Stanley Clarke Trio feat. Hiromi
Venue: Rumsey Playfield, Central Park
Event: CareFusion Jazz Festival New York +
Date: Jun. 23, 2010

What brought you out tonight? I've been traveling for the last two weeks. It's actually the end of my travels, the end of my road, and then I'm headed home.

This is a nice way to end a trip. Yes, it is. A free awesome jazz concert: Stanley Clarke and Hiromi. Unfortunately, we missed McCoy Tyner. We got here late. And it was all filled up.

I understand there was actually a line of 500 people waiting outside. Well, it opened up. It's unreal music -- for free, in Central Park. You can't miss that. I've just seen this one set and it's been absolutely incredible so far. And with Hiromi on piano. She's absolutely spectacular. I'm in awe of the whole show. It's pretty crazy.

Is this typical for the kind of music you listen to? Actually, the reason I was traveling was because I just saw two Phish shows: in Hershey, P.A. and we did Saratoga Springs the other night, then came down here.

I have to admit I picked you because I noticed your friend's tie-dye concert tee. [laughs] Yeah, straight from the lot.

How does this music relate to the jam band scene? Is there some crossover? Absolutely, without a doubt. I feel like this is more conservative in a way. Older people have been listening to jazz for a long time. Everyone is sitting down and staying quiet. You go to shows like Phish and everybody's dancing and being as loud as they can be. It is different in that respect, but then again, the same type of people who are going to be drawn to that type of music are the same type of people who are going to be drawn to this music. And bluegrass and classical and all sorts of other things.

And a free show is a free show? A free show is a free show, but especially when it's amazing music like this. Actually, all of these guys [indicating his friends] are studying jazz at SUNY-New Paltz. They're guitarists and bass players. Music is what brings us together. This is what it's all about.

How did you find out about this show? There's this one website I frequent called . They'll pretty much schedule out shows for the whole year. So every time a tour comes up, they'll build up a whole list of shows and you can see what's going on. I think they have a section on free shows this year and this was on there. Summertime is a great time for music. There's always something going on.

Like the Jazz Fest? That website linked me to it and I read about it online. There's a lot of other stuff going on, but it gets real costly. And that's the whole conservative thing -- sit-down, quiet places are usually where the big names go.

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Lara Pellegrinelli
Lara Pellegrinelli is a freelance journalist and scholar with bylines in The New York Timesand the Village Voice. She has been the commissioned writer for Columbia University's Miller Theatre and its Composer Portrait series since 2018.