As the 6 day and night heat wave continued on into a steamy Friday evening, we motored over to downtown Springfield to while a few hours away checking out the Hoop City Jazz and Art Festival. It's a weekend long outdoor concert which was kicking off that night. Parking under the highway was discounted to 5 bucks for the festival goers, and it was a short 1 block walk to Court Square where the music was playing in front of City Hall. Court Square itself was crowded with jazz afficionados, and Ken Navarro was just getting to the end of his set.
In between sets we acquired a couple cold (4 dollar) beers and found a place to sit on the grass. The upbeat crowd milled about in between sets, getting their own beers or ice cream, chatting or 'chillaxing' while waiting for the next performers.
The next group up was Soul Source, who kicked things off with an R&B-turned medley of James Brown funk, getting started just as dusk settled in.
While most of the people were splayed out across the green and closed off road on chairs and blankets, there were a few large round tables set up behind the main crowd where an event organizer invited us to take a seat. On the tabels were these handy hand fans, to help beat the heat...
...heat which didn't seem to have any effect on the power of music, as some people began working up a sweat movin' and groovin'.
Soul Source was rolling along as the evening came on, with not only jazz tunes but everything from Marvin Gaye to Barry White to Prince to Blackstreet.
Throughout their set dancing erupted spontaneously, everywhere. Behind us under the trees, out on the street, on the steps in front of the stage.
It was a beautiful way to finish off the steamy week. Later on, as the bloggerette began signalling it was time to get on back home, we said good bye to this couple sitting next to us;
David and his girlfriend. They said bye and David paused, and with a big smile fittingly summed up the mood of the evening, by wishing us "Happy Summer Days"...