As I wrote of my 2015 Winter JazzFest recap, I was anxious to see how the event absorbed the growing crowds going forward.
2016 saw it succeed with straight A's.
The venue addition of the New School, with its giant auditoriums, added not only an ease of entry & exit from every venue, it added a new dimension to the entire affair -- a concert presentation grafted smoothly onto the more intimate club settings scattered all across New York's Greenwich Village.
Upscale or funky, these sets represented more of a Festival feel, in addition to the intimate madness of the crowded clubs.
The greatest boon to the pass holders, however, was the great siphoning off of bodies from outside each club. The New School's auditoriums hold 800 - many thousands each, so while all those folks comfortably listen to their sets, many other fans no longer have to wait in queues in the rain & cold outside almost every club. There's an artist you want to see at this place & time? Fine. You can now see them without girding for a mass of humanity no matter the venue.
All told, this was a strategic & brilliant move that must be commended. If the Winter JazzFest was to continue to grow, the form had to expand to match the content.
That it has done, beautifully.
Now, on to 2017's Winter JazzFest!