Lonesome, disillusioned, hustled out of his last few dollars, Joe Buck trudges along the indifferent and crowded streets of Manhattan in Midnight Cowboy. John Barry's music running behind these scenes contains a descending four-note run that gently evolves into a melody played on a harmonica with longing, heartbreak and tenderness.
You can hear the sounds from that same performer in the closing credits music on Sesame Street. Or in Billy Joel's "Leave a Tender Moment Alone." He's Belgian jazz-harmonica player Toots Thielmans, one of the acts at this month's Jazz in Central Park, brought to you by KFC and the Kentucky Center for the Arts, Saturday and Sunday August 21 and 22, from 5 to 11 p.m. at the C. Douglas Ramey Amphitheater in Louisville's Central Park. Les McCann, another jazz superstar, will also appear at the event, which marks the endpoint of another full summer of jazz in Louisville.
The Kentucky Center's Ken Clay has booked eight solid local, regional and national jazz acts for the festival. Here's the complete lineup:
Saturday, August 21: (following a short opening ceremony at 4:45) 5 to 5:45 - Just Friends; 6 to 6:45 - The Ron Hayden Group; 7 to 8:15 - The Afro-Rican Ensemble; 8:30 to 10 - Toots Theilmans with Kenny Werner.
Sunday, August 22: 5 to 5:45 - Splatch; 6 to 6:45 - For U; 7 to 8:15 - Dick Sisto/Lynne Arriale Quartet; 8:30 to 10 - Les McCann.
The shows both days are free and open to all, which gives you absolutely no excuse to stay at home and get slack-jawed at reruns of Xena: Warrior Princess.
An Online Jazz Message Board?!
One thing I have tried to establish via this column is a dialogue on Louisville Jazz. I've tried a few times to make this monthly visit with you more of an exploration of the small local jazz community than just a list of who's playing where (which, admittedly, it mostly contains). But if you have Internet access, consider this your invitation to be part of an online discussion about Louisville Jazz in the Conference section of the Louisville Music News website. Visit www.louisvillemusicnews.com, click the Message Boards button and set up your free user account to access the conference area. Once you're there, browse through the postings in the "Jazz Acts" topic I've set up under the "Louisville Music Acts" conference. Add to the conference as much as you'd like. Just remember to keep it clean and courteous. While you're there, browse and post to the other conference topics, too.
This also provides an unlimited source of publicity for Louisville Jazz, since other related sites can link to ours. Plus other curious folks will just surf in. Word of mouth about the website and conferences will also help. So share and enjoy.
"Jazzin'" columnist Tim Roberts is currently writing a novel described as "Atlas Shrugged meets Plan 9 From Outer Space." Send your jazz-related dispatches to email@example.com, or to his attention to the editorial offices of Louisville Music News. Write soon to avoid the Labor Day mail rush.