Cory Wong was first up on the main stage on Wednesday night, bringing his funky-jazz inspired catalogue with him. On bass was Sonny T., who Wong described as “the band’s funk mentor,” with T. being prevalent in the scene since the 1970s and even working as Prince’s touring bassist for a number of years. A sensational guitar player, Wong’s infectious chicken-scratch picking and speed had the audience captivated from the first song.
Trumpeter Wynton Marsalis led out the Lincoln Centre Jazz Band, explaining the meaning behind some of the numbers and introducing members after each solo. With nine Grammy awards to his name, along with a Pulitzer Prize, and currently the artistic director of Jazz at Lincoln Center, Marsalis has done so much for jazz over the last 40 years in music.
Back in 2018, one of the best late-night sets I’ve personally seen at Jazzfest was KNOWER, which was the duo of Louis Cole and Genevieve Artadi. The duo were back this year under the name of Louis Cole Big Band, together with a large group of very talented musicians. The electro-funk grooves combined with the 12-piece big band worked seamlessly with each other—so much so that there were dance pits starting up in the large crowd as the late-night set went on.
Day 6 of the festival proved to be one of the best, showcasing the past, present, and future of jazz.