DuMaurier Downtown Jazz

The du Maurier Ltd. Downtown Jazz Festival started today and the Blues Society All Stars played again. They did a great set in a huge tent that cost a lot more than anybody thought. Gatemouth Brown’s tour bus arrives at 8:00 p.m. with barely enough time for a sound check. I was standing close as he walked over to the food area from backstage and I tried to get his attention with a nice “Welcome to Toronto” smile but he did not look like he was in a good mood. I found out later from his driver that they had been caught in the middle of the only real violent activity in Quebec City’s slightly out of control Fete Nationale celebrations. A police car had been overturned in front of their motel and they were not allowed to return to their rooms until the police did their investigation – they finally got some townie to show them a back way into the motel. They were really freaked because, as it turned out, they had been trapped similarly during the LA riots and this seemed even more dangerous because it was a foreign country and all.