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Ealing summer jazz festival

I wonder how many tourists know about the free outdoor festivals in London. Earlier this summer I had refuted someone's claim that New York is the place to be. It's too hot, and the subways smell awful.

In London, however, people wait all year long for the English Summer. The weather is perfect to be outdoors. And the days are long.

Take the Ealing Summer Jazz Festival for instance. It's the largest outdoor jazz festival in the country, running over a week long. Starting last Saturday 3rd August, it ends today.

Jazz is the kind of music you can listen to while you move around, talk, drink, eat, and (unfortunately) smoke. You would never be able to do this in a classical concert. To play good jazz, you have to feel it in your veins. You have to know how to improvise.

This year's festival has been plagued by rain and unsettled weather. Unhindered, people still flock here. A huge canopy houses several hundred people, me included. It would be almost perfect if it could be smoke-free. But then I wouldn't be able to eat my Caribbean fried fish either.

11 August 2002 Sunday

A to Z of Festivals
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