A Rainy Day at The Berklee Beantown Jazz Festival September 30, 2017

The Berklee Beantown Jazz Festival is billed as "Boston's biggest block party" and the dreary weather on Saturday didn't stop the fun. Jazz fans still showed up to listen to music, devour street food, and enjoy time with friends.

The festival, which is in its 10th year, attracts top-tier musicians from around the world. The performers drew umbrella wielding crowds to the three stages in Boston's South End.

Camille Thurman and the Darrell Green Trio (left), and Assol Garcia of Cape Verde (right) performing at the festival.

Beyond the music, the festival took over six blocks of Columbus Avenue with fun and food.

The area between the two main stages was lined with arts, crafts, information tables, and food vendors.

Workers at an Italian sausage stand seemed to be enjoying the festival too.

Walking between the two main stages was entertaining, too. Vendors sold a variety of items from handcrafted artwork to t-shirts and umbrellas, and there were informational booths to explore.

Food vendors lining the streets with a variety of options.

The smell of street food was a treat of its own. There were carnival staples like fried dough, fresh squeezed lemonade, and french fries. But it was the variety of grilled items that really stuck out: Thai chicken on a stick, turkey legs, grilled vegetables, arepas, Jamaican jerk chicken, Italian sausage, pulled pork, and racks of ribs.

Mid-afternoon, crowds gathered to watch the Blue Man Group Boston Drum-Off at the Capital One Café Stage. Five finalists competed for a $6,000 prize package including a new drum set. Each performed a 3-minute long drum solo judged by a panel of five professional musicians.

The drum-off finalists Nick Villamizar (Miami, Florida), Euan Leslie (Dumfries, Scotland), Justin Winters (Springfield, Massachusetts), Tyler Pedersen (Marblehead, Massachusetts), and Darryl Reberio (Plainville, Connecticut) wait for the announcer to declare a winner.

Justin Winters of Springfield, Massachusetts won the drum-off. He bubbled with excitement and disbelief afterwards, saying "I'm not Hollywood ... I'm just a small-town kid."

Justin Winters, after winning the Blue Man Group Boston Drum-off.
Fans take selfies with members of the Blue Man Group backstage.
Excited fans took selfies with members of the Blue Man Group after the performance.

Following the competition, the Blue Man Group joined the winner and performed one of their PVC pipe percussion numbers. The crowd watched enthusiastically as both rain and confetti streamers fell from above.

On a side-street, festival goers play in an open jam session.

In addition to the two main stages, the festival had a stage focused on kid-friendly performances, a tent with an open jam session, and an "instrument petting zoo."

Created By
Christine Lytwynec


photos by Christine Lytwynec, #jo704

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