Chandler Park was the place to be on a sun-kissed Saturday as the Al Sears Jazz Festival, the Gazebo Arts Festival, and the Friends of the Library book sale drew crowds throughout the day.
John Miller is impressed with what he saw. Miller is a jazz musician who performs with The Romaniacs and The Dixie Daredevils. He thinks it’s a brilliant idea to combine the jazz and arts festivals.
“A lot of people come out who normally may not listen to jazz. This may be their first exposure. So to me that’s smart,” Miller said.
This is the fourth time Miller has played the Al Sears Jazz Fest. He said he has fallen in love with the event and with the city.
“I always know when I come here I’m going to have a good time, I’m going enjoy myself, and I’m well appreciated in this town. Anyone would like that,” Miller said.
Miller thinks he’s appreciated more in Macomb than in his home town of Peoria.
Miller said he continues to play jazz because it’s who he is – he loves performing. But he stressed it’s not just about him or the band when the music is playing.
“The music does not only belong to the players. It belongs equally to the listeners. That’s something I’ve learned as I’ve gotten older,” Miller said.
Miller plays bass when he’s with The Dixie Daredevils, who performed twice in the park on Saturday and during a pair of brunches at Shiloh’s Bar & Bistro on Sunday. He said the musicians in that ensemble have known each other for decades. He said that allows for a great deal of spontaneity during their shows.