O clarinetista de Jazz Tito Martino realizou em Maio de 2003 uma curta temporada nos Estados Unidos, onde tocou seu melhor Jazz em Chicago e no Festival de Jazz Tradicional de Sacramento (um dos maiores do mundo, com 115 bandas tocando em 48 palcos durante 4 dias, para mais de 120 mil pessoas).Tito depois de voltar ao Brasil recebeu inúmeros e-mails dos jazzistas e do público norte-americano, com elogios e felicitações por sua atuação. Ele tocou como convidado com três diferentes Jazz Bands norte-americanas, sendo que uma delas, a K STREET RAMBLERS, lançou no Festival uma composição de Tito Martino, intitulada “Hot One”. . Nas fotos, Tito em ação no famoso ANDY’S JAZZ CLUB em Chicago, e no Festival deJazz Tradicional de Sacramento, perto de São Francisco, sob os olhares admirados de seus colegas jazzistas americanos! 

Aqui em seguida está o relatório dessa temporada, feito por Tito a pedido de um importante magazine internacional de Jazz na web, o JAZZGAZETTE: 

Jazzing in a Bliss
By Tito Martino, clarinet, leader, Tito Martino Jazz Band, São Paulo, Brazil.

Jempi asked me to share with Jazzgazette my impressions about my short trip to the USA, from May 18 to May 27. So here is a Short Report of my ramblings in Chicago and in Sacramento during Jazz Jubilee 2003; I had exceedingly good times in both places. I applied to the 2003 Jubilee but was answered that all the foreign Bands had already been booked; anyway they would consider my proposal for 2004. I told this to the DJML (Dixieland Jazz Mailing List, at Internet) and many listees recommended me to go alone anyway this year the same, for my own sake, and they put a couple arguments that seemed reasonable to me. One list mate even kindly offered me a Badge, no charge, giving free access to all events during the four days the Jubilee was running. Others invited me to sit-in with their Bands, already booked and scheduled at the Jubilee: Roger Snell Quartet, K Street Ramblers, Cell Block Seven, plus Meg Graf & Big George and Bob Ringwald pianist of the Fulton Street Jazz Band. I had no choice: the Fates where conspiring in my help and I just HAD to go! While booking my trip I discovered that the best priced flight made a shift-stop in Chicago; that’s when I decided to stay there for three or four days prior to the Jubilee. My goal was to know and visit historical places where early Jazz developed. And then two good and kind friends from long ago, invited me to guest by them, one in Chicago (she is a Brazilian working as Anthropology Professor at Chicago University), and the other offered to host me in his motor home parked at Cal Expo in Sacramento (he is a clarinetist and retired electrical engineer as am I). I was hence exempted of Hotel expenses, and had the bliss of their company. And more, kind bishop and cornetist Bob Lynn from the DJML offered to drive me thru Chicago places and corners worthy of seeing. During two days he patiently took me in his car to visit and photograph many Chicago highlights, and lowlights. 

“Tito observado por Charlie Hull, líder do K Street Jazz Band que apresentou sua composição Hot One no Festival de Sacramento” 

So, arriving in Chicago Monday 19, I went directly to Andy’s Jazz Club, where Chuck Hedges & Band where playing. I introduced myself to Chuck, citing trombonist Jim Beebe as the man who told me to be there; he immediately invited me to sit in for a tune. The public at Chicago Andy’s Jazz Club reacted very positively to my playing, and Chuck didn’t let me go off stage till the end of the set. Then he sat at my table, chatting and asking questions. It seemed as he liked my playing. He invited me for the whole last set, and at the end he asked me – what for last number? I suggested Avalon; he blinked, and said, well maybe this is not a good choice, ‘cause we play it too fast. I smiled and said: Don’t bother, Chuck, play as fast as you can! And we did it together very well. Isn’t this big Fun?! To my great terror I discovered two days later that Chuck was to be one of the Special Featured Soloists at the Jubilee! I wouldn’t even dare step on the stage if I knew this in advance! Whole Wednesday was dedicated to the Fine Arts; by the afternoon, went to see the impressive French impressionist collection exposed at the imposing Chicago Art Museum; and now I am sure impressionism links much more to Traditional Jazz than Dadaism. OOPS! Pleease don’t start a feud! 😉

This same Wednesday night I went with my Brazilian friend to a Chicago Symphony Concert, they performed all four Bach’s Orchestral Suites. At the end of such a day’s night, I had no words to tell how blessed I was feeling coming out the Theater to the cold Windy City starred sky. Thursday 22 I went to Bob Koester’s giant Jazz Record Mart, did some great CD buying. Bob is a nice guy, but is a hard business man, no discount, no promotion talk, nevertheless at the end he gave me a rare George Lewis/Don Ewell cassette. First Class. By night, I came back to Andy’s to sit in with trumpetist Art Davis and his Quintet. This was also a great jam, I felt the Band playing was crisp and solid; considered as an ensemble it seemed better knit than the previous Band on Monday. Friday 23 mornings I took my flight to Sacramento. I just rushed from the Sacramento airport to the Delta King (a Mississippi boat, paddle wheeler transformed in a Hotel and Concert Hall, docked at the Sacramento River). There was booked the F2F (face-to-face meeting with friends from the Dixieland Jazz Mailing List) arriving at 11:20 just in time to meet Miss Mary – I mean Miss Bloody Mary. And what a happy time meeting in the “real” world many happy pals from DJML. They all took a seat at the Boat Saloon, adapted as a Café-Concert Hall, to see me playing with the great George Snell Quartet, together with other visiting musicians. I was feeling at home and it was really easy to play ensembles and solos with such a solid rhythm section. The second time two days later it was still better musically with even better reaction from the public. 

Jam-Session no Andy’s Jazz Club de Chicago, em maio 2003.

The Sacramento Jazz Jubilee is a HUGE event, more than 120 Bands playing at 48 stages spread along the river, in and out the town, in Theaters, Bars, Hotels, ant big Tents all over the Cal Expo parking lot full with more than 1000 motor homes coming from all over USA. It is absolutely impossible to get them all Bands performing, even half of them, and one should be content with what good chance and wise counseling allows to be seen. Actually, most Bands are simple and well-intentioned happy amateurish attempts to make a standardized custom-aimed Dixieland; some others play elaborated variations of country-dixie-pop music; also good Blues Bands and singers, a few good Cajun/Zydeco Bands, but also some outstanding groups of great musical quality and a rich Traditional Jazz content, standing high over the rest. Of these, I played with the K Street Ramblers, who premiered my own composition HOT ONE; and with the talented derelicts of the Cell Block 7, crazy guys, good players, much fun. I went to Crest Theater session where magnificent Jim Cullum’s Band recorded some radio shows to be aired later over by Riverwalk; and Monday night went to the last Concert of the Special Featured Soloists – one of the stars being of course Chuck Hedges. He, Kim Cusack, Allan Vaché, and a few others are outstanding clarinetists and they really groove. 

I had much, much to learn, with them. And also with others, everywhere at the Festival and in the streets, I was learning about music and about America; and am still making the inventory of this precious not-to-forget fantastic trip to Dixieland Heaven. Or as a friend from DJML put it “it’s in this Earth the nearer you can reach to Dixieland Heaven”. Tuesday morning my friend drove his huge motor home to the Airport, where he drop me, and there started my flight back home to São Paulo, Brazil, where I arrived still dizzy with so many impressions, sensations, memories of old friends and new acquired friends and the certitude that we Jazz Men are like a big Family all around the World.

“Tito Martino tocou convidado pelo Cell Block 7, no Festival de Sacramento 2003, observado pelos componentes” 

I am most indebted to some friendly members of the Dixieland Jazz Mailing List, especially trombonists JIM BEEBE and JIM KASHISHIAN, clarinetist STEVE BARBONE for their wise hints and recommendations, the extraordinary BOB LYNN for his patient and friendly company and guiding thru Chicago including transportation at a very early morning hour to the Chicago Airport, and mostly my gratitude to charming NANCY GIFFIN for her support and enthusiasm. In Sacramento, thanks for the warm reception given by clarinetist and band-leader CHARLIE HULL, banjoist RALPH THOMPSON, and thanks to the whole K STREET RAMBLERS for premièring my own composition HOT ONE; thanks to pianist ROGER SNELL and his whole Quartet, to trumpetist BOB ROMANS, washboardist BILL GUNTER and the whole CELL BLOCK 7, for letting me join forces with their great Bands; thanks to MEG GRAF, JOE HOPKINS, and DAN AUGUSTINE, BOB RINGWALD, PAUL EDGERTON, KAYE WADE, TOM WIGGINS, DAVE BATCHELOR from BBC Scotland, RICHARD HALLIDAY, DONNA & GENE BERTHELSEN, DICK WOODWORTH, and so many others, whose if don’t mentioned I ask to excuse me. I was so overflowed, I’m afraid that didn’t give them the warm attention they all deserved.