The Famous "Vigorito Voodoo"
-Our first gig was May 7 (Kentucky Derby day) in Simsbury for the annual "Ron's Run" fundraiser. The weather was cool but comfortable.
-On June 4 we enjoyed warm and sunny weather at a private party in Middlefield.
-On June 5 we played under a large tent at a giant in Farmington at a giant fundraiser for Hartford Hospital. The weather was warm and sunny.
-On June 17 the weather was perfect for an outdoor private party in Branford.
-On July 2 there were thunderstorms in the forecast. On the way to the northwest corner of Connecticut for a private party we drove through beautiful sunshine followed by some light rain. By the time we began to play the sun was shining again and the grass was nearly dry.
-On July 10 we had perfect weather for Butch Butterworth's 31st annual "Big Feathers" polo tournament and jazz party in Hamden.
-On July 30 we had perfect weather for an outdoor retirement party in New Haven.
-On August 6 we had warm and sunny weather for our concert in the air-conditioned Gordon Hall at Music Mountain.
-Our first gig was May 16 at a yacht club. Fred was away on a family trip. Although Lew Green is as good a replacement as one could hope for, we were only able to complete one and a half sets before a sudden episode of rain and wind ended the party.
-On July 11 we were scheduled to perform at the annual Big Feathers Polo Tournament and Jazz Concert, again with Lew Green filling in for Fred. In the afermath of tropical storm Elsa the field was too wet for polo, so the entire event was canceled. The voodoo does not work without Fred!
-On September 12 Fred was back with us, and we had a warm and sunny day for our 14th annual jazz event at the church in Madison.
In the spring and summer of 2020 almost everything was canceled because of the Covid pandemic, but we did have one private outdoor event on September 19 in Woodbury. The weather was perfect.
Here's the record for the spring and summer of 2019:
- May 4 was our annual Kentucky Derby tent party in Simsbury. After several cool and rainy days the sky almost cleared and the temperature came up to 70 degrees and remained there for the rest of the day. Heavy rain resumed the next day.
- On June 22 we played a wedding at the Connecticut College Arboretum. After a solid week of rain, the weather cleared as if by magic. It was a perfect afternoon.
-On July 13 we enjoyed beautiful weather for the annual Big Feathers Polo match and jazz concert in Hamden.
-On September 8 the weather was perfect in Madison as we played "Lord, Lord, You Sure Been Good To Me" on the steps of the church in Madison while Hurricane Dorian drifted out to sea.
Here's the record for the spring and summer of 2018:
- May 5 was our annual Kentucky Derby tent party in Simsbury. After several cool and rainy days the sky cleared as if by magic. Jackets came off and sleeves rolled up for the afternoon. The "scattered showers" in the forecast did not appear until the next day.
- On July 8 we had perfect weather for the annual Big Feathers polo match and concert at the Giant Valley Farm.
- On August 11 the weather was perfect again for our trip to Falls Village, CT for our annual concert at Music Mountain.
-On September 9 there were threatening clouds but the rain held off for our rally day picnic for the First Congregational Church in Madison.
Score for the season = 4 out of 4!
Here's the record for the spring and summer of 2017:
- Our season began on April 23, with a memorial service for a gentleman and scholar at Wesleyan University in Middletown. After a solid week of cold, rainy weather, we enjoyed blue sky and sunshine for a pre-service set outside at the chapel entrance and for a New Orleans style parade after the service.
- On the next day, (April 24) we perfomed under an open-sided tent on Broadway in New Haven for the grand announcement of a new L. L. Bean store now under construction. It was a little chilly, but the forecasted rain held off until well after we were finished and back home. The rain then resumed for several more days.
- May 6 was our annual Kentucky Derby tent party in Simsbury. After several cool and rainy days the sky cleared as if by magic. Jackets came off and sleeves rolled up for the afternoon. The "scattered showers" in the forecast appeared as a few drops on the windshield on the way home.
- On July 9 we enjoyed perfect weather at the annual Big Feathers concert & Polo Tournament in Hamden.
- On July 30 we enjoyed perfect weather driving to Haddonfield, NJ, where we performed a concert for the Tri- State Jazz Society. (The concert was indoors, but the the drive was the longest part of the day.)
- On September 9 the weather was perfect again for our trip to Falls Village, CT for our annual concert at Music Mountain.
- On September 10 we enjoyed perfect weather for our annual outdoor picnic-concert at the First Congregational Church in Madison, CT.
Score for the season = 7 out of 7!
Here's the record for the spring and summer of 2016:
- Our season began on March 20, the Sunday evening before the first day of Spring; we were scheduled to perform as usual from 6:30 until 9 pm at Aunt Chilada's in Hamden. But because there was some snow in the forecast the management decided two days in advance to cancel. Sunday arrived bright and clear. By 10 that evening, when everyone would have been safely back home, there was still no sign of snow. In the morning there was some snow on the ground, but none on the roads and sidewalks; they were still warm enough to melt every flake on contact.
- Our annual Kentucky Derby tent party in Simsbury was on May 7, after a full week of rather cool and rainy weather. Although it was cloudy and cool in Simsbury that day, the forecasted rain did not resume until we were all back home.
- On June 5 we were scheduled to perform outside at St. John's Church in Washington, CT, but the concert was moved inside because of thunderstorms and tornados in the forecast. It was certainly a damp day, but there was no more than a light drizzle from the time when we arrived until almost an hour after we finished. (Then the downpour began!)
- On June 11 there were thunderstorms and possible tornados again in the forecast, but when we arrived in Falls Village for our Music Mountain concert we found clear skies at 65 degrees. It seems that the weather service is really trying to scare folks away from our summer concerts, but it's not working.
- On July 10 there were showers in the forecast, but the weather cleared nicely in time for our performance at the 23rd annual Big Feathers polo tournament in Hamden.
- On July 13 we had warm and sunny weather for our annual concert on the green in Fairfield.
-On August 27 we enjoyed warm and sunny weather at the Chester Fair.
-On September 11 there were morning thunderstorms in the forecast, but the clouds parted and we had fine weather for our annual church picnic in Madison.
Score for the season = 7 out of 8!
Here's the record for the spring and summer of 2015:
- Our season began with another Kentucky Derby tent party in Simsbury on May 2. Skies were clear and the temperature was 70; a perfect day!.
- For our annual concert on the green in Fairfield on July 22 we enjoyed perfect weather.
- An outdoor wedding reception on August 22 in Westbrook was threatened by forecasted thunderstorms, but they never came.
- On August 29 we enjoyed perfect weather at the Fair in Chester, CT: sunny with a gentle breeze on our backs. - On September 13 there were threatening clouds and conflicting forecasts, but the sun came out in time for our annual Rally Day picnic at the church in in Madison.
Score for the season = 4 out of 4!
Here's the record for the spring and summer of 2014:
- Our season began again with a Kentucky Derby tent party in Simsbury on May 3. Forecasted showers did not materialize. A mix of sunshine and clouds kept the temperature close to 70.
- The weather was perfect for all three days of the Hot Steamed Jazz Festival, June 20 - 22.
- There was a thunderstorm in the forecast for our July 9 concert on the green in Fairfield, but the rain did not start until the last piece of our equipment was packed away.
- July 12: private party on one of the Thimble Islands, near Stoney Creek; warm & sunny, no wind.
- July 13: Big Feathers Polo Party. . . warm and cloudy. . . forecasted rain never came.
- September 7: Madison Church picnic. . . another perfect day!
- November 25: (Downtown parade in New Haven) This one really tested the famous Vigorito Voodoo. After a week of freezing weather and a day of rain we enjoyed weather as good as one could hope for in late November.
Score for the season = 8 out of 8!
Here's the record for the spring and summer of 2013:
- Our season began again with a Kentucky Derby tent party in Simsbury on May 4. The weather there was perfect; clear skies, and temperature about 70!
- On June 3 we had a surprise outdoor birthday party scheduled in Guilford. An early- evening thunderstorm was in the forecast, and the clouds were building up. But as soon as we started playing the sun came out and it turned into a beautiful evening.
- On June 9 (just shortly after the record-breaking rainfall associated with Hurricane Andrea) we enjoyed perfect weather for the jazz picnic at Bridgeport's United Congregational Church.
- On June 21-23 we enjoyed three days of perfect weather for the 21s annual Hot Steamed Jazz Festival in Essex. A thunderstorm had been in the forecast for Sunday afternoon, but it never materialized.
- On July 7 there were late afternoon thunderstorms in the forecast, but we had nothing but warm weather and sunshine for our 5-7 PM concert at the Bartlett Arboretum in Stamford.
- On July 14 the predicted afternoon showers never came to our performance at Butch & Leigh's Big Feathers Polo Tournament and jazz concert, but it was pretty warm in the barn.
-On August 15 we enjoyed perfect weather for our annual concert on the green in Fairfield.
-On August 17 the weather was perfect for out annual concert at Music Mountain in Falls Village.
-On September 7 we had perfect weather for an outdoor wedding in Wallingford. Although there were a few drops of rain late in the evening they did not discourage the dancers.
-On September 8 we had another beautiful day for the annual church picnic in Madison.
Score for the season = 11.5 out of 12!
Here's the record for the unusually wet spring and summer of 2012:
- Our season began again with a Kentucky Derby tent party in Simsbury on May 5. There was some drizzle on our way to the event, it stopped before we arrived. Clouds kept the tent from overheating during our first set gradually cleared away; the sun was shining when we finished.
-The Hot Steamed Jazz Festival in Essex June 22-24 was a special challenge for the voodoo, since Fred was away on Friday and scattered thunderstorms were in the forecast. But the rain stopped even with Lew Green taking Fred's place, and the weather was perfect for the rest of the weekend. (We played on Friday and Sunday, with good weather on both days.)
-On July 12 we performed as a quartet outdoors in Hartford under a clear sky. Although it was warm in the sun that day, we and our audience were in the shade. There was a light breeze and the temperature was about 72 degrees.
-On July 15 we performed in the barn at Butch & Leigh's annual polo party. The rain stopped immediately when we began, and resumed promptly when we finished.
-On July 26 the voodoo failed to hold off a thunderstorm that was in the forecast. We got through about 40 minutes of our outdoor concert in Fairfield before it hit. This one probably should have been postponed.
-On July 28 the voodoo failed again for the Great CT Traditional Jazz Festival. It rained!
-On September 9 we enjoyed beautiful weather in Madison at our annual Rally day picnic for the First Congregational church.
-later on September 9 we had more perfect weather for our outdoor concert at the Bartlett Arboretum in Stamford.
Score for the season = 7 out of 9!
Here's the record for the spring and summer of 2011:
- Our season began with an outdoor Kentucky Derby party in Simsbury on May 7. Although we drove through thunderstorms on our way to the event, the rain stopped and the clouds thinned out before it began. The temperature rose as if by magic to about 70 degrees, and stayed there for the afternoon.
- On June 4 we enjoyed beautiful weather for a private party in Avon, CT.
- The 2011 Hot Steamed Jazz Festival was a challenge, with torrential downpours the day before the festival began and more in the forecast. Just before our first set on Friday evening there was a brief shower which brought folks into our tent, and there was another brief shower in the middle of one of our Sunday sets. Aside from that, the weather was fine for the entire festival.
- On July 10 we enjoyed perfect weather for the Big Feathers Polo Tournament and concert.
- On July 21 our concert at Evergreen Woods was moved indoors not because of rain but rather because it was too warm and sunny.
- On July 30 the weather was perfect for the Great CT Traditional Jazz Festival.
- On August 3 there were some light showers during our concert on the green in Fairfield, but the weather was warm and nobody seemed to mind getting a little damp. Under the trees nobody got wet.
- On September 11 we enjoyed perfect weather for the Madison Congregational Church Rally Day picnic.
Score for the season = 8 out of 9!
Here's the record for the spring and summer of 2010:
- Our season began with an outdoor Kentucky Derby party in Simsbury on May 1. Large-screen TV sets in the middle of the tent displayed a lot of rain in Louisville, but the weather for us was warm and sunny, with a pleasant breeze.
-The Hot Steamed Jazz Festival in Essex lived up to its name this year on the last weekend of June. It was steamy and hot, but except for a few welcome droplets on Saturday (when the GJB was not there) the rain and thunderstorms promised by our friends at the weather service never arrived.
-On July 11 we had a roof over our heads at Butch & Lee's Big Feathers Polo and Jazz party, but the weather was fine anyway.
-On July 25 we drove through torrential rain to the Levitt Pavillion. As we approached Westport we could see a break in the clouds. By 7 pm the sky was clear; it turned into a beautiful evening for an outdoor concert.
-We enjoyed perfect weather for three consecutive days (in spite of forecasted thunderstorms) for the 2010 Great CT Traditional Jazz Festival in Meriden on July 30, 31, and August 1.
-On August 4 we had another clear evening for our annual outdoor concert on the Sherman Green in Fairfield. The thunderstorm promised by the weather people never showed up.
-On August 18 the clouds were gray and threatening at the start of our Evergreen Woods concert, but they parted and gave us some blue sky and a beautiful sunset.
-On September 11 we enjoyed pleasantly cool weather (68 degrees) for our annual Rally Day picnic at the 1st Congregational Church in Madison.
Score for the season = 11 out of 11!
Here's the record for the spring and summer of 2009:
-Our season began on May 2 with an outdoor Kentucky Derby party in West Hartford. The weather forecast predicted showers and thunderstorms, but we enjoyed clear blue skies and sunshine with the temperature at 69 degrees.
-June 24 was the end of a two-week rainy spell; although it was still raining in the morning and drizzled a bit after we left, not a drop fell at Ashlar Village in Newtown during our evening performance there.
-On June 26 the weather was terrible. We drove through lightning, hail, and torrential rain on our way to the Hot Steam Festival in Essex. But at the moment when Fred stepped onto the stage at 8pm the sun came out, a rainbow appeared, and 24 hours of clear weather began. We were not there on Saturday, but when we returned for our Sunday performances the weather was fine.
-On July 8 there was a chance of thundershowers in the weather forecast, but our free outdoor concert at the Wadsworth Mansion in Middletown was well-attended anyway, and the weather was perfect.
-Our voodoo was tested at the 2009 Great CT Traditional Jazz Festival, although three out of the four venues were indoors anyway. There was a gentle rain when we played on Friday, while there were tornadoes only a few miles away. Saturday was a warm and sunny day, and there were showers again on Sunday.
-On August 5 the forecast called for "heavy thunderstorms" in the evening, and it was raining hard in Fairfield by mid-afternoon. But Fred chose to go ahead with our annual evening concert on the Fairfield green anyway. Sure enough, the skies cleared, the sun came out, and we had a fine evening with a substantial crowd.
-On September 13 we enjoyed perfect weather for the Rally Day picnic at the First Congregational Church in Madison.
Score for the season = 8 out of 10!
Here's the record for the spring and summer of 2008:
- June 1, Lighthouse Point in New Haven. . . Thundershowers were in the forecast, but the clouds parted when we began to play. We enjoyed blue skies, a gentle breeze and moderate temperature for the entire afternoon.
- June 18, Fairfield gazebo... We managed to stop the thundershowers for an hour, but we ran out of voodoo after that and had to invite the audience up onto the stage for the last half hour of our concert.
- June 27-29, Hot Steam Festival... The forcast said thunderstorms were almost certain for the entire weekend. But the skies cleared about 30 minutes before we began the first set on Friday and stayed clear until almost an hour after our final set on Sunday.
- July 6, Levitt Pavilion in Westport.... Clouds were gray all day, with thunderstorms again in the forecast, but the weather cleared promptly in time for our evening concert.
- July 12, East Hampton.... the weather was perfect for the Old Home Week Parade (Combined GJB and Sugarfoot Jazz Band on a truck!) and also for a private party job later that evening.
- July 20, Guilford Green. . . the predicted thunderstorms never arrived for our combined concert on the with the Sugarfoot Jazz Band.
- July 25-27, Great Connecticut Festival. . . Perfect weather on Friday and Saturday. There was a thundershower early on Sunday morning but the weather cleared up nicely in time for our performances. After we were finished the rain returned in buckets. (Three clear days in a row would be asking too much!)
- August 13, Ashlar of Newtown. . . We enjoyed more perfect weather for our annual outdoor concert.
- August 16, Music Mountain . . . Although the concert was inside, many fans took advantage of the perfect weather to sit outside on the lawn.
- September 7, Cheshire (church picnic). . . After a night of heavy rain and winds from Hurricane Hanna, we had a beautiful day of sunshine.
- September 11, Litchfield (private party booked at the last minute) . . .. The clouds were dark and threatening all day, but the sky was clear and blue by the end of our first set.
- September 14, Stamford (street festival). . . Rain and fog all morning, but it became warm and sunny in time for our set.
Score for the season = 14.5 out of 15!
Here's the record for the spring and summer of 2007:
-May 5 . . . . Private party on the CT River . . Clouds parted; a perfect evening
-June 13 . . . Private party at St. Raphael's Hospital... partly cloudy
-June 14 . . . Fairfield Gazebo . . . A perfect evening!
-June 22 . . . Hot Steam Festival, Essex: . . . Unexpected rain before the start;
. . . . . . . . . . (It took about 20 minutes for us to clear the sky.)
-June 24 . . . Hot Steam Festival again. . . Perfect weather!
-July 7 . . . . .Private Party, Wallingford... Perfect weather again!
-July 15. . . . .Levitt Pavillion, Westport...Perfect weather again!
-July 27-29... Great CT Jazz Fest, Moodus . . . Mostly warm and sunny;
. . . . . . . . . . (There was one shower while GJB was not performing.)
-August 11. . .Music Mountain...Another perfect evening
-August 15. . .Ashlar of Newtown (outdoor concert) perfect weather
-Sept. 9 . . . . Church Picnic in Cheshire...Warm and sunny!
-Sept. 29. . . .Outdoor fundraiser in Clinton...A perfect autumn afternoon!
Score for the season = 9.5 out of 10!
-And here's 2006:
-May 6 Private party on the CT River . . . breezy but dry
-May 18 Fundraiser at Pine Orchard in Branford . . . sunny and clear
-May 21 Schiavone Roast, Fair Haven:
. . perfect weather until Joel arrived, fashionably late. Then the downpour commenced.
-June 21 Fairfield Gazebo . . . perfect weather!
-July 5 Wadsworth Mansion, Middletown . . . perfect weather!
-July 8 Private party, Wallingford . . . perfect weather!
-July 28-30: The famous Vigorito Voodoo continued to operate at the 2006 Great Connecticut Jazz Festival. After three very warm and muggy days we were due for a thunderstorm, and did we ever get one on Friday afternoon! But the rain stopped just before the GJB's first set, and at least half of the cloud cover had disappeared by the time we finished. Saturday and Sunday were warm and sunny.
-August 16 Ashlar Village, Newtown . . . Perfect weather!
Score for the season = 9 out of 10!
Our score for the spring and summer of 2005 was 15 out of 16:
- 6/12...Parade in New Haven
- 6/17...Near & Far Aid Association Antique Show
- 6/18...Essex Island
- 6/19...Music Mountain
- 6/22...NBC TV taping for Morning News (9 AM)
- 6/22...Newtown (7-8 PM)
- 6/25...Festival of Arts & Ideas, New Haven (noon concert)
- 6/25...Hot Steamed Festival, Essex (evening)
- 6/27...Hot Steamed Festival, Essex.... Photos.........
January 21-23, 2005 - We particularly enjoyed participating in the Central Illinois Jazz Festival, with Craig Grant, Jane Campedelli, and Bob Price. Although there was a blizzard in Connecticut that weekend we escaped its effects completely; our trip went well and we got home safely.
September 18, 2004 - As the remnants of Hurricane Ivan The Terrible were soaking the entire east coast, members of the GJB drove to New London to board a ferry to Fisher's Island for a wedding reception. As usual, the rain and wind stopped, the clouds parted, and the temperature moderated; the reception was a huge success thanks to the famous Vigorito Voodoo.
Except for the 17th, our June, 2004 Whirlwind Tour was entirely rain-free:
- May 7 Private party . . . -rain stopped and the clouds parted.
- June 11 Wedding at Lighthouse Point . . . perfect weather.
- June 18 Private party . . . perfect weather
- June 22 Fairfield Gazebo . . . Rain stopped, clouds parted.
- June 24 Hot Steamed Festival . . . perfect weather
- June 25 Music Mountain . . . perfect weather
- June 26 Hot Steamed Festival . . . sunny and warm
- June 29 Newtown concert . . . moved indoors, rain stopped anyway.
- July 3 Wedding, Middletown . . . perfect weather
- July 4 Parades . . . perfect weather
- July 7 Fair Haven Market . . . perfect weather
- July 9 Private party, Hamden:
. . . perfect weather while we played, but ominous clouds during food break
- July 24 Outdoor concert, Branford . . . -warm & sunny!
- July 29-31 Jazz festival in Moodus:. . . Warm and sunny; some clouds kept us from being too hot.
- February 16, 2003 - There was a blizzard in the forecast. By early afternoon Virginia and southern New Jersey were paralyzed by the snow. But the snow held off here in Connecticut while we had a great night at the ChowderPot. Thanks to the famous Vigorito Voodoo we were all safely home before the first flakes fell that night.