It’s a circus that ignites the local jazz landscape for two long nights. But better, the Winter Jazz Fest is also a sparkplug of sorts, a chance for everyone on the scene to stand shoulder to shoulder and dig sounds, spout opinions, and grab a glimpse of the artistic manna that’s with us all year long. The deal? Five venues, 60 acts, and an omni-stylistic approach that makes room for plugged and unplugged, swing and skronk, vets, and newbies. There’s no room for full recommendations here, but I wouldn’t sleep on Five Elements—they fried a few minds last year. And this is first gig for Chris Lightcap’s Big Mouth since its Deluxe earned lots of love on year-end critics’ lists. Grab a coffee and stay at the Bitter End until the bitter end (Noah Preminger is worth waiting for).
Fri., Jan. 7; Sat., Jan. 8, 2011

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