The Smoky Hill River Festival was this past weekend, June 9-12, in Oakdale Park here in Salina. The weather started out hot (99 degrees) and humid on Thursday night for The Festival Jam. A cold front went through late in the evening and by the time the park opened at 9:00 a.m. on Friday morning the temperature was a slightly chilly 51 degrees. This beautiful cool weather continued throughout the rest of the festival.
One of my favorite performers, Joseph Vincelli, was back again this year. What a treat! The first time I heard Vincelli was at an open-air concert in Wichita, KS at Bradley Fair. I happened to mention this to him when I got a chance to talk to him, and he said that he started doing concerts at Bradley Fair twelve years ago. He had just played there on Thursday before coming to Salina to do the river festival.
Vincelli did several performances during the four-day festival. I happened to catch two of them. It was refreshing to see that he changed up his performance each time he played. Adding in new songs and changing the order of the songs that he played from one performance to another. Vincelli is noted for his saxophone but he also played the flute as well, and it was lovely. He roams the crowd during his performances and really works the music for all it's worth.
|During one of the songs that Vincelli played, an impromptu dance group formed.|
This year, Vincelli also roamed around the grounds of the festival for impromptu performances. I was walking around and would hear that saxophone and the next thing I knew, there he was under a tree, just playing away. It was a wonderful bonus.