The Gail Rich Awards ceremony took place Wednesday evening at the Kuumbwa Jazz Center, and it was, as usual, inspiring and fun. Truly, the highlight of the event was Peter Thomas and Andy Andrews of the Ukulele Club of Santa Cruz, passing out ukes to the audience and leading the house in an impromptu version of ‘Under the Boardwalk.’ It ranked with other great Gailie performances of the past, including the Banana Slug String Band and Sista Monica.
We are, however, facing one big issue. The Kuumbwa is an ideal venue for us in every way but one. Its capacity of 200 left many people out in the cold unable to get in for the second straight year. I’ve already heard from many of people shut out of the club, including past winners of the Awards. And, clearly, we have to do something to avoid this kind of problem in the future. We’ll certainly be weighing options for solving problem as we move forward.
Obviously, this project has become a victim of its own success. It’s really a unique night where members of the arts community come together to appreciate each other, and lots of people want to be part of that vibe. Who can blame them?