Stanley Jordan plays solo set in Canandaigua at Fort Hill Performing Arts Center

Just a hop skip and a jump from the historic boat houses of Canandaigua Lake is the Fort Hill Performing Arts Center. A newer venue repurposed from an older one, Fort Hill PAC house about 400 seats, with 40 mezzanine seats that provide amazing views of the stage. Amazing view for acts like Stanley Jordan who brought his solo guitar show the house on March 18.

Stanley Jordan Fort Hill Performing Arts Center.

Rising to notoriety in the mid 80s, Jordan was first artist signed to Blue Note Records by new president, Bruce Lundvall, as they were working to re-establish their label to include contemporary jazz. Subsequently, Jordan’s album Magic Touch was released and hit number 1 on Billboards Jazz chart for nearly a whole year. Jordan has released 13 other albums, with number 15 in the works for release early 2024.

Hitting the stage at Fort Hill PAC, Jordan was welcomed by a blend of younger baby boomers, with a pinch of Gen-X’s and a dash of young Gen-z patrons. Quite a diverse group of ages for Jordan, whose sound is lightly reminiscent of island sounds, perfect chill music after a long days work.

Stanley Jordan Fort Hill Performing Arts Center.

While Jordan didn’t interact with the Fort Hill Performing Arts Center crowd too much, he was definitely aware of everything going, and acknowledged the random “We love you, Stanley” or the unexpected ovation. Just as well, there was issue during set with the center speakers in front the performer, and while he played most of the first half of show with it, he addressed the issue and assured the fans that the show will be so much better when he can actually hear all the sounds. As expected, the crowd laughed and gave short round of applause.

To finish the first set, Stanley, took seat at the piano and did some double duty as he continued playing the guitar, while adding piano to the mix. Truly an amazing arrangement and showcase of his skill set on the stage.

Stanley Jordan Fort Hill Performing Arts Center.

Coming back from intermission, Jordan continued to play the guitar in his own way, which consists of very little traditional strumming, and more tapping along the neck to create his own unique sound. He opened up the second set with his rendition of Mozart’s Piano Concerto #21 and Blue Monk (Thelonius Monk), both remarkable in their own rights.

While I was not able to see the end of the show, he finished off with a cover of the classic Rogers and Hammerstein’s “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” If like the rest of the show, I am sure the crowd was in awe with this, as I am sure I would have been.

Follow Stanley for up-to-date news including the release of his much anticipated 15th album. US tour dates continue through April, before headed off on his international tour.

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