Day 21: Friday, July 24

We rode the bus eight hours across Italy to Pescara, a city of 160,000 on the Adriatic Sea. The Pescara Jazz '98 Festival is in its 26th year and had six sponsors. It's held in the nearby coastal resort village of Francavilla al Mare and runs seven nights. Outside funding helps keep ticket prices between $7 and $20 each night and 2,300 people heard our program, which we shared with the George Coleman Quartet. Noted jazz writer Ira Gitler was once again in attendance and reviewed this evening's performance by the PWBB and the entire Pescara festival in the November 1998 issue of DOWN BEAT magazine (The Real Deal Sustains Pescara, page 68). The band ate an early dinner (9 p.m.) at a killer restaurant that kept bringing fish kebobs featuring many fruits of the Adriatic. We performed from 11:15 p.m. to 12:30 a.m., and when Phil introduced his composition Banja Luka, he said it was composed for a town in Yugoslavia "right over there," pointing over the Adriatic Sea toward the former Yugoslavia. We were back in the hotel by 1 a.m. and wake-up calls were set for 5 a.m.

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