It’s a long way to the last weekend in May but the Healdsburg Jazz Festival is out today with a preview of who will be playing the 16th annual event. Here are the highlights.
“Celebration of the Blues”: Area resident and event musical director Charlie Musselwhite curates this two-day event that will take the audience on a cultural journey exploring the roots of blues, its relationship to jazz and the universal influence blues has on many of today’s musical forms.
May 31: Set 1 - “Blues on the Porch”: An unplugged acoustic set with Musselwhite, friends and special guests Elvin Bishop and Guy Davis. These musicians will play and tell tales, separately and together, demonstrating the influence of the blues throughout much of 20th century music.
Set 2 – “Continental Drifter” Revisited: In 1999, Musselwhite recorded in Europe with Cuban’s Eliades Ochoa and Cuarteto Patria. For this program, John Santos Y Sus Soneros will help re-create the rhythmic Son style from that recording. The band also includes two Cuban-born musicians, Perico Hernandez and Orestes Vilató.
June 1: Set 1 – Joshua Redman Quartet with special guest Charlie Musselwhite: The Bay Area saxophone star will bring his quartet to the stage to explore jazz’s blues roots with Musselwhite joining in.
Set 2 – Charlie Musselwhite Group with special guest Joshua Redman: For the grand finale, Musselwhite and his band will take the stage featuring June Core (drums), Steve Froberg (bass) and Matt Stubbs (guitar). Redman will sit in to conclude Celebration of the Blues.
June 5: Marcus Shelby – The Bay Area bassist-composer will lead a performance of his suite “Harriet Tubman: Bound for the Promised Land” with the 19-piece Marcus Shelby Orchestra featuring Faye Carol plus the HJF Freedom Jazz Choir, a 100-member all volunteer community chorus.
June 6: Bill Charlap and Renee Rosnes – Healdsburg Jazz Festival will present the married jazz pianists in a double performance.
June 8: Ron Carter Quartet – Fronted by the legendary bassist, this ensemble continues the festival’s tradition of presenting legendary musicians, a list that includes Roy Haynes, McCoy Tyner, Pharaoh Sanders, Charlie Haden, Charles Lloyd, the late Jim Hall, and many others.
June 9: The festival finale promises to be another popular Latin jazz extravaganza with Grammy-winning bandleader and salsa singer Poncho Sanchez And His Latin Jazz Band. Also on the bill will be the Claudia Villela Trio, featuring Villela’s haunting improvisations and her surprising five-octave range in a set ranging from Brazilian baroque to bossa nova to free jazz.
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