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You read right: Blues anchors 2014 Healdsburg Jazz Festival

Guy Davis
Guy Davis

Tickets for the 2014 Healdsburg Jazz Festival are now available. There is, of course, much to recommend about this fine event, which runs May 30-June 8. Any festival presenting the likes of Marc Cary, Ron Carter, Bill Charlap and Renee Rosnes deserves your attention.
That said, the overriding factor distinguishing this Wine Country bash from its 15 predecessors is not the quality of its jazz names (and all are top-flight players, natch) but the bluesmen who will be assembled. Suffice it to say, it’s an event Bay Area blues fans would be wise to check out.
The 2014 Healdsburg Jazz Festival is anchored by “Celebrating the Blues,” a two-day mini-Festival honoring harmonica ace Charlie Musselwhite. Here’s a rundown on the performances set for the Jackson Theater in Santa Rosa.

May 31
Set 1: Unplugged acoustic set with Musselwhite and friends including special guests Elvin Bishop and Guy Davis.
Set 2: “Continental Drifter” Revisited has Musselwhite joined by John Santos Y Sus Soneros including Perico Hernandez and percussionist Orestes Vilató to celebrate Musselwhite’s 1999 recording of Cuban standards.

June 1
Set 1: Joshua Redman Quartet with guest Charlie Musselwhite. Band members are Aaron Goldberg, Joe Sanders and Gregory Hutcherson .
Set 2: Charlie Musselwhite Group with special guest Joshua Redman. For the grand finale, the Charlie Musselwhite Blues Band will take the stage with the saxophonist Redman sitting in for some “alive and kicking” blues tunes.

And then there’s the Blues Brunch at Davis Family Vineyards featuring Guy Davis (no relation).

This talented New Yorker has received over a dozen nominations for W.C. Handy blues awards over the years, maybe this will be his lucky year (for his new album “Juba Dance”). Even non-blues fans have heard his contributions to the Bob Dylan tribute albums, “Nod to Bob (1 and 2).” As an artist who not only embraces the bygone rural blues but re-creates it, Davis is as invaluable as he is entertaining. He shares the same name as the winemaker and proprietor of Davis Family Vineyards, where this special Healdsburg Jazz Festival event will take place.

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