The Jazz Observer is back, and what better way to relaunch than with a trip to Monterey? It’s time for the 54th Annual Monterey Jazz Festival, and once again I’ll be on the scene with live reports throughout the weekend.
It’s an intriguing lineup this year. There’s been a lot of talk about headliners India.Arie and Huey Lewis, but hardcore jazz fans have nothing to worry about. Joshua Redman is this year’s Artist-in-Residence — his James Farm supergroup is playing two sets, and he’s also sitting in with the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra. Showcase Artist Robert Glasper will be on hand all three days, playing with his fine trio as well as his mind-blowing “Experiment” group, and trailblazer Geri Allen is this year’s Commission Artist — she’ll debut a work in tribute to Sammy Davis Jr. with her tap-fueled Timeline group on Saturday night. In between, there will be big names and rising stars, local heroes and bold souls, and an eclectic mix of sounds including blues, funk, African traditions, and even a little western swing.
Check back in this space: I’ll be posting on-the-spot concert reviews throughout the weekend! Or follow me on Twitter @jazzobserver for additional updates.
This is my seventh straight year blogging from the Fairgrounds. It’s always a crazy, exhausting, exhilarating three days, and I hope you’ll join me for the ride.
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 16
- Checking In / The Jigsaw Puzzle
- Robert Glasper Trio @ the Garden Stage
- Helen Sung Trio @ the Coffee House Gallery
- John Santos Sextet @ the Night Club
- Photos from Day 1
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 17
- Surveying the Scene
- An Afternoon in Tremé @ the Arena
- Sarah Wilson Quintet @ the Coffee House Gallery
- Geri Allen and Timeline @ the Arena
- Bill Carrothers Trio @ the Coffee House Gallery
- James Farm @ Dizzy’s Den
- Photos from Day 2
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 18
- Sunday Afternoon Impressions
- Tia Fuller Quartet @ the Garden Stage
- Steve Coleman and Five Elements @ the Garden Stage
- Sonny Rollins @ the Arena
- Photos from Day 3
- Final Thoughts on MJF/54