56th Annual Monterey Jazz Festival Celebrates an Accomplished Weekend of Historic Music
Monterey Jazz Festival
The 56th Annual Monterey Jazz Festival wrapped up Sunday, September 22 after an outstanding weekend of exceptional performances by debut artists, returning masters and new favorites.
Despite rain on Saturday, September 21, 35,000 fans came through the gates of the Monterey County Fairgrounds during the weekend of September 20-22, which featured music from around the globe, and from all styles of classic and modern jazz, Latin, gospel, New Orleans, and funk, with historic conversations, three different films, and comprehensive exhibits.
Musical Highlights: Friday
The Festival began on Friday, September 20 with astounding set from vocalist Gregory Porter, an emotional set fromthe Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, and truly inspiring music from Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club in the Arena.
On the Grounds, Roberto Fonseca got the music off to a great start on the Garden Stage, followed by the 2013 edition of the Berklee Global Jazz Ambassadors, and the trancelike fusion of 7 Come 11. Coffee House attendees were treated to three sets from the Uri Caine Trio, and the Night Club was packed for sets from 2013 Showcase ArtistDave Douglas, vocalist Carmen Lundy and 2013 Artist-In-Residence, Joe Lovano and Us Five. In Dizzy's Den,Snarky Puppy made their Festival debut to a full house, as did Gregory Porter, for his second set of the evening.
Musical Highlights: Saturday
The Arena shows on Saturday began on a psychedelic note with the gospel of The Relatives, followed by a smashing set from powerhouse George Benson. The Garden Stage also provided an afternoon and evening of emerging stars, beginning with the rootsy California Honeydrops, the new-New Orleans mashup of Big Sam's Funky Nation, andThe Relatives in their second high-energy set. Evening came with its own set of special performances presented by Motema Music, including a solo recital by bassist Charnett Moffett; a heartfelt duo of Mr. Moffett and guitarist Jana Herzen; the Marc Cary Focus Trio, and Brian Jackson and The New Midnight Band, featuring M1 and Kentyah,running late into the evening.
The Coffee House featured an intimate forum for two sets from the Smith Dobson's Prez Kids, celebrating the music of Lester Young, the Berklee Global Jazz Ambassadors, and three trendsetting piano sets from the Orrin Evans Trio. In Dizzy's Den, a historic panel discussion took place about the late Dave Brubeck, featuring rare recordings and slides with Eugene Wright and the Brubeck Brothers, followed by Joe Lovano being put on the spot for the 2013DownBeat Blindfold Test. In the evening, stellar sets from Ravi Coltrane, Charlie Hunter and Scott Amendola, and Sound Prints were met by capacity crowds. The Night Club featured the winning bands from the Next Generation Jazz Festival; Claire Daly, and the flame-carrying Brubeck Institute Quintet. The evening's Night Club shows featured the eclectic Craig Taborn, the dynamic Mary Stallings, and the Brubeck Brothers Quartet, all streaming live on the Web.