George Cables Trio & the Festival All-Stars
Without the presence of piano genius George Cables, the Healdsburg Jazz Festival would be a very different animal. Hes been a stalwart here, leading bands and powering those of others with his impeccably agile and immensely wise playing. That is why he was a natural choice to headline the Healdsburgs 20th. No matter what is thrown at George, he effortlessly translates it into his personal language of joy.
Just weeks before the start of the Healdsburg Jazz Festival we couldnt be happier to announce that George Cables will be with us for the 20th! The great pianist was booked to headline the fest months ago, but he later underwent major surgery and could not commit to being here. But he got the green light from his doctor and he will be returning to the stage to make his 14th appearance at the festival.
His rhythm section of ace drummer Victor Lewis and bassist Essiet Essiet, as brilliant as they are, will now sound that much better. Welcome back, George!
The band closing out the final Saturday of the 20th Anniversary Healdsburg Jazz Festival could have been called Billy Hart Babatunde Lea Percussion Extravaganza, or The Return of Chico Freeman, or The Bobby Watson Soul-Bop Review, or any number of other possibilities. But Festival All-Stars will do fine. Each of the players is a Healdsburg veteran who has delivered some of the most scintillating performances in the festivals history. Now they are all together in the type of special collaboration on which the Festival thrives.
Taking the players in order, Bobby Watson is a classic post-bop alto man, taking some cues from Lester Young but with lightning articulation and enough skills to have served as musical director of Art Blakeys Jazz Messengers for five years. Azar Lawrence, a fiery tenor player with long tenure in McCoy Tyners band, brings a helping of ecstasy. David Weiss is an adventurous trumpeter and band leader who back in 2007 managed to wrangle hard-bop legends like Eddie Henderson, Billy Harper, and Cecil McBee into a band dubbed The Cookers, which to this day carries the mid-60s torch for tight hard-blowing jazz. Billy Hart (who happens to be the Cookers drummer) is the melodic drum master who made the creative leap from hard-bop to the experimental 70s, and who is one of the heroes of Healdsburg festivals past.
Babatunde Lea is a self-taught San Francisco percussion archive unto himself. And tenor saxophonist Chico Freeman, heir to Chicago jazz royalty, is the guy who split for Europe 15 years ago and how has returned to show U.S. jazz fans what theyve been missing. His performance with his father, late tenor master Von Freeman, at the 2000 festival is still talked about often. Essiet Essiet will be on the bass and Marc Cary will handle the piano duties.
The Raven Performing Arts Theater (View)
115 North Street
Healdsburg, CA 95448
|Kid Friendly: Yes!
|Dog Friendly: No
|Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!