Charlie Hunter Trio
with Kirk Knuffke and Scott Amendola
Exploring music of Duke Ellington, Cole Porter, Hank Williams, the Cars and more
219 Healdsburg Ave., (707) 433-7222
Two shows, 6:30 and 8:30 p.m.
Concert and Dinner Show, $60. Ticket price includes show and fixed price dinner; beverages extra. Dinner seatings start at 5:30; reservations required.
Charlie Hunter‘s inclusion on the 2016 Healdsburg Jazz roster puts the festival squarely in the vanguard of jazz guitar. Include Julian Lage, who’s playing on June 3, and you have a triumph of guitar innovation – fertilized in Northern California musical soil.
Both are unique, but Charlie really deserves his own category because he has had to actually invent guitars to match his vision. When the Berkeley-High-School graduate emerged on San Francisco stages in the 1990s using an 8-string guitar on which he simultaneously played bass, chords and leads, he seemed almost freakish, but that impression was quickly tempered by a profound musicality that brought him deep respect on the international scene.
Now, having released close to 40 albums either as a leader or sideman, he’s reuniting with longtime musical companion, drummer Scott Amendola – also a product of the ’90s Bay Area jazz-funk ferment – for his Healdsburg show with a new addition: cornetist Kirk Knuffke, who has rocketed to the top of the New York scene thanks to an ear-turning style that is distinctly 21st century while drawing on the frenetic power of the be-boppers. The diverse stylistic DNA of these three players makes them highly suited to their plan for the Spoonbar – exploring the music of Duke Ellington, Cole Porter, Hank Williams, the Cars, and others. The audience will have to strap in for this one.