Where: Jackson Theater
4440 Day School Place, Santa Rosa
When: Saturday, June 1
Time: 7:00 pm | Tickets: $75, $55, $45
Wine Sponsor: Foley Food & Wine Society
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Tribute to Charlie Haden: Day 1, 7:00 – 11:00 pm
Set 1 – Geri Allen, solo and duo with Chris Potter
Set 2 – Lee Konitz Quartet
Set 3 – Quartet West with guest Ravi Coltrane
Ever since 1959 when he emerged in the Ornette Coleman Quartet that revolutionized jazz, Charlie Haden has used his acoustic bass to find currents that have come to define schools of jazz musicians who rely more on feeling than stylistic convention. When Haden plays, he quickly gets to the essence, grounding the music powerfully and always emotionally.
Haden, now 75 and coming off a Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award and designation as an NEA Jazz Master, brings with him several of those career concentric circles for a two-day celebration of his genius. Thanks in part to an NEA Arts Works grant, more than 20 musicians – some going back decades with Haden – will perform at the Jackson Theater, south of Healdsburg.
This summer the Healdsburg Jazz Festival is using its 15th anniversary as an opportunity to pay tribute to the great musician over two days. Saturday, June 1, features beguiling pianist Geri Allen, playing solo and in duet with the much-celebrated saxophonist Chris Potter.
Next up is the 85-year-old alto sax legend Lee Konitz in a quartet with Alan Broadbent on piano, Darek Oles bass and Matt Wilson, drums.
The day’s climax comes courtesy of the band Haden has been most dedicated to next to the Liberation Music Orchestra (Sunday, June 2), Quartet West.
This grouping is Haden’s love letter to Los Angeles, the city that gave him his start in jazz and that fed his imagination via Hollywood. The hard-driving band consists of Haden, pianist Alan Broadbent, drummer Rodney Green and saxophonist Ravi Coltrane filling the shoes usually worn by Ernie Watts.
The festival wild card is Haden himself, who in recent years has unfortunately been stricken by an ailment tracing all the way back to the polio that attacked him in the ’50s. Called post-polio syndrome, it has weakened him and affected his ability to swallow and speak.
He is still playing the bass, though, and vows to as much as possible during the festival. Should he miss a few moments, the formidable Darek Oles (a.k.a. Oleszkiewicz) will stand in.
That’s appropriate, because when Oles arrived in L.A. in 1988 after achieving jazz stardom in his home country, Poland, he found is way to Haden, who mentored him at Cal Arts.