Friday, June 8
Paul Mahder Gallery
222 Healdsburg Ave.
Saturday, June 9
Hotel Healdsburg Lobby
25 Matheson St.
It is a blessing and a curse to be following in the footsteps of a legendary parent, but Lorca Hart handles the challenge with aplomb. He decided to become a drummer, like his dad, Billy Hart – one of the greatest post-bop drummers in jazz and a regular at the Healdsburg Jazz Festival. Tough act to follow but Lorca keeps his eyes level and has established himself with a crisp propulsive style on the kit. His ability to give bandmates a serious push to wherever they need to get to has earned Lorca gigs with everyone from Stanley Jordan and Craig Handy to Hugh Masekela, Calvin Keys, Azar Lawrence and Julian Lage.
On Friday, Lorca and his group of first-call L.A. players – Josh Nelson on piano and Edwin Livingston on bass — are playing the Paul Mahder Gallery. Nelson and Livingston are both impeccable jazz artists, highly in demand by stars coming through the West Coast. Josh has gigged with Kurt Elling, John Pizzarelli, Benny Golson, Sheila Jordan, John Clayton, George Mraz, and more. He was a semi-finalist at the Thelonious Monk Jazz Piano Competition in 2006, and he toured with Natalie Cole for six years. Edwin has performed with Elvin Jones, Los Hombres Calientes, Donald Harrison Jr., Alvin Batiste, Lionel Loueke, Henry Butler, Mary J. Blige, Aretha Franklin, and many others.
On Saturday night the trio moves to the Hotel Healdsburg Lobby, a tradition for Lorca and the Festival for several years. Things happen here. Many of the Festival’s musicians stay at the hotel, and more than a few have been known to join in with Lorca. It’s a loose and informal scene – just jazzers having fun, setting sail on open seas with Lorca keeping the sails trim. Some great festival moments have occurred in this setting – real cutting-contest stuff – so if you are free after the main show, think about stopping by for an aperitif with a garnish of swing. In fact, there’s a good chance some musicians will show up at the Paul Mahdar Gallery Friday to guest with Lorca as well. If great players wanting to sit in with you is a measure of success, then Lorca has achieved it.