June 11, Saturday
Raven Theater | 7 pm
115 North St., Healdsburg
Tickets now available
Gold Circle: $75 | General Seating: $45
This triple bill presents a stellar program of veteran jazz masters, artists who have helped shape the course of the music for half a century. Like just about every artist performing at Healdsburg this year, they are generously donating their services to ensure the festival’s future.
- Denny Zeitlin, solo piano
Whether Denny Zeitlin is guiding patients in his psychiatric practice or radically reinventing standards in his impassioned solo recitals, the pianist seeks a similar state of selfless communion. In both cases he’s trying to reach a rarefied state of mind where instinct and training mysteriously merge. “Whether I’m working with a patient or I’m playing music I see a big part of my job as being able to enter a kind of ecstatic state, not in the sense that it’s always joyful, but ecstasy in the original Greek sense of being outside of oneself,” says Zeitlin, who has released a series of thrilling solo albums that capture his imaginative flights. Read this profile of “Dr. Jazz” in the North Bay Bohemian.
- John Heard Trio
with Andy Langham and Lorca Hart
A Healdsburg favorite who helped make the festival a major creative event from the beginning, John Heard is a bassist’s bassist who has collaborated with a staggering array of jazz giants, including Benny Carter, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Wes Montgomery, Freddie Hubbard, Count Basie, Sonny Rollins, Ella Fitzgerald, and Dexter Gordon. With his huge, round sound and unerring sense of swing, he’s appeared on more than 150 albums.
- George Cables and Friends
with Bobby Hutcherson, Craig Handy, David Weiss, Bobby Watson, Ray Drummond and Victor Lewis.
In Memory of Helen Wray
At the forefront of the jazz’s progressive mainstream for 40 years, pianist George Cables has been a Healdsburg mainstay since the beginning. His relationship with the festival builds on his already deep Bay Area ties dating back to his years as house pianist at Keystone Korner during the North Beach club’s heyday in the 1970s, when he accompanied a parade of giants such as Dexter Gordon, Freddie Hubbard, Art Pepper, Joe Henderson and Bobby Hutcherson. Equally admired as a composer, Cables possesses a touch and harmonic conception unrivaled for beauty.
Vibraphone legend Bobby Hutcherson has captivated jazz audiences since the mid-1960s, when his recordings for Blue Note established him as one of the era’s most adventurous improvisers and composers. Bobby Watson first made a striking impression in Art Blakey’s mid-1970s Jazz Messengers, and he’s brilliantly carried the bluesy post-bop banner ever since.
Berkeley-raised tenor saxophonist Craig Handy wields a big muscular sound that has made him an essential member of the acclaimed Mingus Big Band. Trumpeter David Weiss is a post-bop specialist who has contributed numerous original works to the highly respected New Jazz Composers Octet. Among jazz’s busiest accompanists, bassist Ray Drummond and drummer Victor Lewis have performed on hundreds of recordings. Their presence on any bandstand assures that the music will be swinging fiercely.
Several members of the revivalist jazz group The Cookers, who provided a memorable Saturday night Festival concert in 2009, will be in the group tonight, including George Cables, Craig Handy and David Weiss. Expect things to heat up!