2011 Festival Review

Review: Healdsburg Jazz Festival,
June 3 – 12

The 2011 Healdsburg Jazz Festival ran from June 3-12, an unprecedented 10-day celebration and expression of jazz from many of the style’s most committed professionals.

ruth naomi floydA Sunday of Inspiration the only way to describe the Festival’s final day! It started out right with Sunday Morning Spirituals, featuring the soaring voice of Ruth Naomi Floyd, the great reedsman Bennie Maupin, and a surprise combo of Festival favorites under the direction of James Newton.

Then we all settled in for an Charlie Haden (StevenPerilloux) Intimate Evening with Charlie Haden. A documentary about the surprising background and insights of American’s home grown bass legend, informal audience exchange and a brief set with Alan Broadbent, brought the Healdsburg Jazz Festival to lively conclusion.

handy-cropSaturday Night was the right night for jazz — an All Star Night at the Raven. The bar was set high with the piano experiments of Denny Zeitlin, raised a couple notches by the small combo mastery of the John Heard Trio, then went through the roof with the George Cables All-Stars. You had to be there.

sangam-32Friday at the Festival meant only one thing: Sangam. A confluence of three voices brought Charles Lloyd together with Zakir Hussain and drummer Eric Harland. They transported the Raven audience to a place where sound and spirit meet.

Babatunde-ziljan Motéma Thursday at the Festival featured a new event, an Audiophile Listening Party at Topel Winery (125 Matheson St.), then Motema Night at the Raven featured Geri Allen, the Marc Cary Trio and Babatunde Lea to showcase artists on this jazz-centric label. Check out the photos on this review on Healdsburg Patch.

Sandy CressmanNo Time Out for Jazz reminds us that the Festival is an all-days event. Monday gave us Jazz & Wine Dinner at DCK, Tuesday was Jazz in the Plaza, and Wednesday we had Brazil Night at the Bakery, where Sandy Cressman gave voice to the music of South America, and Natalie Cressman to a new generation.

Jazz Weekend at “Rec Park” took us indoors to the luxurious Jackson Theater (4400 Day School Pl, Santa Rosa) to hear two shows, Saturday’s One Voice vocal extravaganza and Sunday’s Latin Jazz on the Green showcasing Brazilian All-Stars, John Santos and special guests.

hersch-cropOpening Night Overview featured Fred Hersch, one of the great pianists in jazz today, and the still-growing local talent of guitarist Julian Lage. Third prodigal performer was pianist Noam Lemish and trio, all on Friday night, June 3, at the Raven.