Jazz Meets Blues: Charlie Musselwhite and Joshua Redman

Josh Redman by Jay BlakesbergWhen: Sunday, June 1
Where: Jackson Family Theater, 4400 Day School Place, Santa Rosa
Time: 7:30 pm
Tickets: $75 | $55 | $45 (Reserved seating)
Wine Sponsor: Roth Winery

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As practically every jazz musician will tell you, their work is grounded in the blues. For its 16th annual event, The Healdsburg Jazz Festival goes straight to one of the sources, honoring blues harmonica legend Charlie Musselwhite in four sets over two days. The first night, May 31, finds Musselwhite playing “Blues on the Porch” and revisiting his breakthrough Continental Drifter CD by playing with Latin maestro John Santos y Sus Soneros. (See this page for details and tickets.)

On Sunday, in “Jazz Meets Blues,” Joshua Redman enters the picture. The Berkeley-raised tenor saxophone virtuoso invites Musselwhite to sit in during Set 1, when the harp ace will get to work out his improvising chops alongside pianist Aaron Goldberg, bassist Joe Sanders, drummer Gregory Hutchinson and Joshua. Anyone interested in the debt jazz pays to the blues should not miss this show. (More about Redman, below)

In the second set, Charlie returns the favor, inviting Redman to take it down to the deep soul level. Joshua Redman undoubtedly knows how to play a blues. Tonight he gets to play the blues joining in with  the Charlie Musselwhite Blues Band, featuring June Core on drums, Steve Froberg on bass and Matt Stubbs on guitar. Stubbs is a stand out blues soloist, shaping well-crafted improvisations that never lose focus, and Musselwhite gives him plenty of time to make his case. Froberg has been a staple of Sonoma County bands for over a decade, and has found his comfort zone laying down the blues lines for this group. And not enough can be said about the drumming of Core, whose steady rhythm and solid fills typify the Mississippi Delta roots of Musselwhite’s music.

This event has been made possible by generous grants from Thomas Sparks and NEA Artworks.

About Joshua Redman:  Coming from a jazz family – his father  Dewey Redman was also a tenor man, associated with such giants as Ornette Coleman, Pharaoh Sanders and Charlie Haden – Joshua became a media darling in the 1990s, but he didn’t let it turn his head. After coming in first in a Thelonious Monk jazz competition in 1991 he devoted himself to a life in music, recording and touring with Chick Corea and Pat Methany but largely focusing on making his own music with his own groups. Over time his music has moved from traditional to incorporating electronica and experimental rock to his recent highly-regarded orchestral CD, “Walking Shadows.” The 45-year old saxophonist and band leader lives in Berkeley, and is a well-established Bay Area jazz giant. His website is www.joshuaredman.com