June 10, Friday Night
Raven Theater | 8:00 pm
115 North St., Healdsburg
Tickets now available:
Gold Circle: $75 | General Seating: $45
One of jazz’s great musical seekers, Charles Lloyd assembled his singular ensemble Sangam to mark the passing of trap set wizard Billy Higgins, who had become the saxophonist’s late-career musical soulmate. Featuring Indian tabla legend Zakir Hussain, and drummer extraordinaire Eric Harland, the group released a live CD on EMC in 2006 that captures the spiritually charged communion.
In the ensuing years the trio has attained luminous new heights whenever the opportunity arises to rejoin forces. What makes this trio so compelling is the stunning interplay. Somehow, Harland always finds exactly the right place to add an accent or a beat, an incredible feat given Hussain’s intricate patterns.
Sangam is Sanskrit for “confluence,” and refers not only to the confluence of three rivers at Alahabad, but the assemblage of Tamil scholars in the remote past. In many ways, Sangam is just the latest step on Charles Lloyd’s long spiritual journey. Born and raised in Memphis, the saxophonist got his start as a teenager playing with blues greats like B.B. King and Bobby Bland. Under the sway of John Coltrane, he launched his own band in the mid-60s, attaining rock star status with his ecstatic performances. At 73, he is more eloquent than ever, a fearless improviser who reveals a world of beauty with every note. These three great artists are generously donating their services to ensure the festival’s future, and this concert is sure to be another transcendent performance at the Raven Theater.
Zakir Hussain has been a frequent musical colleague of Lloyd’s as well as establishing his own career as one of the leading percussionists in Indian classical music with his mastery of the tabla. As well as playing with Lloyd, his international music career includes collaborations with Bela Fleck and Mickey Hart, and played on George Harrison’s album “Living in the Material World” when he was just 22.
Eric Harland is a native of Houston, where he was discovered while still in high school by Wynton Marsalis and went on to Manhattan School of Music with a full scholarship. He’s played with McCoy Tyner, Joe Henderson, Joshua Redman and many other jazz greats of our era.