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The Future Is Now! Jazz Visionaries Join Forces in Wine Country — 12th Annual Healdsburg Jazz Festival June 4-13, 2010 Rising stars and veteran masters to fill Healdsburg with virtuoso performances in the Festival’s 12th Season

United States
English
March 17, 2010, Healdsburg, Calif. — Jazz’s dizzying rate of evolution means that every five or six years a new generation takes root. Healdsburg presents a thrilling international cast of improvisers, from artists who defined their era half a century ago to today’s most innovative musicians, and every generation in between. Hailed as a rare gem of a jazz festival that focuses on quality and soul, the 12th Annual Healdsburg Jazz Festival runs June 4 -13 at venues around the famously picturesque wine country community.

Family Ties

In a rare reunion, bassist Charlie Haden, a jazz revolutionary who exploded on the scene with Ornette Coleman in 1959, performs in an extraordinary trio with Geri Allen, the most audaciously creative pianist to emerge in the 1980s, and tenor saxophonist Ravi Coltrane, who grew up around Haden, a collaborator with both his parents, John and Alice Coltrane.

Rio de Janeiro North

Showcasing more Brazilian talent than can be found anywhere else in North America, this quadruple bill features guitarist bossa nova patriarch Oscar Castro-Neves with a stellar band, samba jazz queen Leny Andrade, Brazil’s most beloved jazz singer, with the superlative guitarist Romero Lubambo. The mini-festival opens with two captivating vocalists. Rio-born singer Claudia Villela performs her startlingly beautiful original works with her band, featuring fellow Carioca Ricardo Peixoto on guitar. And Brasilia is an acclaimed quartet led by drummer Ted Moore and singer Pamela Driggs, with her husband Romero Lubambo appearing as special guest.

Stars On the Rise

But this season the accent is on youth, with a bevy of brilliant young bandleaders including the charismatic bassist/vocalist Esperanza Spalding, who’s become one of jazz’s foremost ambassadors with her propulsive playing and lithe singing; iconoclastic pianist/composer Jason Moran, whose supremely resourceful trio The Bandwagon is joined by guitar star Bill Frisell; Thelonious Monk Competition winner and bossa nova-besotted vocalist Gretchen Parlato; and sensational Cuban drummer/composer Dafnis Prieto, the leader of the kinetic Si o Si Quartet with Berkeley-raised multi-instrumental magician Peter Apfelbaum.

LINEUP

Charlie Haden
Ravi Coltrane
Geri Allen
Jason Moran
Bill Frisell
Esperanza Spalding
Oscar Castro-Neves
Leny Andrade
Romero Lubambo
George Cables
Craig Handy
Gretchen Parlato
Dafnis Prieto
Peter Apfelbaum
Claudia Villela
Lorca Hart
Bennett Friedman
Shea Breaux Wells
Christian Foley-Beining
Paul McCandless
Kai Devitt-Lee
Brasilia
Latin Jazz Youth Ensemble
Jazz Night at the Movies
Jazz & Wine Pairings

FRIDAY, JUNE 4
Jazz Night at the Movies
Treasures from the Archive with Mark Cantor
Location: Raven Theater
Address: 115 North Street, Healdsburg
Show Time: 8 pm
Ticket price: $ 10.00

SATURDAY, JUNE 5
Bennett Friedman Quartet
Location: Flying Goat Coffee
Address: 324 Center Street, Healdsburg
Two shows: 7 and 9 pm
Ticket price: $10.00

SUNDAY, JUNE 6
STARS OF BRAZIL – BOSSA NOVA ON THE GREEN
Oscar Castro-Neves & Friends
Leny Andrade and Romero Lubambo Duo
Claudia Villela Band
Brasilia
Location: Recreation Park
Address: Piper and Center Streets, Healdsburg
Time: 12:30 to 6:30 pm Gates open at noon
Tickets: $30.00 General,
$20.00 Students & Seniors (65+)
Children 10 and under are free

MONDAY, JUNE 7
JAZZ AND WINE DINNER
Kai Devitt-Lee Trio
Location: Dry Creek Kitchen
Address: 317 Healdsburg Avenue, Healdsburg
Time: 7 to 10 pm

TUESDAY, JUNE 8
FREE CONCERT IN THE HEALDSBURG PLAZA
Latin Jazz Youth Ensemble of San Francisco
Time: 6 to 8 pm

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 9
George Cables Trio with Shea Breaux Wells
Christian Foley-Beining Quartet featuring Paul McCandless
Location: Raven Theater
Address: 115 North Street, Healdsburg
Time: 7:30 pm
Tickets: $15.00 General,
$10.00 Students & Seniors (65+)

THURSDAY, JUNE 10
BENEFACTORS DINNER AND CONCERT
George Cables Trio with Craig Handy and
Healdsburg High School Jazz Band
Location: Coppola Winery
Address: 300 Via Archimedes,(formerly Souverain Road) Geyserville By invitation

FRIDAY, JUNE 11
Esperanza Spalding Group
Tacuma King and the Children’s Percussion Workshop
Location: Raven Theater
Address: 115 North Street, Healdsburg
Show Time: 8 pm
Tickets: $45.00 and $65.00 Gold Circle

FRIDAY, JUNE 11
Lorca Hart Trio with Craig Handy
Location: Hotel Healdsburg Lobby
Address: 25 Matheson Street, Healdsburg
Show Time: 9 pm to midnight

SATURDAY, JUNE 12
Charlie Haden with Ravi Coltrane & Geri Allen
Healdsburg High School Jazz Band
Location: Raven Theater
Address: 115 North Street, Healdsburg
Show Time: 7:30 pm
Tickets: $45.00 and $65.00 Gold Circle

SATURDAY, JUNE 12
Craig Handy Quartet with Special Guests
Location: Hotel Healdsburg Lobby
Address: 25 Matheson Street, Healdsburg
Show Time: 9 pm to midnight

SUNDAY, JUNE 13
KEEPERS OF THE FLAME
Jason Moran and the Bandwagon with special guest Bill Frisell
Gretchen Parlato Group
Dafnis Prieto Quartet with Peter Apflebaum
Location: Rodney Strong Vineyards
Address: 11455 Old Redwood Highway, Healdsburg
Time: 2 pm, gates open at 1 pm
Tickets: $45.00, $30.00 for students & seniors (65+)
Children 10 and under are free

PROGRAM NOTES

FRIDAY, JUNE 4
Jazz Night at the Movies
Treasures from the Archive with Mark Cantor
Location: Raven Theater
Address: 115 North Street, Healdsburg
Show Time: 8 pm
Ticket price: $ 10.00

Pioneering film historian and archivist Mark Cantor possesses one of the most comprehensive collections of American popular music on celluloid, including an amazing array of jazz stretching back to the 1920s.

Returning to Healdsburg he’ll bring fresh discoveries from the vaults and long-standing favorites, including rarely seen footage capturing New Orleans masters, swing stars and bebop legends. A compilation of jazz performance clips produced over a period of more than 60 years, this program will include a great deal of material that cannot be seen elsewhere.

Among the artists to be presented on screen are “Cannonball” Adderley, Stan Getz, Dinah Washington, Jimmy Witherspoon, Louis Armstrong, Art Pepper, Lennie Tristano, Max Roach, Bill Evans, “Hot Lips” Page, and dozens more! This is a rare opportunity to see many of the masters of jazz, as preserved on film. A lot of special surprises are promised!

SATURDAY, JUNE 5
Bennett Friedman Quartet

Location: Flying Goat Coffee
Address: 324 Center Street, Healdsburg
Two shows: 7 and 9 pm
Ticket price: $10.00

A mainstay on the Bay Area jazz scene for five decades, Bennett Friedman is a hard swinging saxophonist steeped in bebop. The Berkeley native led a talent-laden big band in the late 1960s and 70s, and accompanied stars such as Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald and Marvin Gaye as a member of the Circle Star Theater Orchestra. On faculty at Santa Rosa Junior College since 1977, he’s mentored hundreds of musicians over the years, and is now head of the SRJC music department. He’s joined by a veteran rhythm section featuring drummer Lorca Hart and guitarist Randy Vincent, a supremely fluid and flexible player who elevates every ensemble he joins. Anchoring the band is ace bassist Chris Amberger, who has toured with legends such as George Shearing, Rosemary Clooney, Red Garland, and Art Blakey.

SUNDAY, JUNE 6
“Stars of Brazil” – Bossa Nova on the Green
Oscar Castro-Neves & Friends
Leny Andrade and Romero Lubambo Duo
Claudia Villela Band
Brasilia
Recreation Park
Piper and Center Streets, Healdsburg
12:30 to 6:30 pm Gates open at noon
Tickets: $30.00 General, $20.00 Students and Seniors (65+)
Children 10 and under are free (City of Healdsburg activities available for children)

In the five decades since bossa nova burst onto the international music scene, Brazil has enriched the world with a glorious torrent of musical talent. Featuring some of the most revered Brazilian musicians on the planet, this festival within a festival showcases the South American nation‘s mind-boggling array of rhythms, infinite trove of seductive melodies and affinity for modern jazz harmonies.

Oscar Castro-Neves
“Oscar can capture the soul of Brazil in a few guitar chords, all the joy and sadness.”
— Toots Thielemans
As a teenager growing up in Rio de Janeiro in the late 1950s, guitarist Oscar Castro-Neves helped shape the rising bossa nova movement, and he’s been at the center of Brazilian and American popular music ever since. While he’s lived in the United States for more than three decades, his musical world is still defined by his Rio upbringing. A master guitarist, effective vocalist, and brilliant arranger/composer, Castro-Neves made his mark at 16, when a chance encounter with singer Alaide Costa led to her recording a hit version of his seminal bossa nova “Chora Tua Tristeza” (Cry Your Sadness).

He was one of the featured artists at the legendary 1962 Carnegie Hall concert that introduced the bossa nova pantheon to North America, performing alongside Antonio Carlos Jobim and Joao Gilberto. Later in the decade he helped spread Brazilian music throughout the U.S. as the guitarist and music director of Sergio Mendes’ tremendously popular band.

Castro-Neves went on to a prolific career as a freelance performer and studio musician,
collaborating with a mind-boggling array of artists, including Michael Jackson, Barbra Streisand and Quincy Jones. He’s had a particular affinity for jazz, recording with Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, Stan Getz and more recently Toots Thielemans, with whom he tours regularly.

Leny Andrade and Romero Lubambo

“The Sarah Vaughan and Ella Fitzgerald of Brazilian music.”
— The New York Times
In a scene bursting with sumptuously talented singers, Leny Andrade has long stood out in Brazil with her warm, burnished contralto and her lithe, flowing phrasing. Andrade is widely hailed as Brazil’s greatest living jazz singer, a gifted improviser who combines bossa nova’s luscious melodic sensibility with a compelling sense of swing. She caresses the rounded Portuguese vowels with such expressive care one needn’t understand the language to sense a song’s narrative. She’s also a supremely inventive scat singer fluent in samba-jazz, a self-invented style that requires rarified rhythmic agility.

For her Healdsburg appearance she collaborates with another superlative Brazilian jazz musician, New York-based guitarist Romero Lubambo. Lubambo is probably best known for his work with Trio da Paz and his series of stunning duo projects with vocalist Luciana Souza, but he’s also recorded two gorgeous duo sessions with Andrade, 1994’s “Coisa Fina” and 2006’s “Lua Do Arpoador.” Together, they spin enthralling samba jazz tales full of subtle dynamics and spontaneous invention.

Claudia Villela

Claudia Villela’s glorious five-octave instrument is one of the wonders of jazz, lithe and startlingly beautiful in every register. Born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, she is a supremely inventive scat singer with a vivid vocabulary of sounds, an aural conjurer who can evoke the hollow thump of a tabla drum, the muted trumpet of Miles Davis, or the insistent twang of a berimbau. Villela has evolved as an ingenious composer and lyricist with an astonishing body of original material, as well as a repertoire of jewels from the Brazilian songbook. Villela possesses a rare gift for melodic invention, coupled with a rhythmic sensibility steeped in Brazil’s vast treasury of syncopation. America’s best-kept Brazilian secret, Villela finally attained widespread recognition with the 2003 release of her masterpiece “Inverse Universe” a stunning set of original pieces created with her longtime collaborator, Rio-born guitarist Ricardo Peixoto.

In recent years, Villela’s international reputation as a performer and composer has continued to grow through appearances at the world’s most prestigious jazz festivals and clubs. Her performance with acclaimed Brazilian singer and composer Dori Caymmi was broadcast nationally as part of National Public Radio’s “Jazz Set.” Her band for this performance includes Ricardo Peixoto, Gary Brown and Paul Vanwanagagen.

Brasilia is an outstanding Brazilian jazz group that features the extraordinary and versatile vocals of Pamela Driggs and the original compositions and arrangements of Ted Moore. They will be joined by Gary Brown on bass and Romero Lubambo on guitar.

MONDAY, JUNE 7
Jazz and Wine Dinner
Kai Devitt-Lee Trio
Dry Creek Kitchen
7 to 10 pm, No Cover
317 Healdsburg Avenue, Healdsburg
charliepalmer.com
707 431-0330
Dinner reservations recommended

While only 16, guitarist Kai Devitt-Lee is already a Healdsburg fixture who has soaked up experience sitting in with various groups around town. With his fleet fingers and mature approach to improvising, the Healdsburg native is at the start of what promises to be an impressive career. This year he was chosen out of all of California to be the guitarist with the Californian 2010 All State Honors High School Jazz Band! For his Festival debut as a leader, he is joined by bassist Miles Wick and drummer Jimmy Gallagher. Kai plays a special guitar made by Healdsburg master luthier Tom Ribbecke.

TUESDAY, JUNE 8
Latin Jazz Youth Ensemble of San Francisco
Free Concert in the Healdsburg Plaza, 6 to 8 pm

Under the direction of the great flutist/arranger John Calloway, the Latin Jazz Youth Ensemble of San Francisco (LJYE) has become a prime proving ground for gifted young musicians ages 10 to 18. Dedicated to preserving the traditions of Latin jazz and Afro-Cuban music, the LYJE attracts many aspiring professional musicians. Since debuting at the Masonic Auditorium with a tribute to Cal Tjader in 2001 as the opening act for Poncho Sanchez, different iterations of the group have shared stages with legendary Cuban bassist Israel “Cachao” López, Cuban piano virtuoso Chuchito Valdés, and the Grammy Award–winning Spanish Harlem Orchestra.

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 9
George Cables Trio with Shea Breaux Wells
Christian Foley-Beining Quartet with Paul McCandless
Raven Theater
115 North Street, Healdsburg
7:30 pm
Tickets: $ 15.00, General,
$10.00 Students & Seniors (65+)

George Cables, an inimitable pianist dubbed “Mr. Beautiful” by altoist Art Pepper, has played an essential role in the Healdsburg Jazz Festival since the beginning. A creative foil for jazz’s most prodigious improvisers, including Dexter Gordon, Freddie Hubbard, Bobby Hutcherson and Joe Henderson, Cables combines unrelenting rhythmic drive and wry wit with a sparkling touch and evocative lyricism.

With his caressing phrasing and deep knowledge of the American Songbook, it’s no surprise that Cables is an inspired vocal accompanist, which makes his reunion with Shea Breaux Wells one of the festival’s highlights. A daring singer with a bright burnished sound, Wells recorded her latest album, “A Blind Date” right after the 2008 festival. A thrilling album featuring Cables, bassist Cecil McBee, drummer Billy Hart, saxophonist Craig Handy and trumpeter David Weiss, “Blind Date” captures the volatile chemistry between Wells and some of jazz’s most powerful and expressive players. The band will be rounded out with Peter Barshay on bass and Jaz Sawyer on drums.

German-born guitarist Christian Foley-Beining opens the double bill with a stellar band featuring veteran bassist Chris Amberger, drummer Lorca Hart and special guest Paul McCandless. A founding member of pioneering world jazz ensemble Oregon, McCandless is an expert oboist, a true rarity in jazz, who also plays English horn, soprano saxophone, bass clarinet, clarinet, and pennywhistle, among other instruments. Inspired as a teenager by Wes Montgomery, Foley-Beining studied with an impressive roster of guitar talent, including Joe Pass, Pat Metheny, Robben Ford and Larry Carlton. A fine composer and widely traveled clinician, he’s made a name for himself in the North Bay since settling in Sonoma.

THURSDAY, JUNE 10
BENEFACTORS DINNER AND CONCERT
George Cables Trio with Craig Handy +
Healdsburg High School Jazz Band
Francis Ford Coppola Winery, 300 Via Archimedes, (formerly Souverain Road) Geyserville * By Invitation Only * 5 pm

As a special thank you to our benefactors this year, the Healdsburg Jazz Festival will be hosting a Benefactor’s Dinner at the newly remodeled Francis Ford Coppola Winery. Supporters of the Festival will glimpse the Coppola winery before it opens to the public and dine al fresco Coppola style outside under the oaks. It is not too late to become a patron and attend this very special event. For more information, please contact the HJF office at 433.4633 or contact us by email at info@healdsburgjazzfestival.org.
We would like to thank all of our patrons, sponsors, and supporters for helping
bring 10 days of extraordinary music and culture to our community

FRIDAY, JUNE 11
Esperanza Spalding Group
Tacuma King and the Children’s Percussion Workshop
Raven Theater
115 North Street, Healdsburg
8 pm
Tickets: $45 and $65 Gold Circle

“Whether exploding into vocalese or making her bass solo sound like a horn, she’s a spark plug who dances as she groovesthrough a funked-up and rocked-out repertoire.”
— Billboard

From Louis Armstrong and Dizzy Gillespie to Duke Ellington and Dave Brubeck, jazz’s greatest figures have often served as musical ambassadors. Bassist/vocalist Esperanza Spalding has stepped confidently into the role of jazz’s most charismatic 21st century emissary, equally comfortable laying down grooves on “The Late Show with David Letterman,” at the Village Vanguard, at the White House, or Oslo’s Spektrum, where she performed at the Nobel Peace Prize concert last year at the invitation of President Obama.

With a beguiling blend of Brazilian melodies, Afro-Caribbean grooves, post-bop harmonies and lilting vocals, 25-year-old Spalding combines the imaginative flights of a serious improviser with the stage presence and musical accessibility of a pop star. Her latest album, “Esperanza” on Heads Up, documents her rapidly maturing conception as a bandleader who’s honed a world-jazz repertoire featuring her lithe originals and standards in English, Spanish and Portuguese. Possessing a huge sound and singular sense of time, she’s already racked up an impressive array of credits, including with pianist Michel Camilo, bassist Stanley Clarke, guitarist Pat Metheny, vocalist Patti Austin, and saxophonist Joe Lovano, who has built his celebrated Us Five band around the powerfully propulsive pulse of her bass. Already a heavyweight talent, Spalding is growing by leaps and bounds with a deliciously funky sound that’s both bracingly personal and embracingly accessible.

SATURDAY, JUNE 12
Charlie Haden
with Ravi Coltrane and Geri Allen
Healdsburg High School Jazz Band
Raven Theater
115 North Street, Healdsburg
7:30
Tickets: $45 and $65 Gold Circle

Charlie Haden has forged a brilliant career out of seizing the musical moment. He returns to Healdsburg for an unprecedented trio encounter with pianist Geri Allen, with whom he first recorded more than two decades ago,and tenor saxophonist Ravi Coltrane, the son of Haden’s late partner in sonic revolution, John Coltrane. “No matter who I‘m playing with, spontaneity takes priority,” Haden says. “Making something happen that's never happened before, that's what I stress more than anything else. And I seek out musicians that feel the way that I do.”

Haden found his first group of likeminded improvisers in late 1950s Los Angeles, where he became a founding member of Ornette Coleman’s radical but blues-drenched quartet. In a generation rife with bassists boasting flawless technique, Haden stood out as a player capable of expressing the deepest of emotions with seemingly simple, harmonically open lines. His gift for cutting to the heart of a composition while leaving ample space for other musicians has made Haden a galvanizing collaborator, whether anchoring Keith Jarrett’s classic 1970s quartet, caressing spirituals with Hank Jones, creating moody film noir-inspired albums with Quartet West or leading his politically charged Liberation Music Orchestra.

He’s also a savvy talent scout who boosted the career of a brilliant young pianist named Geri Allen in the late 1980s. The Detroit native had already earned a reputation as a fierce improviser when Haden and drummer Paul Motian joined her in a searching trio that revealed her burnished lyricism. Now an esteemed master herself, Allen has recorded more than a dozen albums, and has two more just released on Motema Records.

While his surname attracted attention when he first started performing in New York, Ravi Coltrane has taken his time developing his own sound. He and Geri have worked together frequently. He’s truly come into his own in recent years. Last year he toured extensively with the Blue Note 7, an all-star band assembled to celebrate the label’s 75th year, and released the luminous album “Blending Times” (ArtistShare), which features Haden’s ravishing composition “For Turiya,” a piece the bassist wrote years ago for Ravi’s mother, Alice Coltrane.

SUNDAY, JUNE 13
“Keepers of the Flame”
Jason Moran and the Bandwagen
With special guest Bill Frisell
Gretchen Parlato Group
Dafnis Prieto Quartet
With Peter Apflebaum
Rodney Strong Vineyards
11455 Old Redwood Highway, Healdsburg
2 pm, gates open 15 1 pm
Tickets: $45, $30 for students and seniors (65+)
Children under 10 are free

The Future is Now!

Reverence for jazz’s pantheon of veteran masters should never blind us to the wealth of brilliant young musicians busy expanding the music’s frontiers, responding to the present moment with highly personal sounds crafted from an ever-increasing array of sources. This triple bill, essentially a mini-festival within the festival, showcases three extraordinary young bandleaders who embody the way the best musicians assert an individual vision by absorbing and distilling a multiplicity of influences.

Jason Moran

Since pianist Jason Moran emerged in the late ’90s in the quartet of altoist and ace talent scout Greg Osby, the Houston native has developed at an exponential rate, recording a series of albums for Blue Note that are as satisfying conceptually as they are sonically, displaying his capacious intelligence, rollicking touch and road-less-traveled sensibility. His primary vehicle for the past decade has been the Bandwagon featuring bassist Tarus Mateen and drummer Nasheet Waits (son of the late, esteemed Freddie Waits). One of the last protégés of Jaki Byard, a startlingly original pianist, composer, saxophonist and educator who had the entire jazz tradition at his fingertips, Moran has cultivated a passionately encompassing musical approach. His lyrical side is often heard to advantage in tenor saxophonist Charles Lloyd’s New Quartet. Moran joins forces with another master from an earlier generation on Sunday when Bill Frisell, a remarkably resourceful improviser whose expansive sound references everything from country blues and bluegrass to West African griots and old-time Appalachian songs, hitches his guitar to the trio. From hip hop and blues to Brahms and Schumann, just about every sound is welcome on the Bandwagon.

Gretchen Parlato

The title of Gretchen Parlato’s 2009 Obliqsound album, “In a Dream,” aptly captures the sustained mood of ethereal introspection that she evokes from the first track to the last. Possessing an enticingly crystalline voice and a ravishing concept deeply informed by samba ballads and bossa nova, Parlato is among the very best of a rising generation of jazz singers, an artist who has taken her own sweet time forging a highly personal sound unlike any of her peers. Her repertoire is full of unexpected gems, from translucent arrangements of Stevie Wonder’s “I Can’t Help It” and Bjork’s “Come To Me” to expertly crafted interpretations of the Wayne Shorter compositions “Juju” and “Footprints” featuring her original lyrics. Shorter was on the panel with Herbie Hancock and Terence Blanchard when she won a 2001 audition to become the first vocalist admitted to the Thelonious Monk Institute’s prestigious two-year Master’s program.

In 2004 the Los Angeles-raised singer won the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Vocals Competition and used the $20,000 award to record her first album, an impressive self-named session featuring Beninese guitarist Lionel Loueke (a close collaborator since their days at the Monk Institute). Rather than rushing to capitalize on her growing reputation, Parlato has taken her time, evolving into an astonishing vocalist whose deceptively cool sound is belied by her ebulliently playful sensibility. She’s cultivated a capaciously creative cast of collaborators, and her Healdsburg band features some of jazz’s most inventive young improvisers, including pianist Taylor Eigsti, bassist Alan Hampton and drummer Kendrick Scott.

At 25, pianist Taylor Eigsti has been a startlingly mature improviser for more than a decade, with a series of stellar albums to his credit. Bassist Alan Hampton is a highly lyrical player who’s worked with leading young bandleaders like saxophonist John Ellis and pianist Robert Glasper. Kendrick Scott is one of the most dynamic drummers on a scene brimming with amazing trap set talent, an accompanist who’s toured and recorded with heavyweights like Joe Lovano, Kenny Garrett, Dianne Reeves, and Terence Blanchard.

Dafnis Prieto

Cuban drummer Dafnis Prieto’s 1999 arrival sent shock waves through the New York jazz scene. In a city overflowing with prodigious young drummers, Prieto was a sensation. Innovative bandleaders jostled to recruit him for their projects, and he became an essential part of ensembles led by visionaries such as Henry Threadgill, Steve Coleman, Don Byron and Peter Apfelbaum. Now he’s an exceptional bandleader in his own right, with a formidable body of compositions that erase old boundaries between Latin and straight-ahead jazz. While steeped in Cuban rhythmic traditions, Prieto is at the forefront a new generation of Latin America jazz musicians eager to explore advanced jazz concepts, while developing their own compositional voices.

His band is loaded with exceptional musicians, including multi-instrumentalist Peter Apfelbaum, who put the Berkeley High jazz program on the map back in the late 1970s with his polymorphously creative Hieroglyphics Ensemble, a band so impressive that trumpet legend Don Cherry adopted it during his stint in the Bay Area. Whether playing tenor sax, percussion or keyboards, Apfelbaum infuses everything with his singular vision, which encompasses West Africa and the Caribbean as well as East Bay funk. Prieto features Apfelbaum on his recent Si o Si Quartet album “Live at the Jazz Standard,” a sensational session that includes Cuban pianist Manuel Valera, who’s also on hand for this performance. Joining the ranks of Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Omar Sosa and Chuchito Valdés, Valera is the latest Cuban keyboard monster to shake up the American jazz scene. Valera is also an esteemed bandleader whose albums showcase the cream of the New York scene.
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12th Annual Healdsburg Jazz Festival June 4-13, 2010

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