The Monterey Jazz Festival returns with sold-out concerts September 24-26 at the Monterey County Fairgrounds. Here’s a look at some of the A-List musicians performing. And here’s an interview with September 26th headliner Ledisi.
Friday September 24
Pat Metheny: The immense talent and versatility of the iconic jazz guitarist is reflected in the fact that he is the only musician of any genre to win 20 Grammy Awards in at least 10 different categories. On the opening night of the jazz festival, he will perform with the latest installment of his Side-Eye project, which featured a rotating cast of promising New York musicians. In Monterey, he will be supported by keyboardist James Francies and drummer Joe Dyson. Side-Eye released a new album on September 10. Details: 7:00 p.m. Jimmy Lyon scene.
Herbie Hancock: The 81-year-old jazz legend has left an imprint on almost every movement and subgenre of jazz over the past 50 years, from fusion to funk to electronics and more – and directs or is a part of so many institutes and musical associations it is like its own State Department. He’s working on a new album. Reports on his recent show in his hometown of Chicago say he’s touched almost every stage of his career. Details: 8:45 p.m. Jimmy Lyon scene.
Mimi Renard: The creative and agile licks of the Bay Area guitarist pair well with the B3 organ, so catching her organ trio would be a good investment of your time. Details: 5 p.m., 6.15 p.m. and 8.15 p.m. Yamaha yard scene.
Saturday September 25
Las Cafeterias: This talented group emerged from the Eastside CafÃ© in LA, a collective and cultural center formed by indigenous artists and activists from Chiapas, Mexico. Their fiery and skillfully delivered mix of Afro-Mexicans, sounds, rock, hip-hop, and other sounds has had artists ranging from Lila Downs, Ozomatli, and Juanes lining up to perform with them. Details: 2:30 p.m. Jilly Lyons scene.
Terri Lyne Carrington and social sciences: At age 7, she inherited a drumset from her grandfather, who had performed with Fats Waller and other greats. At 11, she had been accepted into the Berklee School of Music. Such is the unique talent of this drummer, composer, conductor and producer. She has collaborated with artists ranging from Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock to singer Cassandra Wilson and great guitarist Carlos Santana. His group Social Science, a collaboration with pianist Aaron Parks and guitarist Matthew Stevens, released the acclaimed album “Waiting Game” in 2019. Details: 4:00 p.m. Jimmy Lyon scene.
Giveton Gelin Quartet: Nassau, Bahamas, native of Giveton Gelin, a self-taught trumpeter, is a rising star in the jazz world and was recently crowned co-champion of the DCJazzPrixe competition, which rewards young talent. He is due to graduate from The Juilliard School this year. Details: 11:30 a.m., and 2 p.m., 3:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. Yamaha yard scene.
Sunday September 26
Sources of Kandace: If you want to get a taste of who influenced this heralded and so expressive young singer and jazz / R&B pianist, check out her 2020 album, “The Women Who Raised Me,” which features covers of tracks affiliated with Roberta Flack. , Lauryn Hill, Nina Simone and Bonnie Raitt, among others. She attributed her vast musical passions to her father, the Nashville Scat Springs session singer / musician, who she said surrounded her with a steady diet of classical recordings as a child. Details: 4:00 p.m. Jimmy Lyons scene.
George Benson: His astounding talents as a guitarist and singer allowed Benson to score hits in a myriad of genres – smooth jazz, pop, commercial R&B – without even anyone suggesting that he was selling himself or wasting his skills. As a result, Benson recorded an incredible number of hit singles, dramatically expanding his fan base and introducing new types of music fans to jazz. Her hits include “The Masquerade”, “Give Me the Night”, “Turn Your Love Around”, “Lady Love Me” and the thrilling live recording of “On Broadway”. Endowed with a versatile and moving singing voice, Benson has a huge catalog to work with. Some of his more recent projects include “A Tribute to Nat King Cole” (2013) and “Walking to New Orleans: Remembering Chuck Berry and Fats Domino (2019)”. Details: 5:30 p.m. Jimmy Lyons scene.
Emmanuel Wilkins Quartet: The Philadelphia saxophonist and composer first gained attention in the music world as a much-requested session and touring musician with acts ranging from Bob Dylan to Jason Moran to Solange Knowles. Now he’s a star in his own right, with his 2020 release âOmegaâ ending on a number of best-of lists. Details: 12:30 p.m., 2 p.m., 3:30 p.m., 5 p.m. Yamaha yard scene.