Tampa Jazz Calendar: Branford Marsalis, Chick Corea and other heavy hitters ahead

Tampa Bay area performing arts centers and other venues are putting the spotlight on a surprisingly high volume of top-shelf jazz artists this month. When it rains, it pours. On the way:

Thursday, Jan. 11 — Branford Marsalis Quartet, with the acclaimed New Orleans-born saxophonist leading a group including pianist Joey Calderazzo, bassist Eric Revis and drummer Justin Faulkner (unless there are subs). Mahaffey Theater, St. Petersburg, 7:30. Link

Saturday, Jan. 13 — Chick Corea Akoustic Band, with the brilliant, versatile pianist, who makes his home in Pinellas County, joined by bass great John Patitucci on bass and monster drummer Dave Weckl. Two shows — doors at (approximately) 5 & 8:30 pm. Link 

Saturday, Jan. 13 — Sunshine Music Festival, with another great lineup of blues, rock, funk and more, again headlined by the superb Tedeschi Trucks Band, and including longrunning jazz-jam-avant trio Medeski Martin and Wood (MMW), Phish bassist Mike Gordon’s band, and NOLA funksters Galactic. Also: Hot Tuna, Foundations of Funk (with keyboardist/organist John Medeski from MMW, guitarist Eric Krasno from Soulive, and bassist George Porter, Jr. and drummer Zigaboo Modeliste from the Meters), and the Suffers. Vinoy Park, St. Petersburg, 1 pm. (Dang, WHY does this fest have to be the same day as Chick Corea?) Link 

Saturday, Jan. 13 (Do all of these shows HAVE to be on the same day?) — Fast-rising Canadian-born trumpeter Bria Skonberg. Central Park Performing Arts Center, Largo, 8 pm. Link

Also ahead in January and February:

  • Wednesday, Jan. 10 — The Ron Reinhardt Group with guitarist Adam Hawley and saxophonist Kyle Schroeder. Charlie’s Sushi & Japanese Restaurant, Clearwater, 8 pm. Info/Reservations: 727 515-4454.
  • Friday, Jan. 12 — Serotonic album release party, with (opener) Jon Ditty. Dunedin Brewery, 9 pm. Link
  • Friday, Jan. 19 — James Suggs Plays the Music of Lee Morgan, with the popular Tampa Bay area trumpeter joined by pianist Stretch Bruyn, bassist Brandon Robertson and drummer Paul Gavin for a program of soul jazz and more. Side Door at the Palladium, St. Petersburg, 8 pm. Link
  • Sunday, Jan. 21 — Arbor Records artists Nicki Parrott (bass/vocals), Rossano Sportiello (piano) and Ed Metz (drums). Side Door at the Palladium, St. Petersburg, 7 pm. Link
  • Sunday, Jan. 28 — Tampa Jazz Guitar Summit: Dave Stryker Quintet. HCC Ybor Mainstage Theatre, Ybor City, 3 pm. Link
  • Monday, Jan. 29 — Tampa Jazz Guitar Summit: Peter Bernstein, with the USF Faculty Jazz Ensemble. USF Concert Hall, Tampa, 7:30 pm. Link 
  • Wednesday, Feb. 14 — Whitney James‘ Jazz Valentine. Side Door at the Palladium, St. Petersburg, 8 pm. Link
  • Wednesday, Feb. 21 — St. Petersburg Jazz Festival: Tal Cohen (piano) Trio, with bassist Dion Kerr and drummer David Chiverton. Side Door at the Palladium, St. Petersburg, 7:30 pm. Link
  • Thursday, Feb. 22 — St. Petersburg Jazz Festival: (Saxophonist) Jeff Rupert Quintet with Veronica Swift (vocals), pianist Richard Drexler, bassist Ben Kramer, and drummer Marty Morell. Side Door at the Palladium, St. Petersburg, 7:30 pm. Link
  • Friday, Feb. 23 — St. Petersburg Jazz Festival: B3 Fury with the Shawn Brown Quintet, with guitarist Nate Najar, saxophonist Jeremy Carter, and drummer Anthony Breach. Side Door at the Palladium, St. Petersburg, 7:30 pm. Link
  • Saturday, Feb. 24 — St. Petersburg Jazz Festival: Helios Jazz Orchestra with (vocalists) Whitney James & Chuck Wansley. Side Door at the Palladium, St. Petersburg, 7:30 pm. Link
  • Sunday, Feb. 25 — St. Petersburg Jazz Festival: (Pianist) Gabriel Hernandez Trio, with bassist Mauricio Rodriguez and drummer Dimas Sanchez. Side Door at the Palladium, St. Petersburg, 7:30 pm. Link

 

 

Bonnaroo’s Killer Lineup: Phish, Wilco, David Byrne, King Sunny Ade, Bruce Springsteen, Al Green, Gov’t Mule

Some of the country’s big ‘n’ eclectic rock/jam festivals, like Langerado in South Florida, are calling it quits this year. Or, at least, taking a break until 2010.

Bonnaroo, though, is standing strong, with a recently announced lineup that includes a huge gift to fans of a certain highly revered jamband.

Yep, Phish, reuniting in March to play three dates in Virginia, is headed to Bonnaroo, June 11-14 in Manchester, Tennessee.

Trey and Co., slated to play two shows – count ’em – at the music-and-camping fest, are at the top of the bill, along with a long list of acts boasting serious music muscle.

The lineup includes Wilco, David Byrne, Wilco, the Rev. Al Green, Elvis Costello (solo), and the seriously over-exposed Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. More: Gov’t Mule, Erykah Badu, TV on the Radio, Band of Horses, Ben Harper, Merle Haggard, moe, Bela Fleck & Toumani Diabate, Galactic, Booker T & the Drive-by Truckers, David Grisman, Lucinda Williams, Gomez, Femi Kuti, Alejandro Escovedo, Cherryholmes, the Steeldrivers, and – yes – Nigerian juju star King Sunny Ade. More TBA.

By any measure, it’s a killer bill.

Bon Jovi to Play Jazz Fest. Huh?

Which BNA (big national act) would be added to the already pretty darn impressive lineup for this year’s New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival?

Speculation had been running wild regarding such possibilities as Neil Young, or Prince, or Phish (the latter not likely, due to the backlash from their last visit). Any of those acts which would have fit nicely with the roots/rock/jazz/jam feel of the fest.

And now this news: The last-minute BNA is … Bon Jovi.

Sigh. Not very impressive, and hardly in keeping with what Jazz Fest is, you know, supposed to be all about. Well, oh well. The fest will still offer plenty of alternatives to the uninspired lowest-common-denominator rock ‘n’ roll sported by Jon and the boys.

Here’s the official release:

BON JOVI ADDED TO 40TH ANNIVERSARY JAZZ FEST

Day-by-Day Music Schedule Announced

February 18 Deadline Set for Purchase of New
Discount Weekend Ticket Packages

Jazz & Heritage Foundation 2009 Gala to Feature
“Dew Drop Inn Revisited All-Stars”

New Orleans, LA (February 6, 2009)— American rock superstars Bon Jovi have been added to the already star-studded music lineup of the 40th anniversary New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival Presented by Shell, organizers announced today. Making their first-ever Jazz Fest appearance, Bon Jovi will perform on Saturday, May 2. The 2009 Jazz Fest is scheduled for April 24-26 & April 30-May 3 at the Fair Grounds Race Course.  (For more information on Bon Jovi, visit www.bonjovi.com.)

Bon Jovi joins Wynton Marsalis, Dave Matthews Band, James Taylor, Sugarland, Joe Cocker, Ben Harper, Tony Bennett, Earth, Wind & Fire, Kings of Leon, Neville Brothers, Wilco, Bonnie Raitt, Allen Toussaint, The O’Jays, Erykah Badu, Maze featuring Frankie Beverly, Dr. John plus hundreds of others previously announced to appear at the historic edition of the Festival.

Jazz Fest noted that Julian Marley has been added to the Festival on Friday, May 1.  Toots & the Maytals, previously announced for the 2009 event, will not be appearing.

Phish to Play Summer Reunion Tour!

phishAnyone paying attention could have seen this coming. It doesn’t make the news any less exciting.

Phish, rock-funk-fusion-jazz-experimental jammers extraordinaire, aren’t limiting their 2009 reunion shows to the three-night stand at Hampton Coliseum (Va.) in March.

The band is also playing a summer tour.

Now, if they’ll only add some shows south of North Carolina.

My memories of great Phish shows go back to their appearances at the old Ritz Theatre in Ybor City. Below is info on their Feb. 26, 1993 show at that venue.

02/26/93 Ritz Theatre, Ybor City, FL
Set I: Runaway Jim, Foam, Fee, Split Open and Melt, Fluffhead, Llama, Horn, The Divided Sky, I Didn’t Know, Cavern
Set II: Loving Cup, Paul and Silas, Tweezer, Glide, Chalkdust Torture, Mound, Big Ball Jam, You Enjoy Myself, HYHU> Lengthwise, Squirming Coil, Tweezer Reprise
Encore: Bold as Love, Sweet Adeline

Great to see Trey, Fish, Mike and Page back in action, five years after calling it quits. In effect, they’re competing with a younger generation of jambands whose work was inspired by Phish.

PHISH SUMMER TOUR 2009

06/04 – Nikon at Jones Beach Theater – Wantagh, NY
06/05 – Nikon at Jones Beach Theater – Wantagh, NY
06/06 – Comcast Center – Mansfield, MA
06/07 – Susquehanna Bank Center – Camden, NJ
06/09 – Asheville Civic Center – Asheville, NC
06/16 – Fox Theatre – St. Louis, MO
06/18 – Post Gazette Pavilion – Burgettstown, PA
06/19 – Verizon Wireless Music Center – Noblesville, IN
06/20 – Alpine Valley – East Troy, WI
06/21 – Alpine Valley – East Troy, WI

Here’s the official info on tickets:

“A limited number of tickets are available directly through Phish Tickets’ online ticketing system at http://phish.portals.musictoday.com . The ticketing request period is currently underway and will end on Saturday, January 17th at 11:59AM EST.

Tickets go on sale to the public beginning Friday, January 30th at 10AM EST. For full show and ticketing information, please visit the Tourdates page.”

For more details, go to the band’s official site.