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Best of the Festival

Best of the Festival

Jeff Dayton-Johnson September 21, 2014 Comments Off

MJF 57 has come and gone. It’s a fitting time to assess what we’ve seen. To take stock of what we’ve learned. To meditate on the music experienced. To make a list. What were

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Charles Lloyd: Forest Flower Blossoms Anew (Interview)

Charles Lloyd: Forest Flower Blossoms Anew (Interview)

Jeff Dayton-Johnson September 21, 2014 Comments Off

Charles Lloyd, MJF Showcase Artist, played Sunday night on the Main Stage in one of the most-anticipated shows of this year’s festival. Lloyd’s association with Monterey is legendary: his signature sixties album, Forest Flower,

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Jon Batiste brings the NOLA (Interview)

Jon Batiste brings the NOLA (Interview)

Jeff Dayton-Johnson September 21, 2014 Comments Off

There’s something about those New Orleans musicians, they know how to wow MJF audiences. Jon Batiste, whose youthful demeanor belies his already-considerable résumé (including appearances on the HBO series Treme), brought his ragtag Stay

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Booker T., Completely Well (Interview)

Booker T., Completely Well (Interview)

Jeff Dayton-Johnson September 21, 2014 Comments Off

Booker T. Jones spoke with KUSP. The interview above, begins with band member Ted Jones. Listen to the interview at the link above. The venerable Booker T. Jones, he of the legendary M.G.s, appeared

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Davina on the Big Stage (Interview)

Davina on the Big Stage (Interview)

Jeff Dayton-Johnson September 21, 2014 Comments Off

Saturday’s main stage proceedings were kicked off by Davina & the Vagabonds, purveyors of Midwestern retro R&B. Davina’s Garden Stage set at MJF 2013 was a highlight for many a Festival-goer, and Tim Jackson

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Sunday afternoon @ MJF

Sunday afternoon @ MJF

Jeff Dayton-Johnson September 21, 2014 Comments Off

As is the custom, Sunday afternoon kicks off with the crème de la high-school-and-college-band crème. MJF Jazz Education guru (and saxophonist) Paul Contos leads the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra and Artist-in-Residence Eric Harland on

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The Philadelphia Experiment: Back Together At Least One More Time

The Philadelphia Experiment: Back Together At Least One More Time

Jeff Dayton-Johnson September 20, 2014 Comments Off

Bassist Christian McBride, most known for his straightahead acoustic jazz, and Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, drummer for The Roots, attended the same Philadelphia performing arts high school. (Organist Joey DeFrancesco and guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel were

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The Roots @ MJF

The Roots @ MJF

Jeff Dayton-Johnson September 20, 2014 Comments Off

The Roots – the greatest hip hop band in the world – closed out the Saturday night line-up on the Jimmy Lyons Arena Stage. Prior to Saturday night, the MJF audience might have experienced

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Our Point of View: Best of MJF?

Our Point of View: Best of MJF?

Jeff Dayton-Johnson September 20, 2014 Comments Off

Our Point of View – the name adopted by the all-star band of Blue Note Records artists assembled to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the storied record label – played early Saturday night at

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Aaron Diehl Channels John Lewis’s Three Streams (Interview)

Aaron Diehl Channels John Lewis’s Three Streams (Interview)

Jeff Dayton-Johnson September 20, 2014 Comments Off

Every year the MJF commissions major compositions to be debuted at the Festival. This year that honor was bestowed upon pianist Aaron Diehl. Diehl’s quartet performed his Three Streams of Expression: A Tribute To

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Gary Clark Jr. and the History of Rock ‘n’ Roll Guitar

Gary Clark Jr. and the History of Rock ‘n’ Roll Guitar

Jeff Dayton-Johnson September 20, 2014 Comments Off

If the entire recorded history of blues-derived, electric guitar rock were to be wiped out in some bizarre hard drive accident, the elements of Clark’s set could be used to reconstitute it. Ranging from

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Questlove’s Soul Train Top Ten

Questlove’s Soul Train Top Ten

Jeff Dayton-Johnson September 20, 2014 Comments Off

Drummer Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson is a busy guy: leading the house band on the Tonight Show, leading The Roots, DJing parties every night (at least, that’s what I imagine he does). I’m not sure

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Red Baraat: Everything is Possible

Red Baraat: Everything is Possible

Jeff Dayton-Johnson September 20, 2014 Comments Off

As if to prove that in New York you can find anything, Red Baraat’s musical project brings together New Orleans-style brass band funk with Banghra drumming and vocals. The remarkable thing is, it coheres

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Eric Harland: No Labels (Interview)

Eric Harland: No Labels (Interview)

Jeff Dayton-Johnson September 20, 2014 Comments Off

Drummer Eric Harland is the Artist-in-Residence at MJF 2014. He revealed in an interview with KUSP that that does not mean he actually resides on the festival grounds. But it’s close: in three days,

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MJF Saturday Afternoon

MJF Saturday Afternoon

Jeff Dayton-Johnson September 20, 2014 Comments Off

Saturday afternoon on the Main Stage at MJF: Davina & the Vagabonds, whose heartfelt R&B-inflected sound won over an audience crammed into the Garden Stage at last year’s festival, graduate to the Lyons stage,

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MJF Saturday Night

MJF Saturday Night

Jeff Dayton-Johnson September 20, 2014 Comments Off

Saturday night, ladies and gentlemen, is all about the Roots. This hip hop band from Philadelphia sells millions of records. It’s the house band on “The Tonight Show.” These are big stars, and that

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Robert Glasper returns to Monterey

Robert Glasper returns to Monterey

Jeff Dayton-Johnson September 19, 2014 Comments Off

Robert Glasper was Artist-in-Residence at MJF in 2011; playing acoustic and electric sets, with Bilal and Terence Blanchard making surprise guest appearances on the Night Club stage. This year Glasper followed Cecile McLorin Salvant

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Herbie Hancock: Best Soundcheck of MJF (So Far)

Herbie Hancock: Best Soundcheck of MJF (So Far)

Jeff Dayton-Johnson September 19, 2014 Comments Off

The KUSP digital media crew rolled into the Monterey Fair Grounds mid-afternoon to the sound of a remarkable band on the Jimmy Lyons Arena. I rushed to get my credential and sprinted into the

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MJF Friday Night

MJF Friday Night

Jeff Dayton-Johnson September 19, 2014 Comments Off

Friday night the festival kicks off in epic fashion on the Jimmy Lyons stage of the Main Arena. Franco-Haitian-American phenom Cécile McLorin Salvant‘s US début album Womanchild (2013) blew listeners away with her command

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Eric Harland Talks To KUSP

Eric Harland Talks To KUSP

Jeff Dayton-Johnson March 30, 2014 0

By Jeff Dayton-Johnson | KUSP – Super drummer Eric Harland will be the Artist in Residence at the 2014 Monterey Jazz Festival in September. In the meantime, Eric is present at the Next Generation

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