Sonny Rollins, Herbie Hancock, Huey Lewis & The News Head Up Monterey Jazz Festival Lineup

04/20/2011
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Sonny Rollins, Herbie Hancock, Huey Lewis & The News are just a few of the headliners for the 54th Monterey Jazz Festival.

This year's event takes place September 16 18 at the Monterey Fairgrounds, home to the Festival for 54 consecutive years.

The Festival features 500 artists, 90 performances, 8 stages and more than 30 hours of live music over 2 days and 3 nights, accompanied by an array of international cuisine, shopping, arts exhibits, educational events, seminars and conversations with iconic and emerging jazz artists.

2011's line up includes headliners Sonny Rollins, Herbie Hancock, Huey Lewis & The News, Poncho Sanchez & His Latin Jazz Band featuring Terence Blanchard; James Farm featuring Joshua Redman; India.Arie & Idan Raichel; John Pizzarelli Quartet, An Afternoon in Treme with Dumpstaphunk, Soul Rebels, Kermit Ruffins & Glen David Andrews; Hiromi: The Trio Project featuring Anthony Jackson & Steve Smith; Miles Davis/Gil Evans: Still Ahead Orchestra directed by Vince Mendoza featuring Terence Blanchard, Peter Erskine & Miles Evans, celebrating music from Miles Ahead, Porgy & Bess and Sketches of Spain; and more.

Joshua Redman serves as the Festival's Artist-In-Residence, and will be performing with his band James Farm, featuring Aaron Parks, Matt Penman & Eric Harland. Mr. Redman will also appear as a soloist with the Festival's All-Star student band, the Next Generation Jazz OrchestraSM, of which he was a member in the 1980s. The cutting-edge pianist, Robert Glasper, serves as the 2011 Showcase Artist, and will perform all weekend on the Grounds with his trio, and twice with the Robert Glasper Experiment (with guitarist Lionel Loueke and singer/percussionist Stokley Williams). The visionary pianist, Geri Allen, acts as the 2011 Monterey Jazz Festival Commission Artist, and will perform "The Dazzler," a Jazz Tap Tribute to Sammy Davis Jr. on the Arena Stage with her band Timeline.

Virtuoso pianist Hiromi and The Trio Project featuring Anthony Jackson & Steve Smith open the Festival on Friday with an Arena performance that promises to be a fusion extravaganza; followed by the debonair debut of the John Pizzarelli Quartet with special guests Jessica Molaskey & Bucky Pizzarelli. Closing Friday night's Arena show is Poncho Sanchez & His Latin Jazz Band featuring Terence Blanchard, recreating the groundbreaking 1947 Latin-jazz concert by Dizzy Gillespie and Chano Pozo, entitled Cubano Be! Cubano Bop!

Saturday in the Arena marks the raucous return of the Crescent City to Monterey with An Afternoon in Treme: The Musical Majesty of New Orleans -- an all-star bill with Ivan Neville's Dumpstaphunk; Soul Rebels Brass Band, trumpeter Kermit Ruffins and trombonist Glen David Andrews, hosted by actor Wendell Pierce of HBO's Treme. The 1960s Soul music of Memphis's Stax Records will be highlighted by Huey Lewis & The News, as they make their Monterey Jazz Festival debut with Soulsville. Saturday night, Geri Allen and Timeline presents the 2011 Monterey Jazz Festival Commission, "The Dazzler," a Jazz Tap Tribute to Sammy Davis Jr., followed by Artist-In-Residence, Joshua Redman with James Farm featuring Aaron Parks, Matt Penman & Eric Harland. Closing Saturday's Arena performances will be NEA Jazz Master, Herbie Hancock, with his latest Imagine project.

Sunday's Arena showcase includes the cross-genre Open Door project, featuring the GRAMMY-winning, multi-platinum singer/songwriter, India.Arie with Israeli keyboardist and composer Idan Raichel; the Festival's own all-star student band, the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra (featuring appearances by alumni Joshua Redman, Benny Green and Donny McCaslin); and the top big band from the Next Generation Jazz FestivalSM, the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts. Celebrating the timeless music of Miles Davis and Gil Evans, the Still Ahead Orchestra (directed by Vince Mendoza, featuring Terence Blanchard, Peter Erskine & Miles Evans) performs selections from the classic recordings Miles Ahead, Porgy & Bess, and Sketches of Spain. NEA Jazz Master and legendary saxophonist Sonny Rollins closes the Festival on the 18th.

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