Jackson Browne – Friday, June 21
Jackson Browne has written and performed some of the most literate and moving songs in popular music and has defined a genre of songwriting charged with honesty, emotion and personal politics. He was honored with induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004, and the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame in 2007.
Jackson’s career began in the mid-60s in Los Angeles and Orange County folk clubs. Except for a brief period in New York City in the late 1960s, he has always lived in Southern California. His debut album came out on David Geffen’s Asylum Records in 1972. Since then, he has released thirteen studio albums and three collections of live performances.
Beyond his music, Browne is known for his advocacy on behalf of the environment, human rights, and arts education. He’s a co-founder of the groups Musicians United for Safe Energy (MUSE), Nukefree.org, and the Success through the Arts Foundation, which provides education opportunities for students in South Los Angeles.
Ben Harper & Charlie Musselwhite – Saturday, June 22
Grammy-winning blues-rock singer Ben Harper has made 10 studio albums over the course of his career. For his latest project, he teamed up with harmonica legend Charlie Musselwhite to release a collaborative album titled Get Up! Musselwhite, one of the few white musicians to gain exposure in the blues scene during the 1960s, has released 26 records and was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2010.
After recording the song “Burnin’ Hell” together in 1997, Harper and Musselwhite were encouraged to team up for a full album. Get Up! showcases the musical chemistry that’s developed between the two ever since.
Naturally 7 – Sunday, June 23
As the special guest of internationally acclaimed singer Michael Buble, Naturally 7 have been met with standing ovations nightly in Europe, the UK, Canada, Australia and the US. With their rich harmonies, an unbelievable ability to replicate instruments and a stage presence that can be felt in every seat of the house, Naturally 7, the first vocal play group ever, are amazing, charming fans wherever they perform. Every instrument sound that they sing is created from the human voice. There are no actual drums, guitars, horns, flutes or any other instrument that is heard when listening to them perform; it’s the band members playing each of their vocal instruments.
Tedeschi Trucks Band – Sunday, June 23
In 2011 Tedeschi Trucks Band, the 11-piece group led by the husband-wife team of Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi, debuted with the album Revelator. TTB- as their fans have come to know them – and their set list were new, itching to be road-tested. Within in a few months, the group had proven themselves one of the hottest, most uplifting acts on the road today.
In 2012 they won a Grammy for Best Blues Album of the Year, while Trucks himself, along with TTB band mate Oteil Burbridge, were honored with lifetime Grammys for their membership in The Allman Brothers Band. Later that year they were invited to perform at the White House with Mick Jagger, B.B. King, Buddy Guy and President Barack Obama himself.
Today Tedeschi’s vocals and Truck’s guitar-work are front-and-center as in the beginning, yet have become more intuitively inter-twined. Onstage they exhibit an interplay on the level of a group with years of experience together, building a song from a tender whisper to a soul-rending scream, improvising with almost telepathic communication between all members.
Pablo Menendez “Mezcla” – Lawn Party, June 21-23
The music of Pablo Menendez is as unique a thing on the Cuban landscape as is the man himself. No doubt, the fact that is his a US citizen living in Cuba for over 30 years has influenced his musical choice, which have in turn influenced many young Cuban musicians. Born in Oakland, Pablo moved to Cuba at age 14 for school and stayed to marry and arise a family, while becoming very involved in the emergence of the new Cuban popular music scene. Since 1985 Menendez has led the popular group Mezcla.
TIZER – Lawn Party, June 21-23
Driven by an explosive mix of jazz, rock, classical, jam band influences and Afro Cuban and world rhythms, Downbeat – the first studio album by TIZER – throws down a high powered collection of originals on this scintillating release of fresh instrumental music from one of today’s rising starts of the world-fusion genre. TIZER, a multi-cultural band led by Boulder, CO native, keyboardist/composer Lao Tizer, has established themselves in the contemporary jazz world over the past few years, spurring comparisons of a modern twist to the 70s and 80s heyday of jazz fusion.
Pink Martini – Saturday, July 6
Featuring 10-12 musicians, Pink Martini performs its multilingual repertoire on concert stages and with symphony orchestras throughout the world. Drawing inspiration from music from all over the world – crossing genres of classical, jazz and old-fashioned pop – and hoping to appeal to conservatives and liberals alike, Thomas Lauderdale founded the “little orchestra” Pink Martini in 1994 to provide more beautiful and inclusive musical soundtracks for political fundraisers and causes such as civil rights, affordable housing, the environment, libraries, public broadcasting, education and parks.
JAS Café Downstairs @ the Nell Summer Series
Raul Midon – Wednesday, June 26
“A free man beyond any category,” (Huffington Post) best describes the unique musician that is blind singer/songwriter/guitarist Raul Midon. His singular timeless soul pop jazz sound garnered him a standing ovation during his television debut on Letterman. With three major label records under his belt Midon’s specialness has been recognized by music lovers and musicians all over the world.
Guitar Magazine describes him as “One of those rare musical forces that remind us how strong and deep the connection between man and music can sometimes be.” Midon will delight you with his wit, his musical virtuosity and all a result of his dedication to being the best he can be.
Jon Cleary – Friday & Saturday, June 28-29
Jon Cleary is a triple threat – with a salty-sweet voice, masterful piano skills, and a knack for coupling infectious grooves with melodic hooks and sharp lyrics. He balances a career performing with his band The Absolute Monster Gentlemen and Bonnie Raitt, recording with both groups, and composing songs for various artists. His live shows are an explosive funk party mixing old school soul with the rhythms of New Orleans.
Wil Camp Y su Gran Union – Friday, July 5
In 2005 former Maraca members Wil Campa formed what is today one of the most exciting group of talented musicians and performers to come out of Cuba in decades: Wil Campa y Su Gran Union. The internationally acclaimed Cuban 13 piece orchestra has been touring Europe and Canada since its inception and entered the US in the summer of 2010. Wil’s music is influenced by the styles of the 40s and the 70s eras, thus creating his own style by mixing the rhythms of both generations, the “Son.”
Tony DeSare – Thursday & Friday, July 18-19
Singer, pianist and songwriter Tony DeSare performs with infectious joy, wry playfulness, and robust musically. His takes on classic standards and sophisticated original compositions have earned him a reputation as one of New York’s hottest young singer/pianists. His sound is romantic, swinging and sensual, but what sets Tony apart is his ability to write original material that sounds fresh and at the same time blends seamlessly with the Great American Songbook. Tony has the capability to glide from a standard by George Gershwin to a contemporary classic by Tom Waits to one of his inventive original songs with ease.
Roberta Gambarini – Saturday & Sunday, Aug. 18-19
Celebrated throughout the world by fans, critics and many of the world’s greatest musicians, Roberta Gambarini became a fast-rising star – and a GRAMMY nominee – with the 2006 release of her debut album, “Easy to Love.” A smashing success on all fronts, Roberta’s debut secured her spot on the international touring circuit, where she continuously graces the most prestigious venues and festivals.
The Boston Globe named Roberta as the “true successor to Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan and Carmen McRae.” Roberta’s latest album, “So In Love,” was a stunning affirmation of her status as one of the most important vocal artists performing today and a GRAMMY nominee for Best Jazz Vocal Album in 2010. In 2010 Roberta was also the winner of the Jazz Journalists Award for Female Jazz vocalist of the Year.