The Jazz88 Ocean Beach Music & Arts Festival takes place this Saturday, September 10, and features 23 musical acts on eight stages from 11:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m.
There's something for just about everybody in this year's event, from straight-ahead jazz, to blues, funk, New Orleans-flavored music and Latin Jazz.
The numero uno headliner is Mac Rebennack, better known as Dr. John, a winner of five Grammy Awards.
Dr. John began his professional career as a songwriter/ session musician and record producer in New Orleans in the 1950s.
He moved to LA briefly in the 1960s and did session work for Sonny & Cher, among many others.
In 1973, using members of the legendary Meters as a backup band, he recorded the milestone release In the Right Place, which featured a single, "Right Place, Wrong Time", that reached number 9 on the Billboard Top 40 and remains his most known composition.
Since then, Dr. John has been a tireless champion of all things New Orleans when it comes to music.
Also from New Orleans, saxophonist Donald Harrison will bring a quartet to the festival. Harrison did his apprenticeships with drummer Roy Haynes, organist Jack McDuff, and Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers. In 1994, he created the "Nouveau Swing" style, which fuses the swing beat with many types of popular dance music.
Vibraphone master Charlie Shoemake was born in Texas and came to L.A. in 1956. He played with dozens of the L.A. beboppers before landing a seven-year gig with pianist George Shearing.
In 1973, he started a school for improvisation. Leonard Feather of the Los Angeles Times called Shoemake "Arguably the most successful teacher of jazz improvisation in Southern California history."
Dr. Lonnie Smith a Hammond B3 organ virtuoso brings his swinging, blues-inflected brand of jazz to the show — sure to be a festival highlight.
Smith began surfacing in the jazz consciousness in 1966, as a charter member of the George Benson Quartet. After several albums with the noted guitar-slinger, Smith pursued a solo career and has more than 30 albums under his own name featuring heavy-hitters like the late Lee Morgan, David "Fathead" Newman, and Blue Mitchell.
Completing the headliner component of the festival is bluesman emeritus Charlie Musselwhite, who began his career with the iconic Butterfield Blues Band in 1960s Chicago.
Musselwhite, a harmonica virtuoso, is reportedly the inspiration for the Dan Aykroyd character in The Blues Brothers movie.
That's just the headliners. Here are some of the other acts. Bay Area trombonist Wayne Wallace brings a quintet, local singers Janice Edwards, Allison Adams Tucker, and Steph Johnson perform, blues musician Nathan James plays several sets, as do local jazzers Danny Green, ESP, and the Jazz88 Allstars. Latin music lovers should catch one of the Gene Perry Orchestra sets. More contempo stuff can be found featuring 8-string guitar hero Charlie Hunter or Mark McGrain & Plunge, funk-soul jazz from the Styletones, and the Robert Walter Quartet, and good old western swing from the Hot Club of Cowtown.
The complete schedule and venues looks like this:
Main Stage- Jazz 88 All Stars / Wayne Wallace Quintet / Dr. Lonnie Smith / Charlie Musselwhite / Dr. John & the Lower 911
Gallaghers- Hot Club of Cowtown / Allison Adams Tucker / Danny Green / Donald Harrison Quartet
Winstons-Mark McGrain & Plunge / Charlie Shoemake Quintet / Nathan James Trio / Charlie Hunter Duo
The Harp - Nathan James Trio / Charlie Hunter Duo / Hot Club of Cowtown / Mark McGrain & Plunge
Hodads- Janice Edwards / Charlie Musselwhite / Gene Perry Orchestra / Wayne Wallace Quintet / ESP
Electric Ladyland- Styletones / Robert Walter Quartet ( 2 performances each)
Nick's at The Pier- Danny Green Quartet / ESP / Jazz 88 Allstars / Janice Edwards / Nathan James
Community Stage- Martin Luther King Community Choir / SCPA Jazz Combo / Steph Johnson / Gene Perry Orchestra
VIP Stage- Allison Adams Tucker / Mundell Lowe / Donald Harrison Quartet / Charlie Shoemake Quintet
Go to jazz88.org for exact performance times.
The festival opens at 10 in the morning. Tickets are $ 30 for adults, children under 12 free.
The Main Stage, Community Stage, Hodads, Electric Ladyland and Hotel VIP Stage are open to all ages.
The VIP tickets go for $ 250 which includes access to all 9 stages, priority seating at the Main Stage, complimentary catered food, valet parking and exclusive seating at the intimate VIP Stage.
photos by Michael Rovatsos and Michael Oletta