Off the beaten Bumbershoot path, there's good jazz, blues to be had
There are definitely some acts worth bucking the crowds for at Bumbershoot this year, though it's not the greatest lineup ever for jazz...
There are definitely some acts worth bucking the crowds for at Bumbershoot this year, though it's not the greatest lineup ever for jazz, blues and world-music fans.
Foremost on the list is the Bill Frisell Trio, at 3:45 p.m. tomorrow. If you think you've already had your fill of this great, Seattle-based guitar genius — especially all his slo-mo country licks — this might be just the show you want to catch. Frisell's been scorching the ground he plays on lately, working with two trios — one on each coast — recently showcased on "East/West" (Nonesuch). The trio playing here features drummer Kenny Wollesen and bassist Tony Scherr. Hot stuff.
The other show that might slip under your radar if you're not careful is Meredith Monk. The pioneering world-music-influenced performance artist performs at 4 p.m. Monday.
Another great jazz guitarist, San Francisco's Charlie Hunter, the eight-string wonder who plays bass and lead lines at the same time, is also on hand, at 2 p.m. tomorrow.
THE BEST OF BUMBERSHOOT
"Bumbershoot: The Seattle Arts Festival," 11 a.m.-11 p.m. today through Monday, Seattle Center; $28 a day, $45 two-day pass, $80 four-day pass, $8 a day for kids 6-12 (with an adult) and seniors 65 and over, kids 5 and younger free; (206-628-0888, tickets available at Ticketmaster or visit Bumbershoot online).
Kermit Ruffins, founding member of the Rebirth Brass Band and dynamite jazz trumpeter in his own right, brings a taste of the Crescent City (we hope his family is safe after Hurricane Katrina) at 5:45 tonight. In a similarly funky spirit, Seattle saxophonist Skerik and the Syncopated Taint Septet plays at 6:45 tonight.
Two of the biggest names in gospel music — Mavis Staples and the Gospel Hummingbirds — will be shaking the pews at Bumbershoot, too. Staples, daughter of the great Pops Staples (who died in 2000), joined the fabled Staples Singers in 1950 and recently appeared in the blues tribute, "Lightning in a Bottle," filmed live at Radio City Music Hall.
She celebrated the occasion at Seattle's Triple Door a year ago, and the multiple Grammy winner and Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame inductee comes back for two encores — at 7:45 tonight and at 2:15 p.m. tomorrow. The Hummingbirds, founded in the '60s in Oakland, Calif., perform at 4:15 p.m. Sunday.
Blues gets a good shake, as always, with one of the best new songwriters in the genre, Kelley Hunt, featured at 4:15 p.m. tomorrow. Roomful of Blues and Fabulous Thunderbirds guitar veteran Duke Robillard plays at 8:15 p.m. the same day.
On the world-music front, Juana Molina is a photogenic, atmospheric singer/guitarist who started out as a TV comic in her native Argentina and has since become a huge singing star, adding nature sounds to her whispery vocals. Molina performs at 8:15 p.m. Sunday.
Alpha YaYa Diallo, the superb West African singer/guitarist from Guinea who lives in Vancouver, B.C., returns to Bumbershoot at 4:45 p.m. tomorrow.
Finally, jazz fans may want to drop in on the Elvis Costello show at 9:45 p.m. Sunday, since the singer is appearing solo and will likely indulge his crooning bent. (OK, fine. Take that any way you like.)
Other acts you might consider:
12:30 p.m.: The Garfield High School Jazz Combo
4 p.m.: Thomas Marriott Quartet
7 p.m.: Baby Gramps
12:15 p.m.: Darrius Willrich
2:15 p.m.: Samite
6:30 p.m.: The Tiptons Sax Quartet
8:30 p.m.: Marlena Shaw
9:15 p.m.: Digable Planets
12:15 p.m.: The Bastards of Jazz
1:45 p.m.: Wheedle's Groove
2:15 p.m.: Marlena Shaw
6:15 p.m.: Jovino Santos Neto Quinteto
Noon: Seattle Women's Jazz Orchestra
6 p.m.: Sonny Landreth
8 p.m.: Buckwheat Zydeco
Paul de Barros: 206-464-3247
Information in this story, originally published September 2, 2005, was corrected September 12, 2005. An earlier version of this story said that jazz drummer John Hollenbeck would be appearing at the Bumbershoot festival with performance artist Meredith Monk. In fact, it was a colleague of Hollenbeck's, vocalist Theo Bleckmann, who was scheduled to appear with Monk, and he did.