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Jazz Giants Headline Sixth Annual Healdsburg Jazz Festival

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HEALDSBURG, Calif. (March 22, 2004) - The North Bay's most celebrated annual musical event, the Healdsburg Jazz Festival, has announced the lineup for its sixth annual festival, to be held from June 5 to 13, 2004. Headlining the Festival will be Roy Haynes, one of the leading figures in the second half-century of jazz, in his only West Coast appearance this year with his hot new band Fountain of Youth plus special guest Kenny Garrett. Other highlights include celebrated saxophone and flute master Charles Lloyd with Indian percussionist Zakir Hussain, and jazz vocalists Kim Parker and Carmen Lundy. Saxophone legend Frank Morgan and pianists Fred Hersch and Geri Allen round out the lineup of headline artists.

Once again, “Real Jazz in the Wine Country" is the theme that drives the Healdsburg Jazz Festival. Headliner Roy Haynes is one of those musicians who typifies the qualities of “real jazz," with his virtuoso use of dynamics and innovative rhythms. His playing on tunes from “Night in Tunisia" with Charles Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, with Thelonious Monk on “'Round Midnight," and with Johnny Griffin, Sarah Vaughan, McCoy Tyner, Lester Young, and many more, has led him to be called “the father of modern drumming." Haynes will appear at the Festival finale on Sunday, June 13, fronting his own Fountain of Youth band, made up of young talent driven to greatness by the still-vital 79-year old jazz legend. Dynamic sax player Kenny Garret will join the band for this performance.

Also on the same bill at the festival finale is Frank Morgan, the alto sax player who follows close in the footsteps of his mentor Charlie Parker. Morgan's second album was released thirty years after his first, making him an improbable comeback artist who still displays the energy and innovation of bop at its finest. Durable piano favorite George Cables will be leading the backup quartet.

One of the more extraordinary jazz pairings is sure to be Charles Lloyd with Zakir Hussain. Lloyd, a peripatetic musician whose journeys have taken him from Cannonball Adderley's band to playing the Fillmore and beyond, returns to the Healdsburg Jazz Festival on Saturday June 12 with an evening show at the Healdsburg Performing Arts Theater (the historic Raven Theater). He will be joined by Hussain, whose has played with jazz and rock artists including John McLaughlin, Mickey Hart, George Harrison, Joe Henderson, Van Morrison, Pharoah Sanders, and Billy Cobham, as well as Ali Akbar Khan and Ravi Shankar in India. Their appearance is part of a exclusive tour in homage to the late Billy Higgins, and includes a photo exhibit and new tribute video “Home" which will also be shown at the Festival.

Among the events being planned for this year's festival is the long-awaited West Coast debut of vocalist Kim Parker, adopted daughter of Charlie Parker, who kicks off the festival at the Hotel Healdsburg on Saturday June 5. Returning this year is the popular Movie Night, with rare footage of jazz greats in performance from archivist Mark Cantor, on Sunday June 6. A Gala Affair will be held Wednesday, June 9, with a fund-raising auction and a catered dinner at an area winery.

Other performers at the Sixth Annual Healdsburg Jazz Festival include piano favorites Fred Hersch, solo, and Geri Allen in a trio setting at the Raven on Friday, June 11; vocalist Carmen Lundy at an afternoon concert at Quivira Vineyards on Saturday, June 12; and a stellar assortment of sidemen throughout, including Billy Hart and his son Lorca Hart on drums.

“While other jazz festivals may draw larger numbers, it is the intimacy and high quality of the week-long event that makes the Healdsburg Jazz Festival magical," said Jessica Felix, artistic director for the festival. She points out the advantages of Healdsburg as a destination, citing its temperate climate, five-star restaurants, distinctive shops and boutiques, and location in the heart of Northern California's wine country. But the Festival's main appeal, Felix believes, lies in the camaraderie that exists in Healdsburg between musicians and locals.

For more information visit http://healdsburgjazzfestival.com or call (707) 433-4633. Tickets will be available beginning April 1 online or by phone, (707) 433-4644.

This story appears courtesy of All About Jazz Publicity.
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