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What to see at the Stanford Jazz Festival


Courtesy of the Stanford Jazz Festival
Courtesy of the Stanford Jazz Festival

From June 22 to August 10 this year, the 41st annual Stanford Jazz Festival will play host to some of the biggest names in jazz. It opened with a sold-out solo performance by Herbie Hancock and will close with Chucho Valdes. The Daily took a look at some of the most compelling scheduled performances.

The highlight of July is sure to be the Stanley Clarke Trio (July 20 at 8 p.m.) with John Beasley on piano and Mike Mitchell, a child prodigy who just graduated from high school, on drums. Clarke is a jazz bass legend, a highly lyrical and melodic bass player who often takes the melody at the front of the stage instead of just fading into the rhythm section. He’s best known for his work with Chick Corea and Lenny White for their “Return to Forever” group but his acoustic work, especially the recent “Jazz in the Garden” album with Hiromi, is equally stellar.

Also in July, Bay Area Grammy Award-winning jazz violinist Mads Tolling will play at Campbell Recital Hall (July 22 at 8 p.m.) with his quartet, as will jazz organ legend Dr. Lonnie Smith with his trio (July 19 at 8 p.m.). There will be plenty of shows with jazz vocalists, from Kim Nalley in the style of Billie Holiday (July 5 at 8 p.m.) to Brazilian singer Maúcha Adnet with Trio de Paz (July 13 at 8 p.m.). On July 14 at 7:30 p.m., Madeline Eastman will be singing with Randy Porter on piano as accompaniment. For some familiar Disney tunes played as jazz on the violin, catch Victor Lin’s “Jazz in the Magic Kingdom” on July 25 at 7:30 p.m.

In late July and August, the focus is instrumental performances, starting with a tribute to the late jazz piano great Dave Brubeck. Brubeck popularized eclectic time signatures in the 1950s with the album “Time Out.” Joe Gilman and Taylor Eigsti will both play the piano in their tribute on July 31. For something completely different, check out Savion Glover and his Trio: Glover will tap-dance the rhythm section. For some jazz guitar, see Julian Lage and Larry Koonse on August 5 at 8 p.m. and catch Lage again with Taylor Eigsti’s quintet on August 6. The highlight of the instrumental groups in August may be saxophone legend and innovator Chris Potter, with Eric Harland on drums, Larry Koonse on guitar, Brian Lynch on trumpet and Stanford Jazz Workshop alumnus and teacher Larry Grenadier on bass (August 7 at 8 p.m.).

Tickets are still available for most concerts and are  $15 for all students with ID. The Stanford Jazz Festival workshop website also features pieces from performing musicians.

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Alexandra Heeney writes film, theater and jazz reviews. She has covered the Sundance Film Festival, San Francisco International Film Festival, Cannes Film Festival and her favorite, the Toronto International Film Festival. As a Toronto native, the lack of Oxford commas and Canadian spelling in this bio continue to keep her up at night. In her spare time, Alex does research on reducing the environmental impact of food waste for her PhD in Management Science and Engineering.