Carmel Magazine

Carmel Magazine, Summer/Fall 2018

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180 C A R M E L M A G A Z I N E • S U M M E R / F A L L 2 0 1 8 "Lean on Me:" José James Celebrates Bill Withers (Both Main and Garden Stages) R eferred to as "the jazz singer for the hip- hop generation," José James is clearly enthralled with the life and work of Bill Withers, whose hit songs "Lean on Me," "Ain't No Sunshine," "Use Me" and "Just the Two of Us" among many others are just as fresh today as they were when recorded in the 1970s. "We all adore him and any songwriter wor th their salt knows that Bill is up there with Paul McCar tney, Stevie Wonder, Joni Mitchell, Smokey Robinson, Carole King, Leonard Cohen, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Elton John, Billy Joel—he's in the pan- theon of greats," James says. That's heady company, and high praise indeed coming from this talented artist. José James performs "Lean on Me" Saturday at 2:20pm on the Jimmy Lyons Stage. Remembering Ray Brown T he role of the bass in American music in general, and jazz in par ticular, has been redefined only a few times, by a handful of players. One of those is Ray Brown, whose work with the Oscar Peterson Trio in the 1950s made listeners who previously might have written the instrument off as inconse- quential sit up and take notice. Brown appeared at the Monterey Jazz Festival many times and had a role as artistic director to Festival founder Jimmy Lyons in the 1960s. It's appropriate that another game-changer, Christian McBride, is leading this tribute that also includes bassists John Clayton and John Patitucci and singer Dianne Reeves. Brown introduced the young McBride to his audience at the 1994 Festival, bringing him onstage to perform two duets with him, "Things Ain't What They Used to Be" and "Bye Bye Blackbird," and also two tunes with Brown's full band. McBride said of his men- tor," Ray mentored and inspired each and every person who was in his presence…I was hon- ored to make music with him on stage many, many times…he had a huge spirit." McBride and Remembering Ray Brown takes the Jimmy Lyons Stage Saturday at 8:50pm. The 61st Monterey Jazz Festival Salutes Three Giants of The MusicWorld Loving Tributes to Singer/Songwriter Bill Wither s, Bass Giant Ray Brown and Saxophonist Michael Brecker Photo: Janette Beckman Blue Note recording artist José James holds deep respect for Bill Withers, both man and music. "Meeting Bill is a highlight of my life."

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