John Scofield

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As you entered the theater, you were given a postcard which had instructions for the “cue” for when to sing happy birthday to the birthday boy. Some of my fellow attendees were already wearing birthday hats and even giving them out to their friends. The theater was hoppin’, and the vibe was that of a celebration. It was a sold-out crowd (GA/LOGE/BALCONY). Of course, it really didn’t matter if you had a seat anyway when I looked around, people were standing and dancing everywhere.

On March 3rd, Durham’s Performing Arts Center was the site of a show that if you were fortunate enough to attend, will stand as one of the shows of your lifetime.  If you are familiar with the Grateful Dead’s March 29th, 1990 show with Branford Marsalis; get that show roaming around your mind.

From their debut performances at the Village Gate, a historic jazz club located on the west side of Lower Manhattan, to their high-profile collaborations with an eclectic variety of musicians, avant-jazz funk trio Medeski, Martin & Wood have developed a signature style that has continued to push the boundaries of American jazz for the last 23 years.

So many years after the disbandment of Grateful Dead that in turn relocated tens of thousands of devoted tour followers to various other acts and bigger life purposes, folks still crave that familiar feeling that kept them on tour. It didn’t only come from the music that Garcia and the gang connected with so many people through, but the sense of community and thriving weirdness that expanded continuously over decades of different intersections.

The ever-evolving, genre-defying collaboration between influential trio Medeski Martin & Wood and maverick guitarist John Scofield continues to flourish. Since first convening nearly 17 years ago, Medeski Scofield Martin & Wood's kinship both onstage and off has fostered an escalating degree of musical interplay, exquisitely captured on Juice—their third studio effort and fourth album overall, available September 16, 2014, via MMW's Indirecto Records imprint.

Instead of sweating getting his wallet even fatter or having his name rolling off more folks’ tongues, Warren Haynes puts hammers, nails and efforts of kind-hearted, hard working Habitat for Humanity supporters where his guitar is to improve life for others. “Sweat Equity”, which simply means an individual needs to do for themselves and community to have the community return the favor is the driving force behind Haynes’ efforts.

Take one little mountain valley, mix in some mandolins, mud, master brewers, musicians, and some local towns named Roseland and Lovingston and what you get is a well organized and highly enjoyable musical event known as The Festy.  Greeted with road signs pointing out Walton’s Mountain, the Patrick Henry Highway and Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest while passing through classic Americana towns on curvy mountain roads; folk’s attitudes were appropriately adjusted before hearing the first song.

Nobody in the current concert and touring scene has done more to up the ante for music festivals and “happenings” than the String Cheese Incident. This should come as no surprise to some.  In addition to pioneering their own unique sound and instrumentation, the band has evolved with its fans over the years. They started their own record and ticketing companies to keep their CD releases and events reasonably priced and under their control.

Phil Lesh & Friends will be playing July 22 & 23 at the Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, NY; July 24 at Penn's Peak in Jim Thorpe, PA; and July 26 & 27 at Gathering Of The Vibes in Bridgeport, CT.

The 18th annual Gathering of the Vibes announces their initial line-up, keeping their track record – for nearly two decades as the premier music, arts and camping festival in the Northeast.

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