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December 8, 2023

Healdsburg Jazz Reveals 2023 Festival Schedule

Jazz master Diane Reeves, rising star Samara Joy headline

What some like to call “Sonoma County’s premier summer music and wine event,” the Healdsburg Jazz Festival returns to full flower and robust musical health for its silver anniversary this summer.

The festival celebrates its 25th anniversary from June 17-25, with a varied lineup of artists who represent the “past, present, and future of jazz”—the theme for this year’s musical celebration.

“This year marks the 25th year anniversary of the Healdsburg Jazz Festival and will be my third year as artistic director,” said composer/bassist Marcus Shelby. “I am proud to say that we have accomplished our vision of creating a nine-day summer festival that is musically, artistically and culturally diverse…”

The Healdsburg Jazz Festival partners with Grammy Award-winning artists, Michelin-starred chefs, exceptional wines, independent filmmakers, spoken word artists and visual artists for a memorable nine days in wine country. It unites residents and visitors through attentive programming of lauded jazz artists performing amid the backdrop of 180 surrounding wineries and 30 gourmet restaurants.

Said Shelby, “We will honor the African American holiday Juneteenth with a powerful lineup of musical artists, celebrate Father’s Day featuring this year’s multi-Grammy Award-winning artist Samara Joy, and we will give thanks to our founder Jessica Felix with a special tribute to Pharoah Sanders and Joey DeFrancesco,” both of whom passed away in the last year.

This year’s theme of “Healdsburg Jazz: Past, Present, and Future” is reflected in the festival line-up, which includes rising stars Joel Ross and Camille Thurman, as well as legends Dianne Reeves and Charles McPherson. Poetry performances, film, photography exhibits and educational offerings throughout the nine days of the festival help round out the offerings beyond jazz to the total creative contributions the music and its maker have brought to world culture. 

GRAMMY WINNER Best New Artist in 2022 was Samara Joy, who also won for Best Jazz Vocal Album. She will be at Bacchus Landing on June 18 for the Healdsburg Jazz Festival. (Photo courtesy of Healdsburg Jazz)

With both ticketed and free community concerts, the Healdsburg Jazz Festival promises something for everyone. Notably, several big-draw artists will play not in a concert hall but at the Bacchus Landing tasting room complex on Westside Road. These include Samara Joy (a Father’s Day show on Sunday, June 18), the Bill Frisell Trio (on Thursday, June 22), the Pharoah Sanders & Joey DeFrancesco Tribute Concert (Friday, June 23) and Dianne Reeves (Saturday, June 24). 

Other venues include the Madrona, Hotel Healdsburg’s Garden Court and its Spirit Bar, and the Elephant in the Room. A special film and concert featuring Bay Area percussionist John Santos will be held at the Raven Theater on Monday, June 19. 

There’s a good dose of community-oriented music, too. Saturday, June 17 will see a free Juneteenth celebration in the Healdsburg Plaza, with spoken word artists, as well as gospel and straight-ahead jazz. Carlitos Medrano and Sabor de mi Cuba return to Tuesday in the Plaza on June 20, also free.

The nine-day series of concerts concludes on Sunday afternoon, June 25, when Dr. Michael White and his Original Liberty Jazz Band perform a Tribute to Sidney Bechet at Ferrari-Carano Winery in Dry Creek. 

“We are very thankful to the city and community of Healdsburg and hope you can enjoy and cherish nine days of music and art in wine country for our 25th anniversary,” said Shelby. Tickets are available for members as of April 4, at healdsburgjazz.org/purchase-tickets.


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