Blue Note Jazz Festival will roam to the west later this month for its first-ever outdoor, multi-day, multi-stage event at Charles Krug Winery in California’s Napa Valley on July 29th–31st-. The cutting-edge convergence will feature keyboardist Robert Glasper as artist-in-residence, placing a focal point on fostering collaboration between musicians with deep relationships and connections. The world-renowned Napa, California wine and food culture will be a major element to the festivities, which will be hosted by comedian Dave Chappelle.
The inaugural festival’s musical programming will include a who’s who of contemporary Black American music, rooted in modern jazz but sprawling into soul, R&B, hip-hop and beyond. The assortment of luminaries set to perform throughout the weekend includes Chaka Khan, Dinner Party (Kamasi Washington, Terrace Martin, and Robert Glasper) with special guest Snoop Dogg, DOMi & JD Beck, Kenny Garrett, Maxwell, yasiin bey & Talib Kweli reuniting as Black Star, Thundercat, to name just a few.
Other stylistically diverse acts set to perform at the Napa Valley festival include Flying Lotus, The Soul Rebels featuring GZA & Talib Kweli, Corinne Bailey Rae, Chief Adjuah (formerly Christian Scott), Derrick Hodge, Th1rt3en (Pharoahe Monch, Daru Jones and Marcus Machado), Butcher Brown, Isaiah Sharkey, and more.
Limited ticket packages remain for the inaugural Blue Note Jazz Festival Napa Valley. For more information, click here.
Initially a two-day weekend affair, organizers swiftly put together Friday’s program after tickets for the grand debut of the Napa Valley event sold out almost immediately. All three days and nights look to be jam packed across three different stages and a nightclub. In true NorCal festival style, the dance floor will start to really heat up when the sun goes down. A late-night after-party throwdown on Saturday, July 30th will feature exclusive DJ sets from DJ Jazzy Jeff and DJ Lo Down Loretta Brown aka Erykah Badu, among others.
“The idea for the Blue Note Jazz Festival Napa Valley came out of Robert Glasper’s month long residency at the Blue Note New York, held each October and dubbed Robtober,” says Blue Note Entertainment Group President Steven Bensusan. “Glasper curates a month of shows and collaborations spanning across the genres of jazz, R&B, hip hop, soul, and comedy resulting in impromptu performances by celebrities and unannounced special guests. It is our plan to create an outdoor festival style version of Robtober in the spirit of a traditional jazz festival featuring spontaneous collaborations and once in a lifetime improvised performances.”
The venerable Blue Note brand is as certified as it gets, dating back to the iconic record label’s seminal jazz releases of yesteryear and running all the way up through the sound-art catalysts of today and tomorrow. While Blue Note is well-known for its world-class, intimate live music venues that dot many a major metropolis and cozy enclave across the continents, this event marks a new chapter, a new era, and lofty ambitions for Blue Note’s festival endeavors, as well as a new canvas and audience for the plethora of celebrated performers on the bill.
Blue Note and its festival producers are setting the bar extremely high before the first tune is even played. For three midsummer days and disco nights, there will be multiple generations of legends on the stage, ceremonial torch-passings, thrilling sit-ins, and once-in-a-lifetime connections, all hosted in the magnificent confines of Napa’s Charles Krug Winery, just outside the Bay Area in the majestic environs of Northern California.
To continue stoking the flame for the inaugural fest, we’ve put together a selection of high-quality footage from a handful of the notable performers on the Blue Note Jazz Festival Napa Valley 2022 lineup. Many of these choice videos come courtesy of our friends at Funk It Blog, who will join us onsite this year to chronicle the Napa magic. Click below to dive in [all videos by Funk It Blog unless otherwise noted] and scroll down to check out the full lineup.
Robert Glasper’s Black Radio w/ Isaiah Sharkey & Ledisi – “I’m Leaving You” – Newport Jazz Festival – 8/1/21
Chief Adjuah (formerly Christian Scott) – “Bark Out Thunder, Roar Out Lightning”, “I Own The Night” – Big Ears Festival – Knoxville, TN – 3/26/22
Chris Dave & The Drumhedz – Part 1 of 2 – Louisville, KY – 9/8/18
Thundercat – “Song For The Dead”, “Them Changes” – Louisville, KY 5/18/19
[Video: Anderson Paak Live]
The Soul Rebels w/ Rahzel – “Rock The Bells” (LL Cool J) – New Orleans, LA – 5/3/14
Keyon Harrold – Chicago, IL – 5/21/22
Butcher Brown w/ Nigel Hall – “Prototype” (Andre 3000), More – The Caverns – Pelham, TN – 9/3/19
[Video: Mobb Suit]