Two Marsalis family members, two renowned guitarists and one curiously picked reggae- and rap-infused rock hitmaker are the top names in the newly announced lineup for the Twin Cities Jazz Festival, scheduled June 23-25 around downtown St. Paul.
Though they recently performed together at the Dakota Jazz Club in support of their acclaimed “Last Southern Gentleman” album, Ellis and Delfeayo Marsalis are scheduled to perform a night apart for the festival’s free concerts in Mears Park. Delfeayo – a trombonist and middle brother in the famed New Orleans jazz clan -- will headline opening night (June 23, 6:30 p.m.) with his eponymous quartet. His dad, pianist Ellis Marsalis, will play the same stage a night later, also with a quartet (June 24, 8:30 p.m.).
On Saturday of the fest (June 25), second-generation New Jersey guitar hero John Pizzarelli will headline in Mears Park supported by another acclaimed six-stringer, Georgia native Russell Malone, best known for his frequent collaborations with Diana Krall (performing at 8:30 p.m. and 6:30, respectively).
The curiously chosen non-jazzy star in the lineup is Michael Franti and his band Spearhead, known for the good-vibing radio hits “Say Hey (I Love You)” and “Sound of Sunshine” and for a wide range of local appearances including the Basilica Block Party. They will also perform that Saturday night at a location yet to be named. CHS Field, where Dr. John played during last year’s festival, is not available that weekend due to Saints home games.
Stay tuned for further lineup additions and other information on the festival. Ah, summer.