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Esperanza Spalding, Ambrose Akinmusire lead Monterey Jazz lineup

April 4, 2012 |  9:00 am

The performers for the 55th annual Monterey Jazz Festival this fall have been announced, and as usual it's a stacked lineup that cherry-picks from across the genre.

Rising star and the festival's 2012 artist in residence Ambrose Akinmusire will appear four times over the weekend of Sept. 21-23, as will the percussion legend Jack De Johnette, who released the ambitious album "Sound Travels" earlier this year.

From there the bill features familiar names such as veterans Pat Metheny and Tony Bennett, guitarist Bill Frisell, jazz artist of the moment Esperanza Spalding and the rambunctious funk of New Orleans' Trombone Shorty.

In addition to nodding toward the blues with Robert Randolph and the Family Band, the festival also offers an intriguing collection of young jazz talent in 2012 Grammy nominee Gerald Clayton, pianist Tigran Hamasyan, bassist Ben Williams and Oakland by way of Chicago saxophonist Aram Shelton. Pianist Michael Wolff will lead a tribute to Latin jazz's Cal Tjader joined by Pete Escovedo.

Tickets for the festival go on sale Wedneday and are available on the festival's website, along with the full artist lineup, for those jazz fans looking for a way to beat L.A.'s annual Indian summer heat.


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-- Chris Barton

Photo: Ambrose Akinmusire onstage during the 2011 Newport Jazz Festival. Credit Eva Hambach / AFP/Getty Images