A couple of months ago, I was visiting Stanford, and saw Dave Douglas, one of the featured performers at this year’s festival, practicing with a group of students who were learning his music. This wasn’t just breezing in and then flitting off—Douglas studied them, and had feedback at the end of every piece. And when he pulled out his trumpet and jammed with them, it was obvious these students were getting the kind of education that can change your technique, or maybe your life.
Douglas is performing with his quintet (Aug. 1), which also includes saxophonist Joshua Redman, who will subsequently perform with his trio (Aug. 4). In fact, it’s safe to say there’s a lot of incestuous threesomes and quartets. These jazz guys really get around.
Then again, there’s dozens of featured shows, so perhaps a little cross-pollination is to be expected. There are tributes to the music of Ella Fitzgerald (July 11), Dave Brubeck (July 22) and Django Reinhardt (July 28); a performance from blues legend Mose Allison (July 16) and a harmonic convergence of three jazz legends: Charles McPherson, Junior Mance and Tootie Heath (July 24).
It all kicks off this weekend with a night of Brazilian jazz (Friday), Randy Weston’s African Rhythms Trio (Saturday) and the Freddy Cole Quartet (Sunday).