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Kool & The Gang, Andy Summers, and More Announced for JZ Festival
By Jun 19, 2017 Music
JZ Festival's released its first line-up of musicians, confirming Kool & The Gang, Andy Summers and the Blue Falcons, Chris Dave's Drumhedz and Jeff Lorber will be performing. A mainstay of the musical calendar, and Asia's second biggest jazz festival, JZ Festival has upgraded itself to seven stages this year, with more than 50 international performance artists and groups pledging to swing, croon, funk, bebop and... fuse? Whatever the verb for "fusion" would be.


Kool & The Gang

An (or possibly The) American Funk/Pop/Soul/R&B band hailing from Jersey City. Founded in 1964 under the name "Jazziacs" (they changed to Kool & The Gang in '67), it still boasts 5 of the original members, including bassman and band leader Robert "Kool" Bell. Their debut album Kool and the Gang came out in 1969, producing three hit singles, including Jungle Boogie, which you heard play right after the surfer rock bit in Pulp Fiction's opening credits. Also, y'know, Celebration. Yeah, they're the guys that did that song. This is jazz funk from funk's heyday. (VPN on.)

Andy Summers and the Blue Falcons

Andy Summers, once the lead guitarist of The Police, is a real renaissance man. He's done solo albums, composed films cores, and dabbled in photography, with an exhibition at Shanghai's own Kunst-Licht Gallery back in 2014. Side-track; he's a blues-y jazz man. He's accompanied by the Blue Falcons, which I can find zero information about.

Jeff Lorber

Jeff Lorber is a Grammy-award nominated American keyboardist, composer, and record producer probably most famous for being featuerd on a lot of the Weather Channel's compilation albums. We're dead serious. Big hits like Weather Channel Presents: The Best of Smooth Jazz and The Weather Channel Presents: Smooth Jazz II. It's very atmospheric stuff. He's recently been getting into some jazz, funk and soul stuff, working with the likes of Chuck Loeb and Everette Harp

Chris "Daddy" Dave and the Drumhedz

Named number 95 on the Rolling Stones 100 Greatest Drummers of All Time, Chris Dave's a real session artist; he's not high-profile, but the people that know think he's great. He's been credited as working with D'Angelo, Justin Bieber, Robert Glasper and Adele, and he's coming to Shanghai with his crew "The Drumhedz." Expect some experimentation and virtuoso drumming here, this man is magic with drumsticks.

This year's theme is "CELEBRATION." It's on October 14 & 15 at the Shanghai World Expo. Tickets will be available on SmartTicket from early July.


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