“Coachella has presented jazz at previous festivals. Singer-pianist Jamie Cullum and Medeski, Martin & Wood come to mind for providing memorable jazz sets in Coachella’s first decade. But they’re generally token jazz bands amid an ocean of indie rock, EDM and hip-hop.
But this year’s festival has presented two compelling jazz bands in two days. Gogo Penguin presented modern jazz in a traditional piano, standup bass and drums format Saturday in the mid-size Gobi tent and saxophonist Kamasi Washington provided sophisticated, heavily rhythmic jazz with his 10-piece West Coast Get Down band Sunday in the Outdoor Theatre.
What they had in common was young people completely engaged to the music, reinforcing my belief that, if you don’t scare millennials away with an audience of gray hairs, they’ll support great jazz.“
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