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Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of Our Lives

The 59th Annual Grammy Awards ceremony will be held on February 12, 2017. The CBS network will broadcast the show live from the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

The most prestigious party associated with the event is the Clive Davis Pre-Grammy Gala. The festivities take place tonight, Saturday, February, 11 at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

This year’s guests will include Stevie Wonder, Quincy Jones, Ringo Starr, Metallica, Pharrell Williams, John Legend, Michael Keaton, Jane Fonda, Nile Rogers, Mary J. Blige, Britney Spears, Neil Young, Brian Grazer, Larry King, Andrea Day and Wiz Khalifa.

Clive Davis’s influence has been felt for 50 years in the music industry. He will be honored with a documentary, Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of Our Lives which opens the 16th Annual Tribeca Film Festival, at Radio City Music Hall on April 19, 2017. After the screening, an all-star music concert will take place featuring performances by Aretha Franklin, Jennifer Hudson and Earth, Wind & Fire. (to name a few)

The documentary is based on Clive Davis’s 2013 bestselling autobiography:

I admire Clive Davis who was President of Columbia-CBS Group in the heyday (1967-1973) at Big Black Rock on 52nd Street in New York City. This was a significant period that expanded my rock music appreciation.

An early pop signing of his was the British folk-rock musician Donovan, who enjoyed a string of successful hit singles and albums released in the U.S. on the Epic Records label.

Clive Davis went on to further success by founding Arista Records in 1975 by signing Patti Smith, Barry Manilow, and after Whitney Houston.

He’s 84 and still a pivotal force in the recording industry as Chief Creative Officer of Sony Music Entertainment.

The times I have seen Yes live

My love of Yes and progressive rock me has been flourishing. Tomorrow night I have tickets to see Anderson, Rabin, and Wakeman. A concert I have been anticipating for months. In the music of our heart this is Yes.

I have been reflecting on the Yes concerts I have attended in the past.  I first heard Yes with The Yes Album in 1970 in the college student lounge. I did not see Yes live until 2001 at the Oakdale Theater in Wallingford, CT. It was the Yes Symphonic Live when Yes toured with a full symphony performing with them. That was also the first time I heard prog rock and symphony combined. It was superb. They were promoting the studio album Magnification which I have a warm affection for today.

Yes Symphonic Live was released on DVD in 2003. I like when artists capture performances I have seen on video. I have this DVD in my music video collection. It helps to recall the concert I witnessed in 2001.

The next time I saw Yes was in May of 2004 at Mohegan Sun Casino Arena. Little did I realize it was one of the last opportunities to see the classic line-up of Jon Anderson, Steve Howe, Chris Squire, Rick Wakeman and Alan White.. Roger Dean designed an undersea stage setting for Yes’s 35th Anniversary Tour.

As it so happens Yes decided to film and record a concert with the original Yes team a few nights later in Lowell, Mass.

Soon I will see Yes for the third time live. Can you feel the excitement? Rick Wakeman stated that ARW will be recorded (filmed?) live on the US tour. Maybe the Wallingford stop will part of that future recording. Going for the One!

An Evening of Yes Music and More!

Anderson, Rabin, Wakeman commenced their US tour last night in Orlando, Florida.

Here is a YouTube video of the Yes song, “Awaken”, which I am glad to know is in the show. Thanks TapeheadToo.

Can’t wait for the Oakdale Theatre 10/21 stop.

Opening Night Set List

Cinema
Perpetual Change
Hold On
I’ve Seen All Good People
And You And I
Rhythm Of Love
Leaves Of Green (Jon and Rick)
Awaken
Long Distance Runaround
The Fish
Roundabout
The Meeting (Jon and Rick)

Heart Of The Sunrise
Make It Easy (Trevor)
Owner Of A Lonely Heart

Encore:
Starship Trooper

You may enjoy the YouTube studio version set list, thanks John McDonald.

The Meeting of the Spirits Tour USA – November/December 2017

I am enthused that John McLaughlin is planning a tour for late next year 2017 that will encompass the music of The Mahavishnu Orchestra. Having seen The Mahavishnu Orchestra in 1973 and enjoying their seminal jazz fusion recordings lo these many decades I can’t wait to witness that music performed live by the master.

There are strong hints about special guest stars appearing during this tour. I wonder if they will include Billy Cobham, Jan Hammer or other Mahavishnu Orchestra members. Carlos Santana is a devout fan of John McLaughlin and I can visualize him playing Mahavishnu Orchestra selections. Well we have 13+ months before this tour commences so stay tuned.

Press Release – In a career that spans more than five decades, John McLaughlin has honed a personal vision that transcends all boundaries, becoming one of improvised music’s most influential guitarists, composers, and bandleaders. McLaughlin will be joined by the remarkable Jimmy Herring, who has been in the creative forefront of the thriving American rock-jam band movement for 25 years, for what has been dubbed The Meeting of the Spirits tour. Highlighting this musical adventure, will be John McLaughlin revisiting the pioneering music he introduced with his deeply influential, genre-defying Mahavishnu Orchestra. McLaughlin will be backed by his current band, the 4th Dimension – Ranjit Barot (drums), Gary Husband (keyboards, drums), and Etienne M’Bappé (bass) – each an established composer and recording artist in his own right.

Jimmy Herring, best known for his inspired contributions to the Aquarium Rescue Unit, The Allman Brothers, Widespread Panic, The Dead, and others, will be co-headlining each show with his own band. “Herring possesses the heart and soul of a rocker, the chops and harmonic awareness of a jazz artist, and the simpatico personality of a jam-band player,” according to Guitar Player magazine. 2017 also marks the return of Jimmy Herring as a bandleader since touring after his widely acclaimed “Lifeboat” (2008) and “Subject to Change without Notice” (2012).

On The Meeting of the Spirits tour, separate sets by Herring and McLaughlin will be followed by the two joining forces for an expansive closing jam based on classic Mahavishnu Orchestra material. The tour will feature the first extended collaborations between two of world’s foremost improvising guitarists. Expect special surprise guests to be added when available.

“The music of Mahavishnu is part of my personal and musical history, and as such it is inseparable from me,” McLaughlin reflects. “To return to these pieces with the experience I’ve had for the past 45 years, since the majority of those pieces were played all those years ago, is very exciting.”

Herring adds, “John’s influence on me is far-reaching. When first hearing him, I was struck by the raw emotion and technical prowess he has. If you listen to John long enough, the layers of all the things that make him unique will reveal themselves…Inner Mounting Flame changed my life and the way I heard music. By the time I heard it in 1980, John had long since moved on and recreated himself, as he has done many times throughout his career. It is an honor and a privilege to do this tour with John and the 4th Dimension.”

McLaughlin’s first extensive U.S. tour in seven years, The Meeting of the Spirits also marks his first extended exploration of the Mahavishnu Orchestra material from seminal albums such as Inner Mounting Flame, Birds of Fire, Between Nothingness and Eternity, Visions of the Emerald Beyond and more since the band’s original heyday in the 1970s.

“To play the music of Mahavishnu is not for the faint-hearted,” says McLaughlin, who celebrates his 75th birthday in 2017. “In fact, among the only people I know who have succeeded in interpreting Mahavishnu music are my two all-time favorite guitarists: Jimmy Herring and Jeff Beck. Jimmy is simply a great guitar player, and since we see so eye to eye in music, I know we will have some extraordinary musical experiences touring together.”

McLaughlin strongly feels that this will be his last American performances. He is hoping that all of his friends who have supported him over the years can come out to celebrate this tour with him. After all, it was in America that he met Miles Davis and Tony Williams and played on such trailblazing albums as In a Silent Way and Bitches Brew. America was the true birthplace of the Mahavishnu Orchestra.

36th Annual John Lennon Tribute Honors Donovan

Theatre Within’s Annual John Lennon Tribute joyously celebrates John Lennon’s life, music and timeless message of peace, love and social activism. It is the only ongoing John Lennon Tribute concert in North America or Europe officially sanctioned by Yoko Ono.

This year’s Tribute will feature folk-rock legend Donovan, who will be honored as the recipient of the 2016 John Lennon Real Love Award. Having accompanied the Beatles on their historic journey to India, Donovan will perform a special extended set dedicated to John Lennon, which will include Beatles songs and his own classics.

“I am delighted to be honored at this year’s ‘John Lennon Real Love Award.’ And I am amazed to say that John has written a song through me which I will sing at the Tribute with special guests. Please support Theatre Within and remember, PEACE BEGINS WITHIN.”  — Donovan

Dear Jerry Let’s Play 2

Dear Jerry: Let’s Play 2 two epic concert events honoring the diverse musical talents of Jerry Garcia. Set to take place Friday, October 14, 2016 and Saturday, October 15, 2016 in the MD/DC/VA metropolitan area, the milestone events pay tribute to the iconic musician with two-nights of unprecedented performances by an extraordinary lineup of musicians. Dear Jerry: Let’s Play 2 follows Blackbird Presents’ and the Jerry Garcia family’s acclaimed 2015 concert, Dear Jerry: Celebrating the Music of Jerry Garcia, set for release on Friday, October 14, 2016 and currently available for pre-order.

Dear Jerry: Let’s Play 2 – kicks off October 14th at Washington D.C.’s DAR Constitution Hall with “Jerry Uncovered: Exploring Jerry Garcia through the JGB Songbook,”. Featuring performances by Warren Haynes (on lead guitar and vocals), Alison Krauss, John Medeski, Don Was, Jamey Johnson, Raymond Weber and more.

The following night, at Fairfax, Virginia’s EagleBank Arena, Haynes, the Avett Brothers and other special guests will lead “This Is 30!,” a performance that recreates a classic Jerry Garcia Band show from October 1986, a gig that marked the Grateful Dead singer’s return to the stage.

Pre-sale tickets go on sale, today, Tuesday, August 30, 2016 at 12PM via ticketmaster.com. Use code: JERRY to purchase pre-sale tickets.

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