Mickey Hart art Q&A - November issue of Palm Beach Arts Paper
Drummer Mickey Hart's name will always conjure up imagery of the Grateful Dead, the ground-breaking, San Francisco-launched act he joined in 1967. With elements of rock, blues, jazz, bluegrass and country music, and a massive legion of loyal Deadheads as a traveling following, the group launched an ongoing musical movement as the ultimate 20th Century jam band. The Grateful Dead was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994, the year before the death of founding guitarist/vocalist Jerry Garcia. Several side projects since include Dead & Company, Hart's current band with fellow former Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann, guitarist/vocalist John Mayer, keyboardist Jeff Chimenti, and bassist/vocalist Oteil Burbridge.
Lesser-known, though impactful, are Hart's 1991 book and album [i]Planet Drum[i], the latter of which won him the first of his multiple Grammy Awards for "Best World Music Album," plus the handful of books he authored before and since. Hart also engineers ongoing studies of rhythm and vibration, and their impact on diseased and damaged brains, with neuroscientist Dr. Adam Gazzaley.
But his upcoming South Florida shows involve another medium that's hardly a side hustle. For years, visual artwork by Hart (www.mickeyhartfineart.com) has adorned many of the percussion instruments he's used on stage. Now, the 76-year-old's colorful, moving pieces will be on display in official presentations at two separate Wentworth Gallery locations this month, with free admission.
PBAP spoke to Hart about his artwork -- plus a little music and science -- by phone from his home in Sonoma County, CA, in a 15-minute question-and-answer session that practically went in as many directions as the Grateful Dead's music.
PBAP: You started a literary career (with the 1990 book [i]Drumming at the Edge of Magic: A Journey Into the Spirit of Percussion[i]) well into your musical career. At what point did you start producing your visual artworks?
MH: I started those right after I started writing books. I guess the images I took from my first book, and the research I did regarding the spirit of percussion, were part of my consciousness. So the books have, no doubt, triggered these images. Then I met George Smoot, the astrophysicist and Nobel laureate, who discovered cosmic microwave background radiation 400,000 years this side of the Big Bang. He turned me on to the sounds of the universe, which is a web. And it all comes back to individual expression in multiple ways. The synergy. It's how these interconnecting senses work, and how we can interpret them. Most of them, these frequencies; these vibrations, pass over and above us. Many affect us naturally. Some have to be realized as visuals, like visual representations of things I wanted to see on canvas, wood, plexiglass, and other surfaces.
PBAP: Did any other visual artists, in particular, inspire you?
MH: There's a lot of other art out there that's inspiring. But I wouldn't want to name any one artist without naming the others. I'm trying to go someplace different, so I try not to get hooked into anyone else's work.
PBAP: How long have you been creating the pieces you'll be presenting in these shows?
MH: Most of these images are relatively new, but there will also be some older works. Just like you grow playing music, you grow in your language of paints. What you do with them; what you bring to the work, and what the work says to you. I've been doing this for many years now, so I've settled into a very interesting new phase of creating these visuals.
PBAP: You use a lot of color in your works. Do you consider that essential in creating these pieces?
MH: Yes. The world is in color for me, but I also love black and white. All of those shades interest me. These things are rivers, peaks, valleys, animals. There are all kinds of images within these things, because everything is very detailed. I spend a lot of time on detail. It's all vibrating into existence. After I form the medium, I create it by vibrating the frame. Then I move things into certain positions that I think are appropriate. So all these works are born out of vibration. I play music almost every day in my home studio, and then sometimes at night, I create these images while my head is still filled with the music. So this can be a change of form, let us say, from music to art. Sound into light, how about that? That's what's really happening. A synergy of sound and light.
PBAP: There's a sense of movement in most of your artworks. Is that the result of rhythm and vibration inspiring them?
MH: Good point, Bill. It's all rhythmic. The whole thing is a rhythm-scape. And it's a map, hopefully, to a higher consciousness. Because that's what this whole thing is about -- to raise consciousness. What I hope people take from this is that kind of a feeling. An awakening of consciousness; something they can take home with them, and do something good with that feeling. As an artist, my hope is that these works bring kindness, an understanding of consciousness, and personal power. And we make your own interpretations, which enhances our power.
PBAP: Tell us about the work you do with Dr. Adam Gazzaley.
MH: We're working on cognitive exercises for those suffering from autism, Alzheimer's, and dementia in particular. And how they can enhance the experiences of those suffering from those maladies. We create rhythm games for them, and introduce them to musical stimuli. The autistic, in particular, can't be around loud sounds, so we've created sounds and instruments that they do not fear. And Dr. Gazzaley is an amazing resource for that.
PBAP: Can you give us an example among those instruments?
MH: One is a large frame drum, maybe five-and-a-half feet around. It only plays one note, and that note is really, really low. So the patients relate to it as their heartbeat, or their friend. Music becomes medicine this way.
PBAP: Do you see yourself being a visual artist longer than you'll be a musician?
MH: That's a seriously loaded question! The music is what makes me whole. So that's what I go to. I'm a trained musician, or noise-ician, whichever you want to call it. I'm fine with both. In art, you don't play with other people. Normally, you paint alone. So you could say that music is of a higher consciousness, because you're sharing that communal vibe and energy and making conversation musically and psychically. Of course, we've had big parties where everybody paints, too. You hand out paint, say let's rock and rally the troops, and everyone goes crazy. And they usually come out with something very endearing to take home with them.
Jazz Season Previews - Oct. issue of Palm Beach Arts Paper
Jazz may be at a generational crossroads within the 2019-2020 season in South Florida. More and more presentations are becoming tributes to icons, echoing centuries of classical music and, more recently, pop and classic rock. A couple such nods to deceased legends are included here. Yet original jazz material is increasingly requiring deeper research.
Shows that could at least partially fall outside the chestnut realm include refreshing jazz/fusion bookings at the Funky Biscuit in Boca Raton (including bands led by Israeli guitarist Oz Noy and British drummer Simon Phillips), plus female artists that include bassist/vocalists Kate Davis and Nicki Parrott and banjoist Abigail Washburn (appearing with husband and acclaimed fellow banjoist Bela Fleck).
Only 28 years old, singing upright bassist and Oregon native Kate Davis played both bass and violin in the Portland Youth Philharmonic before relocating to the Manhattan School of Music to study jazz 10 years ago. In 2014, her YouTube performance with pianist Scott Bradlee's Postmodern Jukebox band of Meghan Trainor's pop hit "All About That Bass" -- re-titled "All About That (Upright) Bass" -- received more than eight million hits. Davis earned further exposure by subbing for Grammy winner Kurt Elling, who was suffering from laryngitis, in a 2015 appearance with opera star Renee Fleming on the PBS special [i]American Voices[i]. The singing bassist's holiday CD [i]A Kate Davis Holiday[i] (2009) and live recording [i]Live at Jimmy Mak's[i] (2010) are bookended by her 2008 debut [i]Introducing Kate Davis[i] and this year's [i]Trophy[i]. See Kate Davis at 8:30 p.m. Nov. 2 at the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center, 10950 S.W. 211th St., Cutler Bay (786-573-5300, $35-$40).
Formed in 1981, British act Acoustic Alchemy has variously been tagged as either smooth jazz or New Age, although neither is an exact fit. Initially founded by acoustic guitarists Simon James (on a nylon-string instrument) and Nick Webb (steel string), the group's non-electric status gives it as much in common with folk, chamber jazz and roots music. Despite not being overly commercial, and many personnel changes, the band has persevered for nearly 40 years. James left soon after its formation, replaced by guitarist Greg Carmichael, still a member. He and Webb brought Acoustic Alchemy acclaim as an in-flight performing duo on Virgin Atlantic Airways flights. Webb died of pancreatic cancer in 1998, and was replaced by guitarist Miles Gilderdale, also still a member. The two now form a nucleus that's rounded out by musicians like guitarist Gary Grainger and keyboardist Anthony White. See Acoustic Alchemy at 7 p.m. Nov. 2 at the Lyric Theatre, 59 S.W. Flagler Ave., Stuart (772-286-7827, $335).
Israel-born, New York City-based guitarist Oz Noy's 10-CD recording career is bookended by highlights, from his 2006 debut [i]Oz Live[i] and 2007 studio followup [i]Fuzzy[i] to this year's sublime [i]Booga Looga Loo[i]. Featuring an all-star cast including bassists Will Lee, John Patitucci and James Genus, and drummers Dave Weckl, Vinnie Colaiuta and Steve Ferrone, the latest disc -- like most of Noy's catalog -- epitomizes his motto of, "It's jazz, it just doesn't sound like it." A guitarist capable of channeling influential players from John Scofield to Stevie Ray Vaughan to Frank Zappa, Noy's touring trio features Weckl, the technical jazz/fusion maestro named "One of the 25 best drummers of all-time" by [i]Modern Drummer[i] magazine, and French bassist Hadrien Feraud (who's worked with John McLaughlin, Billy Cobham, and Mike Stern). See Oz Noy at 6:30 and 9:30 p.m. Nov. 5 at the Funky Biscuit, 303 S.E. Mizner Blvd., Boca Raton (561-395-2929, $20-$40).
The last time many South Floridians saw ageless 93-year-old vocalist Tony Bennett live was in February of last year, when he ran -- yes, ran -- across the stage to wave goodbye to an adoring capacity crowd at the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach. Looking, acting and singing 20 years younger than his age, Bennett has been a nostalgia act for decades, but his nostalgia is transcendent. With more than 100 album releases, 80 singles (including his star-launching "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" in 1962), and 19 Grammy Awards, including for "Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album" for his 2018 release [i]Tony Bennett Celebrates 90[i], the artist formerly known as Anthony Dominick Benedetto still bears a voice that's a national treasure. Fans will know what to expect, and as always, Bennett will deliver, with a string of hits that blend jazz, pop, and easy listening styles. See Tony Bennett at 7 p.m. Dec. 8 at Hard Rock Live, 5747 Seminole Way, Hollywood (866-502-7529, $120-$863).
With her sensual voice and magazine-cover looks, vocalist Jane Monheit appeared to be the next big thing in jazz when she rocketed out of the gate at age 22 with her 2000 debut CD, [i]Never Never Land[i]. But reality tends to set in rather quickly in music in general, and jazz in particular. Now 41, the native New Yorker has enjoyed a solid if unspectacular career that includes two Grammy nominations and collaborations with John Pizzarelli, Michael Buble, and Terence Blanchard. On her latest release, [i]The Songbook Sessions: Ella Fitzgerald[i] (2016), Monheit wisely enlisted producer, arranger and trumpeter Nicholas Payton, who helped her conquer the challenge of honoring the greatest voice in jazz history. Her touring band includes pianist Michael Kanan, bassist Neal Miner, and drummer Rick Montalbano. See Jane Monheit at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 14-15 in Persson Hall at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, 701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach (833-215-5121, $39 + up).
Jamaica is far better-known for producing reggae stars than jazz icons, but Kingston-born pianist Monty Alexander has defied the odds during his 60-year career. Now 75 years old, the veteran pianist started his career as a teenager in his native country in 1958 before moving to Miami with his family in 1961. Alexander recorded his debut album, [i]Alexander the Great[i], at age 20 in Los Angeles in 1964. His instrumental mix of bebop, blues and native Caribbean influences created a unique playing style that became more evident after the young musician relocated to New York City, and recording sessions with vibraphonist Milt Jackson, bassist Ray Brown, and guitarist Ernest Ranglin. Alexander's expansive solo list of recordings includes trios with both legendary reggae (drummer Sly Dunbar, bassist Robbie Shakespeare) and jazz (drummer Jeff Hamilton, bassist John Clayton) rhythm sections. See the Monty Alexander Trio at 8 p.m. Jan. 18 at Bailey Hall at Broward College, (954-201-6884, $41-$51).
Forty-seven-year-old trumpeter John Daversa may be best-known as Chair of Studio Music and Jazz at the University of Miami's Frost School of Music, and as director of the Frost Concert Jazz Band. But the versatile bandleader and musician leads both big bands and small groups under his name, and has recording credits that include Burt Bacharach, Fiona Apple, Joe Cocker, Bob Mintzer, Regina Spektor, and the Yellowjackets. Daversa earned 2019 Grammy Awards for "Best Improvised Solo," "Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album" and "Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella" for his 2018 release [i]American Dreamers: Voices of Hope Music and Freedom[i]. His self-titled small band also features alto saxophonist/flutist/vocalist Katisse Buckingham, tenor saxophonist Robby Marshall, keyboardist Tommy King, bassist Jerry Watts Jr. and drummer Gene Coye. See the John Daversa Small Band at 8:30 p.m. Jan. 18 at the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center ($30-$35).
Unlike younger brother and trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, a purist who only performs traditional jazz and classical music, 59-year-old saxophonist Branford Marsalis has exhibited an open mind during a 40-year career. Capable of all varieties of sax (soprano, alto, tenor and baritone), Marsalis emerged from the New Orleans area as part of the uber-talented offspring of Ellis and Dolores Marsalis. While still a student at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, he was recruited by drummer Art Blakey to join his vaunted Jazz Messengers group. Shortly after, he drew Wynton's ire by joining Sting's heady pop band, ire furthered by his forming the hip-hop-influenced act Buckshot LeFonque in the mid-1990s. But Marsalis' long-standing quartet, with pianist Joey Calderazzo, bassist Eric Revis and drummer Justin Faulkner, has displayed traditional chops through this year's release, [i]The Secret Between the Shadow and the Soul[i]. See Branford Marsalis at 7 p.m. Jan. 22-23 at the Lyric Theatre ($102-$338).
Ever since Gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt and French violinist Stephane Grappelli formed their famed Hot Club of France band from 1934-1948, other acts have paid homage to its time-honored musicality and virtuosity. The Hot Club of San Francisco features guitarist Paul "Pazzo" Mehling, vocalist/guitarist Isabelle Fontaine, violinist Evan Price, guitarist Jordan Samuels and bassist Sam Rocha, and has been doing so from a Bay Area base for more than 30 years. Also influenced by the music of The Beatles, Dan Hicks & His Hot Licks, mandolinist Dave Grisman, and violinist Stuff Smith, the quintet features acoustic instrumentation and alter-egos like Le Jazz Hot (when it plays locally in San Francisco) and the Ivory Club Boys (in recent electrified homages to Smith). Mehling is a nylon-string master; Fontaine was born and raised in France, and Price is a fiddle champion. See the Hot Club of San Francisco at 7 and 9 p.m. on Feb. 8 at South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center ($35-$40).
Underrated 63-year-old vocalist/guitarist Allan Harris has been called the "heir apparent to Nat King Cole" by the [i]New York Times[i] and "my favorite singer" by Tony Bennett. The Brooklyn native's soulful, versatile baritone voice is often imbued by his bluesy guitar playing, resulting in unique fusions of different styles like on his classically-tinged release [i]Here Comes Allan Harris and the Metropole Orchestra[i] (1996) and his Americana tale of 19th century westward expansion, [i]Cross That River[i] (2006). But Harris may be best-known for his creative salutes to jazz giants like the 1999 release [i]The Music of Duke Ellington[i], 2001 Billy Strayhorn salute [i]Love Came: The Songs of Strayhorn[i], [i]Nat King Cole: Long Live the King[i] (2010), and last year's [i]The Genius of Eddie Jefferson[i]. This Black Box Theater performance is titled "Long Live Nat King Cole." See Allan Harris at 8:30 p.m. on Feb. 29 at the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center ($30-$35).
Playing in South Florida is always a homecoming for trumpeter and Miami native Terell Stafford. The well-versed 52-year-old, who's also Director of Jazz Studies at the Boyer College of Music and Dance at Temple University in Philadelphia, also grew up in Chicago before earning a degree in music education from the University of Maryland and one in classical trumpet performance from Rutgers University in New Jersey (after fellow trumpet giant Wynton Marsalis suggested he study there with Dr. William Fielder). Having classical technique within jazz has increasingly become a recipe for success, and has resulted in Stafford's 25-year-plus catalog of session credits and recordings as a leader, and his being called "One of the great players of our time" by legendary former John Coltrane pianist McCoy Tyner. See Terell Stafford at 7:45 p.m. March 11 at the Amaturo Theater at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, 201 S.W. Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale (954-462-0222, $120-$279).
Sixty-two-year-old drummer Simon Phillips has been playing professionally since age 12, and rose to prominence through his explosive recording work on, and live touring performances in support of, guitarist Jeff Beck's 1980 album [i]There and Back[i]. Phillips' subsequent session catalog includes Mick Jagger, Pete Townshend, Joe Satriani and Peter Gabriel, and he had a 21-year run with the pop band Toto from 1992-2013. More recent exploits include Japanese pianist Hiromi's trio, with bassist Anthony Jackson, from 2010-2017. Phillips is an explosive drummer akin to a British Billy Cobham, and his Protocol 4 project includes noted jazz/fusion guitarist Greg Howe, keyboardist Otmaro Ruiz (who's worked with John McLaughlin, Tito Puente, and Arturo Sandoval), and bassist Ernest Tibbs (Allan Holdsworth, Scott Henderson, and Andy Summers). See the Simon Phillips Protocol 4 at 6:30 and 9:30 p.m. on March 26 at the Funky Biscuit ($35-$55).
There may be no more arduous a task in modern music than leading a jazz big band, yet pianist, arranger and musical director Oscar Hernandez has commandeered recordings by the Spanish Harlem Orchestra since its 2002 debut, [i]Un Gran Dia En El Barrio[i]. Founded with producer Aaron Levinson in 2000, the 13-piece band has since earned three Grammy Awards, and also features vocalists Jeremy Bosch, Carlos Cascante and Marco Bermudez, saxophonist/flutist Mitch Frohman, trumpeters Hector Colon and Manuel "Manesco" Ruiz, trombonists Reynaldo Jorge and Doug Beavers, bassist Gerardo Madera, and percussionists Jorge Gonzalez, George Delgado and Luisito Quintero. The orchestra will perform selections from its latest Grammy winner (for "Best Tropical Latin Album" in 2019), [i]Anniversary[i]. See the Spanish Harlem Orchestra at 8 p.m. March 28 at the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center ($36.50-$44).
Has anyone ever had more impact on their instrument than banjoist Bela Fleck? At the very least, the 61-year-old is in the rare air of transformative musicians like bassist Jaco Pastorius, alto saxophonist Charlie Parker, and drummer Buddy Rich. Fleck's 30-year-old group Bela Fleck & the Flecktones invented banjo fusion through his interaction with other incredible musicians like brothers Victor Wooten (bass) and Roy "Futureman" Wooten, who plays an electric "synthaxe drumitar" shaped like a guitar. Fleck also traced his instrument's roots to Africa through an outstanding 2008 documentary, [i]Throw Down Your Heart[i], and toured and recorded for more than a decade in a duo with pianist Chick Corea. Fleck's latest duo is with wife and fellow banjoist and singer Abigail Washburn, the 41-year-old who had a successful career even before recording three CDs with her 15-time Grammy-winning husband. See Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn at 7 p.m. May 5 at the Lyric Theatre ($354).
Bassist/vocalist Nicki Parrott has a surprisingly-deep catalog of recordings for an artist who only started her professional career in 2000. The native of Australia studied at the New South Wales Conservatory of Music in Sydney before relocating to New York City in 1994, and studied upright bass there with Rufus Reid, Ray Brown and John Clayton. Earning the slot as bassist for guitarist Les Paul's trio during his weekly performances in the Big Apple, beginning in 2000, brought her significant visibility. Parrott's list of releases since includes side-woman credits with Paul, clarinetist/saxophonist Ken Peplowski, and keyboardist Rachel Z. Highlights under Parrott's own name include [i]Moon River[i] (2007), [i]Like a Lover[i] (2011), [i]Sentimental Journey[i] (2015), [i]From Joplin to Jobim[i] (2016), [i]Stompin' at the Savoy: A Tribute to Ella & Louis[i] (2018) and [i]New York To Paris[i] (2019). See the Nicki Parrott Trio at 7:45 p.m. May 13 at the Amaturo Theater ($82-$97).
Pop Season Previews - Oct. issue of Palm Beach Arts Paper
Unlike most previous years, the expected familiar faces aren't dotting the 2019-2020 South Florida pop concert season landscape. One's impressions of the results depend on whether they see that situation as glass half-full or half-empty.
Elvis Costello and Sting make rare appearances only days apart; soul icons the Isley Brothers stop in 65 years after the group's formation, and more modern names include the Black Keys, Incubus, Jonas Brothers, Chainsmokers, and Ariana Grande.
Then there's ZZ Top, Ozzy Osbourne, and other veteran names more familiar with previously popular lineups like John Oates (from Hall & Oates) and Martin Barre (Jethro Tull).
Bridging the wide gap between classic and modern country music, the Zac Brown Band has amassed a huge following since forming in Atlanta in 2002. Namesake vocalist/guitarist Brown has infused his eight-piece band with instruments more associated with bluegrass (violin, mandolin, banjo), Latin (percussion) and Hawaiian music (ukulele) while collaborating with rock stars from Chris Cornell to Dave Grohl to Kid Rock. The three-time Grammy-winning group also features Jimmy Martini (violin, vocals), John Driskell Hopkins (guitar, bass, ukulele, banjo, vocals), Coy Bowles (guitar, keyboards), Clay Cook (guitar, keyboards, mandolin, steel guitar, vocals), Matt Mangano (bass), Chris Fryar (drums), and Daniel de los Reyes (percussion). Currently on "The Owl Tour," the octet will perform a healthy portion of its 2019 CD, [i]The Owl[i]. See the Zac Brown Band at 7 p.m. Oct. 18-19 at Coral Sky Ampitheatre, 601-7 Sansburys Way, West Palm Beach (833-215-5121, $39-$521).
The "sacred steel" sound of pedal steel guitar in churches, primarily southern African-American Pentecostal institutions, has ironically found its leading voice in New Jersey-born Robert Randolph. The 42-year-old virtuoso did, however, gain notoriety while touring playing sacred music in Florida before teaming with Medeski, Martin & Wood keyboardist John Medeski in the group The Word in 2001. Further exposure came during a tour as the opening act for jam-blues favorites the North Mississippi Allstars, which led to opening slots along Eric Clapton's 2004 tour and an appearance in his [i]Crossroads Guitar Festival[i]. Randolph's rise merited inclusion in [i]Rolling Stone[i]'s "100 Greatest Guitarists of All-Time." His Family Band includes vocalist/guitarist Marcus Randolph, vocalist Lenesha Randolph, and keyboardist Brett Haas. See Robert Randolph & the Family Band at 8 p.m. Oct. 19 at the Culture Room, 3045 N. Federal Hwy., Ste. 70, Fort Lauderdale (954-564-1074, $32.50-$65).
Texas trio ZZ Top became American roots-rock icons during the 1970s after forming in Houston in 1969. Jimi Hendrix was a fan of guitarist/vocalist Billy Gibbons, and bassist/vocalist Dusty Hill and drummer Frank Beard remained rock-solid on gems from [i]ZZ Top's First Album[i] (1971) through [i]Tres Hombres[i] (1973), [i]Fandango![i] (1975) and [i]Deguello[i] (1979). Then came the 1980s and music video, the speed bump that tripped up many a formidable 1970s rock act. By the 2000s, the trio had basically become a touring caricature of itself. Openers Cheap Trick, fellow Rock and Roll Hall of Fame members, conversely transitioned from the 1970s into the 1980s by sticking to their Illinois-based audio roots rather than to try to become small-screen stars. Vocalist and guitarist Robin Zander still has one of rock's best voices; bassist Tom Petersson and lead guitarist Rick Nielsen are aces, and son Daxx Nielsen mans the drums. See ZZ Top and Cheap Trick at 7 p.m. Oct. 20 at Coral Sky Ampitheatre ($37-$338).
You can thank Moby, or blame him, for deejays starting to release albums rather than just play them in the 1990s. A current result is the Chainsmokers, the popular, New York City-launched turntable duo of Alexander Pall and Andrew Taggart. Since launching five years ago with the single "Selfie" and debut EP [i]Boquet[i], the young electronic dance music darlings (Taggart is now 29; Pall 34) have earned a Grammy Award and headlined 2019 editions of the Ultra Music Festival (in both Australia and Miami) and Lollapalooza in Chicago. The duo's latest release is this year's [i]World War Joy[i]. Opening act 5 Seconds of Summer is an actual four-piece pop band (vocalist/guitarists Luke Hemmings and Michael Clifford, bassist/keyboardist/vocalist Calum Hood, drummer/vocalist Ashton Irwin) from Australia that has previous collaborations with the duo. See the Chainsmokers and 5 Seconds of Summer at 7 p.m. Oct. 24 at American Airlines Arena, 601 Biscayne Blvd., Miami (786-777-1000, $20-$325).
When Jack and Meg White formed the White Stripes in Detroit in 1997, they set a template for duos recording and effectively functioning as full bands. Akron, OH-based childhood friends Dan Auerbach (vocals, guitar, bass, keyboards) and Patrick Carney (drums) took notice, forming the Black Keys in 2001 after dropping out of college. Near-immediate indie-rock sensations, the duo's mix of blues and rock influences resulted in it signing with blues-based recording labels while becoming popular on the international jam band touring circuit. Stardom was fully achieved by the early 2010s, with a fistful of Grammy Awards. Auerbach and Carney now tour with guitarists Andy Gabbard and Delicate Steve and bassist Zach Gabbard. Openers Modest Mouse also became indie-rock sensations after forming in Washington state in 1992. See the Black Keys and Modest Mouse at 7 p.m. Nov. 5 at the BB&T Center, 1 Panther Parkway, Sunrise (954-835-7000, $22-$1,261).
As chameleonic a pop star as any in recent memory, 65-year-old British vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Elvis Costello first emerged as part of the mid-to-late-1970s New Wave movement with notable albums like [i]My Aim is True[i], [i]This Year's Model[i] and [i]Armed Forces[i]. But starting with his 1981 release of vintage country music covers, [i]Almost Blue[i], Costello has refused to be typecast. Starting in 1987, he released a decade-long string of collaborative pop tunes with the iconic Paul McCartney, and Costello's love of jazz includes collaborations with pianist Allen Toussaint, guitarist Bill Frisell, and his marriage to star vocalist/pianist Diane Krall His latest release is last year's [i]Look Now[i] with the Imposters, including keyboardist Steve Nieve, bassist/vocalist Davey Faragher, and drummer/percussionist Pete Thomas. See Elvis Costello & the Imposters at 8 p.m. Nov. 7 at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, 201 S.W. Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale (954-462-0222, $88-$613).
Contrary to what many think, perhaps even including himself, Sting was not the entirety of the Police, the most original pop act since The Beatles between 1977 and 1984. Hyper-kinetic, world music-influenced drummer Stewart Copeland and creative, minimalist, effects-wizardly guitarist Andy Summers were vital ingredients in helping the artist formerly known as Gordon Sumner fly. For evidence, check out the group's 1993 collection [i]Message in a Box: The Complete Recordings[i]. Yet Sting's unparalleled, upper-register voice, songwriting prowess and underrated bass playing have also fueled a long and successful solo career since. The 68-year-old Brit is likely to play Police material, plus cuts from gems like his 1985 solo debut [i]The Dream of the Blue Turtles[i] and 1993's [i]Ten Summoner's Tales[i] through his most recent effort, this year's [i]My Songs[i]. See Sting at 8 p.m. Nov. 9 at Hard Rock Live, 5747 Seminole Way, Hollywood (866-502-7529, $84-$2,438).
The very definition of a modern boy band, the Jonas Brothers became the omnipresent male equivalent of the Kardashians after forming in New Jersey in 2005. Consisting of Joe Jonas (vocals), Nick Jonas (vocals, guitar) and Kevin Jonas (guitar, vocals), the trio first achieved a sizable following of younger fans through appearances on the Disney Channel. Multimedia TV and film stars since, the brothers roared out of the gate with annual releases [i]It's About Time[i] (2006), [i]Jonas Brothers[i] (2007), [i]A Little Bit Longer[i] (2008) and [i]Lines, Vines and Trying Times[i] (2009) before hiatuses, sibling rivalries, creative differences and breakups hastened a 10-year run for each to focus on solo projects. But just when you thought it was safe to assume that you would only [i]see[i] the Jonases on screens and teen magazine covers, the sibling trio reunited for its 2019 release [i]Happiness Begins[i]. See the Jonas Brothers at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 15 at the BB&T Center ($40-$1,777).
By nature of being the non-lead singing second name within Hall & Oates, the best-selling duo in music history, guitarist/vocalist John Oates has remained on the back burner since forming the duo with 73-year-old vocalist/keyboardist/guitarist Daryl Hall in Philadelphia in 1970. Yet while the 71-year-old Oates wasn't the lead singer on Top 40 hits like "Sara Smile," "She's Gone," or "Rich Girl," he co-wrote most of the duo's 34 [i]Billboard[i] Hot 100 hits, and has dozens of lead vocal credits on album cuts within its extensive catalog. Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014, Hall & Oates has primarily become a touring nostalgia act since the turn of the century. Hall's guest star-studded [i]Live From Daryl's House[i] webcast has been his primary vehicle since, while Oates has both a recent memoir ([i]Change of Seasons[i], 2017) and CD ([i]Arkansas[i], 2018). See John Oates at 7 p.m. Nov. 23 at the Lyric Theatre, 59 S.W. Flagler Ave., Stuart (772-286-7827, $180-$203).
A true 21st Century pop star, 26-year-old, Boca Raton-born Ariana Grande is alternately praised as a four-octave soprano singer and lambasted as a marginal talent who producers only make sound like one. The Florida native first gained fame by appearing on the Nickelodeon TV series [i]Victorious[i] from 2010-2013. YouTube videos of her singing cover songs attracted Republic Records executives, allowing Grande to record on the 2012 [i]Victorious[i] soundtrack. She's since had all five of her full-length CDs (including this year's [i]Thank U, Next[i]) certified platinum; gained more than 25 million streams on sites like YouTube, Spotify and Apple Music, and won a Grammy Award for "Best Pop Vocal Album" for her 2018 release [i]Sweetener[i]. Along the way, Grande also showed her age by getting caught licking unpurchased donuts in public, and insulting Americans, in a restaurant video. See Ariana Grande at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 27 at American Airlines Arena ($63-$645).
Sixty-eight-year-old Newark, NJ native Max Weinberg is essentially the American version of iconic Beatles drummer Ringo Starr. Like the Brit in the Fab Four, Weinberg is revered by enthusiasts for his decades of work within Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band, yet viewed by some as a limited, overrated drummer who was in the right place at the right time -- namely the Asbury Park area of the Garden State in 1973, where and when Springsteen launched his recording career. Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as part of the E Street Band in 2014, Weinberg's Jukebox band will live up (or down) to its name in this general admission, standing room-only show at the Arts Garage by taking requests from the audience from more than 200 cover songs listed on video monitors (by the likes of The Beatles, Rolling Stones and, of course, Springsteen). See Max Weinberg's Jukebox at 8 p.m. Nov. 29-30 at the Arts Garage, 94 N.E. 2nd Ave., Delray Beach (561-450-6357, $50-$200).
South Florida's pop music season always includes expected bookings, but California rock/funk quintet Incubus at the Kravis Center was not one of this year's. Formed in 1991 while its members were in high school, the lineup still includes original vocalist Brandon Boyd, guitarist Mike Einziger, and drummer Jose Pasillas, and is rounded out by newer members Ben Kenney (bass) and Chris Kilmore (turntables). Early major-label recordings like [i]Enjoy Incubus[i] (1997) and [i]S.C.I.E.N.C.E.[i] (1998) featured a combination of rock, funk and rap a la predecessors the Red Hot Chili Peppers, 311, and Korn before Incubus started a trend of more mainstream singles like the ballad "Drive" from its third CD, [i]Make Yourself[i] (1999). The trend has continued over the past 20 years, and the hard-touring outfit released its eighth full-length CD, [i]8[i], in 2017. See Incubus at 8 p.m. Dec. 1 at Dreyfoos Hall in the Kravis Center, 701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach (833-215-5121, $153-$925).
Who else but Madonna could book a five-night run in Miami where ticket prices top out at the amount of a used car? Born Madonna Louise Ciccone in Bay City, MI, the 61-year-old pop icon has proven savvy at promotion and mixed media since the 1980s, She initially moved to New York City in 1978 to become a dancer, but instead signed with Sire Records in 1982; became a star with her 1984 sophomore album [i]Like a Virgin[i], and started a Hollywood acting career opposite Rosanna Arquette in the 1985 film [i]Desparately Seeking Susan[i]. Madonna has since become the highest-grossing solo touring artist and best-selling female artist of of all-time, and a seven-time Grammy Award winner. And she's no stranger to Miami, where she was photographed hitchhiking naked in her 1992 coffee table book [i]Sex[i]. See Madonna at 8:30 p.m. Dec. 14, 15, 17, 18 & 19 at the Fillmore Miami Beach at the Jackie Gleason Theater, 1700 Washington Ave., Miami (305-673-7300, $225-$5,620).
Most bands don't even last six years, but 60 or more? Cincinnati-launched funk act the Isley Brothers first formed as the vocal doo-wop trio of O'Kelly, Rudolph and Ronald Isley in 1954, but moved to New York City and hit the charts with "Shout" in 1959. The song's inclusion in the 1978 comedy film [i]National Lampoon's Animal House[i] brought new notoriety, and it was ranked #118 on [i]Rolling Stone[i]'s list of "The 500 Greatest Songs of All-Time" and inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999. Jimi Hendrix recorded with the band in the mid-1960s before the singers' Hendrix-influenced younger brother Ernie joined on guitar, bass, and drums. The hits "It's Your Thing" and "That Lady" followed, leading to the protest anthem "Fight the Power," a 1975 tune that sounds relevant today. The disco and music video eras rendered the Isley Brothers a nostalgia act, but Ronald and Ernie remain the core of this seminal family soul band. See the Isley Brothers at 8 p.m. Dec. 20 at Dreyfoos Hall ($125-$310).
British band New Order has been an on-again, off-again act since 1980, when it formed out of the ashes of the group Joy Division, which collapsed after the suicide of tortured lead singer Ian Curtis at age 23. Remaining band members Bernard Sumner (vocals, guitar), Peter Hook (bass) Stephen Morris (drums) carried on, eventually incorporating electronica and dance styles into the previous group's post-punk and New Wave nucleus. By 1983, New Order had largely shed the shadow of Joy Division via the popular 12-inch vinyl single "Blue Monday" and heralded album [i]Power, Corruption & Lies[i]. Hook departed in 2007 during one of the band's intermittent breaks, and the current lineup consists of Sumner, Morris, longtime keyboardist/guitarists Gillian Gilbert and Phil Cunningham, and bassist/keyboardist Tom Chapman. Its latest release is [i]Music Complete[i] (2015). See New Order at 8 p.m. Jan. 14,15, 17 & 18 at the Fillmore Miami Beach ($101-$183).
Possessing one of the greatest natural singing voices in popular music history, 75-year-old vocalist and Atlanta native Gladys Knight earned the first two of her seven career Grammy Awards with her family group, Gladys Knight & the Pips. Also featuring her brother, Merald "Bubba" Knight, and cousins Edward Patten and William Guest, the quartet's 1973 Grammys were for the singles "Midnight Train To Georgia" and "Neither One of Us (Wants To Be the First To Say Goodbye)." The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996. Other Knight Grammy wins occurred between 1986 and 2005, most for collaborations with fellow stars like Dionne Warwick, Elton John, Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles. Knight also has an extensive film and television acting career between 1976 and 2019, and a solo recording career from 1978 through her latest release, [i]Where My Heart Belongs[i] (2014). See Gladys Knight at 8 p.m. Feb. 29 at Hard Rock Live ($88-$863).
Bluegrass sextet the Steep Canyon Rangers formed in 2000 when its members were students at the University of North Carolina, and rose to greater acclaim by starting a collaboration with famed comedian and ace banjoist Steve Martin in 2009. But while its 2011 debut recording with Martin, [i]Rare Bird Alert[i], was nominated for a Grammy Award for ""Best Bluegrass Album," it was the subsequent release, [i]Nobody Knows You[i], that won in the same category without him. The core lineup of vocalist/guitarist Woody Platt, banjoist/vocalist Graham Sharp, mandolinist/vocalist Mike Guggino, violinist/vocalist Nicky Sanders, bassist Barrett Smith, and percussionist/vocalist Mike Ashworth has since released CDs with and without its acclaimed accompanist, the latest being last year's [i]Out in the Open[i] without. Preceding efforts include a live 2014 release with both Martin and vocalist Edie Brickell. See the Steep Canyon Rangers at 7 p.m. Feb. 29 at the Lyric Theatre ($165-$354).
Guitarist Martin Barre shifted the scope of the band Jethro Tull as much as any musician has ever has with a notable rock act. By replacing original guitarist Mick Abrahams in 1968, the 72-year-old Barre's signature, stinging solos and prowess within complex time signatures turned vocalist/leader Ian Anderson's bluesy outfit (then in the vein of Cream and Led Zeppelin) into one of the great all-time progressive rock bands. Through the 1970s, Barre's inimitable playing highlighted classics like "Aqualung," "Cross-Eyed Mary," "Locomotive Breath," "Thick As a Brick," and "Minstrel in the Gallery," all included on the standout 1978 double-live document [i]Bursting Out[i]. Barre's band includes vocalist/guitarist Dan Crisp, bassist Alan Thomson and drummer Darby Todd, and will also play selections from its latest CD, [i]Roads Less Travelled[i]. See Martin Barre at 9 p.m. April 10 and 8 p.m. April 11 at the Funky Biscuit, 303 S.E. Mizner Blvd., Boca Raton (561-395-2929, $55-$75).
Seventy-year-old vocalist Ozzy Osbourne rose to fame with Black Sabbath, voted "greatest metal band" of all-time by MTV, primarily because of the original lineup of Osbourne, guitarist Tommy Iommi, bassist Geezer Butler and drummer Bill Ward from 1968-1978. The British singer then embarked on a successful solo career with the top-selling releases [i]Blizzard of Ozz[i] (1980) and [i]Diary of a Madman[i] (1981), furthering his celebrity by starting the popular festival Ozzfest in the mid-1990s and starring in the MTV reality series [i]The Osbournes[i] in the early 2000s. As a result, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee with Black Sabbath became a true 21st Century cult of personality figure; one more renowned for his bumbling, mumbling, cartoon-ish nature than his vocal prowess. So much for his "No More Tours" road show of 1992 (borrowed from his 1991 CD [i]No More Tears[i]) and its 2018 sequel. See Ozzy Osbourne at 7:30 p.m. May 29 at the BB&T Center ($75-$1,238).