Joey DeFrancesco, 48, has been playing music for 44 years and is ready to bring his organ, trumpet and vocal talents to the Healdsburg Jazz Festival.
The festival continues with four more concerts, including DeFrancesco in a trio with Billy Hart and Troy Roberts, double-billed with the Regina Carter Quintet.
The performance is on Saturday, June 8 at 7 p.m. Doors open at 6 p.m. in Jackson Theater on 4400 Day School Place. Tickets are $45 to $75 with reserved seating.
DeFrancesco said as he’s matured, spirituality has become more prevalent in his day-to-day life. He’s more aware and conscious of it, like a natural progression.
As a musician, DeFrancesco believes the art form itself is very spiritual.
“Especially improvised music, because it comes from the heart. It’s never the same twice. You have to take inspiration from how you feel,” DeFrancesco said.
DeFrancesco said he thinks what an artist does come from somewhere else, and that they are conduits for certain natural abilities. However, these abilities still need to be worked on, constantly, to hone in and improve them over time.
“I’ve always believed in spirituality. It’s just living it, really being about it and having a total consciousness in everything, what's happening,” DeFrancesco said.
DeFrancesco said he is excited to work with Jessica Felix, the founder and artistic director of the Healdsburg Jazz Festival.
“She loves music and understands musicians. I’m looking forward to it, my first time getting to play there. I hear nothing but great things,” DeFrancesco said.
He looked forward to playing in a trio as well.
Hart has previously worked on DeFrancesco’s second record “Where Were You?” released in 1990. He also was in the reprisal of DeFrancesco’s “The Creator Has a Master Plan,” and was part of the original 1969 version by Pharoah Sanders.
“It was just natural to have him on this project too. And I always love playing with him; we always
have a great time together,” DeFrancesco said.
Roberts has been in DeFrancesco’s band for almost four years, and worked on his last record, “In the Key of the Universe,” as well as touring with him frequently.
“He is a tremendous musician. He also plays bass, so he brings that to the table. Playing with those guys is great. There are no limitations,” DeFrancesco said.
DeFrancesco will be at the festival for his show, leaving the next day. While not having much time, he’s looking forward to checking out Regina Carter’s concert.
“She's a wonderful artist who took the violin and did something very original in the style of music she plays. She writes great compositions,” DeFrancesco said.
With a style that’s evolved over time because of how long DeFrancesco has been playing, there’s still a lot of tradition in his music. This gives him the opportunity to be free and go in any direction he desires.
The key, DeFrancesco said, is that he always knows how to “go back home,” and no matter what he plays, there’s a feeling in it where people can connect.
DeFrancesco said that’s part of being in touch with things happening around him.
“I give a true performance of how I feel, I don't try to guess what the audience wants. I believe they want to see an artist be their true self,” DeFrancesco said.