By Bill Vaughan
In a year of firsts, it appears we are at the start of a new festival season as many of the majors have selected this weekend to present a virtual combination of new and archival performances mixed in with some surprises.
Kicking things off Sept. 25 is the famed Monterey Jazz Festival streaming on its YouTube channel for free with an impressive lineup of sets featuring Herbie Hancock, Dianne Reeves, Regina Carter, Rhiannon Giddens, Christian McBride, Cécile McLorin Salvant, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Kenny Barron Trio, Gerald Clayton Quartet, the late Roy Hargrove and the 2020-21 artist-in-residence Christian Sands.
The three days of music concludes on Sept. 27 with a tribute to Quincy Jones’ “A&M Years” with Hubert Laws and Valerie Simpson; a Sonny Rollins tribute by Jimmy Heath, featuring Joe Lovano, Branford Marsalis, and Joshua Redman; and Angela Davis in conversation with Terri Lyne Carrington.
All online contributions will go to the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and to participating jazz artists.
Virtual ROO-ALITY is what the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival is calling its free live broadcast airing on its YouTube channel Sept. 25-26.
Topping the bill are 14 legendary live performances from the Manchester, Tennessee, festival archive including James Brown, Jack White, Tears For Fears, Alabama Shakes, Metallica, Nile Rodgers & Chic, and the full-length streaming premiere of Beastie Boys final live concert from 2009.
Farm Aid 2020 On the Road will mark the event’s 35th anniversary on Sept. 26, from 5 to 8 p.m. with a three-hour presentation featuring founder Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, Dave Matthews, Black Pumas, Bonnie Raitt, Boz Scaggs, Jack Johnson, Jon Batiste, Valerie June, The War And Treaty and others to be streamed on its YouTube channel, FarmAid.org, fans.com and broadcast on AXS TV.
Also that evening, The Best of Pitchfork Music Festival is screening online at www.pitchfork.com and at L.A.’s The Drive-In at Hotel Figueroa for two showings and sets by DJ A-Trak with all proceeds donated to the Movement for Black Lives.
The rare archival footage will feature Solange, Kamasi Washington, Run The Jewels, FKA twigs, Danny Brown, Jamila Woods and Rico Nasty, as well as surprise guests.
YOU’VE BEEN SERVED: Wondalunch, Jonelle Monáe and Wondaland’s mission to provide support and food security to underserved communities affected by COVID-19, is returning to L.A.’s Dymally High School Sept. 26, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
With the support of U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters and Angela Rye, the initiative welcoming all to contact free drive-through and walk-up only food distributions has served more than 25,000 families. Everyone is welcome but must pre-register at www.tinyurl.com/wondalunchonus.
CAUSE WORTHY: Queen Latifah is hosting a livestream fundraising benefit for the American Lung Association’s efforts to defeat COVID-19 and decrease health disparities by supporting and safeguarding lung health, particularly in underserved communities.
Among the stars joining her for the Sept. 26 #Act4Impact are Vivica A. Fox (thanking all for their concern when she tested negative for coronavirus, but announced she does not have it), Gabrielle Union, Dwyane Wade, Jimmy Fallon, Keke Palmer, Katherine McPhee and Questlove.
PEEP THIS: “Myth of A Colorblind France,” Alan Govenar’s fascinating documentary on the extraordinary and sometimes difficult lives of Blacks in Paris from the 19th century to the present, is now playing in virtual cinemas such as www.laemmle.com.
The engrossing film from First Run Features explores the lives and careers of renowned African Americans expats including Josephine Baker, James Baldwin, Richard Wright, Barbara Chase-Riboud and Lois Mailou Jones, and includes rare home movie footage of Henry Ossawa Tanner in Paris.
CLIPPETTES: Neo-soul singer-songwriter Eric Roberson is in concert Sept. 25 to support “The End of Alzheimer’s Begins with Me,” where 100% of profits go toward Alzheimer’s care, support, education and awareness programs. Visit www.WinningSummer.com at 5 p.m. for your chance to watch and win …
On a historic night in 1998 music royalty gathered in Jamaica for “A Reggae Session.” Now that special, featuring Jimmy Cliff, Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers, Sly & Robbie, Bunny Wailer and the late Toots Hibbert along with Santana, The Neville Brothers and Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders, is here from Film Movement via digital and video on demand on iTunes, Amazon, Vudu and more. Seek it out for some serious at home jamming …
Acclaimed drummer Will Calhoun (Living Colour) performs with keyboardist Orrin Evans and bassist Ugonna Okegwo from New York on Sept. 30 at 5 p.m. Tickets are available for $15 at www.bluenotelive.com …
Audra McDonald (“The Good Fight”), Danielle Brooks (“Orange Is The New Black”) and others ruminate on what they miss most about theatre during this pandemic to “Offstage” Oct. 1 at 4 p.m. RSVP at www.timesevents.nytimes.com/nyt-offstage-theater/series.
TASTY QUIP: “I think that maybe she’s just a little bit bitter, because I haven’t seen her do a lot since then. So I think it was just a way to get attention. I honestly believe that. She needs a little love right now.” – BRANDY to “The Morning Hustle” on the acrimony between herself and comic/actress Thea Vidale whose sitcom was the singer’s first TV job.
TC ON TV: Sept. 25 – “Sneakerheads” (Netflix): Allen Maldonado (“The Last O.G.”) toplines this series about a family man who falls back into his sneaker obsession after his pal Bobby talks him into a wheeling-dealing scheme to score a mythical pair of kicks. “The Amber Ruffin Show” (Peacock): The writer/comic who broke out on NBC’s “Late Night” will present her take on the week’s news. “Fandango At The Wall” (HBO): Quincy Jones produced this documentary from director Varda Bar-Kar delving into the lives and music of the masters of son jarocho, a 300-year-old folk music tradition rooted in the land of Veracruz, Mexico. “The Tonight Show” (NBC): Sting, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Gashi featuring Sting
Sept. 27 – “iHeartRadio Music Festival Night 1 2020” (CW): The 10th anniversary is celebrated with a virtual two-day mega-concert. Hosted by Ryan Seacrest, Part 1 shows Alicia Keys, Migos, Coldplay, BTS and more in concert. “Fargo” (FX): The fourth season of the acclaimed anthology series stars Chris Rock in this tale of two Kansas City crime syndicates in the 1950s. “How It Really Happened With Hill Harper” (HLN): The tragic case of James Jordan, father of basketball legend Michael Jordan is presented. “Uncensored” (TV1): Yandy Smith-Harris (“Love & Hip Hop: New York”) “Bravo’s Chat Room” (Bravo): “Real Housewives” Gizelle Bryant and Porsha Williams along with Kate Chastain of “Below Deck” come together to cover the biggest headlines in pop culture and current events.
Sept. 28 – “Together We Rise: The Uncompromised story of GRM Daily” (YouTube): A four-part documentary telling the story of the British urban music outlet and entertainment platform and its founder Posty. “iHeartRadio Music Festival Night 2 2020” (CW): Usher, Bon Jovi, Kane Brown, Khalid + Swae Lee, Keith Urban, Miley Cyrus and others.
Sept. 29 – “Welcome To Sudden Death” (Netflix): Action star Michael Jai White (“Black Dynamite”) and comic actor Gary Owen star in this reboot of Jean-Claude Van Damme‘s 90’s film “Sudden Death.” “True Colors” (Peacock): Hispanic trailblazers and thought leaders in various fields, including Alex Rodríguez, John Leguizamo, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Mario Lopez, Ellen Ochoa, Laurie Hernandez and Ángela Aguilar are profiled in this series developed in partnership with Telemundo.
Sept. 30 – “The Glorias” (Amazon): Visionary artist Julie Taymor (Broadway’s “The Lion King”) directs this biopic of women’s rights activist Gloria Steinem starring Julianne Moore, Janelle Monáe, Alicia Vikander, Timothy Hutton, Bette Midler (as Bella Abzug) and Lorraine Toussaint (as Flo Kennedy). “I Can See Your Voice” (Fox): Jordin Sparks, Niecy Nash, Jay Pharoah and Adrienne Houghton play this week.
Oct. 1 – “A World Of Calm” (HBO Max): Idris Elba, Mahershala Ali, Zoë Kravitz, Lucy Liu, Keanu Reeves, and Priyanka Chopra-Jonas help viewers relax with their voices in this 10-episode half-hour series from Nutopia and sleep app Calm. “Gangs Of London” (AMC+): The first season of the hit UK series about a power struggle between international crime families debuts in the U.S. with a second season on the way. The multi-talented ensemble boasts Joe Cole (“Peaky Blinders”), Ṣọpẹ́ Dìrísù (“Humans”), Colm Meaney (“Star Trek” “Hell on Wheels”), Lucian Msamati (“His Dark Materials”), Michelle Fairley (“Game of Thrones”) Paapa Essiedu (“I May Destroy You”) and Pippa Bennett-Warner (“Harlots”).
TASTY QUIP: “The thing about revolutions is, they make revolutions themselves. History will show how it will go. It’ll show us what to do, and what not to do. All you have to do is study it.” – Singer BRITTANY HOWARD to Rolling Stone
As featured in the Los Angeles Wave and Independent, Tasty Clips is one of the leading entertainment columns in the nation, serving nearly one million weekly readers. Bill Vaughan may be reached at email@example.com, via Twitter @tastyclips, or Instagram @tasty_clips.