Previewing Blue Note Jazz Festival Napa 2023 [B.Getz on L4LM]

originally published on Live For Live Music


In 2023, Blue Note Jazz Festival Napa Valley is leveling up in a major way. For the second iteration of the cross-generational event, Mary J. Blige, Nas, and Chance The Rapper have all been tapped to headline the massive three-day soiree. The festivities will move to the sprawling, deluxe Silverado Resort in Napa Valley, CA from July 28th–30th.

Robert Glasper will return as Blue Note Jazz Fest Napa’s artist-in-residence, with plans to perform alongside De La Soul, Bilal, and Lalah Hathaway, with other surprise guests sure to show up on stage. Comedian Dave Chappelle, a longtime proponent of live music, will return as the weekend’s host, and former NBA champion Dwayne Wade has been drafted as Director of Culture and Vibes.

The lineup’s undercard is absolutely fire, and might even upstage the bold-font bookings. The stacked bill includes NxWorries (a collaboration between Anderson .Paak and Knxwledge), Ari Lennox, Parliament-Funkadelic with George Clinton, Rakim and DJ Jazzy Jeff, Digable Planets, BJ The Chicago Kid, Terrace Martin, Madlib, Nicholas Payton, Smino, Cordae, PJ Morton, Meshell Ndegeocello, Gary Clark Jr., Yussef Dayes, Cory Henry, Soulive, DOMi & JD Beck, Taylor McFerrin and Marcus Gilmore with special guest Bobby McFerrin, and numerous more tremendous artists.

Blue Note Jazz Festival Napa 2022 Recap

The daily fireworks will continue to rage on into the night, with high-end afterparties kicking off at 11 p.m. PT, hosted and helmed by different artists daily. Big Freedia and 9th Wonder will host Friday July 28th’s jam, DJ Jazzy Jeff on the ones and twos for July 29th, finishing strong with .Paak’s all-vinyl set (as DJ Pee .Wee) on Sunday, July 30th.

“We’re less in the business of just booking gigs and presenting shows than in creating moments and creating memories and creating happenings,” Alex Kurland, Blue Note Director of Programming, told Forbes earlier this year.

At an estimated 10,000 daily attendance, Blue Note Jazz Fest Napa sees itself as more of a boutique event with space to move around, juxtaposed to mammoth fests like Bottlerock or Outside Lands, both longtime area mainstays that also trend more mainstream. Blue Note’s new endeavor both trades on the iconic branding of their name, label and reputation, as well as cultivates a very relevant, eclectic collective of artists of yesterday, today, and tomorrow, putting together three consecutive days and nights of top flight talent and rare collaborations.

Snoop Dogg & Dave Chappelle – “Lodi Dodi” At Blue Note Jazz Festival Napa Valley – 7/29/22

[Video: FunkItBlog]

In year one, between the forward-thinking jazz, conscious and classic hip-hop, and undefinable artistry, the musicianship and creativity on display was nothing short of staggering. The vision and intention of this gathering shone through any first-year hiccups, making for an overwhelmingly positive experience and monumental debut for what hopes to be a landmark annual festival just a short drive outside San Francisco and Oakland, traditionally strongholds for Black American music. Read L4LM‘s in-depth coverage of Blue Note Jazz Fest Napa’s debut year 2022 here.

“If you look at what we’ve done with our Blue Note Jazz Club in the town of Napa, and with the summer sessions at Oxbox River Stage, you’ll see that greatness isn’t limited to one sound or one music type,” Steven Bensusan, president of Blue Note Entertainment Group, told Forbes.

“We saw by how quickly tickets sold out last year that there’s actually a big audience in Napa for this music. It’s not just one type of person who spends time there. There’s a lot of diversity of people, of interests, of talents and of appetites in and around Napa, and that is mirrored in what you’ll find not only on the lineup but in the marketplace at the festival.”

DOMi & JD Beck – Blue Note Jazz Festival Napa Valley – 7/29/22

[Video: FunkItBlog]

One big change for 2023, though: 2022’s festival was held at Charles Krug Winery, north of St. Helena, while this year’s festival is at Silverado Resort, just outside the city of Napa.

The festival’s staff has made a concerted effort for this year’s fan experience to be considerably more comfortable, making it easier to move between stages and to find seating and shade, plus activations and installations that will provide an immersive experience. Rest assured, this being Napa, California, the culinary programming will be world-class.


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Yet at the end of the day, or deep into the night, people come from far and wide for the music, and what’s on offer at Blue Note Jazz Festival Napa is the creme de la creme of contemporary Black American music, past, present, and future across three stages, all of it delivered in the breathtaking environs of Napa Valley.

For more information and ticket packages, go here. We’ll see you onsite at Silverado Resort on July 28th for three days of musical magic at the Blue Note Jazz Fest Napa 2023!

words: B.Getz

Chief Adjuah – Blue Note Jazz Festival Napa Valley

Isaiah Sharkey – Blue Note Jazz Festival Napa Valley

Butcher Brown – Blue Note Jazz Festival Napa Valley

More sets from Blue Note Jazz Fest 2022 are avilable courtesy of Funk It Blog here.