Double bill to light show plus jazz-funk trio

By From page A7 | April 11, 2013

The Mondavi Center will host an unusual double bill — featuring a 1960s-style psychedelic light show, as well as a set by veteran jazz-funk trio Medeski, Martin and Wood — on Saturday, April 20, at 8 p.m.

The Joshua Light Show draws on the experience of media designer Joshua White, who designed lighting at the Fillmore East in the late 1960s for concerts featuring the likes of the Jefferson Airplane, The Who, the Grateful Dead, the Doors and others.

White eventually turned his attention to other media, but came back to psychedelic-style concert lighting about a decade ago after several major art museums and related institutions expressed interest in new works reviving the 1960s style. The Joshua Light Show has recently been featured in venues like Lincoln Center and New York’s Hayden Planaterium.

The trio Medeski, Martin and Wood has been performing together for more than 20 years. What began as a fairly traditional piano-bass-drums lineup has developed over the years into a group that is constantly trying new ideas and is much harder to easily categorize.

Their 1990s album “Shack-man” was recorded in a plywood shack in a Hawaiian forest using some solar-powered studio gear. Their “Radiolarian Series” of three albums (2008-09) takes its name from a form of amoeboid protozoa called radiolaria that produce intricate mineral skeletons, typically with a central capsule dividing the cell into inner and outer portions, called endoplasm and ectoplasm.

Radiolaria grow their intricately beautiful patterned skeleton around their soft core in defiance of normal biological process. This is, according to the band, “similar to Medeski Martin and Wood’s creative cycle.”

The trio also has recorded an album for children, “Let’s Go Everywhere.”

Tickets are $35-$58 general, $17.50-$28 for students, available at www.mondaviarts.org or 530- 754-2787.

Jeff Hudson

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