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Mondavi adds psychedelic jazz fusion concert for Picnic Day

By From page A1 | January 17, 2014

Guitarist John Scofield and his Überjam Band will meet up with the wizards behind the Joshua Light Show for a mind-bending combination of psychedelic visual effects and jazzy grooves on Saturday, April 12, at the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts.

The show, announced this week, is a “just added” performance at the Mondavi Center. April 12 is Picnic Day, UC Davis’ student-run open house.

Widely regarded as a bona fide six-string hero and masterful improviser, Scofield has covered a wide spectrum of musical styles with rare authority over the past four decades of his celebrated career. His Überjam Band released an album on the Verve label in 2002, and the ensemble pioneered Scofield’s fusion of jazz, funk and electronic music to become one of the defining groups of his career.

The group — Scofield, Andy Hess, Avi Bortnick and Tony Mason — reunited in 2013 to record “Uberjam Deux,” and hit the road. Veteran lighting director and concert collaborator Joshua White created many of the analog visual effects that set the stage for musicians such as The Who, Jimi Hendrix and the Grateful Dead — among countless others — at the Fillmore East in the late 1960s.

In early 2000, the renaissance of the legendary light show finally began, launched this time in the art world. White has worked on exhibitions for the Tate Liverpool in the United Kingdom, the Centre Pompidou in France, the Whitney Museum in New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles and other venues. He also began to team up with other artists, to add more complexity to the show and further develop the basic analog ideas using digital techniques.

This year’s Picnic Day festivities will mark the 100th edition of this long-running spring festival, which draws 50,000 to 60,000 to campus. The first Picnic Day was held in 1909, and the event has been held almost every year since that time.

Tickets for the performance — $25 general and $12.50 for UCD students — go on sale Friday. They are available online at mondaviarts.org, via phone at 530-754-2787 and in person at the Mondavi Center Ticket Office.

Jeff Hudson

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