Guitarists Carlos Santana and John McLaughlin had already headlined the legendary Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland numerous times with their own bands but in 2011, in their only show together provided a mystical, magical, profound, spiritual and loud experience. Going into their jazz-rock fusion handbook, they performed majestically, switching leads, switching genres and cheering on their own wildly percussive band (including wife Cindy Blackman of Santana, a powerhouse drummer). Now, for the first time on CD (you can also get it digitally and on DVD or Blu-Ray), Santana & McLaughlin are 'Live At Montreux 2011' on their "Invitation To Illumination" tour (Eagle Rock Entertainment).
Perhaps one of the most important electric guitars in history, Les Paul's authentic Black Beauty 6-string sole for a surprising $335,500 at an auction in New York. The buyer was none other than the owner and chief executive of the Indianapolis Colts.
In support of the upcoming Wayne Shorter documentary Wayne Shorter: Zero Gravity, directed by Dorsay Alavi, donors were treated to a backyard show consisting of Shorter, Esperanza Spalding, Herbie Hancock and more.
The theme continued when Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the first Hispanic member of the nation's highest court, introduced opera diva Arroyo. The daughter of a Puerto Rican father and an African-American mother, Arroyo grew up in an unlikely place for a future opera star: New York City's Harlem neighborhood.
On Thursday, jazz pianist/composer Herbie Hancock and operatic soprano Martina Arroyo were named as recipients of this year's Kennedy Center Honors--one of the United States' top cultural awards.