Stanley Jordan Plays Jimi Hendrix: A Fantasy Musical Performance Lives On

Stanley Jordan at The Mint
Stanley Jordan at The Mint

Stanley Plays Jimi at The Mint Tonight

By DONNA BALANCIA

Stanley Jordan has been inspired by Jimi Hendrix, and he performs a fantasy tribute to the late rock guitarist in a remarkable show. He will play a sold-out show at The Mint Saturday night.

“I’m approaching this thing as an actor,” Jordan said. “I want to make sure everyone knows it’s not a rock show. It’s  fantasy Jimi Hendrix concert if he were alive and playing today. I’m piggybacking on the inspiration he gave me when I started playing guitar.”

Jordan, whose career has focused on music in all its diverse elements is known for his unique guitar style that blends mainly a jazz and rock fusion. He has worked with a range of well-respected musicians including Dave Matthews, Quincy Jones, Dizzy Gillespie, Michal Urbaniak, Umphrey’s McGee and Moe. 

Stanley Jordan as Jimi - Courtesy
Stanley Jordan as Jimi – Courtesy

But few have left an impression on him as Hendrix has.

“The anniversary of Jimi’s Woodstock performance got me thinking,” Jordan said. “When I first got the news that Jimi Hendrix died, I was a piano player. And that’s the moment I decided I would play guitar.”

Jordan said Hendrix loved jazz and may have put more focus on that passion had he lived.

“Jimi was starting to jam with jazz musicians and he mentioned wanting to do that more,” Jordan said.  

Hendrix was starting to experiment with different tones and notes, Jordan said.

“He started doing Middle Eastern scales,” he said. “That’s why I’m so excited about is doing this show, I know Jimi was wide open to new ideas and he loved to play with different people.”

The Chicago-born Jordan said he loves to jam with people and that’s something that’s a feeling that can never go away. To keep the jazz culture going, it’s an important aspect of the music.

“We don’t have the informal school, the jam sessions,” he said.  “The jam sessions are important in the development of the music. A lot of people have chops but don’t have the maturity or authentic feeling you get when you play with people in a jam session.”

Stanley Jordan and band - Courtesy
Stanley Jordan and band – Courtesy

Jordan plays with Kenwood Dennard on drums, Dennard also has played with the great Gillespie, as well as Wayne Shorter. He has been teaching about Jimi Hendrix at Berklee College of Music for some 20 years and he plays keyboard and drums at the same time. Ahmet Turkmenouglu completes the Jordan Plays Jimi band. Turkmenouglu has a PhD in bass studies, rock and jazz and has played with many of the great musicians.

It’s not an easy road for young jazz musicians, or any other kind of musicians, Jordan said. People must support one another and perform as often as they can.

It’ used to be you could do session work and people were making money, but that has dried up,” he said. “Some artists have come out of retirement to play live shows again. Selling merch helps. 

“Another thing I recommend is if you’re looking for another way of making income, if you like to help people, is Music Therapy,” he said. “If you go to the American Music Therapy Association, you can find a listing of schools. You can ge ta Masters in music therapy and take the certification. More and more people getting hired at hospitals. It’s a growing field and it’s so rewarding.”

"Stanley Plays Jimi" – Jam / VoodooChild 2019-10-12 at FTC Music Hall

Here's a clip from our most recent "Stanley Plays Jimi" show at the FTC in Fairfield, CT. It's an excerpt from "Voodoo Child," with Kenwood Dennard on drums and keyboards, and Gary Kelly on bass.More "Stanley Plays Jimi" shows are coming right up:12-5 Sellersville, PA / Sellersville Theater 12-6 Ithaca, NY / LOT 1012-7 Mamaroneck, NY / Emelin Theatre12-8 Garwood, NJ / The CrossroadsVideo credit: Stephanie Mickle of Smile Productions

Posted by Stanley Jordan on Saturday, November 16, 2019

 

Stanley Jordan at The Mint

Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020

Go to The Mint LA for more information