Monterey >> GoGo Penguin, appearing Friday, opening night at the 60th Annual Monterey Jazz Festival, defies categorization within the strict sense of the jazz genre. In fact, those who go into a GoGo Penguin show with the preconception that they’ll hear jazz often come out saying, “I don’t think so.” And that’s a good thing.
The Jazz Festival opened Thursday afternoon with a free concert for Monterey County music students, but shifts into overdrive starting Friday at 6:30 p.m. The Festival runs through Sunday and will feature artists such as Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea and Common. For the full schedule go to www.montereyjazzfestival.com.
GoGo Penguin, performing at 7:30 p.m. in Dizzy’s Den and 9:30 p.m. at the Blue Note at Sea tent, will provide an example of what progressive 30-somethings are creating to push forward the art of jazz. Referred to as “acoustic electronica,” GoGo Penguin’s sound will appeal to electronica and EDM music fans, and perhaps traditional jazz fans who are simply curious to hear something different.
“The main influence we all share is electronica,” said pianist Chris Illingworth by phone from his home in Manchester, England. “That’s the music we all generally listen to. Electronica is such a wide genre, covering so many different ideas. But you know back when I was very young, I was listening to bands like Underworld, Prodigy and the Chemical Brothers. I love that kind of dance music. I really got into electronic music. I used to mess around with an old Atari ST computer and a couple MIDI keyboards and I’d try to make electronic music as a kid….
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