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San Diego Symphony - Bayside Summer Nights
200 Marina Park Way, San Diego, California 92101
The legendary Dr. John is a six-time Grammy® Award-winning musician and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee. Known throughout the world as the embodiment of New Orleans’ musical legacy, Dr. John is a true icon in American culture. His colorful musical career began in the 1950s when he wrote and played guitar on some of the greatest records to come out of the Crescent City, including recordings by Professor Longhair, Art Neville, Joe Tex, Frankie Ford and Allen Toussaint.
Dr. John headed west in the 1960s, where he continued to be in demand as a session musician, playing keyboards on records by Sonny and Cher, Van Morrison, Aretha Franklin and The Rolling Stones' Exile On Main St. During that time he launched his solo career, developing the charismatic persona of Dr. John The Nite Tripper. A legend was born with his breakthrough 1968 album Gris-Gris, which introduced to the world his unique blend of voodoo mysticism, funk, rhythm & blues, psychedelic rock and Creole roots. Several of his many career highlights include the masterful album Sun, Moon and Herbs in 1971, which included cameos from Eric Clapton and Mick Jagger, and 1973’s In The Right Place, which contained the chart hits “Right Place Wrong Time” and “Such A Night.”
In addition to his six Grammy® wins (1989, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2008 and 2013), Dr. John has received six other Grammy® nominations. In 2007 he was nominated for Sippiana Hericane, his Hurricane Katrina benefit disc. After Hurricane Katrina, Dr. John immediately stepped up to the plate with generous relief fundraising concerts and recordings including City That Care Forgot, winning him a Grammy® for Best Contemporary Blues Album.
His album Locked Down, released in 2012 with Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys, won a Grammy® for Best Contemporary Blues Album, and Auerbach won a Grammy® for Producer of the Year. In 2013, Dr. John was awarded an honorary doctorate from Tulane University alongside His Holiness the Dalai Lama. In 2014, Dr. John released a critically acclaimed tribute to Louis Armstrong called Ske-Dat-De-Dat: The Spirit of Satch. Dr. John was awarded the Louie Award from Louis Armstrong House Museum in 2015, and he received the Jazz Foundation of America's Hank Jones Award in 2016 at “A Great Night in Harlem” which raised $1 million to help musicians recovering from the Louisiana Flood.
Last year, Dr. John and The Nite Trippers released “The Bare Necessities” for Disney's blockbuster The Jungle Book soundtrack, and he released the double live album and DVD The Musical Mojo of Dr. John: A Celebration of Mac & His Music with performers including Bruce Springsteen, Widespread Panic, Mavis Staples, Aaron Neville, John Fogerty and many more. After more than half a century of creating music for others and himself, Dr. John continues to write, arrange, produce and interpret music with a passion.
(Gilbert Castellanos, Jazz @ The Jacobs & Bayside Summer Nights Series Curator / Image by Laurent Kramer, urakphotography.com)