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Bonnaroo Music Festival: Hippie Jazz

Ravi Coltrane and Jeff "Tain" Watts tear it up in the Blue Note-presented Somethin' Else tent at Bonnaroo

Despite its reputation as a hippie dustbowl in middle Tennessee, the 2007 edition of Bonnaroo featured a healthy dose of jazz, from venerated veterans to rising young stars.

With its declaration as a music and arts festival, Bonnaroo is mostly known for catering to fans of jam bands like Widespread Panic, the String Cheese Incident and Ratdog, featuring Bob Weir, the guitarist-singer with the Grateful Dead. Their connection to jazz is not incidental. Many bands featured at this year’s Bonnaroo, such as Tortoise and Tool, made direct connections to jazz in their music and their fans encourage experimentation and virtuosity in playing. With that in mind, having Somethin’ Else, an inaugural on-site jazz tent sponsored by Blue Note, made perfect sense.

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