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In keeping with the event's continued effort to balance renowned national touring acts with local artists, Norwalk, CT-based singer, songwriter and musician PJ Pacifico has earned the final slot on the 2009 Gathering of the Vibes Main Stage. Pacifico will be the festival's opening bookend to one of his earliest musical influences Crosby, Stills & Nash (CSN), who will close the festival on Sunday, July 26.

Step by step, summertime is getting closer … the most beautiful period of the year with many festivals to choose from. One of those splendid festivals, is GentJazz, which takes place from July 8 to July 19 in the gardens of De Bijloke, one of the most beautiful sites of the city, an ideal environment for those who like to be busy with music, dance and other forms of art.

On a cool Berkeley evening I walked into The Starry Plough to catch The Grateful Dead cover band Live Dead. The Plough was once again packed with young and old local “Dead Head” hippies, sporting heavy beards and tie-dye shirts. Others danced wildly by the stage, as Live Dead opened their first set a little after 9:30 pm. The members of Live Dead formed recently out of the ashes of other Dead cover bands such as Workingman’s Ed, Grapefruit Ed, and Crazy Fingers.

The last group for the Gent Jazz Festival (July 8th to 19th inclusive) is Lambchop. This American band completes the line-up of Friday, July 17th, featuring José James and Rodrigo y Gabriela. As we had already announced, BB King, Jamie Cullum, George Benson, Jamie Lidell, Marianne Faithfull, McCoy Tyner Trio feat. Bill Frisell and Joe Jackson will also be present.

ConnectForce Productions and Nippon Jazz NYC present an evening of jazz at Drom featuring New York based emerging Japanese Jazz Artists.  On May 9, Japanese vocalist, Mamiko Taira will be the featured artist performing along with Tadataka Unno on Piano, Joseph Lepore on bass, and Luca Santaniello on Drums.

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