Going To California: Jennifer Hartswick Talks JHB, Trey Anastasio Band & More


Trumpeter/vocalist Jennifer Hartswick heads to California this weekend for an appearance at the Trinity Tribal Gathering in Junction City on Saturday followed by a Sunday night show at Sweetwater Music Hall in Mill Valley, California. Hartswick recently chatted with JamBase about the California dates, her busy year with the Trey Anastasio Band and additional topics.

Jennifer has assembled what she calls her “A Team” for the pair of California gigs. She’ll be joined by Nick Cassarino (The Nth Power) on guitar, Dezron Douglas on bass, Rob Marscher (Matisyahu, Addison Groove Project) on keyboards and drummer Nikki Glaspie (Dumpstaphunk/The Nth Power). Hartswick predicts “The air is gonna be thick with vibe and love!” When asked about the repertoire for the gigs, Jennifer said “Most of it will be original music that Nick Cassarino and I have written together over the last 15 years. I’m sure we’ll pepper in some fun covers too.”

The Vermont native is excited to play the Tribal Trinity Gathering on Saturday. “They chose a theme of ‘women’s wisdom’ for their festival this year and reached out to us to help drive their theme home. I’m honored to be a part of that,” Hartswick explained. She also told us about the band she put together for Brooklyn Comes Alive, “I tried to build a band of people that I don’t often get to play with, but adore. Louis Cato will be on drums and is hands down one of the baddest musicians on this planet (though I’m positive with gifts/skills like that, he’s from another galaxy). Akie Bermiss, for those who aren’t familiar, is an incredibly soulful singer and piano player that gives me chills. Danny Mayer is on guitar, who you may know from Kraz’s band. His joy is infectious. Dezron Douglas is on bass, who is in the JHB. We’ve been playing music together for 20 years. He is a phenomenal upright player, but once in a while he’ll bless us with a gig on electric. This is one of those times. And we have [Mike] Maz [Maher] and Chris Bullock, my horn brethren from Snarky Puppy.”

2017 has been an extremely active year for the Trey Anastasio Band. Following an extensive round of touring earlier this year, the group returns to the road for a handful of shows in September and then embarks on a short fall tour starting in late October. Jennifer has been very happy with how it has been going, “This tour has been my favorite tour of all time. Not just my favorite TAB tour, but my favorite tour, period. The communication between everyone, the groove, the limitless joy, the exploration…everything is clicking in a way that we’ve been working toward for 15 years.” When asked about her favorite memories from TAB ’17 thus far, Hartswick responded “There are so many great memories, but my favorite shows were from Atlanta and Red Rocks. The energy from both of those shows were through the roof.”

[Trey Anastasio Band In Atlanta]

The trumpeter/vocalist isn’t just sticking to the JHB and TAB these days, “There are always other things brewing. I’m releasing a new record early next year that I’m incredibly excited about, called Nexus. The wheels are already turning on another new album that I plan on recording in Mobile with some folks you might all be familiar with. That is a gross understatement. That’s all I’ll say about it for now, but I’m really looking forward to sharing that with you.”

Finally, with all the tributes to the likes of Michael Jackson, James Brown and Jimi Hendrix in which Hartswick has performed, there are a few additional artists she’d like to see honored with such tributes. “I’d really like to see a Donny Hathaway and Roberta Flack tribute. It would have to be with just the right cast of characters, but if done well would really make my heart soar. I wouldn’t necessarily even have to be on the gig, I just want to see it done well! (Nigel [Hall] and Alecia [Chakour], I’m looking at you!),” Jennifer said.