The fourth annual Sound Summit music festival is returning to the slopes of Mount Tamalpais for another festive and eclectic day of music high above San Francisco Bay on September 8th.
Jazz legend and musical icon Herbie Hancock will be topping a bill that includes stellar rock vocalist Grace Potter, rising country star Nikki Lane, energetic funk and soul ensemble Con Brio, and special guest Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead.
Produced as an annual celebration of and fundraiser for Mount Tamalpais State Park by Roots & Branches Conservancy, the annual one-day festival has raised $175,000 for Mount Tam in just its first three years. Last year, San Francisco Magazine named Sound Summit as Best Festival of the North Bay in its annual Best of the Bay issue, citing its quality and intimacy.
Sound Summit is staged at the historic Mountain Theater, a 4000-seat natural stone amphitheater with stunning views of San Francisco Bay and the Pacific. The same venue was the site of the Fantasy Fair and Magic Mountain Festival in the summer of 1967, the Summer of Love, a week before Monterey Pop. Over 30 bands including Jefferson Airplane, The Doors, and The Byrds played over two days to a buoyant and colorful crowd and unknowingly birthed a tradition that’s still thriving a half-century later. In that respect, Sound Summit is treading on hallowed musical ground and keeping the vibe alive for a resonant cause.
Sound Summit continues to fulfill what we’d envisioned – a spirited community gathering in a stellar location with a great soundtrack,” says executive producer Michael Nash. “It’s also throwback to a more grassroots, time-out-of-mind experience. There’s a certain synergy in the amphitheater between the artists and the audience, an intimate gathering amidst an expansive landscape.”
Nash feels strongly that Sound Summit remain an eclectic music experience for its audience, where quality takes precedence over genre or preconceived notions of what kind of festival it is.
“We like to mix it up,” he adds. “Personally, I’m thrilled to have an iconic artist like Herbie Hancock headlining Sound Summit. His career has had an incredible arc and his artistry has influenced so many diverse musicians and continues to do so, both from his own generation and those that have followed. How cool is that?”
Headlining the show, Herbie Hancock is a 14 time Grammy winner and Kennedy Center Honoree. The 78 year old Chicago native has performed or collaborated with the likes of Miles Davis, Chick Corea and Joni Mitchell in a career that has spanned six decades. His genre stretching style fuses jazz with electronic, funk, and classical music with a heavenly dose of keyboards.
Grace Potter is multi-instrumentalist and vocalist who formed Grace Potter and the Nocturnals in 2002. Her energetic live performances have gained a cult-like following as she has toured extensively while appearing at festivals world wide over the course of the past decade. She is the founder of the annual Grand Point North music festival in her native Burlington, Vermont. In addition to a 2015 solo album Potter has released four studio albums with the Nocturnals and shared the stage with artists including The Rolling Stones, Neil Young, Robert Plant and Sheryl Crow.
A founding member of the Grateful Dead, Bob Weir needs little introduction. Since first uniting with Jerry Garcia in 1963 the Bay Area native has achieved iconic status in the music world on the way to becoming a member of the Rock ’N’ Roll Hall of Fame and Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award recipient. His most recent solo album, “Blue Mountain,” was released to critical acclaim in 2016.
To purchase tickets for the daylong festival and for more information, you can visit SoundSummit.net. Gates open at 10AM with music from 11AM – 7PM.