Heavy Machine

Medeski Martin & Wood lay down grooves in Napa

Peter Williams came from Yoshi’s San Francisco to the Napa Valley Opera House last year, and as artistic director wasted no time booking world-class jazz talent: Branford Marsalis, Jack DeJohnette, Joshua Redman, Bill Frisell and many others.

This week, the Opera House’s jazz offerings continue with avant-funkalicious trio Medeski Martin & Wood. The cacophony of these bad daddies of cool are sure to light a fire under the usual provincial wine-and-cheese audiences. Many recent MM&W albums have been live, like last year’s Free Magic, and this show sees them on acoustic instruments, just like their early days of the 1990s.

MM&W get into some serious jams, but don’t compare them to Phish—these guys bring in hip-hop and funk, and even released a children’s album. Will they lay down a clown carnival of confusion and dissonance? Will it be a night dedicated to Thelonious Monk? Whatever’s on the itinerary, the show will no doubt unsettle the town with psychedelic soundscapes and unresolved riffs resting on beautiful musical architecture. Ready to take the trip? Medeski Martin & Wood lead the way on Friday, April 19, at the Napa Valley Opera House. 1030 Main St., Napa. 8pm. $25–$30. 707.226.7372.&

Sonoma County Library