About SuperJam: Derek Trucks featuring Chaka Khan, Taj Mahal, Eric Krasno, James Gadson, David Hidalgo, Willie Weeks, Nigel Hall, Ryan Zoidis, Eric Bloom and Adam Deitch with special guests Andrew Bird, Susan Tedeschi, Karl Denson, Ben Folds and more

The Superjam is the most highly anticipated Bonnaroo concert tradition and the festival’s signature event. A diverse set of superstar musicians unite for a one-time-only collaborative performance. The Superjam is always a wild show full of surprises where neither the fans nor the artists really know where it's headed. Past participants have included D’Angelo, Dr. John, Dan Auerbach, John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin), Jim James (My Morning Jacket), R. Kelly, Questlove, Brittany Howard (Alabama Shakes), Ben Harper, Eugene Hutz (Gogol Bordello), RZA, Herbie Hancock, Eric Krasno, Phil Lesh,  Larry Graham, Mike Gordon, Stanton Moore, Kirk Hammett (Metallica), Lettuce, Solange, The North Mississippi Allstars, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Zigaboo Modeliste, Method Man, Ghostface, Trey Anastasio (Phish), and many others. Who will grace the Superjam stage this year?  The only way to find out is to be there.


SuperJam: Derek Trucks featuring Chaka Khan, Taj Mahal, Eric Krasno, James Gadson, David Hidalgo and Adam Deitch with special guests Andrew Bird, Susan Tedeschi, Ben Folds and more

DEREK TRUCKS: Derek Trucks has been touted as the most awe-inspiring slide guitarist playing today. One listen explains why: his genius for nuanced, bluesy lyricism and an ability to summon a variety of stylistic flavors, from the breathy detail of a saxophone to the growl of a well-tempered chainsaw, mark him a master of his instrument at the age of 34.

For Trucks, youth was never a hindrance. Born in 1979 in Jacksonville, Florida, he was on stage at 9 years of age and touring as a headliner by 11. When his fingers were too small to hold down the strings of his guitar, he took up the slide, which soon became a primary element in his approach. At 15, he had formed the core of his longtime road band. Before reaching 20, he had already jammed with many of his heroes, including Bob Dylan, John Lee Hooker, and Buddy Guy, and musicians as legendary as Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana, Herbie Hancock and McCoy Tyner have called on his services. He is the youngest musician named in Rolling Stone’s list of the Top 100 Guitarists of All Time, being recently selected by a wide range of fellow guitarists and experts to #16 in that hallowed hierarchy. He is also one of the youngest recipients of a Lifetime Achievement Grammy for his 15-years with The Allman Brothers Band.

Trucks spent his teen years touring with his own group, averaging over 200 shows a year and building a reputation for walk-in, crawl-out shows that featured extended solos and summoned an intoxicating collision of musical influences, from electric blues and Jamaican reggae, to modern jazz and Indian ragas. In 1999, Trucks was asked to join the Allmans as a permanent member, an offer he accepted on the condition that he’d be able to concurrently pursue his work as a leader of his own band. It was during his first tour with the Allmans that he met Susan Tedeschi, whom he married in 2001. 

Throughout the 2000s, Trucks continued to lead The Derek Trucks Band, as well as tour with the Allmans. In 2006, he was offered the chance to perform on Eric Clapton’s world tour as a featured soloist. It was an honor he could not refuse, even as it led to a year-long juggle of commitments to the DTB, the Allmans, and Clapton, with barely a day at home. With the DTB, Trucks released eight albums, including the Grammy-winning Already Free (2010) which he recorded in he and Tedeschi's newly built home studio, Swamp Raga. Already Free proved a significant turning point in his career, establishing a new, song-oriented direction for Trucks, and setting the stage for a musical partnership with Tedeschi that eventually culminated in 2010 with the formation of the Tedeschi Trucks Band (TTB as their fans have come to call them).

With Trucks' tenure with the Allmans coming to a close (he recently announced 2014 would be his last year with the band), he has made it clear that the 11-member juggernaut TTB is his top priority.  Just four years since its inception, TTB has already released three critically-acclaimed and commercially successful albums. Its debut, Revelator, also produced at the couple’s Swamp Raga home studio, earned a Grammy for Best Blues Album, while 2012's dynamic live follow-up, Everybody’s Talkin’, delivered a brilliant double-disc classic capturing the band’s incendiary musicianship on stage.  The band followed up with 2013’s Made Up Mind, hailed by Rolling Stone as “equal parts Stax and Muscle Shoals without dilution of either." 

Since 2011, Trucks has maintained a hectic but rewarding touring schedule with TTB, including swings through Canada, Europe, Australia and Japan, and summer co-headlining tours with B.B. King in 2012 and The Black Crowes in 2013. A festival favorite, 2014 marks the band's first appearance at Bonnaroo and Trucks' first appearance since 2008.

CHAKA KHAN: An international music icon and an American institution, Chaka Khan is a ten-time GRAMMY® Award winner who has influenced generations of artists. She is a songwriter, producer, author, actor, philanthropist, entrepreneur and activist, who has the rare ability to sing in eight music genres, including R&B, jazz, pop, rock, gospel, country, classical and dance music. Chaka has released 22 albums and racked up ten #1 Billboard magazine charted songs, seven RIAA certified gold singles and ten RIAA certified gold and platinum albums. Chaka's recorded music has produced over 2,000 catalogue song placements. She is the recipient of numerous awards for her extraordinary achievements in music. In November 2013, the Soul Train Awards renamed the Best R&B Soul Female Artist Award to the Chaka Khan Award for Best R&B/Soul Female. On July 27, 2013, the City of Chicago, her home town, honored Chaka Khan with a Street Naming of “Chaka Khan Way,” and declared Sunday, July 28, 2013, “Chaka Khan Day.” The weekend-long celebration also included a free outdoor concert in Millennium Park. In June 2013, she was inducted into the Apollo Legends Hall of Fame at its Annual Spring Gala. In April 2013, Chaka also was honored by the Howard Theatre Restoration, Inc., at its 2nd Annual Gala and Benefit Concert; she was the recipient of a BET Honors and the Trumpet Legend Award.  In June 2012, she was inducted into the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame. In 2011, she was honored for her legendary career with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. That same year, Chaka was honored with the United Negro College Fund’s An Evening of Stars® tribute. Chaka also received the Soul Train Legend Award (2009), the BET Lifetime Achievement Award (2006), the GRAMMY® Honors Award from the NARAS Chicago Chapter (2006) and the World Music Lifetime Achievement Award (2003). In 2004, Chaka added “Doctor” to her list of accolades, when she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Music from the Berklee School of Music in Boston, MA. Chaka’s autobiography, Through the Fire, was published by Rodale Books in 2003 and is currently being updated for re-release and adapted into a screenplay. In 1999, she established the Chaka Khan Foundation, which includes a variety of programs and initiatives that assist women and children at risk. March 2013, marked Chaka’s 40th anniversary in music and entertainment.

TAJ MAHAL: Composer, multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Taj Mahal is one of the most prominent and influential figures in late 20th century blues and roots music. Though his career began more than four decades ago with American blues, he has broadened his artistic scope over the years to include music representing virtually every corner of the world – west Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe, the Hawaiian islands and so much more. What ties it all together is his insatiable interest in musical discovery. Over the years, his passion and curiosity have led him around the world, and the resulting global perspective is reflected in his music today.

Born Henry St. Claire Fredericks in Harlem on May 17, 1942, Taj grew up in Springfield, Massachusetts. His father was a jazz pianist, composer and arranger of Caribbean descent, and his mother was a schoolteacher and gospel singer from South Carolina. Both parents encouraged their children to take pride in their diverse ethnic and cultural roots. His father had an extensive record collection and a shortwave radio that brought sounds from near and far into the home. His parents also started him on classical piano lessons, but after only two weeks, young Henry already had other plans about what and how he wanted to play.

In addition to piano, the young musician learned to play the clarinet, trombone and harmonica, and he loved to sing. He discovered his stepfather’s guitar and became serious about it in his teens when a guitarist from North Carolina moved in next door and taught him the various styles of Muddy Waters, Lightnin’ Hopkins, John Lee Hooker and Jimmy Reed and other titans of Delta and Chicago blues.

Springfield in the 1950s was full of recent arrivals, not just from around the U.S. but from all over the globe. “We spoke several dialects in my house – Southern, Caribbean, African – and we heard dialects from eastern and western Europe,” Taj recalls. In addition, musicians from the Caribbean, Africa and all over the U.S. frequently visited the Fredericks home, and Taj became even more fascinated with roots – the origins of the various forms of music he was hearing, the path they took to reach their current form, and how they influenced each other along the way. He threw himself into the study of older forms of African-American music, which the record companies of the day largely ignored.

Henry studied agriculture at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in the early 1960s. Inspired by a dream, he adopted the musical alias of Taj Mahal and formed the popular U. Mass party band, the Elektras. After graduating, he headed west in 1964 to Los Angeles, where he formed the Rising Sons, a six-piece outfit that included guitarist Ry Cooder. The band opened for numerous high-profile touring artists of the ‘60s, including Otis Redding, the Temptations and Martha and the Vandellas. Around this same time, Taj also mingled with various blues legends, including Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, Junior Wells, Buddy Guy, Lightnin’ Hopkins and Sleepy John Estes. 

This diversity of musical experience served as the bedrock for Taj’s first three recordings: Taj Mahal (1967), The Natch’l Blues (1968) and Giant Step (1969). Drawing on all the sounds and styles he’d absorbed as a child and a young adult, these early albums showed signs of the musical exploration that would be Taj’s hallmark over the years to come.

In the 1970s, Taj carved out a unique musical niche with a string of adventurous recordings, including Happy To be Just Like I Am (1971), Recycling the Blues and Other Related Stuff (1972), the GRAMMY®-nominated soundtrack to the movie Sounder (1973), Mo’ Roots (1974), Music Fuh Ya (Music Para Tu) (1977) and Evolution (The Most Recent (1978).

Taj’s recorded output slowed somewhat during the 1980s as he toured relentlessly and immersed himself in the music and culture of his new home in Hawaii. Still, that decade saw the well-received release of Taj in 1987, as well as the first three of his celebrated children’s albums on the Music For Little People label.

He returned to a full recording and touring schedule in the 1990s, including such projects as the musical scores for the Langston Hughes/Zora Neale Hurston play Mule Bone (1991) and the movie Zebrahead (1992). Later in the decade, Taj released a series of recordings with the Phantom Blues Band, including Dancing the Blues (1993), Phantom Blues (1996), and the two GRAMMY® winners, Señor Blues (1997) and the live Shoutin’ in Key (2000). Overall, he has been nominated for nine GRAMMY® Awards.

During this same period, Taj continued to expand his multicultural horizons by joining Indian classical musicians on Mumtaz Mahal in 1995, and recording Sacred Island, a blend of Hawaiian music and blues, with the Hula Blues Band in 1998. Kulanjan, released in 1999, was a collaborative project with Malian kora player Toumani Diabate (the kora is a 21-string west African harp). He recorded a second album with the Hula Blues Band, Hanapepe Dream, in 2003. Zanzibar, a European release, followed in 2005.

Taj continues to tour internationally, doing as many as 150 shows per year throughout the U.S., Europe, Australia, New Zealand and beyond.

He joins the Heads Up International label in the fall of 2008 with the worldwide release of Maestro. This twelve-track set – his first U.S. release in five years – marks the fortieth anniversary of Taj’s rich and varied recording career by mixing original material, chestnuts borrowed from vintage sources and newcomers alike. This anniversary gala includes performances by Ben Harper, Jack Johnson, Angelique Kidjo, Los Lobos, Ziggy Marley and others – many of whom have been directly influenced by Taj’s music and guidance.

“The one thing I’ve always demanded of the records I’ve made is that they be danceable,” he says. “This record is danceable, it’s listenable, it has lots of different rhythms, it’s accessible, it’s all right in front of you. It’s a lot of fun, and it represents where I am at this particular moment in my life. This record is just the beginning of another chapter, one that’s going to be open to more music and more ideas. Even at the end of forty years, in many ways my music is just getting started.”

ERIC KRASNO: Throughout his 20 years in the music industry, ERIC KRASNO has never been comfortable fitting into any single defined role.  In addition to his guitar playing in Soulive & Lettuce, both of which he helped co-found, he’s established himself as an in-demand producer and song writer.  He’s a Grammy Award Winning Songwriter & Guitarist (Derek Trucks Band “Already Free” & Tedeschi Trucks Band “Revelator”) and a Grammy Nominated Producer (Ledisi “Turn Me Loose” & Matisyahu “Light”).  He’s produced songs/records for a diverse list of artists including Norah Jones, 50 Cent, Talib Kweli, Justin Timberlake, Ledisi, Chaka Khan, Vieux Farka Toure & Dave Matthews.  
Eric’s diversity and versatility as an artist was evident in 2 of his 2013 projects:
He was the touring bass player in Tedeschi Trucks Band on their nationwide summer tour with The Black Crowes and The London Souls and also performed on Pretty Lights’ Grammy Nominated “Color Map of The Sun” record.
His 2014 plans include extensive touring with Lettuce, Soulive and The Eric Krasno Band as well as several high profile studio projects.  He will be part of a star-studded tribute to James Brown at The Hollywood Bowl on August 13th.
In addition touring, song writing, recording and producing ,Eric also hosts his own radio show, FEEL RADIO, on Sirius XM and is currently in the process of starting his own label.

JAMES GADSON: JAMES GADSON - drummer, producer, singer, and songwriter – was born in Kansas City, MO, in 1939. 

As a teen he naturally took to the drums with the influence of his father Harold, who was a drummer in the legendary Kansas City scene. 

James eventually found his way to L.A. and joined the legendary 60's funky soul group, Dyke & the Blazers, where he laid down drums on "let a woman be a woman" which later would be sampled by the Bomb Squad for Public Enemy's "Welcome to the Terrodome." After Dyke's tragic murder and still in L.A., he and other members of the Blazers would end up forming The Watts 103rd Street Band and with the help of Bill Cosby hooked a record deal with Warner Bros. He was one of the writers and sang the lead vocals on the hit record “Loveland”.

He also wrote and sang on some songs like the soulful "dance a kiss & a song". 

He played on the best known 103rd Street cuts like "Express yourself," which was sampled by Dre for NWA's "Express Yourself". This was just the beginning for Gadson's profilic career, which next found him in the mix with Bill Withers producing, writing, and playing on the soulcessful Still Bill LP, which featured "Use Me," "Lean on Me," and the funky "Kissing my Love," which has been sampled to no end. 

The Jungle Brothers cut up his drums live for "Straight out the Jungle." 

From there he became one the most sought out studio drummers, playing on 300 gold records at last count, though you would never suspect it from his ever-humble disposition. 

He played on Marvin Gaye's album "I Want You" the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, Herbie Hancock's Manchild, and most recently Beck, Paul McCartney, and Ray Charles discs. 

Recently James has recorded with Ziggy Marley, Lana Del Rey, Corrine Bailey Ray, Lady GaGa among many others.

Currently James is recording a new album and writing his life’s retrospective “Behind Those Drums”

ANDREW BIRD: Chicago-based film score composer, multi-instrumentalist and lyricist Andrew Bird picked up his first violin at the age of four and spent his formative years soaking up classical repertoire completely by ear. As a teen Bird became interested in a variety of styles including early jazz, country blues and folk music, synthesizing them into his unique brand of pop. Since beginning his recording career in 1997 he has released 11 albums and played thousands of shows. Bird has gone on to record with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and perform at New York’s Carnegie Hall, Sydney Opera House, and festivals worldwide. In recent years he composed his first film score for the movie Norman (hailed as “a probing, thoughtful score” by The New York Times), contributed to the soundtrack of The Muppets and collaborated with inventor Ian Schneller on Sonic Arboretum, an installation that debuted at New York’s Guggenheim Museum and exhibited at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art. In 2012, he released two albums, Break It Yourself, and Hands of Glory, an acoustic companion album. He’s recently been developing a children’s TV show, writing for his next album, and performing with a band he’s calling the Hands of Glory – an old timey acoustic configuration featuring Tift Merritt, Alan Hampton, and Eric Heywood on pedal steel. They’ll be bringing the acoustic one microphone approach to this summer’s tour.

SUSAN TEDESCHI: GRAMMY-winning singer-guitarist Susan Tedeschi has inspired audiences with her confident and soulful voice since she was a young child. Her love of American roots music - especially blues, soul and gospel - along with her fearless stage presence and unmatched vocal prowess has resulted in a successful career, a series of award-winning recordings, and a devoted following. Blessed with the ability to dig deep and deliver powerful, R&B belters or gentle ballads, she is a talented guitarist as well, steeped in the electric blues tradition. 

A Massachusetts native, Tedeschi first began singing with local bands at the age of 13. Drawn to the upbeat rhythms of local gospel churches, she joined a gospel choir while studying at Boston's prestigious Berklee College of Music. Tedeschi quickly established herself as one of the region's top-drawing live acts in Boston's fertile blues scene and went on to form the Susan Tedeschi band in 1994. Inspired by electric blues legends like Otis Rush, Buddy Guy and Magic Sam, Tedeschi began to focus more on her guitar playing. Her growing reputation as both a powerful and gritty singer, and talented guitarist led to her national breakthrough with the critically acclaimed Just Won't Burn, which went Gold and earned Tedeschi a Grammy® nomination for Best New Artist in 2000.

Through the 2000s Tedeschi continued to tour, opening for John Mellencamp, Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones; as well as personal heroes like B.B. King, Buddy Guy and Taj Mahal. She also collaborated on recordings with Santana, Herbie Hancock and Los Lobos, among others, and released several more albums - including her last solo release, Back to the River, in 2008. 

Today Tedeschi's focus is on her new band, Tedeschi Trucks Band, which she co-leads with husband and guitarist Derek Trucks. Fronted by Tedeschi's soulful, impassioned voice, the 11-member powerhouse has achieved in just four years what most bands spend a career trying to accomplish. Their debut, Revelator, produced at the couple’s Swamp Raga home studio, earned a Grammy for Best Blues Album, while 2011's dynamic live follow-up, Everybody’s Talkin’, delivered a brilliant double-disc classic capturing the band’s incendiary musicianship on stage.  Reconvening at Swamp Raga, the band followed up with 2013’s Made Up Mind, hailed by Rolling Stone as “equal parts Stax and Muscle Shoals without dilution of either." 

With Tedeschi Trucks Band, Tedeschi maintains a heavy international touring schedule. In addition to a first-time stop at Bonnaroo in June, TTB's remaining 2014 docket includes a July headlining appearance at Colorado’s famed Red Rocks Amphitheatre following last year’s sell-out, and another installment of its annual residency at New York City’s Beacon Theatre for four nights in September.  Having performed last fall at London’s Royal Albert Hall, the band is also looking forward to a return visit to the continent, with two European tours this spring and summer as well.

Tedeschi and Trucks live in Jacksonville, FL with their two children. 

BEN FOLDS: Multi-platinum selling, singer-songwriter Ben Fold first found mainstream success as the leader of the critically acclaimed Ben Folds Five. He has gone on to have a very successful solo career, recording multiple studio albums, a pair of records documenting his renowned live performances, a remix record, music for film and TV, as well as numerous collaborations with artists from Sara Bareilles to William Shatner. In 2012, Folds reunited with the Ben Folds Five and released a new album, toured the world in 2012-13, and released their first LIVE album in early 2013. Folds returned to his solo career in 2013. TV/Film: Folds has also achieved critical acclaim for his insight as a judge on NBC's a cappella competition "The Sing-Off.” Over the past year, he’s also made a cameo appearances in film and TV, including a role on Comedy Central’s “Community.” He’s also written and recorded several songs for film and TV consideration. Producer/Studio Owner: A Nashville resident, Folds owns and operates the historic RCA Studio A, once managed by Chet Atkins, and the home to thousands of legendary recording sessions in all genres of music – from Elvis Presley to the Monkees, Dolly Parton to Kacey Musgraves, Tony Bennett to the Beach Boys, Lionel Richie, Amanda Palmer, Brian Setzer, and Hunter Hayes. The studio is Folds’ creative hub, where he composes, collaborates, produces and records his works, as well as those of others in the industry. Latest Music Project: Folds, who serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Nashville Symphony, has composed a highly acclaimed 25-minute, three movement concerto for piano and orchestra. He premiered the concerto in Nashville to three consecutive sell-out audiences in March, and is now touring the globe to perform it and other songs he has orchestrated. In the US he’s playing to sold out crowds including a series of shows with the Nashville Ballet that will perform to his concerto, as well as renowned orchestras such as the LA Phil, the San Francisco Symphony and the National Symphony in Washington. He is also scheduled to tour Europe – from Germany to the UK – Japan, Korea, and Australia.
Community Service: A member of the distinguished Artist Committee for Americans for The Arts, Folds is a leading outspoken advocate for music therapy and music education, and recently participated in a special conference at Sundance Resort hosted by Robert Redford that explored how music and art therapy can help our nation’s military veterans. This summer he will deliver the keynote address at the Americans for Arts national conference, and has been tapped to also deliver a presentation at an upcoming TedMED Talk in San Francisco on music therapy. Professional Photographer: Folds is also an avid photographer, whose work has been featured by Imaging Edge Magazine, National Geographic and the Weather Channel. He currently shots images which he sells and distributes online through his platform: www.benfoldsphotography.com.
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