Okeechobee Music Festival's 'PoWow': What to expect from Miguel, Win Butler, John Oates and more
As the producer of Bonnaroo’s vaunted late-night SuperJam sessions, Paul Peck has a few ideas about what makes an all-star collaboration click.
“One of the things I’d always love was having an over-the-top show with really high expectations, but also having surprises on that show, too,” said Peck, one of the founders of this weekend’s Okeechobee Music and Arts Festival in Okeechobee. “It’s to create this shared experience that’s never going to happen again. The idea of a once-in-a-lifetime concert moment.”
Peck’s experience programming the SuperJam led him to create a similar session for this weekend’s inaugural Okeechobee. The PoWoW will take place at midnight Saturday with a lineup curated by R&B dynamo Miguel and Arcade Fire lead singer Win Butler. Guests will include John Oates (who's serving as a musical director), Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Kamasi Washington, members of the Meters and Soulive and more.
Every artist on the bill is planning to perform elsewhere at Okeechobee (including Butler, who will host a DJ set as his alter ego, DJ Windows 98, at 7 p.m. Saturday). But Miguel was always at the top of Peck’s list to curate a jam session.
“Ever since I first discovered Miguel, I was like, I need to do a SuperJam with that guy,” Peck said. “He’s so excited about the show. He’s such an amazing singer, and he’s just going to bring a different perspective, and a different sort of goal to that project than anyone else I’ve ever worked with.”
Another big surprise for this weekend: Saturday’s PoWoW won’t be Okeechobee’s only all-star jam session. Last week, the fest announced that Sunday headliners Mumford and Sons would make their set a de facto PoWoW! too, bringing in the Avett Brothers, Preservation Hall Jazz Band and Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello to close out the whole festival.
At Bonnaroo, Peck said he always loved seeing members of different bands create something special when they were thrust onto the same stage together.
“There’s all these really talented artists, but they’re all in their comfort zone, touring with their band, whether their band is My Morning Jacket or Arcade Fire or Radiohead,” he said. “They play their show every night with their crew, but when they take a step outside of their comfort zone and do something really challenging and risky ... that’s when the sink-or-swim situation with really special, magical moments that can’t be replicated can happen. Those are the type of moments that as a music fan, I live for.”
-- Jay Cridlin