It has been almost 50 years since the tragic death of Jimi Hendrix, but his sound and influence echo across the decades.
The music, not the man, is resurrected by a changing line-up of guitar all-stars who tour under the name Experience Hendrix. The revolving roster of superstar performers include, for a one-night-only gig at Lowell Memorial Auditorium on Thursday, April 4, a trio of acclaimed virtuosos -- Jonny Lang, Joe Satriani and Dave Mustaine.
The next-generation axmen are the latest incantation of about 30 renowned guitarists who have starred in the Experience Hendrix tour over the past 20 years. They will recreate, with personal signatures, several tracks from Jimi's vast catalog of ground-breaking riffs.
Two unanswered questions have kept the legend of Hendrix alive nearly half a century after his death: the exact circumstances of his death on Sept. 18, 1970, and the source of his divine talent. Neither of those two enduring mysteries surrounding Hendrix will be solved at Thursday's show, but the sound will surely ring familiar with fans of his and of the artists that perform his music.
Only two Massachusetts venues are slated for the 30-city tour this year -- New Bedford is the other -- so this is a rare opportunity to experience Hendrix ... or at least his disciples.
Tickets, priced from $45 $95, are still available for what is hailed by critics as the "Guitar Event of the Year.
Who will be playing Hendrix's riffs in Lowell
Joe Satriani: The Long Island, N.Y., native started out as a guitar instructor, and you may have heard of some of his former students, Steve Vai and Kirk Hammett among them. He has played with Mick Jagger, Deep Purple, Sammy Hagar, Alice Cooper, Blue Oyster Cult, Crowded House, the Greg Kihn Band and others. Of Hendrix, he has said, "I started out on the guitar because I was such a Hendrix fan."
Jonny Lang: The former child prodigy is now 21 years into a career that has brought fans and acclaim around the globe.
Dave Mustaine: The founder of metal monsters Megadeth will bring a heavy-metal ax to the Lowell show. His 30 years in the limelight have helped define his genre and bring metal to the masses. The California native was the original lead guitarist for Metallica before leaving to form Megadeth in 1983.
Other performers in Experience Hendrix (though the auditorium notes that the lineup is subject to change) include:
Billy Cox, the only surviving member of any of Hendrix's bands, on bass
Dweezil Zappa on guitar
Eric Johnson on guitar
Chris Layton, the drummer for Stevie Ray Vaughn & Double Trouble
Mato Nanji, guitar player for the blues-rock band Indigenous
Kenny Aronoff, drummer for many bands, most notably John Mellencamp
The Slide Brothers, slide-guitar aces
Blues great Taj Mahal, "the official Blues Artist of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts"