COSTA MESA, CA – Segerstrom Center for the Arts is set to kick off the Orange County summer music scene with a very cool Summer Jazz on the Argyros Plaza series outdoors on the new Julianne and George Argyros Plaza. The Center helped make Orange County a Southern California jazz mecca, presenting the world’s finest musicians and vocalists in its annual Jazz Series for more than 30 years. Now it takes the music outdoors starting Friday, June 1 for 11 consecutive weeks. Shows are from 7- 9 p.m. Bubba Jackson, KJAZZ DJ and jazz legend himself will be on-hand to host each evening. And all concerts are FREE.
Bubba Jackson said, “This series is like no other in Southern California, and I’m thrilled to be part of it with Segerstrom Center. Jazz embodies the musical cultures of the various ethnicity’s, beginning with Africa. These musical styles from around the world showcase the melting pot that is America. Its greatness comes from its many distinctive cultural, artistic, ethnic and historic influences. Each Friday, we’re going to experience a part of that rich heritage with this series. We’re going to hear the voices of the past coming to us through these phenomenal artists who have made jazz their artistic language here and around the world.”Jackson explained, “What we have put together are 11 weeks of the finest and most exceptional artists from around Southern California. From seasoned professionals to the next gen of jazz, such as OCSA’s Ambassador Jazz Band. These teenagers “swing and rock” and are on par with any of the top professional groups. Music fans are in for a real treat, and I can’t wait to share these Friday adventures with everyone.”
Jazz fans and families from across the county are encouraged to arrive early to settle in to enjoy early picnic dinners, music and people-watching. The Center’s Café 360 will be open and serving a special Summer Jazz menu. Barbecues and similar food preparation are not permitted, and, due to space limitations, beach chairs and easily portable seating items are welcome, but guests are asked to not bring tables. Set-up begins at 6:00 p.m., with concerts starting at 7:00 p.m.
THE BBB FEATURING BERNIE DRESEL June 1, 2018
The BBB Featuring Bernie Dresel is without question one of Los Angeles’ most exciting large jazz ensembles. The BBB provides potent testimony to the sheer exhilaration of big band jazz … a combination of intense swing and fiery soloing, as well as tight ensemble playing, powered by Bernie Dresel’s extraordinary drumming talents. Dresel’s rendering style is nothing less than exciting, driven by one of the most accomplished jazz drummers in the world.
Southern Californian Eric Marienthal began his career with none other than the great New Orleans trumpeter Al Hirt. He went on to join the Chick Corea Elektric Band, recording six CDs with Corea and winning two Grammy Awards. He has since gone on to perform in more than 75 different countries, recorded 14 solo CDs and played on hundreds of records, films, television shows and commercial jingles. He has performed with artists such as Elton John, Barbara Streisand, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, Dionne Warwick, Burt Bacharach, Aaron Neville, Johnny Mathis, Dave Grusin, Lee Ritenour, George Duke, David Benoit, The Rippingtons, The Gordon Goodwin Big Phat Band, Patti Austin, Lou Rawls, David Lee Roth, The Yellowjackets, B.B. King, Ramsey Lewis, Patti Labelle, Olivia Newton-John, and many others.
well over $1,500,000 for this charity.
Under the direction of Dan St. Marseille, OCSA’s award-winning orchestra performs a breadth of repertoire, spanning from early jazz to the present. In addition to weekly rehearsals, the ensemble is often heard performing gigs around the Southern California area for private parties and charitable organizations. Over the years, members of the ensemble have participated in the California High School All State Honor Jazz Band, Monterey Next Generation Orchestra, Jazz Band of America, Grammy Jazz Band, Reno Jazz Festival All-Star Combo, and the Southern California School Band and Orchestra (SCSBOA) High School Jazz All-Star groups.
Dan St. Marseille Praised by jazz critics worldwide, saxophonist St. Marseille has worked with many major jazz and commercial artists, including conguero Poncho Sanchez, saxophonist Richie Cole, and singers Cab Calloway and Mel Torme. St. Marseille’s recordings are heard internationally on jazz radio and have been the subject of many articles in such publications as the Los Angeles Times, France’s International Herald Tribune, The Orange County Register, Downbeat, JazzTimes and Japan’s Jazz Critic magazine. His recordings received four-star ratings in the third edition of the All Music Guide to Jazz and The Experts Guide to the Best Jazz Recordings.
Flute soloist, musical director, record producer and educator, Danilo Lozano performs both innovative and accessible music by Latin American, African-American, Latin Jazz and Cuban composers as well as rarely heard pieces of the classical and contemporary repertories. He is the son of noted Cuban musician Rolando Lozano. Lozano has been described as “a fresh new voice of outstanding ability and rare musical sensitivity.” His appearance in “Artes de Mexico,” the massive 1992 Los Angeles festival, caused the Los Angeles Times to notice the recital’s boldness and how Lozano “skillfully laid out his avant-garde credentials with a display of extended techniques.”
Danilo is both musical director and flute soloist with Jose Rizo’s prestigious Jazz on the Latin Side All Stars and can be heard on their CDs The Last Bullfighter and Tambolero on the Saungu Record Label. He also recorded and produced composer Teresa LeVelle’s The Shadowlands on Innova records. He has also performed and recorded with such international musical greats as Linda Ronstadt, Paquito D’ Rivera, Celia Cruz, James Newton, and with many other artists and ensembles.
Cuban-born violinist Dayren Santamaria is the daughter of a musician father and an actress mother. She opted for a musical life and began to study violin at the age of 8. Today she has her own band, Dayren Santamaria and Made in Cuba with some of the best musicians in Los Angeles, including Oscar Hernandez (piano), Jimmy Branly (drums/timbales), Joey De Leon (congas/vocals), and Carlitos Del Puerto (bass). Her musical vocabulary encompasses classical, jazz, R&B, salsa, and Cuban folkloric. Santamaria is praised for her passionate renditions of works on both acoustic and electric violin.
Matt Forbes and His Vintage Pop Orchestra Bringing a bold, new sound to ‘vintage pop’, Matt Forbes is hailed as the freshest voice to hit the genre in more than a decade. He has received widespread critical acclaim with national television appearances on E! News, CTV’s eTalk and The Marilyn Denis Show. The album was a Critic’s Pick in HELLO! Canada and rose to #4 on Amazon’s Top 10 Chart for Hot New Releases in Vocal Jazz — where it remained for its first three months of release. His soulful vocals and unmistakable sound are wowing the millennials of his own generation with songs made popular decades before they were born.
Ron Kobayashi Trio
Pianist and leader Ron Kobayashi has performed with Mel Torme, Margaret Whiting, Eric Marienthal, Phil Upchurch, Teddy Edwards, Tim Weisberg, Kenny Burrell, Paula Kelly Jr., Herb Jeffries, Peter White and The Modernaires. He and his band have shared the stage with such notable artists as David Benoit, Eddie Palmieri, Cirque Du Soleil, Strunz and Farah, and The Fabulous Thunderbirds. The Trio has played numerous jazz festivals including the San Bernardino Music Festival, Orange County Art and Jazz Festival, Yorba Linda Arts Festival, Dana Point Jazz Festival, Mission Viejo Music Festival and the Playboy Jazz Summerfest in Pasadena.
Andrea Miller’s voice has been described as soulful, sensual, hypnotic and endearing. Influenced by Nancy Wilson, Sarah Vaughan and Stevie Wonder, Andrea is currently heating up the jazz scene coast to coast touring and receiving national airplay. She has performed with Al Jarreau, David Foster, Quincy Jones and Alan and Marilyn Bergman, and has appeared at the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Pasadena Jazz Institute, Baked Potato, Spaghettini, the Newport Beach Jazz Festival, Catalina Jazz Club, Vibrato, Casselberry Jazz Festival and others.
Playing thrilling interpretations of songs from the era of Antonio Carlos Jobim, Stan Getz, Charlie Byrd
Bring a “Bossa Nova Wave” to Upstairs at Vitello’s Supper Club. Peplowski has been called “the greatest living jazz clarinetist” (Russell Davis, BBC2) and Figueiredo was twice named “Best Guitar Player” (Montreaux International Jazz Festival). The duo performs Upstairs at Vitello’s Supper Club, 4349 Tujunga Ave, Studio City, CA, on Friday, May 18, at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.Tickets, priced from $25, are available vitellosrestaurant.ticketfly.com online and by phone at 818.769.0905 (11am-3pm)
Bossa nova began in the late 1950s and ’60s on the balmy beaches of Rio de Janeiro. By the early ’60s it had swept the world, exploding in North America on Grammy and Billboard charts with such hits as Antônio Carlos Jobim’s “Girl from Ipanema,” “Corcovado,” and “Wave” and the spectacular “Jazz Samba” album by Stan Getz and Charlie Byrd, which captured the #1 slot on The Billboard Pop Chart.
The popular music is a soft samba based on traditional Brazilian music and rhythms, American jazz, and a new style of Portuguese lyrics. Who is better qualified to interpret bossa nova than Brazilian-born, Portuguese-speaking guitarist Figueiredo and internationally acclaimed American jazz musician Peplowski? The duo combine their considerable talents to create an exciting fusion of jazz, bossa nova and classical sounds.
KEN PEPLOWSKI has been highly praised and frequently honored. Among other credits, he has been a featured performer at practically every significant jazz festival, was music director of the Oregon Festival of American Music for eight years and for the Sarasota Jazz Festival, has backed dozens of major performers, and has recorded some 50 CDs as a soloist and nearly 500 more as a sideman. A frequent performer for the Jazz Club of Sarasota, he performs often with NEA Jazz Master Dick Hyman among other jazz greats, and in 2014 he received the Jazz Club’s highest honor, its Satchmo Award, for his “unique and enduring contribution to the living history of jazz.” He is also a longtime performer/consultant to The Jazz Cruise, where he was elected into the Jazz Cruise Hall Of Fame in 2013.
Ken has headlined the Hollywood Bowl, Carnegie Hall, the Blue Note, Las Vegas and Dizzy’s Club among others. He has performed for the Newport Jazz Festival, pops concerts, European festivals, and Woody Allen movies. The litany of musicians he has collaborated with includes Mel Torme, Leon Redbone, Charlie Byrd, Peggy Lee, George Shearing, Madonna, Hank Jones, Dave Frishberg, Rosemary Clooney, Tom Harrell, James Moody, Cedar Walton, Houston Person, Steve Allen, Bill Charlap, Woody Allen, Marianne Faithfull.
● “Mr. Peplowski sounds the way (Benny) Goodman might if he had kept evolving, kept on listening to new music, kept refining his sound, polishing his craft, and expanding his musical purview into the 21st century.”– Will Friedwald in The Wall Street Journal, December 2012
DIEGO FIGUEIREDO is a fast-rising star of the guitar world. Although only 37 years old, he has already amassed a considerable record of achievement: 23 CDs, 3 DVDs, performances in more than 60 countries, several instructional books, and prestigious awards including the VISA Prize and two successive wins as “Best Guitar Player” at the Montreux International Jazz Festival. His most recent concert, “From Classical to Jazz,” is a fusion of jazz, bossa nova and classical music.
Diego easily exceeds expectations placed upon musicians from Brazil, a nation that fosters new stars. His unique interpretations of existing songs and his own compositions are based on his exceptional technique, effortlessly coupled with his emotional, joyous approach that thrills audiences and makes new friends wherever he plays.
He has recorded and performed with many respected musicians including Gilberto Gil, João Bosco, Roberto Menescal, Toquinho, Belchior, Fafá de Belém, Angela Maria, Toninho Horta, Larry Coryell, Ken Peplowski, Lewis Nash, John Clayton, Cyrille Aimée, and many others. As he performs, he never fails to impress audiences, even highly respected, long-established guitarists. For example:
● “One of the greatest guitarists I’ve seen in my whole life.” – George Benson
● “Diego is a unique musician.” – Al Di Meola
● “Up next was a true virtuoso, jazz guitarist Diego Figuierido. . . . It was his incredibly fluid and
natural performance style, his sense of true enjoyment as he dazzled us and his good-natured
entertaining approach that truly grabbed us. Wow. . . . Seemingly effortless and thoroughly
fabulous.” – Laura B. Whitmore /Guitar World magazine
WHO: Ken Peplowski & Diego Figueiredo
WHAT: Bossa Nova Wave
WHERE: Upstairs at Vitello’s Supper Club, 4349 Tujunga Ave, Studio City, CA
WHEN: Friday, May 18, 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.
TICKETS: From $25.00; Buy [vitellosrestaurant.ticketfly.com]online or phone 818.769.0905 (11am-3pm)
The invitation came by a phone message. “We’d like to invite you to a Swing Night event,” which included a number to call back. I did and got all the particulars. The North Hollywood High School Jazz Band was going to be presenting a “Swing Night” to be held at the CBS Studios in Studio City on Saturday, April 28th. Would I like to attend?
Would I? You bet I would like to go! I love swing bands, love the totally happy feel of that music, especially when there are dancers strutting their stuff! My friend Debbie drove us to the gate at the CBS studio at around 6 pm on a Saturday. Huge-truck-trailers were parked along the streets. inside this busy studio. This is where many TV shows are filmed all week long and eventually delivered to our TV sets. On this evening it was pretty quiet as we showed our ID’s to the guard at the entry gate. He directed us to the Carla’s Café where the event was being held. We parked nearby and went into the Café, which was filled with musicians setting up and fans at tables enjoying the taco buffet.
The taco fixings were delicious, fresh and plentiful. Obviously no liquor was served, just cold sodas. The North Hollywood High School Jazz Band was ready to roar and they did that for a long set which featured familiar tunes performed with a youthful zest that couldn’t be better. Some dancers began dancing on the wooden dance floor with youthful abandon, and an array of fancy steps. It was amazing to watch how individual each couple was. They were dressed up, cool and collected. The music was swinging hot!
The jazz band consisted of Saxes: Bryce Fang – Alto Sax 1 Kevin Chang – Alto Sax 2 Max Roberts – Tenor Sax 1 Austin Kim – Tenor Sax 2 Denise Fuentes – Baritone Sax Trombones: Adam Karelin – Trombone 1 Blake Rojas – Trombone 2 Chisa Nagai – Trombone 3 Jesus Jauregui – Trombone 4 Trumpets: Macrae Eckelberry – Trumpet 1 Albert Zhang – Trumpet 2 Ronen Lee – Trumpet 3 Angus Weir – Trumpet 4 Joseph Rosenbaum – Trumpet 5 Rhythm Section: Andrew Cruz – Drums Nigel Fregozo – Bass Keren Lee – Piano David Petrosian – Vibraphone/Drums/Aux Percussion Donald Doyle (Guest Player) – Guitar Robin Sharp (Band Director) – Drums
The tunes that were performed were familiar but they were given a youthful glow, a special flair that made each quite compelling. “It Don’t Mean a Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing,” “Dat Dere,” “Lady be Good,” “Watermelon Man,” “On the Sunny Side of the Street,” “Bye Bye Blackbird“” and everything else they performed was very distinctive, robust and full of terrific individual solos. At some places I had to ask Debbie, “Is that such and such?” I didn’t always remember the title of the tunes but she helped. . In short, interesting things were happening on the bandstand. They were creating joyous music, their way.
The dancers were having a great time, also adding such flair and precision to each tune. They were dressed to impress, with very cool and hip clothes, which can only add to the fun of going out to dance. They were having a great time and so was the audience. An array of delicious desserts were brought out for everyone to enjoy.
There was an older gentleman, Donald Doyle, who played guitar beautifully. He composed a tune, “Jumpstart” that was terrific, filled with full-force excitement. It moved really fast but the band was right in the pocket. It was a brand new tune for the band but it sounded very cohesive with fine solos from several of the young musicians.
So, here’s the thing: there are still a lot of young people who love jazz. They like the music, love to play it and work out their own interpretations of well-known songs. Jazz is so much a part of American history. It has deep roots in the growth of our country and has persisted through the decades of great changes in the U.S. As long as there are young people, who love to dance to the creations of truly creative musicians, the music will survive and even thrive.
The whole evening was a revelation to me, another example of why many of us love the music and applaud those who are still seeking that special magic that jazz provides. Congratulations to all who made this a wonderful evening!.
Robin Sharp is the Musical Director for the group and he is doing a great job with these young musicians. The principal of North Hollywood High School is Mr. Rosales and he loves the music of Robert Plant so he took his place in front of the band and sang like a rock star himself. He nailed it! That was a big surprise in an evening full of surprises! Wow!
I have to thank Megan Harris for inviting me to hear the band. It was a great discovery, a marvelous evening!
By Myrna Daniels