In the spirit of the Harlem Renaissance, but 100 years later with a 21st century blend of R&B and hip-hop, Los Angeles-based Parlor Social performed at the Edye/Broad Stage. Opening song “Higher Place” featuring sassy lead singer Dessy Di Lauro was poppy R&B. Backing hep players Channing Holmes-drums, Chris Thigpen-bass/synth, Jay Flatt-saxophone, Chris Lowery-trumpet and Taylor Graves-keyboards supplied plenty of R&B and vintage jazzy grooving. “I Just Want You to be My Baby” was totally ‘20s with jumping trumpet, saxophone and drum solos, melded with stirring singing really got the audience going.
“I Come Running” was bluesy with horns reverberating and Di Lauro singing strongly, while classic “I Put a Spell on You,” similar to the original, but with synth, and rapping from guest singer Anon complimented the lead singer. “His Name is Jack” was akin to Cab Calloway’s “Minnie The Moocher” with horns roaring, and also shifted to hip-hop with Di Lauro rapping. Louis Armstrong’s “Heebie Jeebies” was also nuanced with R&B grooving as the vocalist sang super soulfully, while the band and audience injected vocal choruses.
Also along the same lines and actually dating back to the Harlem Renaissance was “Sweet Georgia Brown” with Anon also taking the mic for some rapping as all the band soloed. Original “Say Hep Hep” was an extended jam, and featuring the band and singer working out to a modern soul motif with a touch of nostalgia. For more info go to: www.parlorsocial.com.
Aaron Neville’s backing pianist Michael Goods opened playing solely at UCLA’s Center For The Art of Performance at Royce Hall before working with the popular singer, best known for being part of the longstanding New Orleans rocking funk band The Neville Brothers. Goods’ brief segment that included Dizzy Gillespie’s “Night in Tunisia,” Louis Armstrong’s “Do You Know it Means to Miss New Orleans” and Sting’s “Fragile” gave the audience a clue about where Neville’s show would be going. The sweet sounding singer with a near-vibrato soprano got underway with “Standby Me” and continued for nearly two hours playing an enjoyable mix of doo wop, gospel, New Orleans, R&B and pop songs that kept the audience spellbound.
Some of the songs the linebacker looking vocalist reeled off were “To be Free,” “This Magic Moment,” “Closer to Thee,” “I Don’t Know Much,” “Just The Way You Are,” “Mona Lisa” and “Use Me” with clavinet to further excite the audience. Neville eventually took a break and shared stories about growing up in New Orleans, being in prison and finding salvation. Of course what the crowd really wanted to hear were more songs and the singer obliged with “Fire And Rain,” “Sweet Caroline” with the audience singing the chorus-Boston style, “Please Send Me Someone to Love” and gospel hymn “In The Garden.”
Naturally, Neville had to do his staple, classical “Ava Maria” and could have ended his show there. He kept singing doing “Down by The Riverside” with audience singing and clapping along, “When The Saints Come Marching In” and “Tell it Like it is,” which caused some hearts to flutter, and ending his syrupy set was “Goodnight Sweetheart.”
The field of meditative and therapeutic music is well represented with many appealing and interesting artists. However, few are as engaging and transcending as singer/songwriter/harmonium player Simrit. Born in Greece, adopted and raised in South Carolina and currently based in Nevada City, CA, the other worldly singer embodies rich and highly devotional harmonics, yet is not musically dogmatic. During a nearly two-hour concert at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre she took a near-capacity audience to states of serenity, transformation, celebration and euphoria. Simrit donning a long glowing gown and an exotic headdress gave the outward appearance of being a celestial deity. She though was anything but courtly in her mannerisms and speech, disarmingly greeting the audience with folksy “you alls” and expressing thankfulness many times.
Musically, with band mates Shannon Hayden-cello, Salif Bamakora-kora, Jared May-bass/synthesizer and Devon Ashley-drums Simrit launched heavenly sung, lengthy trance-like pieces “Agunjul” and “Prithvi Hai.” They were sung in Gurumukhi (an ancient, poetic language from India’s Punjab region), and a self-created dialect inspired by the ancient Greek, and bolstered by riveting affects-driven cello and kora with an airy pulse from bass and drums. The singer shifted to irresistible dance groove “Clandestine” sung in English and inspired many of the audience to dance, while cello and kora also soloed.
New song “It is Written” possessed African rhythms and Simrit sung serenely with them. Scaled down “CCV” was very devotional and laden with angelic vocals to a harmonium, cello and kora soundscape that segued into an amplified crescendo. Other songs employing the same dynamics followed with touches of prog-rock and world music mixed in. Yet, the audience was insatiable at the end of the program. For encores the Northern Cal singer and band served up sweet danceable grooves “Dark Star,” “All Of Myself” and “Just A Glance” to receive a very enthusiastic standing ovation. For more info go to: simritkaurmusic.com
Harlem 100 Featuring Mwenso and The Shakes at the Cerritos Center For The Performing Arts was another group basing their music on the Harlem Renaissance, which essentially thrived from 1918 to 1930. The New York group put on a fast-paced show, created in collaboration with the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, and naturally focused on jazz and other popular music of the era. Poetry, literature and art, also quite prominent and innovative during the Afro-American cultural movement was not mentioned or shown, however. Nonetheless, Mwenso and The Shakes, a large ensemble of musicians, singers and dancers took the audience on guided tour of historic 1920’s Harlem through song and dance.
“This Joint is Jumpin’” was hot and swinging, showcasing the band howling away, with pictures of Fats Waller shown overhead. Michael Mwenso the bandleader and Emcee spoke to the audience, while directing the show. Importantly, women of the Harlem Renaissance were highlighted, beginning with Ma’ Rainey and her protégé, Bessie Smith the first black artist signed to Columbia records and the highest paid. “Squeeze Me” strongly sung by Brianna Thomas celebrated Smith’s rebellious spirit and bold sexuality. Louis Armstrong was honored through “Symphonic Rhaps” highlighted by clarinetist Ruben Frost.
Renowned tap-dancers Bill “Bojangles” Roberts and Dr. Jeni LeGon’s groundbreaking achievements were also remembered through Michela Marino Lerman’s show stopping stepping, including call and response with drums. Other jazz pianists Willie “The Lion” Smith, James P. Johnson’s and Hazel Scott’s unique styles were briefly exhibited as well. Not to be forgotten were opera singer Marian Anderson by way of “Deep River” sung incredibly by Vuyo Sotashe, along with jazz icon Billie Holiday’s “It’s a Sin to Tell a Lie,” featuring Lerman’s astonishing singing and tapping. Thomas returned for a Lena Horne tribute, torrent singing “Stormy Weather, while also honoring Ethel Waters with gospel classic “His Eye is on The Sparrow.” For more info go to: http://mwensoandshakes.com/ and http://www.cerritoscenter.com.
One thing is certain, Avery Sunshine makes a lasting impression whenever and in whatever format or capacity she performs. At the Theatre at The Ace Hotel she took the audience to church and to the club as well. Her creds include being a gospel church Musical Director/keyboardist, lead keyboardist for Tyler Perry’s stage play Meet the Browns, and the choral director for the theatrical production of Dreamgirls during the National Black Arts Festival in Atlanta. Nationally, she did the vocal soundtrack of The Fighting Temptations, performed daily at the 2008 Democratic National Convention, and sung at President Barack Obama’s inauguration in 2009, along with releasing chart-topping singles and albums.
Twenty Sixty Four is the singer/keyboardist’s latest CD, produced by her husband/guitarist Dana “Big Dane” Johnson, who is also a member of Sunshine’s band. They with drummer Q and bassist De-Tox kept the audience infatuated with modern soul/gospel songs such as “Hello Sunshine,” “You’ll Never Find (A Woman Like Me)” that had all women testifying in agreement, and soul-drenched “Wishing You Were Here With Me.”
Besides singing, Sunshine spent a lot of time talking and relating to the women in the audience, which seem to get them even more excited about the music. She continued with over the top interpretations of Gladys Knight’s “Midnight Train” and Aretha Franklin’s “Day Dreaming,” along with gospel flavored original “I Been Waiting on The World And The World’s Been Waiting on Me” and her best-known modern soul song “Call My Name.” For more info go to: averysunshine.com.
Santa Barbara Acoustic Music Association presents SBAcoustic, the highly anticipated celebratory series began September 14 with the opening weekend of live international acoustic music concerts, guitar workshops, and artisanal guitar show at the New Vic Theatre. SBAcoustic continues with musically diverse live music concerts through December 14 at downtown Santa Barbara venues: The Wooden Hall Concerts at the Alhecama Theatre, the Lobero Theatre and SOhO Restaurant & Music Club.
Santa Barbara Acoustic Music Association presents SBAcoustic
Dec 14: Trace Bundy, The Acoustic Ninja; 7:30 p.m.; The Wooden Hall at Alhecama Theatre
Experimental, avant-garde, jazz and funk-rocking ensemble Kneebody, consisting of Nate Wood-drums/bass, Adam Benjamin-keyboards, Shane Endsley-trumpet and Ben Wendel-saxophone formed in 2001. They recently released their 10tth studio album Chapter featuring vocalists, Michael Mayo, Gretchen Parlato, Josh Dion and guitarist/singer Becca Stevens, along with pianist Gerald Clayton. It notably is their first recording with Wood doing double duty on drums and bass, since the departure of bassist Kaveh Rastegar. The revised band, without the guests took siege of the Blue Whale for three days to showcase new pieces and some older tunes. “Spectra” had a funk edge with echo-plex and effects driven electric piano abounding, while brass supplied jubilant choruses and blistering solos.
Contrarily, the title track was more straightforward with thematic brass playing and a hard-driving rhythm foundation accented by oft-kilter tinges of funk and distortion. “Hearts Won’t Break” originally recorded with Dion was an even stronger groove that was coolly augmented by Endsley and Wendel’s resounding collective playing and subsequent individual solos, as Benjamin and Wood laid down irresistible back-beats that engulfed the crowd. Yet to be recorded piece “Just to Be” developed with a touring trio was a decidedly easy flowing, near-ballad that showcased evocative brass work, and was embellished with atmospheric strains and extended improvised sections spotlighting all the band members to astound the audience. Concluding the engaging set was vastly different murky ensemble piece “Non-Profit Prince of Lexington,” and hard jamming “Uprising” from their previous CD Anti-Hero, which included a political charged (leftwing) intro from Endsley to further rile up the crowd.
Kendrick Scott’s Oracle and Marquis Hill’s Love Tape were a special Jazz Bakery double-bill performance at the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center. Drummer Scott’s set mostly from his band’s new CD A Wall Becomes a Bridge, with Taylor Eigsti-keyboard, Mike Moreno-guitar and Brandon Owens-bass was a bit of a fused and spiritual affair, especially with the absence of John Ellis-reeds. In many ways the band’s sound was similar to Scott’s former boss, trumpeter Terence Blanchard’s E-Collective. “Don Blue” coolly flowed with Moreno’s feathery riffs and Eigsti’s atmospheric chords cascading, as the bandleader and bassist laid down a pulsating foundation.
The same theme prevailed on “The Catalyst,” but with keyboards being much more dominant and rhythmic touches being much more accentuated. Scott afterwards revealed that the tune was about persevering and support of friends such as bassist/producer Derrick Hodge. Even mellower was “Archangel,” dedicated to the drummer’s nieces and nephews featuring bass and keyboard in tandem as Scott scatted angelically with the guitarist. For a bit of a change, Owens, who was subbing for Joe Sanders, but an old friend of Scotts was featured on “Voices.” Representing the general theme of the new CD, was sparkling and upbeat “Mocean,” underscored by the musicians intensely intermingling to end the set.
Hill’s Love Tape was related to Scott’s Oracle, but much more soothing and groove oriented. The band opened the concert with easy-flowing jams featuring the bandleader, winner of the 2014 Thelonious Monk Institute Jazz Trumpet Solo Competition. With Greg Spiro-keyboards, Kyle Miles-bass and Makaya McCraven-drums, he employed effects and sampled interviews from Afro-American women, regarding love for the near-meditative, seamless set. Breaking things up, Alex Isley joined the group to sing dreamy ballad “Life Boat“ and funk groove “Wednesday Love” to receive a standing ovation.
Korean singer Youn Sun Nah, who splits time between Seoul and Paris, recently performed at the Blue Whale for her Immersion Tour, which is the title of her latest recording. Joined by Tomasz “Tomek” Miernowski –keyboards/guitar and Brad Jones-bass, she presented a highly eclectic show. Several songs from her latest album were sparse pop ballad “Invincible” bolstered by Jones soloing and Motown classic “You Can’t Hurry Love” done in slow drawn near-spiritual fashion. Additionally, blues/gospel “John The Revelator” rocked the house with fire-breathing singing and scorching guitar. Nah closed with a gentle and meditative traditional Korean folk song to send the audience peacefully on their way. For more info go to: www.younsunnah.com.
Brazilians artists, Sergio Mendes and Bebel Gilberto shared a sold-out double billing at UCLA’s Center For The Art of Performance at Royce Hall for the 60th Anniversary of Bossa Nova. Although it was a highly celebratory affair, each artist went about it very differently. Headliner, Mendes and his group that included two backup singers, with one being his wife, Gracinha Leporace, put on a true South American party. From the offset, the audience was up and dancing as the keyboardist and band worked out with fun and memorable bossa/samba songs. Some of them were Jobim’s silky “Waters of March” and “Agua de Beber,” and “Surfboard” with hip-hop MC H2O who stirred up the crowd, while the singers and band also grooved away.
Also keeping the energy going was Baden Powell’s samba rich “Promessa/Berimbau” featuring Mendes’ percussionist who dazzled the audience with rhythms, dance moves and talking drum call and response with the bandleader. Afterwards bossa returned as the percussionist continued playing pandeiro (Brazilian tamborine).
There were also softer moments showcasing Mendes’ hits. They were “Never Gonna Let You Go” sung by flutist/keyboardist Scott Mayo and backup singer Katie Hampton, and with full band singing for the Beatles “The Fool on the Hill,” “Going Out of My Head” and “The Look of Love.”
As always the band ended with Mendes biggest hit “Mas Que Nada” as an encore, which revved up the audience more and turned into a breakout party, followed with a percussive jam that no one wanted to end.
Bebel, who opened wearing a stunning, near shear designer dress alternatively turned in a traditional bossa set, which is far different from her popular Grammy-nominated electronica/pop grooves. This was in response to both her parents, Joāo Gilberto, legendary bossa creator, and popular Brazilian singer, Miúcha passing away this year. “Wave” one of Gilberto’s father’s most popular songs started the set to strong applause, and was supported by a guitarist and drummer. Other notable songs all sung in Portuguese from the legendary and enduring Gilberto catalogue were “Samba Da Minha Terra,” “Insensatez,” and of course “The Girl from Ipanema,” which all drew fervent crowd response.
Celebrate the milestone 20th anniversary of the Latin GRAMMY Awards®, the GRAMMY Museum® proudly presented Latin GRAMMY®, 20 Years Of Excellence. The Museum kicked off the opening of the new Latin music exhibit and its new third floor with a full day of programming, including an education program for students, live performances, and a ribbon-cutting ceremony with Gabriel Abaroa Jr., President/CEO of The Latin Recording Academy® and Michael Sticka, President of the GRAMMY Museum, along with prestigious Latin artists and personalities.
Working in collaboration with The Latin Recording Academy, the GRAMMY Museum renovated its third floor in order to expand its Latin-themed exhibits to showcase the power of Latin music as it continues to grow as one of the leading influences worldwide. Latin GRAMMY, 20 Years Of Excellence will highlight a variety of iconic moments and performances from the Latin GRAMMY Awards’ 20-year history and celebrate the accomplishments of various Latin GRAMMY- and GRAMMY-nominated and -winning artists. The exhibit also includes a comprehensive overview of The Latin Recording Academy’s Person of the Year Celebrations, highlighting each honoree from the program’s 20-year history. Some of the featured original pieces include artwork, personal items, instruments, media components, and audio playlists.
Latin GRAMMY, 20 Years Of Excellence is also the inaugural exhibition in the Museum’s newly constructed Latin music gallery, which is a result of The Latin Recording Academy committing more than half a million dollars over a three-year period to expand the Museum’s Latin music-focused exhibits and education programs and toward the hiring of a Latin music curator.
Exhibit highlights include:
• Instruments played by Latin GRAMMY and GRAMMY winners, including Lila Downs, Banda El Recodo, Los Tucanes De Tijuana, Alejandro Sanz, and Julieta Venegas
• Juan Gabriel’s tuxedo from his memorable 40-minute performance at the 10th Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards
• Luis Fonsi’s outfit from his performance of “Despacito” at the 18th Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards
• Ricky Martin’s paint-stained tuxedo shirt from his performance with the Blue Man Group at the 8th Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards
Latin artists featured in the exhibit include:
• Marc Anthony
• Miguel Bosé
• Roberto Carlos
• Plácido Domingo
• Emilio Estefan
• Vicente Fernández
• Juan Gabriel
• Gilberto Gil
• Juan Luis Guerra
• Julio Iglesias
• José José
• Ricky Martin
• Luz Rios
• Carlos Santana
• Alejandro Sanz
• Joan Manuel Serrat
• Caetano Veloso
For more info go to: www.grammymuseum.org
Excluding the Musicians Institute, UCLA and USC, it’s not too likely that John Clayton Presents The Bass Monsters! would be presented anywhere. Credit definitely has to be given to Ruth Price for having the interesting and very different concept at the Moss Theatre as part of the Jazz Bakery’s Movable Feast series. Nine monsters or rather bassists: Alex Frank, Mike Gurrola, Edwin Livingston, Lyman Medeiros, Johathan Richards, Dave Robaire, Benjamin Shepherd, Katie Thiroux and ringleader-Clayton played together in different configurations throughout the evening. Starting things off was “Da Basses Groove” featuring all the players working out together for a bluesy jam, with each one also turning in hot solos. Ray Brown’s “Blues in The Basement” divided the basses and rotated with some doing accent bowing, others bowing and soloing and the remaining maintaining cadence.
The basses were further broken down into quartets for Brown’s hot swinging “Sweet Georgia Brown Skin,” Oscar Pettiford’s innovative “Tricotism” and “Neal Hefti’s emotive “Lil’ Darlin’.” For a break in format, Livingston premiered his original ballad “Just When You Thought” solely, Mederios sang and played “‘Deed I Do” with only one bass accompanying that was dedicated to his wife. Another dedication came from Clayton who rendered Chopin’s “Prelude” for his mother. More singing occurred when Thiroux tenderly sang “I Fall in Love Too Easily” as two bassists supported her. Lyrically, Gurrola and Robaire came together for immortal ballad “Whisper Not.” All the bassists reunited for Clayton’s amusing classic “The Walking Bass” featuring him coolly crooning and not playing, and the rock-like hard jamming “Grunge.” Significantly, the outing was in the spirit of Ray Brown who graciously mentored Clayton and urged him to pay it forward.
NEA Jazz Master and former Coltrane collaborator, saxophonist Pharaoh Sanders performed at the Moss Theatre as part of the Jazz Bakery’s Musical Feast series for his 79th birthday (October 13th). Working with the legendary saxophonist was pianist Benito Gonzales. To a packed house Gonzales grandly opened the show playing “Misty” solely. Shortly afterwards he was joined by Sanders who muscularly interweaved with him and engulfed the venue with his unmistakably, rich full-bodied sound. The duo adroitly ventured into a healthy dose of Coltrane that overflowed with strong interaction and engrossing solos from both players and included immortal ballad “Naima.” Sander’s sumptuous tone captured the emotion of the melody as Gonzales delivered vibrant chords and also creatively soloed to draw strong applause.
Upon the pianist’s intro and playing of “The Creator Has a Master Plan,” probably the saxophonist’s most popular composition (co-written with Leon Thomas), the audience promptly clapped along. Sanders in response gracefully showed off some nifty little dance steps that garnered crowd approval. Afterwards he chanted and scatted with the audience repeating what he did as best they could. The saxophonist additionally crooned some of the lyrics and then returned to chanting and scatting as the crowd continued clapping. Interestingly, the Jazz Master never returned to playing. The audience, though, was happy with the spirituality and artistry of the hour-long performance and totally in the moment.
Austrian-born guitarist Wolfgang Schalk, who splits time between New York and Los Angeles showcased music from his eighth project as a leader, Obsession at Catalina’s. Andy Langham-piano, Carlitos Del Puerto-bass, Oscar Seaton-drums and Joey De Leon-percussion/vocals supported him. The guitarist’s fluid style is a composite of well known fret-masters such as Wes Montgomery, Pat Martino, John Scofield and Pat Metheny, and flows coolly, but also can be intense and potent. Most importantly, Schalk is a talented composer and bandleader, who shows little interested in impressing audiences with his soloing skills.
For the CD Release Party tunes like Scofield type groove “Darkment of the Light,” Martino styled “Run Run Run,” Metheny flavored “Sambo Mamba” and Montgomery influenced “Locker Room Talk” bolstered by Langham and the band enchanted the audience. Contrarily, poetic ballad “When Two Auras Kiss” showcased the bandleader playing with gentle elegance. Concluding the invigorating set was the energetic title track that featured all the band members jamming away. For more info go to: wolfgangschalk.com.
Former Japanese pop superstar in the ‘80s and ‘90s, now jazz a pianist since 2008 with six CDs recorded, Senri Oe returned to Feinstein’s at Vitello’s. The previous performance featured the New York City-based artist playing solo. This time around he worked with a trio that included bassist Matt Clohesy and drummer Mark Ferber. Oe, who has also produced, arranged and/or played on projects by Janis Siegel of The Manhattan Transfer; Sheila Jordan, Theo Bleckmann, Becca Stevens and Lauren Kinhan of the New York Voices, showcased his latest and first trio release Hmmm. Additionally, the pianist is a bit of a comedian and injected humor, somewhat reminiscent of Pat Morita’s comic routines in the late ‘60s, who was best known for his roles as the mentor for the Karate Kid films.
Oe, in action with the trio played with a light and deft touch that melded intermittent bits of funk and Japanese traditional folk excursions. With the Holiday Season looming “The Christmas Song” was an early selection and segued into funk contemporary tune “Indoor Voices” propelled by the bandleader’s cool grooving and soloing, bolstered by a bass interlude. “Bikini” strongly contrasted with a driving beat for the intro, mid and closing sections intermixed with palatable bossa textures.
While “Poignant Kisses” was a sophisticated romp featuring Oe blazing away to impress the audience. “Orange Desert” ramped up the energy even more, and was monster rocking and dramatic that included a scorching drum solo. During the closing moments of a very entertaining set the pianist conjured up “A Fireplace” that had a strong Christmas sentiment to generate an exuberant standing ovation and calls for an encore. For more info go to: www.facebook.com/SenriOe
In grand fashion, pianist/composer/arranger Roger Kellaway had his 80th birthday (November 1st) bash at Feinstein’s at Vitello’s the day after Thanksgiving. Co-conspirators for the special occasion were bassist John Clayton and guitarist Bruce Forman. They alternated between the pianist latest CDs, The Many Open Minds of Roger Kellaway and New Jazz Standards Vol.3. Getting things underway was a breezy version of Benny Golson’s “Killer Joe” or rather “Killer Rudy” as Kellaway jokingly put it. The number featured the man of the hour turning in a tantalizing solo and coolly intermeshing with his sidemen. Afterwards, a flourishing piano served as the intro for lightly swinging “Mean to Me” with guitar and bass adding rhythmically rich solos.
In memory of his tenure with the Don Ellis Big Band, who was the master of odd time signatures, Kellaway demonstrated “Take Five” in 4/4 and then played Jobim’s “Meditation” in 7/4 with Clayton bowing to further enhance the easy flowing bossa classic. Also along the same lines there was astounding cascading piano and arco bass, with zesty call and response guitar and piano for was Ellington’s “Take the A Train.”
Changing things up, the bandleader solely spotlighted his somber and introspective original ballad “All My Life.” With full trio, Miles Davis’ immortal “All Blues” was rendered as guitar injected intriguing, near-dissonant touches, balanced with rich harmonies, while Kellaway coolly swung and stretched out. Also around the same time (1958) was “I Was Doing Alright” from Oscar Peterson and Stan Getz’s album together, which was garnished with engaging piano/guitar exchanges and solos, along with a subtle bass foundation. In similar fashion was original “Walking on Air.” Vastly different was a short duet with bass that Kellaway said was “Happy Birthday” spelled backwards. For the closing piece, the trio served up Monk’s zippy “52nd Street Theme” featuring the players jamming away impressively, with spirited exchanges.
Educators, parents, child psychologists and musicians have overwhelming emphasized the importance of exposing children to music at an early age. One musician who’s in the trenches doing the work is reedist Oran Etkin. He was born in Israel and grew up in Boston, where as a teenager he studied with Yusef Lateef and George Garzone before going getting a BA at Brandeis University and MA at the Manhattan School of Music. Shortly afterwards he became a teacher and developed Timbalooloo, a unique way of teaching music to children. Etkin has presented his method all over the world, been nominated for several Grammy’s and was invited by Herbie Hancock to perform in Paris for UNESCO’s International Jazz Day. Additionally, he’s a captivating jazz and world music performer, and Voted #1 Rising Star Clarinetist in Downbeat Critics’ Poll.
At McCabes, Etkin and his group Timbalooloo (piano/vocals, drums and tuba) did a special children’s participatory concert that focused on a special friend, Clara-Net. She was sleeping until the bandleader and audience woke and assembled her. Speaking gradually she called for her mama, a tuba that came from the hallway into the performing area. Etkin and the children through song asked the tuba to come out and play, while the musicians reeled out some New Orleans trad and Dizzy Gillespie’s “Salt Peanuts.” Vera a kalimba also wanted to play and had the young attendees singing and dancing to a festive song from Zimbabwe.
Another friend, a balalaika (triangular shaped guitar) from Russia came out for a folk waltz sung in Yiddish with African rhythms and questions in English. The children were fascinated with the international musical travels that included singing about cherry blossoms in Japan, the queen of Roma music in the Czech Republic, and putting Clara-Net to sleep in Turkey. Ending the fast-paced hour-long show was a funky klezmer dance groove. For more info go to: www.timbalooloo.com
The GRAMMY Museum hosted a special screening of the documentary, Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes. It’s about the legendary label, which has been home to such groundbreaking artists as Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk and John Coltrane. Presently, it includes diverse musicians like Robert Glasper, Norah Jones and Candice Springs.
Blue Note Records: Beyond The Notes was captivating and narrated the history of the pioneering label founded by German-Jewish immigrants Afred Lion, Francis Wolff and Max Margulis, who gave musicians artistic freedom and respect.
The recording company struggled until the 1960’s when it experienced two simultaneous hit albums, Horace Silver’s Song For My Father and Lee Morgan’s Sidewinder. But it couldn’t meet the distribution demands and was sold during the ‘70s. Fortunately, under new management the label resurfaced in the mid ‘90s to regain its foothold and stature as an innovative force in jazz.
Following the screening, moderator Scott Goldman held a panel discussion with the film’s Director Sophie Huber, Producer Suzanne Guggenberger and GRAMMY-nominated Musician/Producer Terrace Martin. He is featured in the film and has worked with artists such as Kendrick Lamar and Herbie Hancock. Huber and Guggenberger who are from Switzerland explained how they got involved in the project, which took five years to complete. It was mainly, through a love of jazz and being approached by Blue Note Records who promised access to its vault of music and the ability to reach a wider audience.
Notably, the label didn’t pay for the film and the duo had to find funding in Europe. Actually, there was no American investment or distribution, leaving them to do it all on their own. Additionally, all the footage, except for a short clip of Monk was shot in Europe. The film’s aesthetics also tried to imitate the label’s too. Huber also mentioned balancing multi-generations of the label. Guggenberger talked about the archival material and the collaborative aspects of filmmaking.
Martin candidly spoke about how Blue Note Records influenced and impacted him, mostly from the album covers, liner notes and finally the music, along with the artists’ individuality. He related his experiences with Hancock and Wayne Shorter, along with studying with Billy Higgins and Reggie Andrews. Additionally, Martin mentioned the humbleness of the veteran players and being a total person. Furthermore, he talked about the importance working with record label executives and getting publishing and licensing money. Not to be forgotten from Martin’s standpoint was Rudy Van Gelder’s incredible engineering. There was not Q&A and for more info go to: bluenoterecords-film.com/en/
The GRAMMY Museum hosted 22-time GRAMMY-winner Chick Corea for a special screening of his new documentary film, Chick Corea: In the Mind of a Master. Included in the program was a conversation moderated by Scott Goldman afterwards. The film takes viewers behind the scenes with the jazz icon during the making of his album Antidote with the Spanish Heart Band. It additionally offers an unprecedented, intimate look, featuring stories and explorations from Corea’s remarkable career, as an alternate parallel storyline.
The Spanish Heart Band consisting of bassist Carlitos del Puerto, drummer Marcus Gilmore, percussionist Luisito Quintero, guitarist Nino Josele, reed player Jorge Pardo, trumpeter Michael Rodriguez, and trombonist Steve Davis. Additionally, there are three guest vocalists: Panamanian salsero Ruben Blades, Brazilian singer/songwriter Maria Bianca, and Corea’s life partner, Gayle Moran Corea (sings the entire choir part on “My Spanish Heart”). They injected comments and observations into the documentary as well, along with great performances.
Corea, in typical fashion was nonchalant about the film during the interview, and candid about his process and how he works and improvises with other musicians. Subjects spanned his early work as a sideman with jazz and Latin greats: Miles Davis, Stan Getz and Mongo Santamaria and first time seeing Davis and Coltrane play. Q&A with the audience entailed composing inspirations (Horace Silver and Bartok), advice to upcoming musicians (find out what you want to do and be independent), gear, what he listens to (everything on YouTube) secrets to winning Grammy’s (nothing), composing for films, Davis’ composing credits and playing with Al Di Meola. For info about upcoming showings go to: www.scientology.tv
Guitar legend Kenny Burrell took a fall two years ago. He is still recovering and on sabbatical from UCLA. Essentially, he is still unable to play and/or teach. Help is needed and welcomed. Here’s the link for donations setup by his wife Katherine:
Singer/lyricist/pianist Dave Frishberg is not doing well at all. If you who have enjoyed the gift of Dave’s music, please feel inspired to help him now that he needs it.
Mr. Musichead, celebrating 20 years as a premier boutique art gallery and its owner Sam Milgrom, teamed up with Los Angeles Jazz Radio Broadcaster and Producer LeRoy
Downs and All Music Television Founder & CEO Frederick Smith, Jr to present Just Jazz featuring a lineup of internationally recognized jazz artists. From 6:30pm to Showtime, before each show, tune into “The Jazzcat” LeRoy Downs as he spins one hour of supreme, eclectic jazz live on SoundsandColorsRadio.net direct from the Mr Musichead Gallery! Downs will play music and interview the weekly artist as jazz patrons are arriving for the performance, enticing listeners to come on out and be a part of the Curated Jazz Experience!! A portion of the proceeds from each show will be donated to a local charity.
Doors Open: 6:00pm
Drinks & Appetizer Reception: 6:30pm
Live Music: 7:30pm
Dec 4 Bob Sheppard Performing New Music
Dec 11 Alex Cline
Dec 18 Eric Harland and Terrace Martin with a Tribute to Billy Higgins
December 8 The Ken Peplowski Quartet
December 14 Open Hands
December 15 Tessa Souter
December 21 Gretchen Parlato
New Roads School at The Herb Alpert Educational Village
3131 Olympic Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90404
Jazz Bakery’s Moveable Feasts
“Concerts and Conversations with Southern California Jazz Legends” made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. KJAZZ 88.1 – official media sponsor.
CAP UCLA’s 2019-20 season highlights
Jan 25, 2020
The Theatre at Ace Hotel
Feb 7, 2020
Feb 20, 2020
Ladysmith Black Mambazo
Feb 28, 2020
Omar Sosa & Yilian Cañizares
Featuring Gustavo Ovalles
Mar 7, 2020
Octavia E. Butler’s
Parable Of The Sower
Created By Toshi Reagon and
Bernice Johnson Reagon
Music and Lyrics By Toshi Reagon and Bernice Johnson Reagon
Directed By Eric Ting
Mar 26, 2020
Fly Higher: Charlie Parker At 100
Co-musical Directors: Rudresh Mahanthappa & Terri Lyne Carrington
Apr 18, 2020
The Theatre at Ace Hotel
Apr 25, 2020
Anthony De Mare
Liaisons 2020: Re-imagining Sondheim From The Piano
Subscriptions and individual tickets on sale at:
Performances à la Carte Presents
Jazz ‘n Paz
Fall 2019 Concert Series
Intimate Pasadena early Sunday evening Jazz programs to nourish your soul
Performances à la Carte is a collaborative arts events producer with a mission to create unique, original live performances utilizing multi-arts genres to showcase the diverse artistic community in the greater Los Angeles, San Gabriel and Crescenta Valley area and to connect the arts with social needs and issues that serve the public interest.
Singer, songwriter and artistic director of Performances à la Carte, Carla (Jamie) Perez, is considered a very versatile singer, a performance artist of eclectic tastes and total vocality. Although she studied with some of the world’s most renown classical singers/teachers, she considers her first voice teachers and interpreters of song growing up to be jazz greats Sarah Vaughan, Nancy Wilson and Ella Fitzgerald and admits she frequently gave “Frankie” a spin (all via vinyl).
Though the music of jazz and Broadway were her first loves, her father, a lover of jazz but a devoted operaphile, persuaded her (or else) to pursue a career in classical music, which she did very successfully for 30 years. She is delighted to return to her roots and sing some of the jazz music she “cut her teeth on” (literally – she teethed on jazz album covers as an infant). Through her artistic endeavors with Performances à la Carte, she continues to create collaborative projects that promote artists, serve the public interest and that fuel her passion for beauty, authenticity and social justice.
December 22, Carols of the Belles Holiday Jazz ‘n Paz featuring Barbara Morrison, Jamie Perez, and Renee Myara on vocals, with Michael Ragonese on piano, James Yoshizawa on drums, Danny Janklow on sax and flute, and Luca Alemmano on bass. *A Holiday Champagne Party will follow the concert and may be added to any concert ticket purchase online for an additional $12. The party will feature appetizers, desserts, champagne and non-alcoholic punch along with music, dancing, comedic holiday improv antics and capped off with a Holiday Sing-A-Long.
Neighborhood UU Church
301 North Orange Grove Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91103
Series subscriptions are now on sale, offering a discount compared to individual concert tickets.
Dianne Reeves: Christmas Time Is Here
Dec 20, 2019
Dec 23, 2019
111 South Grand Ave,
Los Angeles, CA 90012
323 850 2000
Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts
Colors of Christmas
With Peabo Bryson, Oleta Adams, Bebe Winans, and Jody Watley
December 14, 2019
Dave Koz and Friends Christmas Tour 2019
With Jonathan Butler, Melissa Manchester, Michael Lington,
and Special Guest Chris Walker
December 20, 2019
Celtic Angels Christmas
With Cetlic Knight Dancers and
The Trinity Band Ensemble of Dublin
December 22, 2019
December 27, 2019
18000 Park Plaza Dr, Cerritos, CA 90703
Segerstrom Center for the Arts
Duke Ellington Orchestra
Dec 15, 2019
Dec 19, 2019
Spanish Harlem Orchestra
Dec 21, 2019
600 Town Center Drive
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Christmas with Corbin Jones Big Band
Celebrating New Year’s Eve’s Eve and Bluewhale 10th Anniversary with Billy Childs Jazz and Chamber Ensemble
Weller Court Plaza 3rd Floor
123 Astronaut E S Onizuka St. Suite 301
Los Angeles CA 90012
Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis Jr. “A Solid Gold Christmas”
Arturo SANDOVAL and the LA All Stars! (New Year’s Eve Celebration!)
6725 Sunset Boulevard
Hollywood California 90028
Bill Cunliffe X-Mas CD Release Party
Dec 20-21, 2019
6171 West Century Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 9004
McCABE’S ANNUAL FREE HOLIDAY SHOW & PARTY
7:00 PM – FREE
3101 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica, California, 90405
KJazz Presents: New Year’s Eve with Sugaray Rayford
KJazz and The Mint present blues vocalist Sugaray Rayford on Sunday, December 31st at 8pm. With his old school vocal style, echoes of Muddy Waters, Otis Redding and Teddy Pendergrass can be heard. Don’t miss out on this special show!
New Year’s Eve with Sugaray Rayford
6010 W Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90035
themintla.com and kkjz.org
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