Band on top if the word Fusion

Billy Childs made his Broad Stage debut with his Jazz Chamber Ensemble. It consisted of 11 musicians 2 singers and a spoken word artist, and similar to a small big band. In performance the four-time Grammy-winner and recipient of the Chamber Music America Composer’s Grant (2006), Guggenheim Fellowship (2009), Doris Duke Performing Artist Award (2013) and The American Academy of Arts and Letters music award in 2015, worked with Judith Hill-vocals, Larry Koonse-guitar, Carol Robbins-harp, Josh Johnson-reeds, Alex Bonham-bass, Marvin “Smitty” Smith-drums, Pamela Vliek Marchev-flute, Aaron Childs-vocals and Carson Childs-spoken word, along with The Lyris Quartet: Alyssa Park-violin, Shalini Vijayan- violin, Luke Maurer-viola and Timothy Loo-cello. Grammy-winning composition “Into The Light,” an intense merging of chamber and jazz textures started things off.

For somewhat of a respite the bandleader spotlighted Hill for two songs from his Grammy-winning tribute to Laura Nyro. They were “Been on a Train” and its title track Map to The Treasure were soulfully sung and vividly orchestrated, with hard jamming from jazz group the second piece. It was also preceded by an exquisite piano/harp duet of “Nico’s Dream” from Fellini’s film Juliet of The Spirits.

Getting back to chamber jazz, Childs showcased his Monterey Jazz Festival commission work, Music For Two Quartets (string and jazz), renamed for the Broad concert Music For 11/10 (depending if Childs was counted). The multi-part piece was driving and challenging for both the players and listeners, yet also very rewarding as everyone was in top form with a balance of jazz and classical sections to thoroughly amaze the audience who responded with a standing ovation.

The concert was far from being over as Childs continued, reciting verses from the poem “The Red Wheelbarrow,” playing solely and then was backed by Koonse’s sterling acoustic guitar playing. Along the same lines, but with an urban perspective the bandleader read the poem “Bleaker Street” (depicting London during the Industrial Revolution) and with the full ensemble played “Preludes” featuring his son Aaron and Hill singing remarkably, with bandleader later taking flight on piano and Johnson accenting on soprano sax.

Not to be forgotten, Carson Childs injected powerful social conscious spoken word into the mix to contemporize the composition and unquestionably was a factor for another standing ovation. For the encore, the group did a complete changeup with a cover of Bill Withers “Ain’t No Sunshine” featuring Aaron singing expressively with dad turning in a stirring blues/gospel solo.


The word world in blue colors and green colers

Wes Anderson’s 2004 film The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, both a parody and homage to renowned diver and oceanographer Jacques Cousteau was quirky and a box office flop initially. However, over the years it became a cult classic with critics taking a more favorable stance. Notably, the film’s cast included: Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Cate Blanchett, Anjelica Huston, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum and others. Brazilian singer/composer Seu Jorge, who in 2002 gained notoriety for his role in the Brazilian classic City of God was also in Anderson’s project and sang David Bowie songs in Portuguese. At Cal State LA’s Luckman Theatre Jorge acoustically and solely performed The Life Aquatic Tribute to David Bowie donning his film costume.

The Brazilian amusingly admitted during the concert that prior to his participation in the film he scantly knew about Bowie’s music and didn’t relate to it. Subsequently, his versions of the classic songs are not rocking and mostly hauntingly beautiful. Yet, opening “Lady Stardust” and later “Starman” with the audience singing along were aggressive and jaunting. “Changes,” “Rebel Rebel” and “Suffragette City” with additional reverb, and “Ziggy Stardust” (dedicated to Blanchett) contrarily were sweet sounding and sparse, with his tenor voice adorning. Standing out from all the songs were Jorge’s treatments of eternal classics “Space Oddity,” and “Life on Mars” that garnered an enthusiastic standing ovation. For the encore “Quicksand, “ reprised “Rebel Rebel” and rocking “Queen Bitch” were rendered.



Zimbabwean all-women a capella/percussive quintet Nobuntu made sure no one would confuse them with the longstanding all-male South African Ladysmith Black Mambazo group while making their Southern California debut at the Broad Stage. In truth, it would be difficult to confuse the two groups, especially since the male group doesn’t play any instruments. The women opened doing an appealing song with multi-part harmony and proceeded to get more intense with a resounding drumming and dancing piece. From a serious standpoint the singer/percussionists did “Why Song” about abused children and prior to singing mentioned two out of ten children in their homeland suffer from violence. Afterwards the mood was more lighthearted and singers did a song about singing when you’re happy and also when sad, because overall it is good for you. It was embellished with traditional dancing, whistling and chanting to draw strong crowd response.

From there, the singers spoke about being the first female group to do what is traditionally done by men and leaped into Ladysmith Black Mambazo’s very popular “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” with the audience singing along. The African women continued intermixing Afro-jazz, gospel and traditional songs that transcended racial, tribal, religious, gender and economic boundaries. They also showcased songs from their upcoming CD such as an incredible interpretation of “Amazing Grace” that started solemnly and broke out into spirited singing and choruses to wow the audience.

In the later stages of the show Nobuntu spoke of Nelson Mandela’s release from jail and covered popular South African singer Brenda Fassie’s “Black President” and Curtis Mayfield’s gospel/soul classic “People Get Ready.” They also returned to traditional singing and drumming that was very infectious. In addition to the music th, e women charmed the crowd with their stories about sightseeing and daylight savings that gave them an extra hour to shop, which had the crowd busting up. They closed with more singing and dancing in a loose competition that further excited everyone attending, while doing Paul Simon/Ladysmith Black Mambazo’s “Diamonds on Soles of Her Shoes” as the encore. For more info go to: facebook.






If anyone truly knows the music of Argentina tango-master Astor Piazzolla, it’s his fellow countryman pianist Pablo Ziegler. He was highly influenced by the icon and performed with him from 1978 until his death in 1992. At the Moss Theatre in conjunction with the Jazz Bakery, Ziegler performed with his Jazz Tango Trio. It consisted of Hector Del Curto on bandoneon, and Claudio Ragazzi on guitar. They were warmly greeted by the audience upon taking the stage and began with an original modern tango piece with bandoneon leading initially, before guitar jumped into it.

Alternately, “Milonga para Grela” another original was more classical oriented and romantic, featuring the bandleader and Del Curto beautifully interweaving, with Ragazzi also soloing to mesmerize the audience. Even more intriguing was Piazzolla’s very upbeat and complex “Michelangelo ’70,” exhibiting all the musicians playing intensely to impress the audience. Ziegler delved deeper into the tango master’s catalogue with zesty ballad-like piece “Angels Introduction” that was equally compelling.

Another change up was the very lively original “Murga del Amanecer,” derived from genres also developed by Afro-Argentineans before the tango. And varying things even more was “Blues Porteño,” also written by the pianist and more jazz and blues styled than the other pieces. Returning to his beloved former mentor’s music was classical/tango fused “Fuga Y Misterio” with all the players forcefully working out together to receive a well-deserved standing ovation.



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“Fascinated by slack-key guitar, Kimo has released several albums in the genre, and the latest, Ki Ho’alu Christmastime, is another finger style jewel. Kimo has mastered slack-key guitar to the point where he can revamp Yuletide classics as if they were originally written that way.” ~ No Depression 12/19/2013

Red TicketHoliday Slack Key Shows with Jim “Kimo” West

December 16, 7pm
Coffee Gallery, Altadena
Reservations: (626) 798-6236

December 21, 7:30pm
Shannon Center, Whittier College

December 22, 8pm
Alva’s Showroom, San Pedro



Text Special Mention

Icons Miles Davis and John Coltrane were the subjects of a panel discussion at the Grammy Museum for Miles Davis & John Coltrane: The Final Tour that happened in spring of 1960. Offspring and relatives of the saxophonist and trumpeter, Miki Coltrane, Erin Davis and Vince Wilburn Jr., along with Grammy-winning producer Steve Berkowitz, the museum’s Artistic Director, Scott Goldman and later in the discussion saxophonist Azar Lawrence (played with Davis and pianist McCoy Tyner after Coltrane’s death) talked about the significance of the box-set and its development. Most importantly, the tour, somewhat of a promotion for the earlier-released album Kind of Blue, was a turning point for the musicians, especially Coltrane. He was becoming more adventurous and spiritual in his playing, desiring to form his own band and work on his records. Davis recognized those factors and knew he would be loosing the phenomenal saxophonist soon. Additionally, Julian “Cannonball Adderley-saxophone and Bill Evans-piano were not on tour, and instead Wynton Kelly-piano played with the dynamos and remarkably held his own. Officially, The Philharmonic European Tour, it consisted of two shows from Paris’s L’Olympia Theater on Monday, March 21, 1960; two shows from the next night at Stockholm’s Konserthuset; and one from Copenhagen’s Tivolis Koncertsal two days later, on March 23, 1960. The performances were broadcast live on European radio, but then were separated by city. Berkowitz had the Paris master and producer Richard Sidell had Sweden. But Denmark was a problem and Berkowitz’s detective work eventually located it to get a high res copy made with a bike messenger transporting to and from a studio in the woods.

Wilburn and Davis affirmed the producer’s crucial involvement. In closing, Coltrane and the others spoke about the importance of the recording, saying it was spiritual and about growth. Berkowitz added that the recording was in between Coltrane’s Giant Steps and My Favorite Things, it was time for him to do his own thing and the people decide what’s classic and noteworthy. Additionally, Q&A from the audience covered music progression and the project’s relevance. For more info go to:


At The Center For The Art of Performance at UCLA’s Royce Hall three-time Grammy Award-winning drummer, composer and bandleader Terri Lyne Carrington presented her special program, Paying Tribute to Living Legends Joni Mitchell, Nancy Wilson, and Tina Turner that also picks up where her 2015 CD The Mosaic Project: LOVE and SOUL left off. Singers enlisted for the concert were Lizz Wright, Jazzmeia Horn and Ledisi, with the backing band consisting of Ingrid Jensen-trumpet, Edmar Colon-saxophone, Jon Cowherd-piano, Solomon Dorsey-bass and Marvin Sewell-guitar.

Horn shot out of the gate swinging hard in her unique frenetic scatting style doing Wilson’s “Never Will I Marry,” bolstered by trumpet, sax and piano solos. Wright followed beautifully doing Joni Mitchell’s samba ballad “ Edith And The Kingpin” and a mash of Nick Drake’s “Riverman” and “You Better Be Good to Me” arranged by the bandleader that was enchanting and easy flowing. Ledisi also acknowledged Wilson through an elegantly sung rendition of “Teach Me Tonight” with light jazzy accompaniment.

Wright returned to hauntingly do Mitchell’s vocalese version of “Goodbye Pork Pie Hat” that segued into sumptuous “Clouds” with her and Ledisi, who sung with more verve alternating verses and coming together for the close.

Turner’s classic “River Deep, Mountain High” received a jazzy interpretation with Horn in the forefront singing idiosyncratically and saxophone blazing away to impress the audience. The singer continued more conventionally doing Joni Mitchell “Love” with piano mostly stretching out and soloing intensely, while trumpet and guitar also contributed. Wright came back to lushly sing Wilson’s jazz/soul hit “Save Your Love For Me” with trumpet soloing.

Jensen was also featured for an instrumental treatment of Joni Mitchell’s bebopiing “Dry Cleaner From Des Moines” that began with a fiery drum solo and also featured saxophone to blow the audience away. Funk was not forgotten and Turner’s “What’s Love Got to With it” had plenty with Ledisi at the helm. For the show closer the singers and band came together for John Fogerty’s “Proud Mary” that was immortalized by Turner to further excite the audience who responded with a frenzied standing ovation.


The pairing of fast emerging pianist Gerald Clayton and near-legend saxophonist Charles Lloyd might have been the Jazz Bakery’s most popular and much anticipated concert at the Moss Theatre for 2018. To a sold-out audience the duo who have played together at different junctures over the last couple of years got down to business with Lloyd talking about Billy Strayhorn and how he liked to play in that format as well. A somewhat obscured “Blood Count” was the first piece played by the pair and proved to be quite ethereal. “Defiant” part of Lloyd’s raucous Marvels’ songbook was lengthy with Clayton brilliantly stretching out to impress the audience, while the saxophonist in typical fashion generated contrasting soft and soothing textures.

Afterwards, the pair revealed their more explorative and adventurous dimensions for a slightly abstract piece. Clayton and Lloyd shifted to more easily digestive material through lightly Latin tinged “Rabo de Nube,” and tender ballad “I Fall In Love Too Easily.” The saxophonist was in the forefront for it, while the pianist supported with cool subtlety to draw strong audience response. Lloyd an equally masterful flautist shined on Clayton’s Afro-Cuban groove “Booker’s Garden” that featured robust piano playing as well to end the program.

As expected, the musicians couldn’t get away that easily and returned for an encore doing airy and spiritual “Blow Wind” as piano played solely initially and saxophone gracefully eased in for the extended piece. Related to it was Willie Nelson’s “Always On My Mind” that seem to fit the prevailing vibe. While “La Llorona” added by Clayton who had more to say was clearly in the classical camp. It was a beautiful, nearly seasonal sounding piece, remarkable adorned by the musicians in very different ways.



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The KJazz family are warming up a seat for you already! Headlining the concert is Gordon Goodwin’s Little Phat Band. Join KJazz and host Jerry Sharell for the KJazz Jingle Jazz Concert on Sunday, December 9th, at 7pm, at the Moss Theater in Santa Monica. Each pair is $120 and includes your choice of one KJazz Holiday CD (Holiday Party Vol. 4 or Holiday Classic 2007).

Featuring Gordon Goodwin’s Little Phat Band
December 9th at 7pm
Moss Theater
Santa Monica
New Roads School at The Herb Alpert Educational Village
3131 Olympic Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90404


Jazz Muse Concert Series


Red TicketAnyone Who Had a Heart – Songs of Burt Bacharach
Janis Mann – vocals,
Jim Cox – piano,
Domenic Genova – bass,
John Ferraro – drums
December 15, 2018
San Fernando Valley Arts and Cultural Center
18312 Oxnard Street
Tarzana, CA 91356
Doors open at 7 pm / Show starts at 8 pm


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 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
December 5 Josef Leimberg
December 12 Alfredo Rodriguez Trio
December 12 Cameron Graves Trio
December 19 Jonathan Pinson

Other upcoming artists include Marquis Hill and more…

Mr Musichead Gallery
7420 W. Sunset Blvd (across from Guitar Center)
Los Angeles, CA 90046

Denise Donatelli & Paulette McWilliams: Vocal Mania Series

“Christmas & Classics”

Denise Donatelli & Paulette McWilliams: Vocal Mania Series
December 14, 2018
Doors: 6:30 pm / Show: 7:30 pm
818 769 0905


The Kurt Elling Quintet
December 14
Moss Theater

Candlelight Carols – Judy Wolman and Sing! Sing! Sing!
December 22
Moss Theater

Moss Theater
New Roads School at The Herb Alpert Educational Village
3131 Olympic Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90404

Jazz Bakery’s Moveable Feasts
(800) 838-3006

“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 2018-19 season highlights

Red TicketDec. 1
Luciana Souza: The Book of Longing
UCLA’s Royce Hall

Feb. 16
The Soul Rebels
The Theatre at Ace Hotel

March 20
An Evening with Lettuce and John Scofield
The Theatre at Ace Hotel

March 23
Roberto Fonseca & Fatoumata Diawara
The Theatre at Ace Hotel

Mar 28
Zakir Hussain & Masters of Percussion
UCLA’s Royce Hall

Mar 30
Nano Stern
The Theatre at Ace Hotel

Apr 7
Caetano, Moreno, Zeca & Tom Veloso

The Theatre at Ace Hotel

Apr 12
The Gloaming
The Theatre at Ace Hotel

Apr 19
Anoushka Shankar
UCLA’s Royce Hall

Subscriptions and individual tickets on sale at: 310.825.2101


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