the word contemporary

Among the onslaught of Christmas themed shows was up-and-coming trombonist/singer Aubrey Logan at Feinstein’s at Vitello’s. She won the Audience’s Choice Award, the Jury’s First Place Award at the Shure-Montreux Jazz Festival and was an American Idol contestant who won a Golden Ticket, all in 2009. Additionally, Logan dubbed “The Queen of Sass,” has been a featured artist for the Postmodern Jukebox, and Dave Koz’s Band. In concert, she immediately got the audience’s attention by solely playing “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” amidst them. Her backing band consisted of Michael Ragonese-keyboards, Cisene Ahmet Turcanoblyden-bass and Dave Johnstone-drums/Musical Director, along with guest singers Ryan Quinn and Dani Armstrong. Quinn enchantingly sang “This Christmas” and “The Christmas Song, while Armstrong shined for “Let it Snow,” Jose Feliciano’s “Feliz Navidad (I Wanna Wish You A Merry Christmas),” “Silver Bells” and “Baby All I Want For Christmas is You.”

Logan, without backup singers, scatted a jazzy version of “Carol of The Bells” that also featured her and band all soloing, along with fast paced “”One Horse Open Sleigh.” The headliner additionally spotlighted songs from her latest CD Where The Sunshine is Expensive.

Some of them were poppy and bittersweet originals “LA” that included a whistling intro, pop/R&B tinged “Crying on The Airplane” and funky clavinet-driven groove “Understand,” embellished with soulful singing and ripping trombone. “Remembering Song” with the band down low, also showcased the featured artist singing and playing, with humorous bits of “Standby Me” and “Staying Alive” mixed in. During what was called “the jazz segment,” was cool swinging “Airport Codes” enhanced with witty lyrics, based on a variety of airports without trombone.

Shifting to a more sober mood, the singer/trombonist attempted to go on FaceBook Live and did a heartfelt appeal for the Holt International Child Adoption Agency. Afterwards, Armstrong incredibly sang gospel classic “Go Tell it on The Mountain” and “The Habanera” aria from the Carmen opera, with Logan backing on trombone and then segued into “Hail Hail to The New Born King.”

Nearly stealing the show was scintillating singer/organist Ellis Hall. He took command of the stage with Charles Brown’s soul-drenched “Merry Christmas Baby,” and his own super funky clavinet driven “Santa Got a Brand New Bag” towards the end of the show with Logan singing and playing too. She finished the highly entertaining show singing and playing trombone for “White Christmas” with only piano to receive a very enthusiastic standing ovation. For more info got to:




When Prince died nearly four years ago, media clamored for comments from his longtime associate/rival Morris Day. However, Day known for being flamboyant and candid surprisingly refused to speak about Prince. Finally, he has chosen to speak through his book, On Time: A Princely Life in Funk, co-written with David Ritz. Ritz has done biographies on Marvin Gaye, Jerry Wexler, Etta James, B. B. King, the Neville Brothers, Janet Jackson and Buddy Guy. He and Day spoke with Scott Goldman at the GRAMMY Museum about their book and Day’s amazing multi-platinum career.

In a very low-key manner, opposite of his onstage persona, the leader of Time and also a solo artist said he wasn’t ready, that it wasn’t appropriate and he didn’t have anything to say when Prince died. Eventually, his manager and Ritz conferred about doing a book, and the singer/songwriter/musician thought it would be perfect to tell his life story and how it related to Prince for everybody to see. Ironically, the artist who doesn’t like to work too much is now doing tons of interviews because of the book.

Ritz said his interests were in funk and history, and thought not much had been mentioned about the Minneapolis scene where Day and Prince met and thrived during the ‘70s and ‘80s. Most importantly for the writer was achieving intimacy and space, which Day easily obliged to. From there, the two came agreed on the concept of the book being a conversation with Day and Prince, who first met in junior high school. Ritz loved hearing the stories that were far from boring, and to his satisfaction, full of drama and conflict—overall an epic tale.

Day, originally a drummer heard Prince’s Grand Central band back then and was very impressed. A couple of years later he became a member of the band through a friend. But Prince true to his image was blunt, distant and very serious about music. He took the songs they recorded together and got a deal in Hollywood. Day wasn’t in touch with Prince and heard one of the songs on the radio while working at Montgomery Ward’s car rental counter in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Day quickly returned to Minneapolis to rejoin Prince, but he coldly told him that he already had a drummer and he could be the band’s videographer. Day humbly took the job and patiently waited for his moment to come, eventually creating his band Time, Prince’s funky alter ego. That and many other details were covered in the interview and the book, including Prince’s controlling nature. It resulted in Day, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, and others going out on their own to find fame and fortune.

Day also talked about music making an impact through the concept of “The One,” bringing home a rhythm that was ingrained in people’s brain. David Garibaldi from Tower of Power from was a top influence and of course James Brown. Other aspects of his background were covered, including his strong mother who instilled confidence and a sense of independence, along with doing the Purple Rain movie, which the singer has only seen twice. Day also mentioned less favorable aspects of his life, including alcoholism/drug addiction, womanizing, and his sidekick Jerome. Audience Q&A covered Prince and Day’s recording process (continuous jamming on tape) , working with Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Prince’s vault (not favorable), Prince’s drug addiction, the Graffiti Bridge film, final analysis of his relationship with Prince (love/hate) and what he learned about himself while doing the book.

If anyone were going to take a Disney Hall audience to church on a Monday, it definitely would be CeCe Winas. She’s the best selling and top award winning gospel artist of all, and began her career working with her brother BeBe. Since 1995 she’s been a solo artist, continuing with top sales, and more GRAMMY’S and Dove awards. During the concert with her backing band that included backup singers, some songs from the singer’s latest recording Something’s Happening! A Christmas Album was sprinkled in, as well as some of early chestnuts. Gospel standard “Blessed Assurance” led things off and exhibited Winas exceptional talent, while garnering approving shouts from the audience. Contemporary gospel song “He’s Never Failed Me Yet” was faith affirming and less energetic.

Early on, the singer gave the audience a quick run down of her career and segued into “Fill My Cup.” The impetus for the Winas career starting was groundbreaking singer Andrae Crouch and in his honor “Take Me Back” was performed. The connection with Crouch led the sibling group to being featured singers on the PTL Club TV show hosted by Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker. That spurred Winas to do the hit “Up Where We Belong,” popularized by the film Officer And a Gentleman, with her male backup singer doing her brother’s part. The Winas team eventually split for solo careers and for that memory she sang, “His Strength is Perfect.”

All the while, the gospel singer was preaching and conveying a message of peace and understanding that was strongly articulated by “Let it Rain on Me.” However, things got a lot more rocking when a 10-person choir joined her and band. Together they shook the hall with “Dancing in The Spirit,” “Joy to The World” with the audience helping out, “It’s Christmas” from the new album and “O Holy Night” with Winas singing her strongest to received thunderous applause. “We Wish You a Merry Christmas triumphantly ended the show with a very enthusiastic standing ovation.


Band on top if the word Fusion

Much heralded guitarists Bill Frisell (68) a GRAMMY winner and many time poll winner, and Julian Lage (31) former child prodigy who started playing professionally when he was eight, are separated in age by almost two generations. However musically they are kindred spirits who play as almost a single entity. At UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance at Royce Hall they came together for a special concert, which Lage admitted during a break between songs, was a rare “treat” for them. Most notable was how their styles, Frisell’s ethereal quirkiness and Lage’s tantalizing counterpoint interweaved. From a genre standpoint the guitarists who employed minimal effects, mixed in stimulating riff laden improvisations of American songbook standards “Days of Wine And Roses” with a discordant intro, and beautifully adorned standard “All Things You Are” dedicated to legend Jim Hall, who made the song a signature piece for himself. His birthday was the day before, and he was a mentor to Frisell and also strongly influenced Lage.

In the vein of Americana was folk gem “Shenandoah” that in the guitarist hands was wrangled, yet also melodic. Somewhat related was the theme for You Only Live Twice that was much more jagged. Not to be overlooked by the duo was Monk’s “Misterioso” that was perfect for their manner of playing and featured offbeat solos. Blues and R&B were included through a lively and rhythmic number that was driving and upbeat. While Chet Atkins’ “Traveling” showcased extensive and clever country finger picking by Frisell and Lage to wow the audience and generated a standing ovation from the very enthralled crowd. For the encore the duo returned to standards with “Someday My Prince Will Come” that was light and lyrical to cap off a very enjoyable evening.


The word world in blue colors and green colers

KKJZ’s 2019’s 9th Jingle Jazz concert, held at the Miracle Mile’s KKJZ’s 2019’s 9th Jingle Jazz concert and hosted by the station’s on-air personality José Rizo was multifaceted. The first was an intense Latin and straight-ahead jazz jams, featuring a plethora of Los Angeles’s top jazz and Latin jazz players. The second showcased Rizo’s stellar band Mongorama. And the third was a celebration of Rizo’s 30 years hosting Jazz on The Latin Side and his contributions to LA’s Latin jazz and general jazz scenes, which also includes the Jazz on The Latin Side All-star Band and being Artistic Director for the Central Avenue Jazz Festival.

The Jingle Jazz Latin and straight-ahead jazz jam included, Marvin “Smitty” Smith-drums, Rene Comacho-bass, Azar Lawrence-tenor saxophone, Joe Rotundi- piano, Ron Blake- trumpet, Francisco Torres-trombone, Justo Almario-tenor saxophone, Kamasi Washington-tenor saxophone, Munyungo Jackson-percussion, Dwight Trible-vocals, Oscar Hernandez-piano, Poncho Sanchez-percussion and Ricky Woodard-tenor saxophone. Monk’s “Straight No Chaser” was the mighty ensemble’s first selection, and overwrought with hot solos and monster band dynamics.

Although Rizo continuously stated, “we don’t know what we’re doing,” everything seemed to work out. The ensemble continued with “What Child is This,” which the emcee called “a mix of rumba and Christmas music,” featuring Trible chanting and scatting intensely to astound the audience. Closing out the jam was a charged descarga number, featuring sizzling piano, percussion and brass, with vocal choruses from Trible.

Mongorama continued the party and was comprised of Rizo-vocals, Almario-saxophone, Dayren Santamaría-violin, Danilo Lozano-flute/Musical Director, James Zavaleta-lead vocals, Rizo-lead vocals, Joey De Leon-congas/vocals, Joey Ortiz-timbales, Rotundi-piano, Comacho-bass, James Zavaleta-lead vocals and John Costner-vocals, with guests Hubert Laws-flute and Trible-vocals. “Mongo Mi Toro” from the group’s newest CD was explosive and featured Almario blazing away. “Son Papale” was equally upbeat and rhythmic with Rizo and Zavaleta singing.

In honor of longstanding member, drummer Ramon Banda, who recently passed away, the group performed “Descarga Ramon Banda” with Laws and Trible joining in for extra gusto. In memory of popular KKJZ DJ Helen Borgers who also recently died, was “Helen of Jazz” bolstered by Lozano’s soaring flute. While Butterflies Sing, Zavaleta, Rotundi and Almario, dynamically accentuated the salsa title track of Mongorama’s new album.

In the middle of the jam session, Sanchez, who actually was offered the Jazz on The Latin Side time slots by then Program Manager Ken Borgers initially 30 years ago, amusingly told of how Rizzo got the job. Because of his busy performing schedule the percussionist couldn’t accept the position. He recommended Rizzo and Eddie Lopez, now at KXLU, and Rizzo was called first. His first shift was difficult and Sanchez nervously listened at home. When there was long stretch of dead air he called into the station and told Rizzo “just start pushing some buttons.” The host/emcee recalled, “Eventually I hit the right button and away we went.” Sanchez chimed in, “Thirty years later, he pushed the right button,” and the crowd approvingly applauded.

Additionally, LA City Councilman Gilbert Cedillo honored Rizzo, his collaborator for the LA Latin Jazz Music Festival in Long Beach for the last six years, with an honorary certificate from the City of Los Angeles to further highlight Jingle Jazz 2019.


text the word preview
One of the most acclaimed Hawaiian concerts to ever leave the islands, the 13th Annual Southern California Slack Key Festival takes fans on a Hawaiian musical journey that showcases GRAMMY-winning slack key guitarists, the best hula dancers in the world, special guest performers and a free to the public Island Marketplace. Played from the heart and soul through the fingers, and flowing with vivid tropical images, Hawaiian ki ho’alu (slack key) is truly one of the great acoustic guitar traditions in the world. It gives listeners an opportunity to learn about the fascinating history of ki ho’alu guitar and the musical pioneers who helped shape its sound and legacy.

The festival is the first of its kind anywhere outside of Hawaii, setting a major milestone for Hawaiian music events on the mainland when it debuted in 2008 and has garnered a huge loyal following – creating, cultivating, and renewing interest in Hawaii and its music. This year’s Southern California Slack Key Festival’s line-up includes John Keawe, Jerry Santos, Kamuela Kimokeo, the Lim Family, Ikaika Marzo, Bobby Moderow, Jeff Peterson, Anthony Pfluke, and Bobby Ingano.

In addition to the concert, an Island Marketplace – free to the public – takes place from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., browse a variety of island themed gifts, home décor, accessories, apparel, and more. Plus, there will be Hawaiian food, authentic island-style shave ice and outdoor entertainment.

13th Annual Southern California Slack Key Festival
January 19, 2020
2:00 PM
Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center
1935 Manhattan Beach Blvd (at Aviation Blvd.)
Ridondo Beach, CA 90278
Free Parking


the word blues

Sugaray Rayford had plenty to celebrate in 2019, winning Muddy Awards for Best Performance and Best Recording, Blues Blast’s Best Blues Band and BMA’s Soul Blues Artist of The Year. To top it off, he received a GRAMMY Nomination For Somebody Save Me, Best Contemporary Blues Album. Needless to say, the dynamic singer was confident, fired up and eager to bring in the 2020 right at The Mint, which was presented by KKJZ, FM 88.1. Rayford who’s 6’5” and weighs 300 pounds, unabashedly called for all the “big-bootie” women to be up in front of the stage and proceeded to launch into Bill Wither’s “Who is He And What is He to You.”

His band that included Drake “Munkihaid” Shining-keyboard, Lavelle Jones-drums, Allen Markel-bass, Geno Cale-guitar, with Al Walker and Gary Vivaldi-sax roared mightily and also got into an extended jam. Blues staple “Born Under a Bad Sign” kept the party going as Rayford who was feeling pretty good vamped away and featured his guitarist. “You and I” from his new CD was retro ‘60s and ‘70s R&B that was funky and horn driven, similar to Otis Redding, along with older “You Know I Love You.” Alternately, “Time to Get Movin’,” also new, was rocking blues. “I’d Kill for You, Honey” melded Delta and urban blues and “Take Me Back” was bust out funk reeling with muscular vocals and riveting horns.

Representing Chicago was “Big Legs, Short Skirts” that included a hot sax solo and prompted a lot of risqué joking around from the soulful bluesman. Soon after that the club-goers started anticipating the arrival of 2020 and Rayford filled the time with reggae jamming, “Brickhouse” and ballad “I Don’t Want Nobody in My House” with him pairing up singles to dance. Additionally, beyond belief singer Miss J blew the house away, and powerhouse guitarist Dennis Jones sat in with the band up to the stroke of midnight. Blues styled “Auld Lang Syne” followed with Rayford calling his wife, with the audience wishing her “Happy New Year.” Jones continued jamming for “Trying to Make a Living” and guitarist Anthony Cullins aka “The Fallbrook Kid joined the singer for “Baby Could You Please Rub My Back.”

Opening for the headliner was The Real Stills, consisting of Mike Moody-vocals/guitar, Andy Vimar-guitar, Jacob Argueta-bass and Julian Ho-drums. They mixed styles of Bill Withers, The Alabama Shakes and Robben Ford (vocally) for songs such as “Sham,”
“Beautiful Words,” “Living Together” and Eric Clapton’s “If I Could Change The World.” Their debut CD will be coming out this year. For more info go to:, and


Text Special Mention

Those who attended Jazz Bakery shows at its original location in the ‘90s should remember reedist Ken Peplowski. He was a regular then and recently performed at the Jazz Bakery’s Moss Theatre with Glen Zaleski-piano, Katie Thiroux-bass/vocals and Matt Witek-drums. The group was greeted with a warm round of applause before breezily playing Jobim’s bossa classic “So Danco Samba” that was laden with solos and tradeoffs with drums. Somewhat esoteric standard “I Know That You Know” followed featuring the saxophonist and quartet blazing away in straight ahead fashion. Afterwards, witty and humorous Peplowski recalled comedian/magician Art Metrano, who used the tune as an intro for his act on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.

Some of songwriter Eddie De Lange’s family was in the audience and as a tribute Peplowski’s quartet rendered several of his songs starting with silky and easy flowing ballad “Darn That Dream.” High energy “This Will be My Shining Moment” and soothing “Moonglow” also by the songwriting legend showcased Peplowski’s stellar clarinet playing. For “The One I Love Belongs to Somebody Else” the bandleader continued on clarinet and featured Thiroux playing the melody line and soloing. Zaleski and Witek classily added flavor through solos and tradeoffs. Additionally, clarinet highlighted a gentle and amazing duet with piano for Jobim’s gorgeous ballad “Portrait in Black And White” to captivate the audience.

Equally appealing was the bassist sweetly scatting, singing and swinging with the band for “Just Friends,” and gentle ballad “It Had to be You.” Furthermore, the bassist honored former mentor Ray Brown with her hip swinging original “Ray’s Kicks” (she was given a pair of his shoes). In the late moments of the show Peplowski inserted his only Christmas song “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” melodiously played on clarinet and closed with Charlie Parker’s jaunting bebop number “Wee” to generate a fervent standing ovation. The reedist is currently the Artistic Director of the Sarasota Jazz Festival, the Newport Beach (CA) Jazz Party, and the Newport, Oregon Jazz Festival. For info go to:


Tessa Souter born in London and a longtime New York City resident returned to Southern California for an engagement at the Jazz Bakery’s Moss Theatre with pianist Eric Reed. The loquacious singer, who had plenty of stories about the songs and her, often picks interesting songs and creates vocalese of well-known instrumentals. She began with an interesting version of “Alone Together.” It opened and closed with the melody line of Miles Davis’ “Milestones,” while in between Souter melodically versed the standard’s lyrics and Reed blazed away. Milton Nascimento’s “Make This City Ours Tonight” spotlighted the singer’s fluid scatting chops coalescing with vibrant and imaginative piano playing. Delving into her linage (white mother, black father) was her song “Ancestors” with Vicki Burns’s lyrics and McCoy Tyner’s “Contemplation” changes. Also similarly themed was Wayne Shorter’s “Anna Maria” renamed by Souter “Anna Maria’s Song.”

Nancy Wilson’s “Save Your Love For Me” was mashed with Herbie Hancock’s “Maiden Voyage” to produce an appealing piece featuring soulful singing from the New York Singer and colorful variations from the pianist. Shirley Horn popularized “You’re Won’t Forget Me” was a bit lighter from a vocal and piano standpoint, but still maintained the duo’s prime characteristics. Kenny Werner arranged “I’m Glad There’s You” was smitten with standard-like singing and playing for added variety. Also injected into the program was the Bergmans’ poignant ballad “The Island.”

Returning to Souter’s more off-the-beaten path selections was Bill Evans/Miles Davis’s “Blue in Green” delicately sang and played by performers. From Bobby Hutcherson was his graceful and superbly rendered “Little B’s Poem.” In the waning minutes of the show, the duo got slightly off-track and righted themselves with a swinging version of “That’s All” to receive a standing ovation. For more info go to:


Five-time GRAMMY-winner Dianne Reeves returned to Disney Hall for a special Christmas program that incorporated jazz, Brazilian music and her spin on traditional yuletide music. The preeminent jazz singer’s band made of Peter Martin-piano/Musical Director, Romero Lubambo-guitar, Reginald Veal-bass and Terreon Gully-drums began the concert with a jazzy rendering of “Jingle Bells” featuring them all contributing hard grooving solos. Afterwards, Reeves made her entrance doing a swinging and scat-filled mix of “Christmas is Here” and “Silver Bells to excite the crowd. As always the singer was gracious and charming, saying, “Welcome to my living room, in my dreams.” Slowly things down some was ballad “This Time of Year” garnished by acoustic guitar and sweet scatting in English and Portuguese.

For a departure from Christmas material Reeves conjured up an acoustic interpretation of Pat Metheny’s wordless sung Brazilian/Amazon jungle drenched “Minuano (Six Eight).” It has become a staple for her recently and featured Lubambo’s spirited playing, along with the singer’s passionate voicing. Summing up 2019 Reeves mentioned losing author Toni Morrison, actress Diane Carroll and opera singer Jessye Norman. She paid tribute to them by doing “Stella By Starlight” in a trio format, with mostly piano accompanying.

Getting back into Xmas songs were scat-filled and band grooving “Let in Slow” and Joni Mitchell’s emotive “River” that drew notable applause. Before doing “I’ll be Home For Christmas,” the Denver resident amusingly talked about her first LA Christmas, celebrated with a picnic on the beach that was too from being traditional for her. Reeves got back to business with “This Child is Born” punctuated by a percussive/vocal jam finish. “May All Your Dreams Come True” followed with Brazilian flair and with her soaring near operatically. Non-Christmas “Our Love is Here to Stay” was adorned with a personalized singing greeting to her friends and the audience. The song also included high-flying scatting and the high caliber singer announcing her band members to receive a heartfelt standing ovation. The audience did call and response with Reeves for the encore. Closing out the show was a relaxed rendering of “The Christmas Song” done as a second encore.

New York-based Gretchen Parlotto grew up in So Cal and was even a vocal student of the Jazz Bakery’s Ruth Price at UCLA. She made a return visit to the Moss Theatre after last singing there a couple of years ago. Since her arrival on the jazz scene in the early 2000’s Parlotto has received numerous awards and won many polls. Additionally, she was the first vocalist accepted into the Thelonious Monk, now Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz in 2001 and won its Vocal Competition in 2004. Since then she has worked with jazz icons and notables, such as Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Esperanza Spauding, Kenny Warner, Terence Blanchard and more.

Her recent LA performance was with Flor consisting of Marcel Camargo-guitar, Artyom Manukyan-cello and Léo Costa-drums/percussion. It began with computer generated atmospheric effects as cello and percussion provided a stimulating aura for the seductive singer to coolly soar over. For more conventional grooving, Parlotto soulfully sang “Sweet Love” accented by a flowing guitar solo. Folk-like and also driving “Magness,” developed from a chorus her friend’s young son came up with, was magical. It possessed child-like wonder, conveyed by singer that encouraged the audience to sing along. Probing cello played bass-like textures set the atmosphere for Parlotto’s angelic singing in a classical motif. Additionally, in the same mode, an arrangement of Bach’s “Cello Suite in G” was performed in C and quite stirring.

“What Does a Lion Say” by New York bassist/songwriter Chris Morrissey was gypsy-like and combined with easy flowing band playing. A medley of a Roy Hargrove and a Brazilian tune spotlighted the band singing with Parlotto’s stirring scatting to become a delightful breezy number with a percussion jam. In lieu of Christmas a João Gilberto tune was performed featuring Camargo pleasantly singing with Parlotto. For something a bit different was ethereal, yet also rocking “No Plan” one of David Bowie’s last songs that was embellished with a soaring cello. “I Know I’m Wonderful” propelled by African rhythms returned to children’s music and had the audience playfully singing along, resulting in a standing ovation. For an encore Parlotto and crew served up Donny Hathaway’s soulful classic “This Christmas.” Afterwards Price was overtaken with emotions and surprisingly had a hard time speaking. For more info go to:


If you were looking for a place to get in the mood for the holidays, Carols of the Belles Holiday Jazz ‘n Paz at Neighborhood UU Church in Pasadena was the place to be. It featured Barbara Morrison, Jamie Perez, and Renee Myara on vocals, with Michael Ragonese-piano, James Yoshizawa- drums, Danny Janklow-reeds and Luca Alemmano-bass. The backing quartet set the mood with “It’s The Perfect Time of Year” and “Christmas Time is Here,” full of great solos and band dynamics.

Afterwards, Perez and Myara joined in harmoniously to traditionally sing “Hark The Angels Sing” and a Coltrane-like “My Favorite Things” accented by Janklow intensely soloing on alto saxophone to wow the audience. “Let it Snow” brought Ragonese to forefront with Alemmano and flute also soloing. Myara who has two kids handled the children’s portion of the show with “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” boosted by sax blowing hard and drums soloing. Perez reunited with her partner to do “Winter Wonderland” accented with snazzy drumming.

As expected Morrison stole the show when her segment came up. She did non-Christmas numbers such as, hard swinging “On The Street Where You Live,” ballad “Somebody to Watch Over Me” and blues vamping “Things Ain’t What They Used to Be,” which incorporated the band soloing away. Somewhat related to Christmas was her superb interpretation of Ellington’s gospel/jazz classic “Come Sunday” with Ragonese and the other band members down low.

Myara returned afterwards to sultrily do “Santa Baby” with flute and piano embellishing, along with a rousing version “One Horse Open Sleigh” featuring all the band soloing. Following that, Perez stalwartly did “I’ll Be Home For Christmas,” and with Myara “Little Drummer Boy” and “Silent Night.” With Morrison the singers and band glowingly closed the show with “The Christmas Song.” Those who wanted more stuck around for a sing-along. Jazz ‘n Paz will return in the fall and for more info go to:



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.






text previews

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
Jan 08 The Edwin Livingston Group
Jan16 Emagination | A Pop Up Exhibition by Sheila E.
Jan 22 Tony Tixier
Jan 29 Orrin Evans, Luques Curtis and Mark Whitfield Jr.

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


Feb 7, 2020
Gregory Porter
Royce Hall

Feb 20, 2020
Ladysmith Black Mambazo
Royce Hall

Feb 28, 2020
Omar Sosa & Yilian Cañizares
Aguas Trio

Featuring Gustavo Ovalles
Royce Hall

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
Royce Hall

Mar 26, 2020
Fly Higher: Charlie Parker At 100
Co-musical Directors: Rudresh Mahanthappa & Terri Lyne Carrington
Royce Hall

Apr 18, 2020
Perla Batalla
Discoteca Batalla
The Theatre at Ace Hotel

Apr 25, 2020
Anthony De Mare
Liaisons 2020: Re-imagining Sondheim From The Piano
Royce Hall

Subscriptions and individual tickets on sale at: 310.825.2101

Jazz Bakery’s Moveable Feasts
Jan 17 Russell Malone Quartet

Moss Theater
Jan 18 Benny Green Trio Moss Theater

Moss Theater
Jan 24 Nestor Torres

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

Jazz Bakery’s Moveable Feasts

The Jazz Bakery
The Jazz Bakery is thrilled to finally have a home base at the beautiful Moss Theater in Santa Monica. This will enable us to present even more evenings of world class performers plus exposure to our local heroes.

(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.

Any information to be considered for this column can be sent to: