San Francisco Jazz Center & SF 2016 Summer Program

Fred Witt | June 22nd, 2016 | Leave a Comment »

16_06_15_KCSM_SFCenterIn the city of San Francisco the SF Jazz Center is a remarkable place to go for a performance.  The place is pretty new, opening some 3 1/2 years ago.  The building can put on large and small shows (at the same time).  The Joe Henderson Lab seats up to 100.  Upstairs, the state-of-the-art Miner Auditorium is almost 10 times bigger and can seat up to 700-some.  The building is downtown at Franklin & Fell, just 4-5 blocks behind the War Memorial Opera House.

16_06_15_KCSM_JHendersonHenderson Lab is small enough to get away with no sound amplification.  This lets you go directly mano-a-mano with the performers, that is, acoustically.  In this era of all-to-many occasions of sound boards that amped up the instruments and had them playing over the vocalists, this room gives a much better chance for a balanced performance.  Furthermore, if the amps are out of the way (or only minimally on), the true quality of the instruments and singer come through. The show last Tuesday was singer-trumpeter Bria Skonberg with a trio accompaniment. (See our review here.)  The sound balance was delightful; no one played over anyone else.  The performers and the sound quality were great.

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The Evolution of Bria Skonberg: SF Jazz Festival – Tuesday 14 June 2016

Fred Witt | June 22nd, 2016 | Leave a Comment »

16_06_14_KCSM_BSkonbergSinger, trumpeter, songwriter Bria Skonberg played at the San Francisco Jazz Center Tuesday, while the SF 2016 Jazz Festival was in full swing. Bria is a recent addition to our West Coast scene, appearing in the last 4 or 5 years. If you haven’t seen her, know that she has great singing, trumpet playing and songwriting, and has one of the warmest smiles on stage around. Her shows get remarkably good comments from the audience. One lady coming out at the end of Tuesday’s show was a new listener and was initially reserved. At the end she had a big smile and was heard to say “Dazzling [show]. Every motion, down to her hands touched you.”

Skonberg’s core music style is based on Louis Armstrong and New Orleans jazz. Bria has 3 releases, and was just signed by Sony with a new release coming this year.

On to Tuesday night’s performance at the SF Jazz Center:

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Dianne Reeves @ Stanford Jazz – Saturday 18 June 2016

Fred Witt | May 31st, 2016 | Leave a Comment »

Veteran singer Dianne Reeves will be on stage at the Stanford Summer Jazz Festival soon,  Saturday evening, June 18.

16_05_29_KCSM_DReevesDianne Reeves, our current artist comparable to Dinah Washington and Carmen McRae, brings us great works from American Songbook, straight-ahead jazz and preservationist scores. She adds talented scat, and at times reggae and salsa.  Dianne’s career, coming from a Detroit musical family and performances in her teens is layered with awards and feats.  Consider her five Grammy’s, shows at the White House level, and many releases.

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Stanford Jazz Festival 17 June – 6 Aug

Ron Lee | May 30th, 2016 | Leave a Comment »

13220884_10153677355031378_4510861908241489767_nStanford Jazz Festival along with the Stanford Jazz Workshop has been bringing fine jazz to audiernces for over three decades. Musicians come to teach and play each year. There is a full lineup at https://stanfordjazz.org/stanford-jazz-festival-2016/. Jazz vocalist Dianne Reeves opens up the season on 18 June. There are several performances by the students and faculty of Stanford Jazz Workshop.  The festival closes with the Stanford Jazz Workshop All Star Jam.

KCSM is proud to be a media sponsor of Stanford Jazz Festival and keep an eye out for our hosts.

Etienne Charles – KCSM Jazz on the Hill – 4 June Sat

Ron Lee | May 30th, 2016 | Leave a Comment »

bamboocropTrumpeter Etienne Charles grew up in Trinidad and his music reflects the Afro Carribean sounds of the islands. He studied at Floriday State University with jazz pianist Marcus Roberts. He did his graduate work at Juliard in NY and now teaches jazz trumpet at Michigan State university wherehe is the assistant professor of jazz trumpet. He has released 4 albums under his own label, Culture Shock Music. He was recognized by a Guggenhiem fellowship and won the Carribean Heritage Trailblazer award for his contributions to the music of the Carribean nations.

Last summer he performed the debut of his San Jose suite at San Jose Jazz summer fest who commisioned the work. The album will release in early June. There is a nice writeup on his previous album Creole Soul in his bio on his web site at http://www.etiennecharles.com/about.

On June 4th Etienne will be one of the headliner performers at KCSM Jazz on the HIll on June 4th. Come join us. It will be a wonderful day of jazz.

 

Julian Lage @ Healdsburg Jazz – Friday 03 June 2016

Fred Witt | May 26th, 2016 | Leave a Comment »

16_05_15_KCSM_JLageJulian Lage, of Santa Rosa is a “young” acoustic guitar performer just under 30, but already with 15 years performing.  He was identified early as a prodigy, and had performed at the Grammy Awards at 13.  A lot of his work could sound like fusion or contemporary jazz.  Julian performs in multiple groups, has 7 releases out already, and has been nominated for a Grammy.   Try a few pieces here for yourself; “Freight Train,” and “233 Butler.”

Visit the 18th Healdsburg Jazz Festival in June between the 3rd & the 12th, and click this site for their full list of artists.

“Harmonica Charlie” Musselwhite @ KCSM Jazz On The Hill – Saturday 04 June 2016

Fred Witt | May 25th, 2016 | Leave a Comment »

16_05_24_KCSM_CMusselwhiteOur country’s Blues singer-harmonica player, Charlie Musselwhite will be “on the hill” on Saturday June 4, at the KCSM free Saturday concert, Jazz On The Hill.  Charlie was featured as a KCSM special program last month on May 6.  Click here to see the review we wrote then of Charlie & his work.

You can get a couple of pieces here by Charlie to listen to: a fun stage piece, “Blues in A” and a really cool blues number for the ages, “Mississippi Beat Part I.”

Visit the KCSM 2016 Jazz On The Hill festival Saturday June 4th for the show by Charlie Musselewhite, and the day’s full lineup of artists.  See also our summary of singer-saxophone player singer Grace Kelly for Saturday’s concert.

Grace Kelly @ KCSM Jazz On The Hill – Saturday 04 June 2016

Fred Witt | May 23rd, 2016 | Leave a Comment »

16_05_21_KCSM_GKellySinger-Saxophone player Grace Kelly will be on stage Saturday afternoon at KCSM’s free summer concert in San Mateo, on the college grounds.  She is from Wellesley, Massachusetts.  While a young performer, Grace already has quite a few years credited on stage, quite a few awards (and quite a few releases as well).

Kelly’s music style is versatile, now mod (and maybe mood), sometimes retro, and then clear & lyrical.  A great number of her performance numbers are vocals or saxophone instrumentals.  For some samples try here “Blues For Harry Bosch,” a “new” retro arrangement on sax with great melody, “Trying To Figure It Out,” a clear, melodic vocal from her 2016 release, “Ready, Set, Stay,”  a band stage vocal, and “Nuages,” a moody 2012 festival instrumental.

Visit the KCSM 2016 Jazz On The Hill (JOTH) festival Saturday June 4th for the show by Grace Kelly, and the day’s full lineup of artists.  Click here for the lineup.  Click here for the blog general notice on JOTH.

Healdsburg Jazz Festival 3-12 June 2016

Ron Lee | May 22nd, 2016 | Leave a Comment »

For nine days jazz fans from all over take over the town of Healdsburg in the Sonoma County wine region. Healdburg Jazz Fesival mixes great jazz with the food and atmosphere of the small town life of Healdburg. Concert venues take place downtown and on the grounds of several local vineyards. It is a great way to spend a week in Sonoma wine country.

The festival opens with the Julian Lage Trio and two concerts honoring drummer Billy Hart. Sunday is the blue brunch at Sonoma Cutrer Vinyard with Lady Bianca. Music continues every night of the week and finshes with the Marcus Shelby orchestra with Beyond the Blues and New Orleans on the Green.

KCSM is proud to be a media sponsor of the Healdsburg Jazz Festival. Festival details are on their web site at http://www.healdsburgjazzfestival.org/category/2016-festival/.

SF Cole Porter Society – Cole Porter 125th birthday party 3 June

Ron Lee | May 22nd, 2016 | Leave a Comment »

For the 125th birthday of Cole Porter the Cole Porter Society will be presenting “Les Ambassadeurs” Cole Porter in Paris. The show was written by Cole Porter in 1928 before he was famous. It was performed once in a Paris nightclub of the same name. The show was “lost” till 2014 when new information came to light and the show was reassembled from the Waring archives in NYC. You can read the New York Times article on how they found the show at http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/23/arts/music/cole-porters-lost-show-unearthed.html?_r=0.

Noah Griffin and the Cole Porter Society will be performing this revue at the newly remodeled Herbst Theatre in San Francisco. You can find out more and buy tickets at http://thecoleportersociety.org/event/happy-birthday-cole-porter-june-3-2016/.