Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Cuban Jazz On The Ground 4 of 6 – Havana – Cafe Jazz Miramar

June 15th, 2015

15_05_19A_KCSM_Cuba_4Cafe Jazz Miramar is in the eastern “Miramar” suburb district of Havana.  The club is a newer establishment: a renovated small concert hall (supposed to have a good sound system), and it puts on most of its jazz shows Friday and Saturday evenings. The cafe is credited with better surroundings, although maybe a noiser crowd.

Cafe Miramar is known for newer groups and music improv sessions.  There is a mix of music with an accent on the afro-Cuban.  Try music here by the singer & pianist Bellita Exposito and her group Jazz Tumbata in mixed euro- and afro-Cuban jazz.  Bellito is also a widely practiced educator in Cuba.  Here also are:  “Rio Cali” played by an un-named band; a brief piece by Manual Herrera; the remarkable horn group Habana Sax playing  an un-named piece; an un-named piece by pianist Roberto Carcasses with his trio; and him with a sizeable group playing the fast-moving “Blues Guaguanco.”

The cafe food & drink minimum is about $2 American.

This Cuban series relates to the KCSM Spring 2015 jazz tour to Cuba, and to the second tour coming this October.  Dick Conte, KCSM host on the coming October Cuba jazz tour commented: he had always enjoyed the Cuban people, music and culture.  He was there in 1959, just after the revolution and felt that going back on this tour would be almost like coming full circle.

For tour information consult the KCSM site: key “KCSM Jazz 91″ in search.  At the home page, look down the right side about 1/3 of the way for a rectangle “Travel to Cuba with KCSM” and this will lead to the tour company site.

Cuban Jazz On The Ground 3 of 6 – Havana – Jazz Cafe

June 7th, 2015

15_05_18_KCSM_Cuba_3The Jazz Cafe in Havana is another of the two leading downtown jazz cafes.  It is state-owned, as is the Fox and Crow, and has similar offerings for the customers.

The Jazz Cafe can also have a mix of euro- and afro-Cuban jazz.  See here mixed work at the club by the excellent pianist Roberto Fonseco and his quartet : an un-named piece, “Para que no Hables,” and another un-named piece with “Ramses.”  See also here afro-Cuban work by: El Chewy with his group; an un-named modern group; sax player Cesar Lopez in his group; another un-named group; and the award-winning drummer/singer Oscar Valdez with his band, Diakara; followed by another un-named group.

As with the Fox & Crow, there’s a great variety so check billings to see who will be on for times that you visit, and they have a $10 food & drink minimum at the door.

This Cuban series relates to the KCSM Spring 2015 jazz tour to Cuba, and to the second tour coming this October.  For tour information consult the KCSM site: KCSM Jazz 91 >> part way down on the right side of the home page will be a button, “Travel To Cuba With KCSM;” “click here,” taking you to tour information.  This button will stay up on the site until the October tour is filled.

If you haven’t see the parts 1 or 2 of this series you can click here for first or second, which will take you down the blog column to those posts.

Harry Allen & Scott Hamilton – I’m Talkin’ Jazz – 07 June

June 6th, 2015

15_06_06_KCSM_AllenHarry Allen and Scott Hamilton are a pair of today’s leading swing jazz saxophone players. They are highly rated and their styles are smooth and skillful. Their work favors the Great American Songbook. Fast or slow, they play a great performance to the music.

Harry Allen is a mid-career musician originally from Washington DC. He has some 30 CD’s released. Harry is not widely preformed currently, and tours occasionally. Last Fall & this Spring he played in Boston, & San Francisco. In June he is scheduled into Rochester. Harry now works from New York City.

Scott Hamilton, a little older than Harry, is from Rhode Island. He has a lengthy (!) recording list and years of international 15_06_06_KCSM_Hamiltontouring. Scott tours occasionally now and is scheduled into Vancouver, BC in later this month. He moved to Europe in the late 1990’s and now works from Italy.

Try tracks here, and here for music by Harry; here and here for pieces by Scott, and here for a performance by the two of them.

On Sunday, June 7th at 8 AM join Alisa Clancy on I’m Talkin’ Jazz here at KCSM, The Bay Area’s Jazz Station for the story with Harry Allen and Scott Hamilton.

Cuban Jazz On The Ground 2 of 6 – Havana – Fox & Crow Cafe

May 29th, 2015

night club in Vedado La zorra y el cuervo © Cuba Absolutely, 2014The African Beat in Cuba:

Cuban jazz has two large branches; one with african drums & traditional Carribbean rhythms, and another with european/American trap drums (or no drums) and more continental scoring.  There is a lot more than this to afro-Cuban jazz.  However we’ll use this simple guide of afro-Cuban or euro-Cuban material in mentioning pieces here.

One magic of visiting Cuba is the appearance of great in-country performers who don’t have the reach to tour internationally, or distribute their work out of country that we can obtain.  We get to see these people by visiting there.  This review series on Cuban jazz will look for the in-country artists, while bringing out both local and international Cuban talent.

The Fox & Crow (“La Zorra y El  Quervo”) is almost *the* most popular Havana jazz club.  It can have a mix of material, leaning toward the afro-Cuban side.  The performances can be pretty wide-open and free-wheeling.  Take a look at these: a William Vivanco jam session in the club by the singer/guitarist/bandleader, a song by the vocal group Sixth Sense (“Sexto Sentido”), and a piece by an unnamed group.  Also see a William’s band song,  and another song William recorded in an unnamed location.

While the live jazz music sets start “really late” in the evening, the Fox & Crow appears to have performers booked almost every evening.  There is quite a mix of local & international talent going through the downtown clubs so consult club calendars or performance billings to see who will be on for you.

The Fox & Crow is one of the two downtown state-owned jazz clubs.  They serve music, food, and drinks, and focus on the music.  Consult your travel guides on what to expect in offerings and facilities.  The club places a food & drink minimum charge at the door of about $10 American.

If you haven’t see  the part 1 of 6 of this series you can click here, which will take you down the blog column to that post.

This Cuban series relates to the KCSM Spring 2015 jazz tour to Cuba, and to the second tour coming this October.  For October tour information consult the KCSM site: in your browser search:  KCSM Jazz 91 >> half way down on the home page right side will be a button, “Travel To Cuba…”, “click here,” taking you to tour information.  This button will stay up until the October tour is filled.

Kyle Eastwood – I’m Talkin’ Jazz – 31 May

May 25th, 2015

15_05_10_KCSM_KEastwoodKyle is a mid-career electric jazz bass player from southern California. Kyle’s playing is in some 15 – 20 CD’s and movies. His released music shows quite a variety with plenty in the modern or “straight-ahead” versions.  Try some tracks here for something to suit your taste.  (If the name Eastwood is familiar in the back of your mind, Kyle is the son of our Clint Eastwood.)

Kyle is currently on his summer European tour, and will be in northern Califirnia in September for the Monterey Jazz Festival.

Join Alisa Clancy on Sunday, May 31th, at the 8 am I’m Talkin’ Jazz show for Kyle Eastwood’s life and times as a bass player.

Jazz on the Hill – 6 June Sat 12noon – 6pm

May 24th, 2015

JazzOnTheHill2015Come Share A Day Filled with Great Jazz Music

KCSM Jazz 91 invites you to spend the with us at Jazz On The Hill! This day-long celebration is our gift to you, our jazz community, to thank you for the support you’ve given to your favorite jazz station: KCSM 91.1 FM. Join us at College of San Mateo campus for live jazz with a great line-up of musicians who cover many genres of jazz from straight-ahead, blues, to Latin and more!

Artist Line up

More details at the Jazz on the Hill web site at

Main Stage

12 noon Jamie Davis

1:15pm Dirty Cello

2:15pm Maria Muldar

3:15pm Anton Schwartz Quintet

430pm Poncho Sanchez

Youth Stage(CSM Little Theatre):

1230pm Giant Steps Big Band

130pm SF Jazz High School All Stars Combo

230pm Carlmont High School Jazz Emsemble

330pm The Jazzschool Studio Band

Arts & Crafts and Food Trucks, Too!

It’s a long day, so come hungry! The fine food trucks will make their appearance: Sam’s Chowdermobile, Speedy Panini, Whisk on Wheels, HiYaa and Taqueria Angelica’s. Matagrano, Inc. will provide beer, and a variety of great wine from Domenico Winery will also be served.

More info at the Jazz on the Hill 2015 web site.

Special Tribute to BB King Today 10am – 2pm

May 17th, 2015

15_05_17_KCSMBBKingDue to the Overwhelming and Unprecedented outpouring of Love, Props and Respect in response to the passing of B.B. KING, worldwide and from You, our Listeners…
Keith & Mel will pay tribute to THE KING OF THE BLUES today from 10AM to 2PM.

Riley B. “BB” King from Mississippi was our man who voiced the blues of the nation.  BB would croon, would morn, would praise, would howl our pain, and would “put it all out there for us.”  Our man regrettably passed away this past Thursday, May 14, and now we return his gifts on our stage with honoring his passing.

BB started on the guitar as a child, and was recording by the age of 25, migrating into the blues themes.  BB believed that good recorded music and the live experience for the audience were both important, and he honed being excellent at both.  He soldiered on, working his way up through recording companies and American countryside (and then international) performances.

BB the artist was still a sensible man with his feet on the ground.  One humorous story has him doing a show in Arkansas when a fight broke out, starting a fire.  BB hit the doorways with the rest of the folks, but then went back in to rescue his beloved guitar.  In the aftermath it came out that the two onlookers were fighting over a lady named Lucille.  BB promptly maned his guitar Lucille, to remind him 1) not to fight over women, and 2) not to run into burning buildings !

BB passed away in Las Vegas this month at the age of 89.  He has left us a great musical heritage in the body of his many recorded releases.

Charlie “Yardbird” Parker 16 May KCSM Pledge Special

May 13th, 2015

charlie_parkerCharlie “Yardbird” Parker was one of the leading musicians that formed the bebop sound. In NYC along with Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonius Monk, Miles Davis and more they played in the clubs and concert halls. Eventually each of these artists would graduate and lead their own bands. Bird was captured on Verve, Prestige, Savoy and Dial records. The pledge gift Charlie Parker Bird’s Nest contains a solid collection of 45 tracks from these labels. Listen as Sonny and Melanie tell the story of Bird.

Gil & Miles ! Wed 13 May – KCSM Pledge Special

May 10th, 2015

15_05_10_KCSM_GilMilesMiles Davis’ turbulent career of trumpeting & band-leading from post-WW II on lead many mid-century jazz innovations and style advances.  Around 1950 composer-arranger Gil Evans teamed with the then 30-year old Miles.  From there they went on to power iconic popular jazz music of the times.  Gil Evans and Miles Davis!  Creative collaborators!  Musical Mentors!  They played off of each other and created masterpieces.

Miles’ music is described over the years in turn as “bop, cool, blue, and electric.”  The outcome is that you have many places to choose to find music special to you in Miles’ & Gil’s work.  Try these different samples for contrast in their music over time: Spain & Kinda Blue, 1960; Brew, 1969; and Doo Bop, 1992.

On Wednesday, May 13th from 10AM to 6PM, join Chris Cortez, Lee Thomas, Chuy Varela and Melanie Berzon for a Tribute to Gil Evans and Miles Davis, right here on KCSM, The Bay Area’s Jazz Station

Hammond B3 organ summit 12 May KCSM Pledge Special

May 10th, 2015

B3mk2_aWhat is so cool about the Hammond B3 organ? For jazz the Hammond B3 was first played by Jimmy Smith in the 1950s. This led to a whole series of organists like Jack McDuff, Booker T Jones, Richard Groove Holmes and others. The Hammond B3 continues to be popular today. Pete is at the center of a thriving Bay Area Hammond B3 scene. Take a look at Pete’s web site at Also the San Jose Mercury News published a great article at

Pete and Chuy will explore the top Hammond B3 players on KCSM.