Bria Skonberg – Kaiser Permanente San Jose Jazz Winter Fest presented by Metro – Sat March 5

Fred Witt | February 16th, 2016 | Leave a Comment »

16_02_12_KCSM_BSkonbergFestival headline performer, coming back to San Jose Jazz (SJZ) by poplar demand – Bria Skonberg, rising singer-trumpeter!

Our chance is coming: Bria’s show at the SJZ Winter Fest is Saturday, March 5 and will be at the downtown San Jose jazz club Cafe Stritch on S. First St (below San Carlos).  We SJZ-goers first got to see Bria as a new addition to last year’s Summer Fest.  Her shows were a happy surprise.  For more info on Ms. Skonberg’s work, see our posts on Cafe Stritch Review, Interview & Show @ Piedmont PianoInterview @ Summer Fest, and I’m Talkin’ Jazz.

Read the rest of this entry »

KCSM at the San Jose Jazz Winter Fest 25 Feb – 8 March

Ron Lee | February 8th, 2016 | Leave a Comment »

winterfest-2016-bannerKCSM is again proud to be a media sponsor of San Jose Jazz Winter Fest. From 25 Feb – 8 March San Jose Jazz will be presenting a series of concerts in Palo Alto and San Jose venues. KCSM will be doing a live broadcast of the John Scofield Joe Lovano Quartet on 27 Feb at 8pm!

Kaiser Permanente San Jose Jazz Winter Fest presented by Metro showcases a diverse array of leading edge artists and jazz giants, featuring John Scofield & Joe Lovano, Regina Carter, Nicholas Payton, Delfeayo Marsalis and many more! The Jazz Beyond series, co-curated with Universal Grammar, presents rising young stars pushing the boundaries of jazz, soul and hip-hop, including KneedelusKadhja Bonet and King. Plus master classes and Next Gen performances by top student jazz ensembles in the region, including the SFJAZZ High School All Stars and SJZ High School All Stars.”

You can find out more about San Jazz Winter Fest at their web site Tickets are on sale now at


Regina Carter benefit for Homeless Prenatal Program Nourse Auditorium,SF 27 Feb 8pm

Ron Lee | February 6th, 2016 | Leave a Comment »

Regina-flyer_JPGKCSM is proud to be one of the media sponsors for Regina Carter’s benefit for the Homeless Prenatal Program in San Francisco on Feb 27 at 8pm in the Nourse Auditorium in SF. The benefit will feature music from her recent album Southern Comfort. This album features interpretations of folk tunes and music in the Appalachians during the time her grandfather worked and lived there.

All proceeds will benefit the Homeless Prenatal Program, a family resource center in San Francisco that serves over 4,000 low-income and homeless families annually.

Tickets available now through City Box Office.

Learn more about the Homeless Prenatal Program at their web site

Interviews: Theatergoers at SF ACT’s “Satchmo” 2 of 2

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

KCSM talked with some of the audience that had come out of the ACT play “Satchmo” and brings the comments here.

One of the first comments heard out of the departing audience, aimed at almost all jazz fans, was “You’ve got to see this.  This was a wall-to-wall performance on a subject of interest to you !”

A lot was said about the performer John Thompson. He did a solid show; he owned the stage the whole way through. Some drew back at some of the scripts curses and crude language, but others said, “I wasn’t bothered. As [Thompson] presented it, it felt real.” Thompson did the job on stage, and for the hour and a half, was Satchmo for the audience.

As remarked in the prior post, the play wasn’t about Armstrong’s coming into his music; it was about his workingman’s day-to-day life. It was about the black man, even a famous black man touring on the road, going to the back door of restaurants where he couldn’t be seated, eating and sleeping on the bus in the town where he couldn’t check into the hotel. It was about the pressure and muscle of management (and maybe the mob) on working in this club but not that one.

Read the rest of this entry »

Review: “Satchmo” at SF ACT, 1 of 2

Fred Witt | January 29th, 2016 | Leave a Comment »

16_01_29_KCSM_Satchmo_1of2Much has been written about the portrayal of Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong in the 1 1/2 hour, one-man play performed by John Thompson.  The show has run for years nationally.  It has brought it’s entertainment weight to bear now on the bay area; witness it’s being reviewed by most of the area media big names.  See SFGate or the San Jose Mercury News for good review articles.

On stage, Thompson goes the distance single-handedly for the full show without a break.  He even switches periodically to other characters as part of the story telling.  The play, by author Terry Teachout and producer Gordon Edelstein puts the aged Satchmo on the stage mentally going over highs and lows of his life, just before his last performance.

Read the rest of this entry »

Sing a Song of Jazz with The Singing Instrumentalists, Thursday, January 28th, 2pm-6PM

Ron Lee | January 27th, 2016 | Leave a Comment »

Jazz91Sing a Song of Jazz with The  Singing Instrumentaliists, featuring Ray Charles, Nina Simone, Nat King Cole, Sarah Vaughan, Louis Armstrong, Carmen McRae, Allen Toussaint, Aretha Franklin, Chet Baker, Mose Allison, Fats Waller and more! Join us as Chuy and Mel take us through the works of these artists on Thursday 28 January from 2pm – 6pm!


Ruth Brown and Etta James Fri 29 Jan 2pm-midnight

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

Ruth Brown and Etta James are two of the great ladies of R&B. In the 1950s their hit songs were at the top of the charts. Ruth Brown got her start in R&B at Atlantic Records. She had a long string of hits like “So Long”, “5-10-15 hours” and  “(Mama)He treats your daughter so mean”. Etta James was recording for Chess Records at the same time and had hits like “All I Could Do is Cry”, “At Last”, “I Just Want to Make Love to You” and “Tell Mama”. Both went on to have future comeback careers and were recognized and honored by the R&B and blues audiences.

Listen as Chuy, Mel, Kathleen and Harry play the songs of these great blues and R&B singers.



90th Birthday of Tony Bennett – KCSM Special Program – Sat 30 Jan, 10am-6pm

Fred Witt | January 21st, 2016 | Leave a Comment »

16_01_03_KCSM_TBennettOn Saturday, January 30th, join Sonny and Mel for a 90th Birthday celebration of our Tony Bennett.

The incredible Tony Bennett, touring this past year with our up & coming star Lady Gaga, is now at his 90th birthday and doing great.  Born a solidly Italian Anthony Dominic “Tony” Benedetto in NYC, he has released some 70 albums, and has cruised the upper layers of our popular singing atmosphere, with the likes of Frank Sinatra.  Tony has specialized in the better music of the popular American Songbook.  As a reminder of his music, try this “The Way You Look Tonight” released in the ’60’s.

Sonny and Mel will be on Saturday January 30th from 10am-6pm for the Tony Bennett 90th Birthday special.

Sam Cooke’s 85th Anniversary of his birth Sun 24 Jan 10am-2pm

Ron Lee | January 17th, 2016 | Leave a Comment »

Sam Cooke 51PA3DVxDdL._AA160_Sam Cooke has been described as the father of soul music. Sam started his career in Chicago as a gospel singer. In the late 1950s he crossed over into the pop category and had hits like “Chain Gang”, “You Send Me” and “A Change is Gonna Come”. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s he produced hit after hit. Sam Cooke was also an accomprished songwriter and music entrepeneur. He owned his own label as well as a music publishing business.

Keith and Melanie will be exploring the musical legacy of Sam Cooke as they celebrate the 85th anniversary of his birth. Tune in to KCSM and listen.


Remembering Ella ! and Others – KCSM Special Program – Sat 23 Jan, 10am-6pm

Fred Witt | January 14th, 2016 | 1 Comment »

16_01_02_KCSM_EFitzgeraldOn Saturday, January 23rd, join Sonny Buxton, Mel Berzon, Dick Conte and Kathleen Lawton for a celebration of special jazz people; Ella Fitzgerald and others.

Ella is an example of talent that can’t be held back, born in 1917 in Virginia and coming at one point from homeless orphan beginnings .  She died in 1996 in California.   Pick your own list of best lady jazz singers, but likely Ella is on it, & up there !  The fact that she had a great voice on several counts has just been the springboard for her spirit and variety in the life’s jazz song performances. (There was also a great smile !)  Her work has the fame to go with it.

Just to remind you of the great singing, click here for Ella’s “Summertime” from Porgy & Bess, released in 1968.

Look for Ella and some other of our great jazz artists on the coming KCSM special program.  Now join Sonny, Mel, Dick, and Kathleen on Saturday January 23 from 10am to 6 pm for a special program on Ella and others.