Unesco International Jazz Day Sat 30 April – live stream of White House concert

Ron Lee | April 29th, 2016 | Leave a Comment »

4eaaca2ad4A special event is going on tomorrow Sat April 30. If you are lucky enough to be in the Washington DC area the events start with a free concert in Dupont Circle, Washington, DC. Performances by Herbie Hancock, Dee Dee Bridgewater, and more go on all day till 8pm.

For the rest of us on the web there will be a live stream Saturday evening 9pm EDT. Highlights will be broadcast on ABC TV on Sun May 1 at 8pm EDT. From the International Jazz Day web site:

The All-Star Global Concert at the White House will feature stellar performances by Joey Alexander,Terence Blanchard, Kris Bowers, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Till Brönner, Terri Lyne Carrington, Chick Corea, Jamie Cullum, Kurt Elling, Aretha Franklin, Robert Glasper, Buddy Guy, Herbie Hancock,Zakir Hussain, Al Jarreau, Diana Krall, Lionel Loueke, Hugh Masekela, Christian McBride, John McLaughlin, Pat Metheny, Marcus Miller, James Morrison, Danilo Pérez, Rebirth Brass Band,Dianne Reeves, Lee Ritenour, David Sánchez, Wayne Shorter, Esperanza Spalding, Sting,Trombone Shorty, Chucho Valdés, Bobby Watson, Ben Williams and others, with further details to be announced shortly. John Beasley will serve as the evening’s Musical Director.

The host city for International Jazz Day is Washington DC this year. This event is the finale for Jazz appreciation month. You can learn about International Jazz Day at their web site http://jazzday.com/. Events have been taking place all across the world. The sponsor for International Jazz Day is UNESCO. Thank you!


Cinco de Mayo Celebration, Thursday 05 May 2016

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

16_04_19_KCSM_cinco-de-mayoCome celebrate Cinco de Mayo with Chuy and Melanie on  the Thursday afternoon, May 5th.  (Cinco de Mayo theme song…)  Listen the great Mexican performers of modern jazz Santana and Cal Tjader, among others.  For samples, try Guajira Candela or El Sonido Nuevo for Cal Tjader, or Oye Como Va for Carlos Santana.

Tune in as well  to see what special gifts that Chuy has planned. Help support KCSM and celebrate with Chuy and Melanie from 2-6pm on Thursday May 5th.

Miles Ahead, the Miles Davis movie 6 May Fri 2pm-6pm and & 7 May Sat 10am-6pm

Ron Lee | April 24th, 2016 | Leave a Comment »

miles_aheadAs a long time Miles Davis fan the Miles Ahead movies was very nicely done. After previously reading the Miles Daivis autobiography I knew what the scenes were portraying and how they fit in. There were scenes with his two great quintets. It was interesting to see how they cast actors to represent the muscicians.They also did a scene where Miles gets beat up by NYC police.

The music in the film were the real recordings and there was a substantial section of the credit calling out the recordings. All the classics like So What, Sketches of Spain, Solea, etc. were there. The soundtrack album has all the cuts plus some of the movie diaglogue. The last scene was a live concert with appearances by Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter. The nusic definitely set the scene for the movie.

The storyline was faithful to Mile’s life. Some of the scenes felt like they were enhanced for the movie. Overall this is a great movie for a jazz and Miles fan. I do recommend reading Mile’s autobiography if you are interested in the details and how things fit together. I am going to go back and reread it while listening to Mile’s albums.

On Fri 6 May Chuy and Mel will be covering Miles Davis and the Miles Ahead movie. Sonny, Mel, Dick and Kathleen will be doing the same on Sun 7 May. Listen in!

Miles Davis Miles Smiles and Kind of Blue 4 May 2pm-6pm and 16 May 2-6pm

Ron Lee | April 20th, 2016 | Leave a Comment »

Miles SmilesWhy are these two albums so interesting to listeners? Relative to Miles Davis they represent works from his two quintets. Kind of Blue comes from the first great quintent and has Mile Davis, trumpet, John Coltrane, tenor sax, Wynton Kelly and Bill Evans on piano, Paul Chambers, base and Jimmy Cobb, drums. Wikipedia provides a thumbnail history of Kind of Blue at Kind of Blue. Kind of Blue is considered one of the gateway recording for non-jazz listeners. The pieces are melodic and swing. A lot of people talk about hearing Kind of Blue, So What or Freddie the Freeloader and asking what’s that?

In 1966 Mile came back with his second great quintet. Here he features Herbie Hancock, piano, Wayne Shorter Saxaphone, Ron Carter, base and Tony Williams, drums. On Miles Smiles there are ballads like Circle, Wayne Shorter’s Footprints and Eddie Harris’s Freedom Jazz Dance. All of these songs are jazz standards.

Find a copy of both, preferably vinyl, and play them through and listen. You will be well rewarded.


Miles Ahead and the KCSM Early Bird Special

Ron Lee | April 18th, 2016 | Leave a Comment »

miles_aheadHey what is all this excitement with Miles Davis? If you don’t know the Miles Davis movie Miles Ahead was released on April 1st. This movie portays Miles Davis with a lot of attitude. If you read his biography you can see how they reflected on Miles.

For the KCSM Early Bird pledges we have this special Miles Davis package for you:

KCSM designed a Miles Davis t-shirt

Miles Davis Kind of Blue(Not Now) 2 CD box set – this set includes the tracks from Kind of Blue(the #1 Jazz LP to this day), Ascenseur pour l’échafaud – the movie soundtrack that Miles wrote, and Somethin’ Else featuring Miles Davis and Cannonball Adderley.

774L-1To top all this off there is a grand prize drawing for this collection:

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KCSM Spring Jazz specials 5/4-5/16

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

KCSM_Logo2015_rgb_pms179Spring is here!   Starting on Wed 4 May KCSM is resenting a series of special programs on KCSM. The list is below and we are looking forward to presenting this programming on KCSM!



Wednesday, 5/4, 2-6PM              Miles Smails/ The music of Kind of Blue

Thursday, 5/5, 2-6PM                  Cinco de Mayo

Friday, 5/6, 9-10AM                     Charlie Christian Centenary

Friday, 5/6, 2-6PM                       Miles Ahead!

Friday, 5/6, 9PM-Midnite          Charlie Musselwhite, Big Maybelle & Joe Turner

Saturday, 5/7, 10AM-6PM         Miles Ahead!

Sunday, 5/8, 10AM-2PM            Patti Labelle

Monday, 5/9, 2-6PM                   The Meters

Tuesday, 5/10, 2-6PM                 Jaco Pastorius

Wednesday, 5/11, 2-6PM            Earth, Wind and Fire

Thursday, 5/12, 2-6PM               Betty Carter

Friday, 5/13, 2-6PM                    Willie Nelson

Friday, 5/13, 9PM-MIDNITE    The Meters and Elmore James

Saturday, 5/14, 10AM-6PM       Ernestine Anderson, Sarah Vaughan & Thad Jones

Sunday, 5/15, 10AM-2PM          Earth, Wind and Fire

Monday, 5/16, 2-6PM                 Kind of Blue



KCSM Reviews: Nic Bearde @ the Sound Room – 26 Mar 2016

Fred Witt | April 3rd, 2016 | Leave a Comment »

imagesBay area singer Nicolas Bearde and his quartet held a CD release party and played at Oakland’s Sound Room Saturday night, March 26.  The CD was Invitation.  See the track list here.  Nicolas has more than half a dozen releases out.  After the show, audience members were heard to say, “Wasn’t that a great concert.” and “Wasn’t this just terrific.”

Veteran performer Nic is from Tennessee  After some world travels he landed in the SF scene in the 80’s.  He now plays nation-wide.  His “California” quartet included John Shifflett on bass, Leon Joyce Jr on drums, Charles McNeal on sax, and a notable piano player Glen Pearson.  (Nic explained he has another band in New York, when he plays in eastern US.)

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KCSM Reviews: Bria Skonberg @ Cafe Stritch – Sat Mar 5, ’16 – Kaiser Permante San Jose Jazz Winter Fest by Metro

Fred Witt | March 18th, 2016 | Leave a Comment »

16_03_11_KCSM_BriaStritchBria Skonberg, New York singer-trumpeter, was back to the recent San Jose Jazz Winter Fest by popular demand.  Bria had shown up at last August’s Summer Fest as a first-timer and was picked by the crowd right away as a favorite.  She was even called in for a post-festival encore show that week !

Ms. Skonberg’s usual warm manner, great voice & trumpet made the night.  People in the audience were saying “Here’s this woman playing the trumpet like crazy.”  and “Bria’s better than some other promising lady brass players we’ve had in here.”

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KCSM Reviews: Jackie Ryan @ Cafe Stritch – Sun Mar 06, ’16 – Kaiser Permante San Jose Jazz Winter Fest by Metro

Fred Witt | March 14th, 2016 | Leave a Comment »

16_03_12_KCSM_JRyanJackie Ryan, veteran jazz singer from San Francisco, performed in a Sextet at Cafe Stritch.  Her dozen or so songs came from many styles.  You heard from American song book,  to A Night In Tunisia, to mid-50’s New Orleans jazz.

Jackie has multi-nation family origins, and was brought up on Mexican, Spanish, and Portuguese music, in addition to American.  She can easily move from one to another.  She has 7 releases out, and is on an 8th as part of a group.  Her international music typically appears along the way in each of her releases.

In Saturday’s show, the group played very creatively.  In fact, performing in a group of 6 on the cafe’s stage was a feat of close group work.   If you try tracks from her recent releases, Listen Here and Doozy you will get a sense of the show’s performance.  Click here for samples of her The Very Thought of You and Wild Is The Wind.

The Jazz Ambassadors – 7 pm, Sat Mar 19, ’16 – San Jose Jazz

Fred Witt | March 12th, 2016 | Leave a Comment »

US Army Field Band @ Valley Christian Schools

16_03_13_KCSM_USAJA.comWe all remember America’s classic US Army Field Band, typically opening with a John Phillip Sousa march, and playing on with more of the same.  Now we have something new & different !  The Army has reinvented itself with a modern group, their Jazz Ambassadors.

The Jazz Ambassadors—America’s Big Band will present a free concert celebrating the 100-year history of jazz, America’s original art form, featuring swing, bebop, Latin, contemporary jazz, standards, pop, Dixieland, patriotic tunes and more!  This free community performance is co-presented by San Jose Jazz (SJZ).

The official touring big band of the United States Army, the Jazz Ambassadors travel thousands of miles each year to present jazz to enthusiastic audiences across the nation and around the globe. Formed in 1969, this 19-member ensemble has received great acclaim at home and abroad. The band’s rigorous touring schedule and reputation for excellence has earned it the title of “America’s Big Band.”  Here’s a link to their organization & the event.

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