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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KCSM Interviews: Bria – @ Oakland’s Piedmont Piano – 04 Mar 2016

Fred Witt | March 11th, 2016 | Leave a Comment »

16_03_09_KCSM_Bria_PiedmontLuckily for us, the NYC trumpeter-singer Bria Skonberg is back, leading a quartet. Bria is hard to beat for a warm, lively jazz song & music show. While a young musician, Bria has so many awards you’d need a Google search to cover them all. See our other posts I’m Talkin’ Jazz, Interview @ Summer Fest, Preview of Winter Fest and Cafe Stritch Review for more information on this performer. Friday night’s show was just as great.

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KCSM Reviews: Scofield with Lovano @ Palo Alto JCC – Sat Feb 27, ’16 – Kaiser Permanente San Jose Jazz Winter Fest by Metro

Fred Witt | March 8th, 2016 | 2 Comments »

16_02_29_KCSM_ScoLoInfluential guitarist John Scofield brought in his quartet, this time with his age-old saxophone friend, Joe Lovano.  The show was in the new, roomy, clean-lined Palo Alto Oshman Family JCC.  They ran through almost two hours of modern work, no intermission.  The two artists played together well, providing the audience several duets.  The performance work of the quartet was well organized and together.

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KCSM Reviews: Regina Carter Quartet – Sun Feb 28 – Kaiser Permanente San Jose Jazz Winter Fest Presented by Metro

Fred Witt | March 8th, 2016 | 1 Comment »

Regina Carter and company play eastern Americana.

Regina_CarterIn a masterful low-key opening on country steel guitar, a piece of  Appalachia was transported to the audience, cradled in the open hands of the musicians, tilted toward them to be taken in.  (The US cultural area of Appalachia is somewhat mountainous and is variously credited with reaching from southern New York state to the upper Alabama, Mississippi, and Georgia states.)  For those in the audience with time in the central East, the transport was direct.

The music themes in this “Hickory Wind” could have come from any of the dusty porches or cross-roads Grange halls and country stores in the Shenandoah Valley 1900’s.  The performance was in the spare yet august Trianon Theater in San Jose, with its delightful acoustics.

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John Scofield Joe Lovano Quartet – Kaiser Permanente San Jose Jazz Winter Fest presented by Metro – Feb 27 Sat 8pm

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

ScoJoe260_2015_NickSuttle_SJZwebCongratulations to John Scofield on winning the Best Jazz Instrumental Album Grammy Award for Past Present. Guitarist-composer John Scofield and Grammy-winning saxophonist-composer Joe Lovano first played together in the 1970s when they were students at Berklee College of Music in Boston. They went on to form a highly popular group in the 1990s and released the albums Meant to Be and Time on My Hands. Since then John has led his own groups, performing music described as pop-bop, funk-edged jazz and R&B. Joe is a longtime Blue Note artist and has released 23 celebrated albums on the label.

The John Scofield-Joe Lovano Quartet, with bassist Ben Street and drummer Lewis Nash, is slated to make its only Northern California appearance Saturday, Feb. 27, at the Schultz Cultural Arts Hall at the Oshman Family JCC in Palo Alto. KCSM-FM will be broadcasting the concert the live, which will be hosted by Alisa Clancy and Michael Burman.
Read more about the John Scofield Joe Lovano Quartet and get tickets to the performance at

You can listen to title track of the Grammy-winning album Past Present at:

Nicholas Payton Trio – Kaiser Permanente San Jose Jazz Winter Fest Presented by Metro – Fri March 4

Fred Witt | February 19th, 2016 | Leave a Comment »

16_02_11_KCSM_NPaytonThe Nicholas Payton Trio is coming in with Nick Payton, trumpet/piano; Gerald Cannon, bass; and Joe Dyson, drums.

Payton, veteran trumpeter, composer, & keyboardist is from a musical family originally in New Orleans. Over some 20 years he has almost 20 releases, counting both as lead and as side man. Over time major collaborations have been with Ray Charles, Elvin Jones, Jimmy Smith, and Allen Toussaint. Nick appears to be a fair businessman as well: by example, forming a 21-piece band, having full orchestral compositions premiered, and forming his own record label.

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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.

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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.

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