Ron Lee | September 12th, 2016 | Leave a Comment »
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 named his guitar Lucille, to remind him 1) not to fight over women, and 2) not to run into burning buildings !
Fred Witt | September 5th, 2016 | Leave a Comment »
The weekend of September 16, 17, & 18 is the MJF this year, and KCSM will be warming up to it a week ahead. The Monterey Jazz Festival, in Monterey, California, is one of the longest consecutively running jazz festivals. It debuted on October 3, 1958 and was founded by San Francisco jazz radio broadcaster Jimmy Lyons. By now, this festival is the big name for jazz here in northern California.
With 500 artists, the arena, and 7 more stages the show for you is sure to be there. Names include the veterans Wayne Shorter (artist and music) and Quincy Jones (artist and music) , as well as rising stars like Cecile McLorin Salvant (artist and music) and Bria Skonberg (artist and music) . Tune in to KCSM and get 6 days of music & info Sept 7 – 12, preparing for the big show.
Ron Lee | September 1st, 2016 | Leave a Comment »
KCSM’s Fall fundraiser is NOW! We need your help in raising $275,000 and we want to do it with drastically reduced interruptions to our programming. That’s what our “Silent Drive” is all about. There’s no need to wait—no special thank you gifts you can’t get right now. And the sooner you make your pledge “In a Silent Way” the more chances you have to win the great raffle prizes we’re giving away. Our first drawing is September 12th for a pair of 3-Day Arena Passes to the Monterey Jazz Festival, a KCSM Hoodie, plus 91 CDs of past and present Festival artists. Pledge now at KCSM.org.
You can find out more and track our progress at http://kcsm.org/silentdrive/.
Fred Witt | August 26th, 2016 | Leave a Comment »
by DownBeat contributor Yoshi Kato :
“On the evening of Aug. 13, tenor saxophonist Melissa Aldana gave a rare solo saxophone recital for V.I.P. ticketholders that was co-hosted by the mighty local jazz station KCSM. Presented in the rectangular Pagoda Lounge on the ground floor of the Fairmont San Jose, she performed unamplified for a half hour. Having led her trio at the exponentially larger California Theatre earlier in the day, she explained that she was using this unique format to explore standards.”
KCSM sponsored this venue at the recent San Jose Jazz Summer Fest, the KCSM Music Lounge, at The Pagoda, where Melissa appeared. Click here to listen to a stage full of fast notes by Melissa, her base player Pable Menares, and rhythm at the 2014 Monterey Jazz Fest.
Click here to see further information on this review item on the San Jose Jazz Facebook page. Scroll down to August 23 posts to see this item. Try also the Summer Fest page of artist details here on Aldana.
Fred Witt | August 18th, 2016 | Leave a Comment »
On Friday, August 19th, the city of San Francisco will celebrate Tony’s 90th birthday by unveiling and dedicating the Tony Bennett Commemorative Statue on the lawn of the Fairmont Hotel. And that night, the Giants will pay tribute to Tony at AT&T Park. We here at KCSM want to express our appreciation too, so we designed a special Tony Bennett Tee Shirt to honor the vocalist who has done so much for Jazz and the Bay Area.
If you enjoy hearing the voice of Tony Bennett on these airwaves, tune in to our tribute on Friday, August 19th, and check out our exclusive Jazz 91 Tony Bennett Tee Shirt at KCSM.ORG and get yourself entered into our raffle to win a stack of Tony Bennett CDs and Boxsets. Long live Tony Bennett! Click here for the full details.
Fred Witt | August 17th, 2016 | Leave a Comment »
Cecile McLorin Salvant’s show Sunday had a lot of American songbook numbers in it like Wives & Lovers and I Get A Kick Out Of You, along with modern numbers like Fog. There was other Americana like Somehow I Never Could Believe (opera Street Scene, K. Weill).
Despite the aspects of producing music from the Main Stage, McLorin Salvant was a happy event for the festival-goers. She had a warm and open stage presence. Comments from critics in the audience included: “….good singer, good voice, a crowd pleaser.” Even after the show audience comments kept coming: “Hubby and I were strolling to check out a few of the smaller stages, and ran into her on the street, what a sweetheart !” KCSM marks Cecile as one to follow.
See below for the set list from Sunday’s show. Also, click here to see KCSM’s introductory article with further background on McLorin Salvant, and here for another sample of her music.
We will all have another chance when Cecile is back in the area for the Monterey Jazz Festival in September (Friday the 16th at 7:30 pm). Click here to see all her tour dates and places.
Set List from Sunday Aug 14, San Jose Jazz Summer Fest:
(Song from Funny girl – unknown title)
Wives and Lovers
Sam Jones Blues
Cole Porter set:
– I get a kick out of you and
– So in Love
Devil May Care
What A Little Moonlight Can Do (extended arrangement with trio doing solos)
Somehow I Never Could Believe (from opera Street Scene, Kurt Weil/Longston Hughes)
Nothing Like You Has Been Seen Before
Something Coming (from West Side Story)
Fred Witt | August 16th, 2016 | Leave a Comment »
Musician and community leader Terrance Kelly has been leading this Oakland chorus (abbreviated OIGC) for about 30 years. Terrance is no newcomer to music, as the son of the famous Bay Area Ed Kelly, jazz pianist; community and chorus leader. If you follow Terrance for a little while, you’ll find out he has an excellent voice himself. Not a bad thing for a great chorus leader. Kelly has done most of his day-to-day work with the chorus at the Oakland Paramount Theater.
Terrance kindly took time out after his chorus’ show this past Sunday to talk with KCSM and briefly tell his side of music. Kelly had about 80 singers on stage for the show (plus four instrument back-ups). He named a few of his favorite songs from Saturday: Wade In De Water, Everybody Dancin’, and Worth. (See another sample here of OIGC’s stage work.) Terrance had the crowd tapping their feet, singing along, on their feet applauding, and even singing along as they were walking from one part of the festival to another.
Follow OIGC on their Facebook page, or web site. See also the San Jose Jazz web for more history and details on this group.
Fred Witt | August 15th, 2016 | Leave a Comment »
Denise Donatelli is a veteran jazz singer originally from Pennsylvania and now of Los Angeles. She performed Saturday night with a 3-piece combo at the Cafe Stritch as part of the San Jose Jazz Summer Fest 2016 (Denise Donatelli & Friends). It was an hour and a half performance with about 15 songs. The performance was also being broadcast live by KCSM radio. KCSM’s crowd-friendly announcer Greg Bridges hosted the performance on the floor.
Denise gives the audience a lot of straight-ahead, American jazz. Some of her numbers were All Or Nothing At All, When the Lights Are Low, Be Cool, Practical Arrangement, Big Noise New York, Eyes That Say I Love You, Another Day, Skylark, and Soul Shadow. Several of these were from her four Grammy-nominated recordings.
The show started off with a light touch. By the second half of the show, with the hearty approval by the audience the songs were really being belted out. Listen below to hear her sing Joe Samples’s Soul Shadows. To find out more about her music and performances see her web site at http://denisedonatelli.com. If this is your music style I recommend you catch one of her performances or try her recordings. If you get to a show, you might find the piano player & the drummer of this group putting out a full effort.
Fred Witt | August 15th, 2016 | Leave a Comment »
Kermit Ruffins, a mature artist from New Orleans is a master trumpeter, singer, and composer. Kermit and his group the Barbecue Swingers performed Saturday on the Main Stage of San Jose Jazz’s Summer Fest 2016. Ruffins’ group is typically a keyboard-organ & song show, with trumpet and accompaniment by piano, electric base and drums. Kermit played songs made famous by Louis Armstrong and New Orleans standards. On Saturday he played Sunny Side Of The Street, St James Infirmary, What A Wonderful World and Honeysuckle Rose. Kermit had a guest vocalist, Nayo Jones. She appears on his latest recording I’m so New Orleans. The show made for a great way to listen in the shade at San Jose Jazz Summer Fest 2016.
Listen to them play Treme, below. For more information on the group try the San Jose Jazz artist’s web page.
Ron Lee | August 10th, 2016 | 1 Comment »
Funky Meters photographed at Stern Grove in San Francisco, CA July 13, 2014©Jay Blakesberg
On Friday night at San Jose Jazz Summer Fest 2016 the Funky Meters will be playing on the main stage at 730pm. The Funky Meters are a New Orleans based soul and funk band. Their music traces back the original Meters band and they have been playing together since the mid 90s. Along with greats like James Brown they are considered to be one of the originators of funk and soul music.
From the San Jose Jazz Summer Fest 2016 web site:
funky METERS tap into the roots of the Meters’ musical heritage while taking the sound well into the future. Their trademark sound blends funk, blues, and dance grooves with a New Orleans vibe. The collective résumé between the four artists in the band speaks volumes for the level of musicianship and creativity that comes alive when they play together. After years of solid touring, playing countless venues, the Funky Meters are stronger than ever. In fact, the funk is still going as strong today as it was 40 plus years ago.
Here is a sample of what you will here Fri night in downtown San Jose.