Ron Lee | March 12th, 2012 | Leave a Comment »
Saturday afternoon I got a chance to see Grace Kelly as a guest of San Jose Jazz Festival Winterfest. I first heard of Grace when she appeared on Marion McPartland’s Piano Jazz show back in April of 2008. Until recently she played up and down the east coast and on cruises but never making out here to the west coast. Just recently she was playing at Yoshi’s and then she turned up at San Jose Jazz’s Winterfest.
First I need to complement the San Jose Jazz Society for putting on a great concert series and picking an very nice venue. I had never been to the theatre on San Pedro Square before. Very nice intimate space upstairs from the restaurants. Good acousitics, a bar at the back and very nice seating arrangement. It reminds me of the old Yoshi’s in Oakland when they were on College Ave.
Grace brought her band with her and picked up a new drummer, Mike Ferber. Her group featured Jason Palmer on trumpet, Peter McCann on guitar, and Evan Gregor on bass. The group was stellar. They rocked out to standards like Caravan, Round Midnight, and Bye bye Blackbird. Her duet with Evan Gregor of Round Midnight was beautiful. Grace did serveral of her own compositions like Philosophical Flying Fish, Eggshells, Autum Song, and Night Time Star. They closed with a very funky version of Summertime. Grace very much respects the tradition of the music and is injecting her own style. The concert was a blast. I would love to see them in a dance club. If you get a chance to catch Grace I recommend it strongly. If you want to listed to her music and see where she is playing check out her web site Grace Kelly Music . Maybe San Jose Jazz can get her back for the Summerfest.
Ron Lee | March 8th, 2012 | Leave a Comment »
This weekend at the San Jose Jazz Winterfest our hosts, Clifford Brown and Greg Bridges will be the master of ceremonies for two concerts.
On Saturday Greg Bridges will be the master of ceremonies for Grace Kelly. Details for the performance are at:
San Jose Jazz Winterfest 2012
Clifford will be there on Sunday for the Ambrose Akimusire and Gerald Clayton quintet. He will also be there to lead the after concert discussion. Details are at:
San Jose Jazz Winterfest 2012
Come say hi to Greg and Clifford.
Ron Lee | March 7th, 2012 | Leave a Comment »
Jamie Davis’ deep, compelling baritone leaves audiences feeling good—really good. Music Critic Andy Gilbert calls Davis “one of the finest male jazz singers on the West Coast…an entertainer of the old school, an eager to please performer who can belt the blues, croon American Songbook ballads with a warm, burnished bass, and deliver Stevie Wonder hits with soulful authority.”
Read the full story and hear his music at:
San Jose Jazz Winterfest: Jamie Davis Quintet
Ron Lee | March 5th, 2012 | Leave a Comment »
It would be difficult to find two more intriguing young Jazz artists than Ambrose Akinmusire and Gerald Clayton. Put them together—in an artist-driven collaboration—and you’re guaranteed a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Read the rest of the story and hear their music at:
San Jose Jazz Winterfest: Ambrose Akimusire and Gerald Clayton
Ron Lee | March 2nd, 2012 | 1 Comment »
What are you doing next weekend? You should drop in on the San Jose Jazz Winterfest in downtown San Jose. They have a fantastic line up starring Ambrose Akinmusire and Gerald Clayton, Vocalist Jamie Davis, New York-based saxophone prodigy Grace Kelly, The Blues All Stars with J.C. Smith, Chris Cain & Maxx Cabello Jr., and Rupa and the April Fishes.
Other ticketed events will include a Blues Dance Party featuring Summer Fest favorite Legally Blue and a Salsa Dance Party with the Pacific Mambo Orchestra, both held at the San Pedro Square Market. There’s also a free “Club Crawl” featuring performances by great local Jazz groups at various bars and restaurants along San Pedro Street, which will offer food and drink specials during the festival.
You can find out about the artists, the schedule and buy tickets on their web site at
San Jose Jazz Winterfest 2012
Also check out their weekly jazz events calendar for what is going on in San Jose.
Ron Lee | February 20th, 2012 | Leave a Comment »
Sonny Simmons has been playing saxaphone since the 60s. Back then he was a leading musician in the free jazz movement. Since then he has reinvented himself as expressed in his current album Last Man Standing. He will be speaking with Greg Bridges about his current project and music.
Find out more about Sonny at his web site
Ron Lee | February 13th, 2012 | Leave a Comment »
Dr. Pascal Bokar Thiam teaches world music and jazz at University of San Francisco and the French American school by day. He is also a jazz vocalizt, guitarist and composer. Somewhere in between he runs the award winning Savannah Jazz Club in SF and Savannah Jazz records. He will be chatting with Kathleen Lawton about his music and numerous projects.
For a broader account of Pascal’s activities check out this article in the San Jose Mercury News:
Ron Lee | February 6th, 2012 | Leave a Comment »
Saxaphonist David Murray will be chatting with Alisa Clancy about his music and new CD, Nat King Cole en Espanol. David a native of Oakland currently resides in Portugal. During his career he was a founding member of World Saxaphone Quartet and has played with many world class musicians.
A quote from his web site on his new album:
This is a heartfelt love letter to one of the great figures in popular music who was nonetheless a phenomenally gifted jazz musician. Nat ‘King’ Cole had a piano technique that belied the gilt edged romanticism of his voice, yet it was as a singer that he achieved worldwide fame. One of Cole’s most charming recordings were the 1958 and 1962 albums, Cole Español and More Cole en Español, recorded in Havana and featuring Spanish lyrics. Now, more than 50 years after its release, saxophonist David Murray, a contemporary jazz great, reprises Cole Español as Cole ‘En Español’, in the company of a Cuban string band, giving the original repertoire a lush sonic canvas full of shimmering, sensual hues.
You listen to tracks from the album at his My Space page at
Ron Lee | February 5th, 2012 | Leave a Comment »
Roger plays the sax, flute, vibraphone and percussion in his group the Roger Glenn Latin Jazz Ensemble.Born in NY he is the son of Tyree Glenn, who was photographed in A Great Day in Harlem by Art Kane. Roger currently play around the Bay Area and often tours in Europe. You can hear his current music on his MySpace page at:
Ron Lee | January 23rd, 2012 | 3 Comments »
Robin is the author of “Thelonius Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original” that was published in 2009 and recently released in paperback. This biography of Thelonius Monk explored his life and career as one of the most prominent jazz musicians. It is a great read especially if you couple it with his recordings. Robin is currrently a professor at Univerisity of Southern California and University of California at Los Angeles. Robin will be visiting with Chris Cortez.