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Jazz drummer Louis Hayes performed at the Saville Theatre for the final installment of this spring’s "KSDS Jazz Live" series. Hayes has played with several jazz greats, from John Coltrane to Woody Shaw; he once turned down a job offer from Miles Davis in order to stay employed with Cannonball Adderley.

Hayes is 74, and many of his contemporaries are either retired or deceased. The Detroit native, however, shows no sign of slowing down. The drummer led a group of elite local musicians through a blistering set of hard-bop with an energetic sense of drive and clarity not often achieved by players half his age.

Trumpet wizard Gilbert Castellanos provided melodic leadership and dexterous solos. He delivered a heartbreaking reading of the ballad "Never Let Me Go" for his feature.

Bassist Rob Thorsen kept rock-solid time, and his solos were compelling examples of thematic storytelling. Rounding out the quartet was pianist Mikan Zlatkovich, who provided thunderous power and felicitous economy to compliment the drummer’s propulsive take on Monk's "Green Chimneys" and Gillespie's "Con Alma."

  • Concert: Louis Hayes Quartet
  • Date: May 10
  • Venue: Saville Theater, San Diego City College
  • Seats: backstage, wings
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