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Stories by Robert Bush

Ralph Towner returns to San Diego

...and the best of the rest on the San Diego jazz scene this week

Monday 27Start the jazz week off with a free lunchtime concert showcasing the U.S. Marine Corps Jazz Orchestra with special guest Gilbert Castellanos at SDSU’s Smith Recital Hall (5500 Campanile Drive) from noon to 1:30 ...

Kamau's gold

San Diego musician/producer Kamau Kenyatta wins another Grammy

“I was at home working on a new project,” says musician/producer Kamau Kenyatta explaining why he had to miss this year’s Grammy awards. Kenyatta helmed the sessions behind Gregory Porter’s Take Me to the Alley, ...

Tuner, composer, space traveler

Joe Garrison knows pianos but still working on the whole music thing

Reclusive jazz composer Joe Garrison is unveiling a new CD called The People Upstairs with his large ensemble Night People. The musician makes his living tuning pianos and long ago he came to this revelation: ...

Joshua White Brings Codes to the Loft

...and the best of the rest in San Diego jazz this week

Tuesday 21KSDS Jazz 88 presents Jazz Live celebrating the music of Tadd Dameron with the Paul Combs Quintet featuring Bill Cunliffe at the Saville Theatre on the campus of San Diego City College. The doors ...

Brazilian tapestry

Allison Adams Tucker's Brasil Jazz Festa in its tenth year

“Before we started this nine years ago,” says vocalist Allison Adams Tucker, “many San Diegans had no experience with Brazilian culture — the language, the music, the dances. Now it’s become a part of the ...

Besos de Coco at Panama 66

...and other jazz happenings around San Diego February 13–19

Monday 13There’s a Monday jam session going down at Busalacchi’s (3707 Fifth Avenue) with Louis Valenzuela on guitar, Mackenzie Leighton on bass, and Kevin Higuchi on drums from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. No cover ...

Rob Thorsen plays benefit For Music in Schools

...and other jazz happenings in San Diego this week

Monday 6The jazz week begins with a free, noon-time concert by the Gilbert Castellanos Trio at the Athenaeum Music & Arts Library (1008 Wall Street.) All ages… Pianist Mikan Zlatkovich plays “acoustic fusion” with a ...

Stories from NAMM

Music Merchants madness

The annual NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) convention just wrapped in Anaheim, and San Diego musicians were well represented, as performers, consumers, and product endorsers. Guitarist Wayne Riker has been attending the convention for ...

New Orleans saxman Donald Harrison blows into the Athenaeum

...and more jazz happenings in San Diego this week

Monday 30Start off the jazz week with a free solo piano concert featuring Joshua White at the Lyceum Westfield Horton Plaza from noon to 1 p.m…. Trumpeter Stephanie Richards plus Phantom Station present Conduction for ...

Electronic moth

Ian Tordella's new group, Moth & Sons, out of its cocoon

“We were thinking about ‘Big Moth’ as a name,” says saxophonist Ian Tordella, referring to the search for identity on a new project and recording. “But we decided on ‘Moth & Sons’ because it’s a ...

Art meets jazz

...painters paint while players play at Bread & Salt this Saturday

Trumpeter Gilbert Castellanos and his manager Arlene Damasco are ready to begin a collaboration with Bread & Salt, the multi-arts venue in Logan Heights that combines a jazz concert with an art showing on Saturday, ...

Remembering Daniel Jackson at Dizzy's

...and other jazz happenings in and around San Diego this week

Monday 23Start the jazz week off with a free solo piano concert featuring Joshua White at the Athenaeum Music & Arts Library (1008 Wall Street) starting at noon. Wednesday 25Vocalist Leonard Patton performs in duo ...

The Wright stuff

For 20 years, Bonnie Wright's Fresh Sound music series has brought the cutting edge to town

“I wanted to have musicians who’ve played here before,” says music promoter Bonnie Wright. She’s on the verge of celebrating 20 years of her Fresh Sound music series. “And our very first concert featured Steve ...

Matt Hall's Handlery Happy Hour

...and the best of the rest in the San Diego jazz scene January 17 through 22

Tuesday 17Vocalist Rebecca Jade performs at Café 21 (802 Fifth Avenue) in a trio with pianist David Owen and bassist Michael Kennedy from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. No cover charge. Wednesday 18Trumpeter Gilbert Castellanos begins ...

Rob's ride

Busy jazz bassist Rob Thorsen takes time out to pedal through Baja

“I’ve been going out to Otay Lakes to train,” says local jazz bassist and bicycle aficionado Rob Thorsen. “Just riding up and down the trails, getting muddy and testing the limits of my bike.” On ...

Bell curve

Lori Bell pulls her new album from the label, earns national recognition

“It was a labor of love, that album,” said flutist Lori Bell, speaking from the second floor of her North Park studio. That album is Brooklyn Dreaming, which has earned a place in the top ...

Mark Dresser digs deep at City College

...and the best of the rest in San Diego jazz clubs this week

Monday 9Bassist Gunnar Biggs kicks off the jazz week with a Tribute to Mose Allison at Dizzy’s (1717 Morena Boulevard) at 8 p.m. with Tripp Sprague, John Opferkuch, Duncan Moore, Ruby Etoire, and Robin Henkel. ...

A night for the Young Lionesses

Jazz happenings around San Diego, January 4–8

Wednesday 4Trumpeter Gilbert Castellanos begins a double-header evening at Panama 66 (1450 El Prado) when he hosts the Young Lions Series this week featuring high-school bassist Angelica Yume Pruitt at 6 p.m. At 8:30, he ...

Little drummer girl Carmen Murray

"We’ve always had African drums around the house.”

“I got the recommendation from [hand-drum pro] Monette Marino,” confides 14-year-old percussionist Carmen Murray. “The symphony asked her for a young player and I got the call one day before the audition. I just played ...

Ring in the New Year with Steph Johnson

...and other Jazz happenings around San Diego this week

Tuesday 27Trombonist/vocalist Lizzi Trumbore is back in town, playing a house party gig with guitarist Peter Sprague and vocalist Leonard Patton at the Trumbore household (17738 Villamoura Drive, Poway). Concert begins at 5:30 p.m. and ...

Peter Sprague's Christmas Eve Celebration

...and other jazz happenings around San Diego December 20-24

Tuesday 20The annual “Unsilent Night” festivities kick off at 7 p.m. at the Gaslamp Quarter Station (Fifth Avenue/King Promenade). A large group of participants, each carrying a different sonic device, play Phil Kline’s “Unsilent Night” ...

Rockin' Cranberries?

It's the Full Measure Carolers' favorite time of year

“I joined the group about 13 years ago and bought the company 9 years later. We have between 45 and 50 singers, depending on the season,” says Angelica Eclar Ryan, speaking with me on a ...

Geoffrey Keezer and Gillian Margot do Jazz Live

...and other jazz happenings around San Diego December 12-18

Monday 12 Gilbert Castellanos will be leading a group to celebrate the inauguration of SD City Councilmember Chris Ward, with Lorraine Castellanos on vocals, Bob Boss on guitar, Dean Hulett on bass, and Kevin Higuchi ...

Camila Meza a double threat

Chilean singer/guitarist wows a capacity crowd at Bread & Salt

Currently based in NYC, Chilean musician Camila Meza made her San Diego debut on December 3, with a two-set house-capacity performance at the Athenaeum’s new Logan Heights outlet in the multi-arts venue Bread & Salt. ...

Sixteen-year-old jazz drummer talks practice routine, future plans

Steele drums

Although 16-year-old percussionist Johnny Steele is a committed jazz head, he actually caught the drum bug when his dad took him to his first concert at the age of eight to see the Canadian prog-rock ...

Allison Adams Tucker and the JazzKatz Orchestra

...and other jazz happenings around San Diego December 5–11

Monday 5 The Mikan Zlatkovich Trio plays acoustic jazz fusion at Eddie V’s Seaport Village (789 W. Harbor Drive) at 6 p.m. No cover. Tuesday 6 The Mikan Zlatkovich Trio play acoustic jazz fusion, this ...

Mantras of love

Homeless outreach Voices of Our City Choir brings music to the streets

Soul-jazz vocalist Steph Johnson is involved in activism relating to the homeless in San Diego, culminating in the formation of the Voices of Our City Choir, a group she co-leads with Nina Leilani that blends ...

Dorado Schmitt & the Django All Stars

...and other jazz happenings around San Diego November 29–December 4

Tuesday 29 Dorado Schmitt & the Django All-Stars with Amati Schmitt, Franko Mehrstein, Ludovic Beier, Pierre Blanchard, and Xavier Nikq play Athenaeum Jazz at TSRI (10620 John Jay Hopkins Drive) at 7:30 p.m. General admission ...

Welcome to the future, music student

The Avant Garde Music Company curriculum combines tradition and high-tech

“The school kind of opened as a response to a pre-existing demand,” says Avant Garde Music Company founder Antonio Grajeda, on a Skype call from Chula Vista, where they are gearing up for a grand ...

Jane Monheit with the Basie Band

...and other jazz happenings around San Diego November 23–27

Wednesday 23 Trumpeter Gilbert Castellanos has two gigs at Panama 66 (1450 El Prado) beginning at 6 p.m. when he hosts the Young Lions Series this week featuring the Pizzaro Brothers outside on the patio ...

Anna Danes's up and down year

Jazz singer has a cancer scare followed by a hit record

“The whole thing was made and produced in Los Angeles at Capital Records,” says jazz singer Anna Danes, on the phone from her home in Solana Beach. We’re speaking of her brand-new release Find Your ...

Mundell Lowe, Lorraine Castellanos at the Westgate

...and other jazz happenings around San Diego November 15–19

Tuesday 15 The School of Creative and Performing Arts Jazz Ensemble performs at Dizzy’s new location (1717 Morena Boulevard). Tickets run $15 cash at the door. Wednesday 16 Gilbert Castellanos begins the first of two ...

Dizzy's is a state of mind

Jazz venue, uprooted again, finds temporary digs

“I’ve been here four and a half years,” says Chuck Perrin, the one-man operation behind Dizzy’s, currently located on Mission Bay Drive at the San Diego Jet Ski Rental. “The building has been sold. I ...

Joshua Breakstone Trio does Jazz Live

...and other jazz happenings around San Diego Nov. 8-12

Tuesday 8 KSDS presents Jazz Live at the Saville Theatre on the campus of San Diego City College (14th & C Street) featuring the Joshua Breakstone Trio with Chris Connor on bass and Roy McCurdy ...

Stephanie Richards plays the Loft

...and other jazz happenings around San Diego November 1-6

Tuesday 1 The Danny Green Trio with Justin Grinnell on bass and Julien Cantelm on drums play 3rd Space (4610 Park Boulevard) at 8 p.m. They play a set and then open it up for ...

Steph Johnson Band proves Music Is Art

San Diego soul-jazz artist celebrates record-release at Bread & Salt

Soul-jazz vocalist Steph Johnson threw a party for her Music Is Art record-release event on October 21 at Bread & Salt, drawing a standing-room-only crowd of dedicated supporters primed to cheer on her long-time trio ...

Peter Sprague Trio in La Jolla

..and other jazz happenings around San Diego October 24-29

Monday 24 Musical brothers Alan and Mark Ferber headline a double-bill concert at The Loft (911 Lyman Lane) leading a group with Jon Gordon, Joshua White, and Matt Pavolka, with the Kyle Motl Trio featuring ...

Mark Dresser keeps on steppin'

Jazz bassist puts a bicoastal band together for this year's Sedimental You

“So I’m glad there is a buzz and it’s not accidental” says bassist Mark Dresser, on a Skype call from his office at UC San Diego. We’re discussing the pre-album promotion for his disc due ...

Joel Harrison returns to San Diego

...and other jazz happenings around San Diego October 17-22

Monday 17 NYC-based guitarist Joel Harrison returns to San Diego with an all-star group featuring former Pat Metheny sideman Cuong Vu on trumpet, Paul Hanson on bassoon, Jeff Denson on bass, and current Wayne Shorter ...

Vinny Golia and Nathan Hubbard play Bread & Salt

...and other jazz happenings around San Diego October 10–15

Monday 10 Allison Adams Tucker fronts a trio with Ed Kornhauser on piano and Mackenzie Leighton on bass for a show at the Athenaeum Music & Arts Library (1008 Wall Street) from 12 to 1 ...

School of Creative and Performing Arts jazz band to open for Wynton Marsalis

Lincoln Center outreach program chooses Paradise Hills school for Balboa Theatre show

“I think they were all kind of stunned,” explained Dr. John Reynolds, who is the music department chair at the School of Creative and Performing Arts, a small Title 1 program in Paradise Hills, after ...

San Francisco Jazz Collective plays La Jolla

...and other jazz happenings around San Diego October 3–9

Monday 3 Vocalist Allison Adams Tucker leads a trio with Danny Green on piano and Julien Cantelm on drums for a midday concert at the Lyceum Theatre (79 Horton Plaza) from noon to 1 p.m. ...

Steph circus

Steph Johnson took her time and got it right — Music is Art

“It’s a record I would listen to,” says musician Steph Johnson, speaking of her new album, Music is Art, adding, “Sometimes you make an album and you’re, like, ‘Okay, cool,’ but you don’t want to ...

Ingrid Laubrock, Tom Rainey make Fresh Sound

...and other jazz happenings around San Diego September 27–October 1

Tuesday 27 The Steph Johnson Trio with Rob Thorsen on bass and Fernando Gomez on drums play Café 21 (802 Fifth Avenue) from 7 to 10 p.m. Free… The Natural Sounds Trio with Jake Najor, ...

Everything but the kitchen sink from Stanley Clarke

Jazz-fusion bassist brings down the house at Music Box

Jazz-fusion bass man Stanley Clarke, fronting a well-oiled band that included a second bassist (Cameroonian Armand Sabal-Lecco), Ruslan Sirota and Lincoln Cleary on keyboards, and 21-year-old drum prodigy Mike Mitchell, delivered an incendiary set to ...

Geoffrey Keezer plays hometown gig

...and other jazz happenings around San Diego September 19–25

Monday 19 The Danny Green Trio with Justin Grinnell and Julien Cantelm play the Lyceum Theater (79 Horton Plaza) from Noon to 1 p.m. No cover charge… The Bob Boss Quartet with Gilbert Castellanos, Dean ...

Pat Metheny returns to San Diego

...and other jazz happenings around San Diego September 13-18

Tuesday 13 KSDS presents Jazz Live featuring the Gordon Goodwin Little Phat Band at the Saville Theatre (14th & C Streets) at 8 p.m. The concert is sold out. Wednesday 14 Gilbert Castellanos has two ...

Gilbert C and the Hammond B-3

...and other jazz happenings around San Diego September 6-10

Tuesday 6 The Jonathan Karrant Quartet with Joshua White on piano, Ben Wanicur on bass, and Duncan Moore on drums play 3rd Space (4610 Park Boulevard) at 8 p.m. for a $10 cover. Wednesday 7 ...

Ten clubs in one night for one price

...and other jazz happenings around San Diego August 30–September 4

Tuesday 30 KSDS introduces the first annual Jazz Club Caravan, which tours to ten jazz spots from 6 to 10 p.m. Buses run every 10 minutes and the cover price is included in one ticket, ...

Bread and Salt and bricks and bass

Rob Thorsen releases his sort-of solo set, Bass Is the Space, with a concert this Sunday

“I’m excited and I feel good about it,” says bassist Rob Thorsen, referring to the upcoming CD-release party for his new record, Bass Is the Space, that he has planned for Sunday, August 28, at ...

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