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Stories by Robert Bush

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 ...

Rob Thorsen's bass is the space

...and other jazz happenings around San Diego August 22-28

Monday 22 Brass quartets are a bit unusual, but the Westerlies will blow into town with Riley Mulherkar and Zubin Hensler on trumpets and Andy Clausen and Willem de Koch on trombones for a show ...

When Bird calls...

Joshua White's had a busy 2016 and getting busier

Pianist Joshua White’s year has been a whirlwind of opportunities, which began when he was drafted into a European tour with award-winning saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa last October and concluded last week when he finished his ...

Cecile McLorin Salvant and the International Academy of Jazz at Embarcadero South

...and other jazz happenings around San Diego August 17-21

Wednesday 17 Trumpeter Gilbert Castellanos has two gigs at Panama 66 (1450 El Prado) beginning at 6 p.m. when he hosts the Young Lions Series on the patio and continuing inside at 8:30 when he ...

Aruan Ortiz: Fresh Sound at Bread & Salt

...and other jazz happenings around San Diego August 10-14

Wednesday 10 Trumpeter Gilbert Castellanos has two gigs at Panama 66 (1450 El Prado) beginning at 6 p.m. when he hosts the Young Lions Series featuring trombonist/vocalist Lizzi Trumbore on the patio, then he heads ...

Danny Green Trio plus strings at Jazz Live

...and other jazz happenings around San Diego August 2–7

Tuesday 2 Jazz Live San Diego, sponsored by KSDS Jazz 88, kicks off the month of August with a performance by the Danny Green Trio with Justin Grinnell and Julien Cantelm plus a string quartet ...

Curtis Taylor plays hometown gig

...and other jazz happenings around San Diego July 27–31

Wednesday 27 Trumpeter Gilbert Castellanos has two gigs tonight at Panama 66 (1450 El Prado) beginning at 6 p.m. when he hosts the Young Lions Series in the patio, and continuing inside at 8:30 when ...

Dayna Stephens occupies Wall Street

...and other jazz happenings around San Diego, July 19-24

Tuesday 19The week in jazz kicks off with Jazz Live from KSDS Jazz 88 and the Jeff Hamilton Trio with Christoph Luty on bass and Tamir Hendlemen on piano, at the San Diego City College ...

Gilbert Castellanos celebrates the Mambo King

...and other jazz happenings around San Diego July 13-17

Wednesday 13 Trumpeter Gilbert Castellanos has two gigs at Panama 66, (1450 El Prado) beginning when he hosts the Young Lions Series at 6 p.m. then continuing at 8:30 when he leads the jam session. ...

Diane Moser returns to San Diego

...and other jazz happenings around San Diego July 5–10

Tuesday 5 Extend the holiday weekend feeling by attending Jazz Live, sponsored by KSDS Jazz 88, with a tenor saxophone extravaganza featuring L.A. hornmen Rickey Woodard, Justo Almario, and Charles Owens at the Saville Theatre ...

Peter Kuhn Trio record-release party

...and other jazz happenings around San Diego June 28-July 3

Tuesday 28 There’s an All-Star Trumpet Summit at KSDS Jazz Live (14th & C streets) featuring Bobby Shew, Chuck Findley, Steve Huffsteter, and Ron Stout, with Mike Wofford, Dean Hulett, and Duncan Moore at 8 ...

Fusion nostalgia with Al Di Meola

...and there's no better band leader to get you there

Jazz-rock guitarist Al Di Meola brought his Romantic Warrior Meets Elegant Gypsy Tour to the Music Box for a standing-room-only exercise in fusion nostalgia that leaned heavily on crowd favorites. Di Meola’s concept has always ...

Claudia Quintet plays Wall Street

...and other jazz happenings around San Diego June 22–26

Wednesday 22 The Gabriel Sundy Jazz Trio with Harley Magsino and Matt Smith play Seven Grand (3054 University Avenue) at 9:30 p.m. 21+, no cover… Trumpeter Gilbert Castellanos has two gigs at Panama 66 (1450 ...

Al Di Meola's Elegant Gypsy comes to Music Box

...and other jazz happenings around San Diego June 14–19

Tuesday 14 Rob Thorsen performs an evening of solo double-bass and poetry at Café Cabaret (3739 Adams Avenue) at 7:30 p.m. No cover charge. Wednesday 15 Fusion guitar pioneer Al Di Meola presents the Romantic ...

Fred Hersch and Anat Cohen play the Athenaeum

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

Wednesday 8 Trumpeter Gilbert Castellanos has two gigs at Panama 66 (1450 El Prado) beginning when he hosts the Young Lions Series at 6 p.m. and continuing when he leads the jam session at 8:30 ...

Lorraine Castellanos — an introverted extrovert

Singer/guitarist on gathering groups and repertoire

‘It’s so new that I don’t know where it’s going to go,” says musician Lorraine Castellanos over coffee at Lestat’s on Adams Avenue on a windswept afternoon. She is speaking of her latest project, a ...

Ira B. Liss Big Band Jazz Machine plus Holly Hofmann

...and other jazz happenings around San Diego June 1–5

Wednesday 1 The UCSD Advanced Jazz Ensemble directed by Mark Dresser and featuring Niloufar Shiri, Hesam Abedini, Connor Hughes, Patrick Chung, Mark Olsher, and Michael Hayes play at the Conrad Prebys Music Center Experimental Theater ...

The Loft hosts improv jazz trio Jones Jones

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

Tuesday 24 The internationally recognized improvising trio Jones Jones, with Mark Dresser on bass, Vladimir Tarasov on drums, and Larry Ochs on reeds, plays the Loft (911 Lyman Lane, UCSD) at 8 p.m. with the ...

Skeleton keyed up

Nathan Hubbard's new big band, the Skeleton Key Orchestra, releases Furiously Dreaming

“Writing for a large ensemble in San Diego is just ridiculous,” says drummer/composer Nathan Hubbard, the winner of the 2014 San Diego Music Award for Best Jazz Recording. Hubbard is back in the news with ...

Nathan Hubbard's birthday bash

...and other jazz happenings around San Diego May 16-22

Monday 16 The Steph Johnson Trio with Rob Thorsen and Fernando Gomez play a noontime concert at the Athenaeum Music & Arts Library at 1008 Wall Street. Free. Tuesday 17 Jazz 88 presents Jazz Live ...

Burning Ghosts appear at the Merrow

...and other jazz happenings around San Diego May 9-15

Monday 9 The Joshua White Trio with Leonard Patton and Richard Sellers play the Lyceum Theatre (79 Horton Plaza) at 12 p.m. Free… The Gabriel Sundy Jazz Trio with Mack Leighton and Matthew Smith hit ...

Gregory Porter returns to San Diego

...and other jazz happenings around San Diego May 3–8

Tuesday 3 The Bonny Wellington Trio with Matt Smith and Ben Wanicur host the monthly jam session at 3rd Space (4610 Park Boulevard) at 8 p.m. for a $5 cover. Wednesday 4 Gilbert Castellanos begins ...

Kyle Motl solo bass recital at UCSD

...and other jazz happenings around San Diego April 25-May 1

Wednesday 27 Trumpeter Gilbert Castellanos begins his busy night at Panama 66 (1450 El Prado) by hosting the Young Lions Series at 6:30 p.m. before switching over to lead the jam session from 8:30 to ...

Kamau Kenyatta plays the Rep

...and other jazz happenings around San Diego April 18-24

Monday 18 Kamau Kenyatta leads a new quartet with Thalma de Freitas, Peter Jacobson, and David Castaneda at the North Coast Repertory Theatre (987 Lomas Santa Fe Drive) at 7:30 p.m. $22. Tuesday 19 Juice ...

Joshua White Sextet at Dizzy's

...and other jazz happenings around San Diego April 12-17

Tuesday 12 Peter Sprague debuts the Sanctuary Suite at the Oceanside Museum of Art (704 Pier View Way) with Beth Ross Buckley, Fred Benedetti, Gunnar Biggs, and Duncan Moore. Tickets are $30 general admission, $25 ...

Free jazz trio at Bread & Salt

...and other jazz happenings around San Diego April 5–10

Tuesday 5 Ben Wanicur leads the monthly jam session at 3rd Space (4610 Park Boulevard) with Lorraine Castellanos, Mariela Contreras, Ed Kornhauser, and Fernando Gomez from 8 to 11 p.m. $5 at the door. Wednesday ...

Angles 3 makes San Diego debut

...and other jazz happenings around San Diego March 30-April 2

Wednesday 30 Angles 3, featuring Kjell Nordeson on drums, Ingerbrikt Haker Flaten on bass, and Martin K. on saxophone make a rare U.S. date at the Loft (9500 Gilman Drive) at 8 p.m. This concert ...

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