Founded in 1977, Forecast specializes in what regional radio used to call “Lights Out Jazz,” a progressive sort of lounge sound almost verging on rock and roll. Mining the same smooth ground as locals Fattburger and Hollis Gentry’s Neon, and national acts like Spyro Gyra and the Yellowjackets, Forecast revolves around saxes and flutes of bandleader Greg Pardue.
“We play jazz-rock fusion, contemporary smooth jazz, swing, and funk, along with standards from the great American songbook, Brazilian, Latin, and classical jazz,” says Pardue. “Lately, most of our gigs have been for a duo or trio, although sometimes the band is as large as a six-piece. The piano player Max Zape and I have been together over twenty years.”
The instrumental jazz band has received airplay on KIFM San Diego, KSDS San Diego, KSWV Hollywood, KLON Long Beach, and Art Good’s Jazz Trax (a syndicated national radio show). In 2007, Forecast was the only jazz band out of ten nominees for Best Local Band at Signonsandiego.
The group performs as a duo, trio, quartet or quintet, and sometimes as a classic big band consisting of 10 to 20 musicians. They've opened for Charles McPherson, Stanley Clarke, Fattburger, and other national acts. Says Pardue, “When I was in high school, I got to meet Count Basie and Duke Ellington. Needless to say, I was in awe. Over the years, Forecast has opened concerts for Kirk Whalum, Richard Elliot, and War, among others, and we got to hang out with them.”
Pardue has also played with the Will Faeber Band (classic rock), the San Diego Nite Big Band (orchestral jazz with up to twenty members), PHD Jazz, and the Roadhouse Band, which he describes as “an offshoot of a jazz improvisation workshop I’ve been in for over ten years.” He has also been actively involved in music education and the music products industry as a district manager and clinician for the Jupiter Band Instrument Company.
Since the late '80s, the core of Forecast has been Pardue, Max Zape (keyboards), Randy Meyers (drums), and Rick Nash (bass).