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Stories by Robert Bush

Tasha Smith’s angry harp

La Mesa harpist Tasha Smith Godinez came to her instrument as a child growing up in the East County. “I actually started with the violin when I was three years old. My older brother was ...

May 14, 2020
Relaxed and in the moment with Steph Johnson’s So In Love

Not worried about being perfect “We did 10 songs, and we booked the studio (Tritone in Glendale) for two whole days, which gave us enough time to incorporate a few arrangements from [pianist] Josh Nelson, ...

February 20, 2020
Jazz drummer Fernando Gomez gets serious about being the solo “Nondoh”

“It’s a little scary to be doing this,” confessed musician Fernando Gomez, speaking of his journey from jazz drummer to electronic-dance-music solo artist with a new single titled “Let It Happen.” “Because all of my ...

February 13, 2020
Bridges built with the Sure Fire Soul Ensemble

“The album dropped on September 12,” says Sure Fire Soul Ensemble bandleader Tim Felten. “And it hit #1 on the Contemporary Jazz charts.... It’s awesome to be recognized at that level, and I’m super confident ...

February 6, 2020
The Ed Kornhauser shuffle

“It’s something I’ve been putting off for years,” confessed pianist Ed Kornhauser, referring to the completion of sessions for his first album as a leader. It features all original music. “I’ve been writing music as ...

February 6, 2020
Oceanside's first public painted piano

“I guess I am the force behind the Oceanside Art Piano Project,” admits musician Robert Parker, about the intricately hand-painted piano that now calls the Oceanside Museum of Art its home. “But it’s a collaboration ...

Gilbert Castellanos mentors Pink Trio into jazz world

One of San Diego’s most promising musicians is pianist Brenda Greggio, a high school sophomore at the School of Creative and Performing Arts in Paradise Hills. She makes the daily trek down from her home ...

December 12, 2019
The Elegant Sadness of Kamau Kenyatta

“It was one of those rare sessions where everything just ‘clicked’ and went very smoothly,” says musician Kamau Kenyatta, discussing his new album The Elegant Sadness, featuring trumpeter Curtis Taylor, saxophonist Brian Clancy, bassist Mackenzie ...

October 31, 2019
Adams Avenue gone funky

I had intended to arrive at Rosie O’ Grady’s well before the music started. Like most of life’s good intentions, that plan was thwarted by a personal inertia more powerful than wishful thinking. As I ...

September 18, 2019
Los Texmaniacs joined by Cesar Rosas of Los Lobos for local gig

“I love exposing people to all types of music,” explains Steve Kader, the talent buyer for the Adams Avenue Street Fair, a gig he’s held for the past 15 years after logging seven with 4th ...

August 29, 2019
A Snapshot of Curtis Taylor

“I’ve got a nice crew with me and I’m excited we we’re able to put this album together,” says trumpeter Curtis Taylor about Snapshot, his latest record that dropped last month. Snapshot was recorded live ...

Bassist Omar Lopez’s good fortune with the Wailers and the B-Side Players

Local bassist Omar Lopez (Áfrojazziacs, Juice Box) came to San Diego in 2006, to study at San Diego State. He’s originally from Calipatria, down in the Imperial Valley. Lopez just turned 31, and he’s been ...

Saxophonist Robert Dove’s Blind Lady Ale House ally

“I came out here six years ago from Columbus, Ohio because of an ex-girlfriend,” says saxophonist Robert Dove. “But San Diego is one of the world’s best kept secrets, musically, and I fell in love ...

July 25, 2019
Whitney Shay: blues purge

San Diego blues belter Whitney Shay had a definite vision in mind when she cut her last album, A Woman Rules the World. That vision turned out to be prescient. “I was very specific about ...

Poway’s Victor Baker once commissioned by guitar-making icon D’Angelico

Two years ago, Victor Baker arrived from the East Coast and set his one-man arch-top jazz guitar shop — initially, in Lemon Grove. Since then, he’s moved everything into his large home in Poway. What ...

Jake Najor and the Moment of Truth drops new album In the Cut

“This is something I’ve always wanted to do, and face it, I just turned 41, so it was time to get something out there under my own name,” relates funk drum ace Jake Najor regarding ...

May 23, 2019
How Rebecca Jade & The Cold Fact began

Vocalist Rebecca Jade has had a busy year. Between local gigs all over the county and out-of-town touring as a backup singer for pop-star Sheila E., she still managed to record a follow-up album, Running ...

Bassist Ben Wanicur’s jam session on the rocks

Bassist Ben Wanicur knows a thing or two about hosting a jazz jam session, having led one for five years in University Heights at the work-share studio 3rd Space. Part of Wanicur’s expertise came about ...

Students of the Francis Parker Jazz Workshop study with working professionals

“It’s an opportunity for students from all over the county to study with some of the top jazz players in San Diego for a whole week to really refine their craft,” says program director Nate ...

April 25, 2019
Balboa Park’s Panama 66 perfect fit for Gilbert Castellanos, Erika Davies, and other jazz musicians

Entrepreneur Jeff Motch is one of a four-person collective that owns and operates Blind Lady Ale House in Normal Heights; Tiger! Tiger! in North Park, and Panama 66 in Balboa Park. The last, an open-air ...

April 11, 2019
Nathan Hubbard’s Parker Meridien surprised to win Hip-Hop/Rap category at 2019 San Diego Music Awards

Drummer/ bandleader Nathan Hubbard has had his share of success at the San Diego Music Awards in recent years, winning “Best Jazz” in 2017 for his album Furiously Dreaming, and in 2014 for his sprawling ...

San Diego Reader 2019 Music Issue

Guitar bands spotted in the wild Here’s a fun-fact: contrary to popular opinion, guitar-based bands aren’t on the endangered species list. They may not generate the national coverage they once did, but if you venture ...

March 27, 2019
Immigration through Migration: Pat Metheny drummer and composer of Birdman soundtrack Antonio Sanchez releases new album

The cover photo of drummer Antonio Sanchez’s new CD Lines In The Sand, which dropped in January, should be familiar to most San Diegans. It depicts the U.S. border wall at Imperial Beach as it ...

March 14, 2019
Crowdfunding collapse between Allison Adams Tucker and PledgeMusic

“I had premonitions that something was amiss,” says vocalist Allison Adams Tucker, whose latest recording project got caught up in the apparent collapse of the crowdfunding organization PledgeMusic, after she spent a considerable amount of ...

March 7, 2019
Douglas Kvandal’s Hammond B-3 organ donorship

“There is a real organ renaissance happening throughout the country right now,” claims Hammond B-3 specialist Douglas Kvandal, who is gearing up to present the Jazz Organ Summit Concert on February 17 at Dizzy’s (1717 ...

February 14, 2019
Monday night jam packed at Rosie O’ Grady’s

Guitarist Louis Valenzuela was looking for a specific type of vibe when he was considering setting up a new jam session for local players. “I remember there was another Monday night session back in the ...

February 7, 2019
Number 82 guitarist of all time

Nels Cline, who was listed by Rolling Stone at number 82 in the “Top 100 Guitarists of All Time,” is probably best known to the general public as the lead guitarist of the band Wilco. ...

January 31, 2019
New time and new appreciation for flutist Holly Hofmann’s Jazz night at The Handlery Hotel

“This March, we will have been presenting at the Handlery Hotel for four years,” says flutist Holly Hofmann. “During our first year, you could still get a seat. The venue holds about 75 people. For ...

January 31, 2019
Trumpet festival

“I’d heard about the Festival of New Trumpet Music [an annual multi-day New York City event co-curated by UCSD professor Stephanie Richards and founder Dave Douglas] around a dozen years ago, and I thought it ...

January 17, 2019
Bass & Word

Bassist Bertram Turetzky retired with the title professor emeritus from U.C. San Diego 15 years ago, but he’s not planning on slowing down anytime soon. Even though he’ll celebrate his 86th birthday in February, Turetzky ...

January 3, 2019
Trapped in Mexico

“I’ve done lots of gigs in Mexico, and until now I’ve never had a problem,” says San Diego bassist Jacob Miranda, who was caught up in the border-closure fiasco on November 24. Miranda’s weekend began ...

December 20, 2018
To un-flute the flute

“My attitude has changed over time,” explains flutist Wilfrido Terrazas, UCSD’s latest addition to its notable music faculty. “Years ago, I was trying to ‘un-flute the flute’ by exploring with an expanded sound pallet and ...

December 20, 2018
Bass therapy

“I was having dinner and drinks with a friend when all of a sudden, I started to feel numb,” recalls bassist Marilyn Quinsaat (Sequin in the Sky, Sock Monkeys) of the night her life changed ...

November 29, 2018
Jazz Marine

“It’s all because of music, really,” explains trombonist Matt Hall, contemplating the journey that brought him from East Tennessee to San Diego. Hall has been playing the trombone since he was 10-years old and it ...

November 21, 2018
Gigmaster Kornhauser

In jazz circles, a player who knows how to stay working on a consistent basis despite the relative lack of opportunities in a limited market stands out, and in San Diego, pianist Ed Kornhauser (who ...

November 15, 2018
After 53 years, bassist Bob Magnusson calls it quits

After 53 years of laying down the bottom end for everyone from Art Pepper to Madonna, bassist Bob Magnusson is calling it quits and withdrawing from performing in public. Magnusson came from a musical family. ...

October 18, 2018
The value of being a “working musician” for jazz drummer Nathan Hubbard

Drummer/composer Nathan Hubbard won the San Diego Music Award for “Best Jazz Album,” in 2014, for Encinitas and Everything, and again in 2017 for Furiously Dreaming, a project featuring his Skeleton Key Orchestra. Has the ...

October 3, 2018
Ellen Weller discovers a new, more enlightened and welcoming scene at UC San Diego

Ellen Weller discovers a new, more enlightened and welcoming scene at UC San Diego

September 20, 2018
The Persian fusion of Sibarg Ensemble use 12th Century poetry to create melodies

The Persian fusion of Sibarg Ensemble use 12th Century poetry to create melodies

September 20, 2018
Drums with her feet

Drums with her feet

September 6, 2018
The way a song blossoms

The way a song blossoms

September 6, 2018
LP’s Jazz Vibe endures

LP’s Jazz Vibe endures

August 30, 2018
Underground jazz chamber music

Underground jazz chamber music composer Joe Garrison claims to be inching closer to retiring from the music business. His reasons? “I got into music because I thought I was going to find some sort of ...

August 22, 2018
Totally singular

“This band regularly draws crowds of 25 thousand plus people, so I don’t think we’ll have a problem filling up the space,” says Daniel Atkinson, director of public programs at UC San Diego, referring to ...

August 16, 2018
More time in the practice room

“I’m excited about the future, I’m getting my college audition videos together to send out,” explains 17-year-old vocalist Zion Dyson, who just returned from a tour of several notable music schools back east with her ...

August 9, 2018
Dead serious about the music

Christopher Hollyday is uniquely prepared to advise the upcoming generation of young jazz players. He earned the designation of “Young Lion” three different times before reaching the age of 21 back in Boston, where he ...

August 1, 2018
To be nomadic

Local jazz fans remember saxophonist Nathan Collins from his high school days as a member of Gilbert Castellanos’ Young Lions movement, before he left for USC. Collins had every intention of furthering his jazz studies, ...

July 26, 2018
Daneen Wilburn's reentry into the music world

“This is what I was born to do,” says vocalist Daneen Wilburn, about her reentry into the music world after dropping out for more than 20 years to raise a family. “It’s more than just ...

July 12, 2018
Adventures with Sheila E.

San Diego vocalist Rebecca Jade has been performing internationally as a member of “smooth-jazz” saxophonist Dave Koz’s Cruise. That’s where she met pop icon Sheila E. who approached her about filling in for one of ...

July 3, 2018

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