Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Hot Club of San Francisco

The Hot Club of San Francisco performs gypsy style jazz in the spirit of Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli. Always upbeat and swinging, I make it a point to see this band when I can.

They perform at Yoshi's, Tuesday, January 3.

The Hot Club of San Francisco

David K. Mathews Quartet

The Bay Area's David K. Mathews Quartet is having a CD release party at Yoshi's on Monday, January 2.

David Mathew on the Hammond B3
Barry Finnerty on guitar
Deszon Claiborne on drums
Mel Martin on saxophone

David Mathew

"The Blues" - today's Wikipedia feature article

Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia had "The Blues" as their featured article on Wednesday. It is an extensive academic but interesting article with links to many blues references, pictures, music clips, web pages and some cool lyrics.

Rebecca, Rebecca, get your big legs off of me,
Rebecca, Rebecca, get your big legs off of me,
It may be sending you baby, but it's worrying the hell out of me.

The most interesting thing about Wikipedia is anyone can add or edit any information.

Below are links to the Blues article as well as the Jazz article and their listing of Jazz Musicians. Someone needs to add Gene Harris to the list.

Wikipedia Links:
List of Jazz Musicians

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Holiday CD releases from Bay Area Jazz Artists has a list of recent CDs released by several Bay Area jazz artists featuring holiday music.


Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Making a living at what you love

I read an interesting article in Business section of last Sunday's Chronicle that talked about artists learning to be more business savvy, hopefully by not selling out. The idea for many musicians, painters, photographers, whatever, is to be able to perform their talent and make a living at it, it can only help their art and everyone is better for it. The article talks to Bay Area artists and lists some Bay Area educational business resources of which they have taken advantage. Included are 2 in-depth profiles, well, as in-depth as newspapers usually get.

Artists find that business strategies can help them succeed
Vineyard artist draws on her business savvy
Printmaker turns metal plates into gold

Clairdee Christmas Show at Yoshi's

The Bay Area's own Clairdee performs what has become an annual event at Yoshi's in Emeryville on Christmas eve.

A party atmosphere surrounds vocalist Clairdee's fourth annual holiday concert at Yoshi's.Ê Adorned with ribbons of jazz, R&B, blues, and Latin jazz, Clairdee interprets classic songs that have been handed down by her favorite composers and lyricists such as Charles Brown, Sammy Cahn, Horace Silver, and Donny Hathaway.Ê Featuring selections from her acclaimed CD, This Christmas, as well as a few new surprises, Clairdee's Christmas is guaranteed to warm even a Grinch's heart and send him dancing into the New Year.

Joining Clairdee are Rich Armstrong on trumpet, percussion and vocals, Ron Belcher on bass, Deszon Claiborne on drums, Ken French and Jon Herbst on piano/keys, John Hoy on guitar and Melecio Magdaluyo on saxophone, flute and clarinet.

Saturday, December 24
8:00pm Show $16
10:00pm Show $8

Clairdee's Web site

Friday, December 09, 2005

Jazz Vespers in Danville

Peace Lutheran Church in Danville holds a jazz concert series, the second Sunday of the month in Danville, CA. An article in today's Chronicle talks with Ed Klitch, who produces the series and flutist John Calloway who performs this Sunday at 5 pm with his band Diaspora, featuring pianist Murray Low, bassist David Belove, drummer David Flores and trumpeter Mike Olmos.

Rather than focusing on material exploring religious themes, jazz vespers services give musicians the opportunity to perform in an environment conducive to intimate, soul-bearing communication.

Future Jazz at Peace concerts include the Dave Rocha Quartet on Jan. 8, the Anton Schwartz Quartet on Feb. 12 and pianist Paul Scheffert's trio on March 12.

SF Gate article
Jazz at Peace web site
Photo by Amanda Lopez

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Automatic Human JukeBox - Grimes Poznikov

If you ever visited Fisherman's Wharf, Ghirardelli Square or nearby Aquatic Park during the 70's or 80's, you may have come across the Automatic Human JukeBox, a painted refrigerator box from which Grimes Poznikov would play a tune of your choosing on trumpet (or a dozen other instruments), the quality of which depended on the amount of money you inserted. (above photo via Deb Wong)

Mr. Poznikov died October 27, 2005 in San Francisco on a sidewalk under a freeway overpass.

World renowned, he has quite an interesting life story. From a little research on Google, I found that he studied piano and then trumpet in Kansas from the age of 5. He was very active in the anti war protests around the country in the 60's and 70's. He settled in San Francisco to pursue a career in music and created the Automatic Human JukeBox. He was a teacher at one point. He created the Society For the Advancement of Nonverbal Communication which I understand to represent his view of music on life.

There is quite a bit of information on the Internet (Google "Grimes Poznikov" and you get 109 hits) about his performances and how he lived under a grand piano in a homeless encampment and dealt with city evictions and stories by people that knew him as a child or dated his sister and references to The Wall Street Journal and Charles Kuralt, well you just have to read them yourself. So, here is a small list of web sites I found that contain details about all of the above and more and fascinating pictures both early and late.

SF Chronicle Obituary story
LUSENET thread on SF history (great personal stories here)
SF Chronicle indepth story on his homelessness
SF About blog article
Probable picture (check out the maracas in his shoes)
Picture Gallery
Article in the India Daily
BBC News
A copycat in Japan
A classmate remembers in the Chicago Tribune (a good long story)
eJazz News

Monday, December 05, 2005

Robert Greenberg

Robert Greenberg is the music historian-in-residence with San Francisco Performances and has lived in the Bay Area since 1978 and received a Ph.D. in music composition at UC Berkeley. From what I've read, he is a noted composer and captivating lecturer which brings me to the subject of this post.

Mr Greenberg will be giving a talk on the history of Blues, Jazz and Rock and Roll, "Illustrated with rare video and music clips" this Friday, December 9 at 7:15 in Herbst Theatre.

San Francisco Performances
Robert Greenberg at the Teaching company
Robert Greenberg at Besen Arts LLC

Sunday, December 04, 2005

KPFA Crafts and Music Fair

There are many craft fairs this time of year but for the most unusual and diverse juried crafts and excellent world music, I recommend the KPFA Crafts and Music Fair, December 10 and 11 at the Concourse, 8th and Brannan, San Francisco. $8.

They will feature their own Katrina Quilt Relief Project and have valet bicycle parking sponsered by S.F. Bicycle Coalition.

225 thoughtfully juried craftsmakers & artists show their best work in a warm and spirited ambiance, with natural foods from many cultures, exceptional international musicians performing live, and other spirit-bringers reflecting the Bay Area’s great diversity.

KPFA Craft Fair web site

The Blind Boys of Alabama

Looking for original American inspirational religious music for your holiday? Check out the gospel sounds of The Blind Boys of Alabama along with The Fairfield Four as part of the San Francisco Jazz Festival, Saturday, December 10, 8pm at Masonic Center in San Francisco.

San Francisco Jazz Festival

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Anna's Jazz Island

Anna's Jazz Island in Berkeley supports local the Bay Area jazz scene and musicians. The club opened in May when the Chronicle wrote a most interesting article about Anna de Leon that talks about the club and traces her history from UCLA to a marriage to Taj Majal to Harvard University at 16 to being a foster parent to law school and president of the Berkeley Unified School District to activist lawyer, vocalist and to the Jazz Island, her third jazz club.

Read the article and support her club. I plan on checking it out this Sunday for Anton's gig.

San Francisco Chronicle article
Anna's Jazz Island web site

Anton Schwartz at Anna's Jazz Island

Anton Schwartz has put together a killer one time show with Taylor Eigsti on piano, Peter Bernstein on guitar, John Shifflett on bass and Tim Bulkley on drums, a worthy show for sure. See them this Sunday, December 4, 8pm at Anna's Jazz Island in Berkeley. Call 841-JAZZ (5299) after 5:00 PM for reservations.