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 Saturday, 23 August 2014
SF Bay Area
Jacqui Naylor Group at SF Jazz: The Power of Giving, Sharing, and Crafting Song Print
Written by Ken Vermes   

Jacqui Naylor (Photo by Oliver Heinemann)

This summer, SFJAZZ is running a series called the Summer Sessions, and if the show presented by Jacqui Naylor and her group was any indication, these concerts are worth serious consideration. The rule of jazz is that there are hundreds of artists in the idiom that must be seen live. Usually the reason for this is that they are not only great performers, but their very presence in person is a special sort of experience that usually cannot be captured solely by studio productions. Many jazz musicians have argued for years that the recording art is not the real experience of seeing and participating in a jazz. For that, it is said, an audience is required. And then there are those musicians who are especially inspired by a crowd and when things are right, everyone has a special time, and truly fantastic music is created by a performer who thrives in front of a responsive group of listeners.

Larry Coryell Wows Audience at Piedmont Piano Show Print
Written by Ken Vermes   

Larry Coryell (photo by Ken Vermes)

Guitar has certainly been the most popular instrument in American music for many years. So it is very hard to imagine that the instrument would be taken for granted or ignored in this day and age. But in music stores, one sees the emergence of the ukulele as the instrument of choice for string instrument fans, just by the number of models of this instrument on display. This could be a major shift for fans of the older style of guitar itself. On top of this development, visibility of rock n’ roll, has been greatly diminished recently with the disappearance of rock on the radio, the lack of rock bands on television shows or in movies, and the lack any great rock band leaders to lead the next generation of this style of music.

Jack DeJohnette Trio Featuring Ravi Coltrane and Matthew Garrison in Stanford 7/27 & Santa Cruz 7/28 Print
Written by Ronaldo Oregano   
Jack DeJohnette Trio

Widely regarded as one of the great drummers in modern jazz, Jack DeJohnette has a wide-ranging style that makes him a dynamic sideman and bandleader. He has played with virtually every major jazz figure from the 1960s on, including Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Ornette Coleman, Sonny Rollins, and Abbey Lincoln. Ravi Coltrane (son of John and Alice) has taken a remarkable journey over the past two decades, collaborating with jazz greats from McCoy Tyner to Joe Lovano, Ralph Alessi, Geri Allen and Jeff ‘Tain’ Watts. Electric bassist Matthew Garrison (son of Jimmy) has recorded and appeared with some of the most exciting artists in jazz,  including Joe Zawinul, John McLaughlin, and Herbie Hancock. The Jack DeJohnette Trio will appear at Dinkelspiel Auditorium in Satanford on July 27th and at Kuumbwa Jazz Center in Santa Cruz on July 28th.

Spirit Rising: Angelique Kidjo Closes California Institue for Integral Study Concert Season Print
Written by Ken Vermes   

Angelique Kidjo ©Susana Millman

When the crowd started slowly filling the Nourse Auditorium in San Francisco, it was hard to tell how many of the audience were fully prepared for what was to follow. It was June 21st on a cold and blustery day, not an atypical night in the early summer foggy environment that surrounds the City by the Bay. A simple unadorned stage was lightly lit, showing a drum set, guitar set-up, bass, and a relatively small percussion set. By the end of the show, the entire auditorium was on its feet; Angelique was dancing in the aisles; and her percussionist was doing a talking drum demo all about passion and longing (that is what we got) and how to dance your romance and dreams.

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