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 Tuesday, 30 June 2015
SF Bay Area
Summer Jazz Explosion - The Bay Area Festival Scene Print
Written by Ken Vermes   

Dafnis PrietoİKen Vermes

It seems like only a few months ago that everyone was talking about the death of jazz and the end of the Bay Area urban music scene due to gentrification. There still are major problems on the club level, for sure, with soaring rents and a lack of excitement in some quarters. But in the midst of disintegration on that level of music, no one seems to have noticed that the Bay Area is growing into a region with one of the most exciting and varied group of music festivals in the world. From the North Bay’s Healdsburg Festival to a stunning show at the Yerba Buena Garden Festival to three thrilling shows at SFJAZZ to a very strong series starting at the Stanford Jazz Festival, there seems to be a new energy and a higher level of musical events in every corner of the Bay. And that doesn’t include the very strong San Jose Jazz Festival coming up in August and the Monterey Festival that closes the summer jazz events in September. Some recent highlights:

Jazz at Filoli Has Stellar Line-Up in an Idyllic Setting, June 21- September 13 Print
Written by Ken Vermes   


For twenty five years the Jazz at Filoli festival has presented jazz concerts at one of the most beautiful settings on the West Coast. And to celebrate the occasion, Merrilee Trost, the producer, has lined up a particularly interesting and exciting group of players and groups, on Sunday afternoons running June 21-September 13. Although season tickets and table reservations are sold out, individual concert tickets remain as of June 1 for June 21, July 26 and September 13 concerts.

Steve McQuarry Pays Tribute to Carla Bley at SFJazz, June 5 Print
Written by Ken Vermes   


Carla Bley (Photo: Redferns)

San Francisco pianist Steve McQuarry and his bands will present a tribute to pianist, arranger and composer, Carla Bley, on Friday, June 5 (8 pm) in the Miner Auditorium at SFJAZZ.  McQuarry has been preparing for this event for some years. In 2013, as he prepared to write a piece for a horn-led group, he began studying Bley's 4 x 4, recorded in Oslo in 1999 and released on the ECM label in 2000. Intrigued, the pianist tried contacting Bley and instead found that her daughter, Karen Mantler, responded to those interested in her mother's music. In December 2013,  McQuarry received a box filled with manuscripts, including hand-written original scores with penciled notes by Bley. With this treasure trove of material, the idea of a real tribute concert began to emerge, one that would feature Steve’s groups, the Mandala Octet and the Mandala Orchestra.

"Jazz and the Music of the Americas" Anchors 2015 Healdsburg Jazz Festival Print
Written by Andrea Canter, Contributing Editor   


It’s no longer a well-kept secret that the northern California town of Healdsburg holds one of the finest small jazz festivals in the nation. Tucked into the picturesque vineyards of Dry Creek, Alexander Valley and Russian River in Sonoma County, Healdsburg welcomes a diverse array of internationally acclaimed and locally prominent musicians every summer, scattering performances around restaurants, hotel lobbies, small theaters and winery grounds, usually over the course of ten days. With two weekends of prime-time performances and a week of engaging jazz related activities in-between, the 2015 festival gets underway this weekend, with music and more, May 29-June 7, curated by long-time Artistic Director and festival founder, Jessica Felix.

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