San Diego trumpet virtuoso Gilbert Castellanos, recognized as a new American master by Downbeat magazine, has hosted weekly jazz sessions in local warehouses and clubs for 15 years. Inspired by those sessions, playwright Richard Montoya conceived a brand new fusion of live jazz, spoken word, dance, song and story that celebrates the landscape of San Diego from 1959 to the present. Immerse yourself in this world premiere featuring extraordinary music and unforgettable stories of the musicians who've made the city such a fascinating place.
From the days of her Spruce Street Forum to the current Fresh Sound series, concert promoter, record label Exec., and San Diegan Bonnie Wright has a passion for exploring and sharing experimental & avant-garde music with her community. Bonnie plays a vital part with keeping the creative-music flame burning here in San Diego by bringing in cutting-edge artists from around the world. Her Fresh Sound series wraps up this month with a performance from the Rez Abbasi Trio, the #2 Rising Star Guitarist winner in a recent Down Beat magazine poll.
I sat down for a Progressive Nights interview with Bonnie where we talked about her passion for music, the local music scene, the upcoming Fresh Sound performance this weekend, and the great line-up of some upcoming concerts too. Enjoy.
People often refer to Jazz 88.3 as a “radio station.” Forty years ago, when we started playing Jazz
and Blues, that was a perfect description of the services we provided to the
community. Today, however, we are much
more than an entertainment-service-formerly-known-as-a-radio-station.
Sure, we present endlessly varied, interesting music al
statements of time, space and being, seen through the lens of the American
experience to San Diego and Southern California via our traditional terrestrial
broadcast. But we also offer the same
insight to listeners across the country and around the world via our online
stream, and our mobile apps. And it
doesn’t stop there. (I know I’m
preaching to the choir, but there’s a reason for this.)
We present 14 live concerts in the acoustically perfect Lyman
Saville Theatre at San Diego City College.
We host eleven Happy Hours a year where people gather to enjoy one
another’s company accompanied by terrific local artists’ performances, as well
as roof-top gatherings during the summer at the Westgate, and other incidental
events around the county.
Besides all this, we support the interest of new people in
Jazz and the Blues, and by “new” I mean newly hatched humans. Kids, of all ages. That is the purpose of this long intro. We
have four on-going, long term music education programs that connect this music
to children today. And connect it
does. You know the toe-tapping, mood
changing power of these sounds. The
syncopations, melodies and improvisations that never grow old, and always bring
a smile. We believe that kids need to
know that there are musical alternatives to the thumping bass line or the
electronically enhanced vocal. And that
those alternatives can be very spiritually satisfying. (Okay, so the kids don’t realize that it’s
emotional satisfaction that they crave, but we
can talk about it when they’re not here.)
All this being said, I present a letter we received in
response to our sponsorship of Jazz: An American Art Form, for Title I
schools. JAAAF is a 45-minute enrichment
program, based on the spontaneous evolution of this music, presented by four of
San Diego’s most outstanding musicians.
Title I schools rarely have the budget for enrichment programs, so,
working with our private donors, we have arranged funding for these
presentations for more than 18,000 area students in the past 3 years. Why bother?
What’s the big deal? The note
from a Title I parent below tells you.
“An amazing guitarist… unique and beautiful music–and best of all–very original.” (Pat Metheny)
Voted #2 Guitarist in the 2012 Downbeat Rising Stars poll.
2013-03-25 Adds To The Jazz 88 Music Library: Lots of funky, original, heavy, large, previously unreleased, creative/progressive, exotic, energized, melodic, driving New Jazz Music being added to the Jazz 88 music library this week
Top 10 Countdown Jazzweek.com Jazz Chart March 25, 2013: There’s a new No. 1 again this week on the JazzWeek Jazz Chart: Harvie S with Kenny Barron Witchcraft (HighNote). Most added (+20) and the biggest gainer (+58) is Eric Alexander Touching (HighNote). The week’s highest debut (No. 36) is Robert Hurst Bob A Palindrome (Be Bob Records) and the most reported CD (45 stations) at No. 2 is Terri Lyne Carrington Money Jungle: Provocative In Blue (Concord).
Lots of funky, original, heavy, large, previously unreleased, creative/progressive, exotic, energized, melodic, driving New Jazz Music being added to the Jazz 88 music library this week and we'll be debuting it all on The New Jazz Thing with Vince Outlaw, 6-8 PM PT, Monday, March 25, 2013. And there's even what's being dubbed the first Jazz cover of a Justin Bieber tune! Here's a bit from the new Jacky Terrasson disc "Gouache"...the full list is after the split...
On The New Jazz Thing for Monday, March 18, 2013...
$100K Jazz Relay Spring Member Drive - Make A Donation TODAY! Take The Baton In A NEW Direction during The New Jazz Thing TONIGHT 6-8 PM PT..and TODAY you get entered into the drawing for an iPAD MINI!
2013.3.18 Adds To The Jazz 88 Music Library - ou can't say that Jazz Vocalists are not trying their hardest to get their New out there...out of 11 New Adds To the Jazz 88 Music Library this week, 5 are vocalists! We've got vocal tributes to Miles and Laura Nyro among the bunch, along with new from Eric Alexander, Cory Weeds, David Weiss and more!
Top 10 Countdown from the Jazzweek.com Jazz Album Chart for Monday, March 18, 2013 - There’s a new No. 1 on the JazzWeek Jazz Chart: Terri Lyne Carrington Money Jungle: Provocative In Blue (Concord). The most added CD (+22), biggest gainer (+134 spins) and highest debut (No. 18) is Aaron Diehl The Bespoke Man’s Narrative (Mack Avenue). Still the most reported CD (51 stations) and at No. 2 is Jackie Ryan Listen Here (OpenArt).
You can't say that Jazz Vocalists are not trying their hardest to get their New out there...out of 11 New Adds To the Jazz 88 Music Library this week, 5 are vocalists! We've got vocal tributes to Miles and Laura Nyro among the bunch, along with new from Eric Alexander, Cory Weeds, David Weiss and more! All of this New and what it introduces to YOU EVERY WEEK are another reason for becoming a listener-contributor to Jazz 88 during the Spring Membership Drive! And when we play this during The New Jazz Thing with Vince Outlaw from 6-8PM PT on Monday, March 18, 2013 is a great time to do it! The full list of New is available after the split
San Diego New Jazz Things with Peter Sprague, Rob Thorsen, and Steph Johnson Monday March 11 2013: It's a San Diego New Jazz Things special featuring music, performance and chats with Peter Sprague, Rob Thorsen, and Steph Johnson in Hour 2 of The New Jazz Thing with Vince Outlaw, Monday, March 11, 2013 starting at 7 PM PT! Peter (String Consort's "Dr. Einstein's Spin" and Road Work Ahead's "Intersection"), Rob (Trio's "Live!"), and Steph ("Nature Girl") all have new discs out so we wanted to celebrate some of San Diego's finest together. And it looks like we'll have a little in-studio Jam going on too!
2013-03-11 Adds To The Jazz 88 Music Library: Some of the biggest and recently most successful artists in Jazz have new discs out this week (Monty Alexander, Hiromi, Charles Lloyd, Lenny White), along with San Diego's own (and recent TNJT Guest) Joe Garrison and Night People, so we've got lots of great new music to hear on Jazz 88 starting this week.
Top 10 Countdown of the Jazzweek.com Jazz Chart for Monday, March 11, 2013: It’s four weeks at No. 1 on the JazzWeek Jazz Chart for Jackie Ryan Listen Here (OpenArt). It’s again the most-reported CD of the week (55 stations.) The highest debut (No. 38) and biggest gainer (+73) is Monty Alexander Uplift 2 (Jazz Legacy Productions). It’s also tied for most added (+19) with New York Voices Live (Palmetto) and John Stein Bing Bang Boom! (Whaling City Sound).
Monk Trane Jazz Live Tuesday, March 12, 2013: This will be HUGE. Mike Wofford and Ben Schachter, piano and tenor sax, Mark Dresser and Leon Boykins, basses, and Matt Scarano on drums. Considering the music of Thelonious Monk and John Coltrane.
Some of the biggest and recently most successful artists in Jazz have new discs out this week (Monty Alexander, Hiromi, Charles Lloyd, Lenny White), along with San Diego's own (and recent TNJT Guest) Joe Garrison and Night People, so we've got lots of great new music to hear on Jazz 88 starting this week...and debuting on The New Jazz Thing with Vince Outlaw on Monday, March 11, 2013 6 to 8 PM PT. The full list of the New is after the split, but I couldn't help but give you a taste with this beautiful cut from the new Charles Lloyd disc "Hagar's Song" featuring pianist Jason Moran...
Michael Gallant and his Trio have a new disc out "Completely" and he's in Southern California doing some business, so he will be dropping by Jazz 88 studio and hanging with us LIVE in Hour 1 of The New Jazz Thing with Vince Outlaw, Monday, March 11, 2013, starting around 6:40 PM PT! Listen in at 88.3 FM San Diego or click the LISTEN LIVE button to listen online or, better yet, download the iPhone/iPad App or the Android App and listen now and later!
Brent Black @CriticalJazz on "Completely": "...Michael Gallant is helping forge a new sound for what has become a tired, predictable and all be it boring vibe of the sterile jazz standard that makes one long to hear those two most important words "last call." "...Completely would make my desert island list of discs to take if faced with the burden of limited space. This my friends is the future of jazz. Fresh, invigorating, progressive - there are simply not enough positive adjectives to list here. "
I was fortunate enough to sit down for a Progressive Nights interview with one of the most well respected bandleaders in jazz today: saxophonist and former San Diegan Jason Robinson. Jason lent a helping-hand for creative musicians, particularly here in San Diego. He provided the opportunity to have their music heard on the artist-run independent record label he founded in the 90’s called Circumvention Music. He now has a new album out titled Tiresian Symmetry, and since his move from San Diego, he’s been tearing up the east coast jazz scene with a sound steeped in free-jazz, avant-garde, acoustical, electronic, experimental and improvisation. There was way too much to cover in the time we had together, but basically: Jason is a really busy man these days! Not only is he a musician and composer managing multiple groups, but Jason is also an Assistant Professor of Music at Amherst College. Nonetheless, we covered a good bit of ground, so sit back and enjoy.
JazzTimes: "With no less than Vijay Iyer at the keyboard, the album delivers great returns on each musical risk Modirzadeh takes."
Spin: "Iranian-American saxophonist retunes Vijay Iyer's piano for cross-cultural jazz experiment." 8 out of 10 rating
Dusted: "The effect of Post-Chromodal Out! is like having your head buffeted by a barrage of head-scrambling information, all of it resisting conventional listening, and most emphatically not announcing itself as anything close to conventional jazz-plus-exotica. It’s a powerful statement from a composer, instrumentalist, and band that deserve your time and acclaim."
2013-03-04 Adds To The Jazz 88 Music Library: The Jazz 88 Music Library gets a varied set of New Jazz Music in for the week of March 4, 2013, including Latin (Aguanko), vocals (New York Voices with the WDR Big Band, Jan Shapiro, and even "Luke Duke" aka Tom Wopat), guitar (John Stein, Dave Haskell), the latest from Clint's little boy Kyle Eastwood and Scott Hamilton, and more
Top 10 Jazzweek.com Jazz Chart March 4, 2013: It’s a third week and gaining at No. 1 on this week’s JazzWeek Jazz Chart for Jackie Ryan Listen Here (OpenArt). It’s also the most-reported CD of the week (62 stations.) Most added (+19) is Melton Mustafa The Traveling Man (Zaki Publishing) and the biggest gainer (+80) is Wolff & Clark Expedition (Random Act). The highest debut (No. 26) is Champian Fulton Champian Sings and Swings (Sharp Nine).
Coming Up On The New Jazz Thing...
San Diego New Jazz Things: Next Monday, March 11, 2013, we will celebrating New Jazz releases from some of San Diego's finest with LIVE IN-STUDIO appearances by, among others, Peter Sprague, Rob Thorsen, and Steph Johnson. The show will include LIVE performances, cuts from their new releases, and their thoughts on THE NEW!
The Jazz 88 Music Library gets a varied set of New Jazz Music in for the week of March 4, 2013, including Latin (Aguanko), vocals (New York Voices with the WDR Big Band, Jan Shapiro, and even "Luke Duke" aka Tom Wopat), guitar (John Stein, Dave Haskell), the latest from Clint's little boy Kyle Eastwood and Scott Hamilton, and more...the full list is after the split! Check it all out when it debuts on The New Jazz Thing with Vince Outlaw, Monday, March 4, 2013 from 6 to 8 PM PT.
Here's a great story about pianist and composer artist Mike Prigodich who is releasing his first CD after his experience as a cancer patient...way to go Mike!