2020

“America's Finest Jazz & Blues from America's Finest City”

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Ernestine Anderson- KSDS Presents The All-Time Top Listener-Favorite Female Vocalists

It seems like Ernestine Anderson was born to sing.  When she was just a little girl, she was singing in church and hearing her father perform with a gospel quartet...and teaching herself to play piano by ear.  As a teenager, she attended Garfield High School in Seattle and made her professional debut in 1946 at 18, singing with the Bumps Blackwell Junior Band. Another student in the band at the time was Quincy Jones, who would later found Qwest Records and record two Grammy-nominated albums for her.  

Anderson's vocal versatility kept her in demand and she had early work with Johnny Otis's band.  She toured with Lionel Hampton in the early 1950s.  From heartfelt ballads to deep, soulful blues, her sound encompassed it all.  Her first album "Hot Cargo" was recorded in Sweden and released in the United States in 1958.  She would go on to record several more albums for Mercury Records, ultimately recording over 30 albums in a career that spanned six decades.  The 1960s ushered in rock & roll in America, so Anderson split her time between the U.S. and Europe.  She staged a sensational return to American Jazz with a 1976 performance at the Concord Jazz Festival and recorded some of her most acclaimed music for Concord Records, including her signature release, 1981's "Never Make Your Move Too Soon."  She sang around the world, achieving performances at The Kennedy Center, as well as every singer's dream...Carnegie Hall.  

Jazz in the Night Wednesday - March 4 2020

Blog Name:Jazz In The Night Wednesday

Blog Author:

Posted on:March 3, 2020

#On the Wednesday, March 4 2020 installment of Jazz In The Night Wednesday (Weekly, Midnight to 2 AM PT...you figure which day),  we dig into some of the new releases in the library including the latest from ; preview upcoming concert performances by ; celebrate birthdays and On This Day In Jazz Milestones from ... and MORE! LISTEN LIVE or Replay Jazz In The Night Wednesday any day of the week from the Jazz 88.3 Speakeasy!

Jazz Live- Vocalist Staci Griesbach with Tamir Hendelman

Blog Name:Home Page News

Blog Author:San Diego's Jazz 88.3

Posted on:March 3, 2020

Jazz Live will be celebrating Women's History Month TONIGHT with vocalist Staci Griesbach as she presents "My Patsy Cline Songbook" featuring contemporary jazz arrangements of country music icon Patsy Cline’s biggest hits including "Crazy," "I Fall to Pieces" and her first national hit "Walkin’ After Midnight," in which ROLLING STONE called Griesbach’s single “a gorgeous jazz interpretation.” Sprinkled with nods to the Great American Songbook, Griesbach's performance draws audiences in with charm and charisma presenting these recognizable classics that defy genre. Accompanying Staci will be pianist Tamir Hendelman and acclaimed reedman Bob Sheppard his trio. For this concert we are inviting the entire publc (regardless of Jazz 88 membership status) to celebrate Women's History Month. But, we still encourage you make your reservations in the Speakeasy. If you are going please pick up your tickets no later than 7:30pm as they will be released to the public after that time.  Any questions about membership can be answered by the membership team or you can call 619-388-3037. As always, thanks to Big Front Door Sandwich Shop, located in University Heights (Park Blvd.) for all of our Jazz Live artists. If you are going remember that good ole' parking pass! Facebook Event.

Tierney Sutton- KSDS Presents The All-Time Top Listener-Favorite Female Vocalists

Tierney Sutton is definitely more than the “girl singer” with the Tierney Sutton Band.  Rather, she is truly a part of the band, a musician whose instrument happens to be her voice. It’s both a creative approach and a business model that even by today’s standards of equality can seem a bit remarkable. 

Raised in Wisconsin and schooled at Berklee College of Music, Sutton developed a distinct voice in the jazz world, both as a singer and as a creative partner.  After her student time at Berklee, Sutton headed west and moved to Los Angeles in 1993, where she quickly made a name for herself as one of the premier vocalists in Southern California.  In addition to gigging, she spent time teaching vocal jazz at USC and has been the head of the vocal department at L.A. Music Academy in Pasadena.  A nine-time Grammy nominee, Sutton has earned critical acclaim, as well as performing for appreciative audiences worldwide. 

With the Tierney Sutton Band, she has explored the works of Frank Sinatra, Joni Mitchell, and Sting.  The band has actually incorporated as Hollow Reed, Inc., allowing each of the members to have full equality in both creative and financial matters.  The group is celebrating nearly twenty years together.

Dee Dee Bridgewater- KSDS Presents The All-Time Top Listener-Favorite Female Vocalists

With roots in Memphis and a fan base from Paris to New Orleans, multi-faceted singer Dee Dee Bridgewaterhas earned critical acclaim in every area of her career for over forty years.  Bridgewater came into the jazz scene as the vocalist for the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra in the 1970s and released her first solo album “Afro Blue” in 1974.  She has since successfully fulfilled the roles of singer-songwriter, producer, actress, educator, radio host, mentor, and touring musician.  She continues to fights against world hunger as a Goodwill Ambassador to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization.

 In the earlier years of her career, she was fronting the bandstand with such jazz legends as Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny RollinsMax Roach, and Dexter Gordon, even the eclectic Rahsaan Roland Kirk.  But, her talents were not limited to jazz singing and she worked on Broadway in the Tony-award winning musical “The Wiz.”  She played Glinda the Good Witch, a role that would bring her a Tony Award for Best Featured Actress.  Her multiple stages roles included Billie Holiday in “Lady Day.”  Bridgewater’s musical forays have ranged from classic American Jazz and French classical to African-themed music inspired by collaborations in Mali.  Her albums, “Dear Ella” and “Eleanora Fagan (1915-1959): To Billie With Love From Dee Dee” were not only tributes to the legends who preceded her, but both won her Grammy Awards.  Her current release “Memphis…Yes I’m Ready” takes her back to her hometown roots.  As one of the world’s favorite jazz singers, Dee Dee Bridgewater continues to make musical history.

Women's History Month 2020

Blog Name:Home Page News

Blog Author:San Diego's Jazz 88.3

Posted on:February 28, 2020

March is Women's History Month and KSDS-FM is celebrating by shining the spotlight on listener's favorite female vocalists. Listen every weekday throughout the month to hear daily musical features with some of the greatest singers in Jazz history, counting down to your number one favorite. For details about each singer go to the KSDS Blog to learn more. 

Central Avenue - African-American Jazz in California

February 28, 2020- Today's BHM topic is: Central Avenue

From the beginning of the 20th Century, Los Angeles’ Central Avenue was the main thoroughfare of the African American Community. The Avenue itself stretched from downtown all the way to Watts. In the early years the black community was located around 12th and Central where the burgeoning African American music business was headquartered at The Spikes Brothers Music Store.

By World War II the center of the black community had moved further south. The black population of Los Angeles grew substantially during the war with people coming west to work in the defense plants. There were black owned businesses of all kinds up and down the avenue. The locals referred to it as “the main stem.” It was a city within the city, a very tight knit community that had tremendous cultural pride.

Defense workers had money in their pockets and there was a large nightlife district that provided entertainment around the clock. It was all centered around 42nd and Central. The classy Hotel Dunbar was the central attraction. The Club Alabam was the showplace of the avenue with floor shows, chorus girls and a house band that could hold its own against anybody.
Almost all African American celebrities that came to town stayed at the Dunbar. This included traveling bands like Ellington, Basie and Lunceford. When they got off work in Hollywood or Culver City it wasn’t uncommon to find the sidemen sitting in with the locals at the many Central Ave clubs.

And there were plenty of choices.

The Elk’s Auditorium had all kinds of events including big bands and jam sessions plus the likes of T-Bone Walker or Big Jay McNeely. The Last Word featured jump bands like Joe Lutcher and Jimmy Liggins. Jazz combos were featured at The Downbeat. Wardell chasing Dexter and The Buddy Collette, Baron Mingus Stars of Swing among others.

After the festivities ended for the night at those venues the after hours joints continued on till dawn.

Alex Lovejoy’s, home of the big-legged chicken was Art Tatum’s favorite place to hangout. There was also Backstage and Brothers where you brought your own bottle. If you didn’t have one there was always a guy in the parking lot of the market at 53rd St. selling booze after 2AM.

Jack’s Basket Room also known as Bird in the Basket featured late night jam sessions and local live broadcasts. Clora Bryant, Sonny Criss, Teddy Edwards, Gene Montgomery, Art and Addison Farmer, J.D. King, Russell Jacquet and Freddie and Maurice Simon went almost every night. In addition to the music there was their famous fried chicken. If you didn’t like Jack’s chicken there was also ex-Ellington vocalist Ivie Anderson’s Chicken Shack. When Roy Porter formed his bebop big band in 1948 they rehearsed every afternoon at Ivie’s. A very young Eric Dolphy was a member of the Porter band reed section.

Jefferson High School students would drop by after school to listen. It was an amazing scene. Hollywood stars used to show up in their big limousines to hear the likes of T-Bone Walker and Johnny Otis. It wasn’t uncommon to see the likes of Dorothy Dandridge, Joe Louis, Lana Turner and Humphrey Bogart sitting ringside at the Club Alabam.

There was no racial segregation on the avenue. White patrons were welcome, especially musicians. The avenue was swinging nightly for years but totally under the radar to most Los Angeles residents. There were never mentions in the LA Times of happenings on the Avenue yet The Los Angeles Sentinel covered everything from music to sporting events and community functions.

We would know a lot less about what happened today had it not been for some local entrepreneurs who started record companies in their garages to try for the elusive jukebox hit. In doing so small labels like Aladdin, Modern, 4-Star, Exclusive, Excelsior, Bop, Dial, Bel-tone and Dolphin’s of Hollywood documented much of the music that was happening on the stem.

By the end of the forties things were changing and many of the Central Ave. clubs were closing their doors for good.

SD Latino Film Festival 2020

Blog Name:Home Page News

Blog Author:San Diego's Jazz 88.3

Posted on:February 27, 2020

Charles Mingus 1945-1949 - African-American Jazz in California

February 27, 2020- Today's BHM topic is: Charles Mingus- 1945-1949

Mingus in Los Angeles 1945-1949 Charles Mingus was born in Nogales, Arizona in 1922 but grew up in Los Angeles. He was interested in music from a very early age and began studying with a variety of teachers most notably Lloyd Reese and later Red Callender. He gravitated to a like-minded group of friends that included Buddy Collette and Britt Woodman.

Mingus was very serious about music and practiced constantly. There were lots of jam sessions in the area and Mingus sat in as often as possible. He would play the bass anywhere he could including trips across town on the street car. In addition to his serious demeanor when it came to music he was also rebellious and ready to fight at the least provication. He was especially concerned with racial segregation and was instrumental in the formation of the Interracial Symphony that helped lead to the amalgamation of the black and white musicians unions.

One of his first regular jobs was in the band of Al Adams followed by short stints with Louis Armstrong and Les Hite. In 1942 his friends left for active service in WW II but Mingus elected to
stay in Los Angeles.

He spent 1943 in Lee Young’s house band at the Club Alabam on Central Ave.

In 1945 he formed his own group called The Strings and Keys.

In 1946 his friends returned from the service and formed The Stars of Swing that worked Central Avenue's Downbeat Club.

He took on the nickname of “Baron” Mingus and began composing and arranging. During the mid to late forties he recorded with five different record labels that had sprung up on the west coast after the war. This included Excelsior, 4-Star, Dolphins of Hollywood, Fentone and Rex. He also appeared as a sideman with a number of artists including Ernie Andrews, Wynonie Harris, Illinois Jacquet, Dinah Washington and Howard McGhee.

In 1947 he began working with Lionel Hampton and was featured on “Mingus Fingers” which was recorded for Decca.

Some of the music he wrote in the forties wasn’t recorded until many years later including "Half Mast Inhibition" and "The Chill of Death." Half Mast Inhibition was written as early as 1941 but not recorded until 1960. Chill of Death was written around 1947 but not recorded until 1971.

His 1940s recordings are just as unique and forward looking as his more familiar classics that came along later.
 

Buddy Collette- The Early Years- African-American Jazz in California

February 26, 2020- Today's BHM topic is: Buddy Collette- The Early Years

Buddy Collette was one of the most influential musicians on the Los Angeles Jazz scene going back to the early 1940s. He attended Jordan High School where he met several other
musicians who would play an integral role in his career. Most notably Charles Mingus and the Woodman Brothers.

The Woodman’s were professional musicians even at that young age and were inspirational to Buddy, especially the fact that they all played multiple instruments. Britt Woodman was closest to Buddy in age and the two were lifelong friends and associates.

In addition to Buddy’s musical studies in school he also began taking lessons from the legendary Lloyd Reese. Buddy and Mingus practiced together constantly and started working
around the Watts area. Buddy worked professionally with the Al Adams band and the Cee Pee Johnson’s band.

Just as his career was beginning to take off he enlisted in the Naval Reserve and was put in charge of one of the musical units. After the war Buddy was able to use the GI Bill to attend both the California Academy of Music and the American Operatic Laboratory. He also continued his private studies and worked on mastering multiple reed instruments.
At the same time he and Mingus formed a short-lived but forward looking group called "The Stars of Swing." In addition to Collette and Mingus the group included Lucky Thompson, Britt Woodman and Chico Hamilton. They worked the Downbeat Club on Central Ave. but never recorded.

Los Angeles was home to the film studios which provided high paying jobs to musicians working on the soundtracks. These jobs historically had been off limits to African American musicians with a few exceptions.

Both Collette and Mingus were concerned with the segregation and inequality that went along with being a black musician on the west coast at that time. It came to the forefront when Mingus became enraged after being hired to work in a band backing Billy Eckstine at the million dollar theater and finding he was the only black musician in the band. They decided to do something about it.

At that time Los Angeles had two musicians unions..a white local and a black local. There was much inequality between the two so Buddy, Mingus, Red Callendar and Marl Young decided to try to merge the unions into one. Concerned musicians both black and white formed “The Interracial Symphony” which performed at The Humanist Hall on 23rd and Union. The group got a lot of publicity and support from the likes of Nat King Cole, Harry Sweets Edison and Frank Sinatra.

The success of the Interracial Symphony helped lead to the amalgamation of the two unions. In the early fifties, Jerry Fielding hired Buddy Collette to play in the studio orchestra for The Groucho Marx You Bet Your Life TV show. It was the first time an African American was hired as a full-time studio musician and opened the door for others to follow. From that point forward Buddy was in-demand as a musician in many different settings. During the 1950s he was one of the key figures of the west coast jazz movement both as a leader and as a member of the ground breaking Chico Hamilton Quintet.

He was a beloved musician, teacher and catalyst for change. Buddy Collette passed away in 2010 but his legacy is still felt heavily throughout Southern California and beyond.