Cyrille Aimée & Diego Figueiredo; Monday, March 3, 2014

Cyrille Aimée & Diego Figueiredo Monday, March 3 Kuumbwa Jazz Center “…a voice like fine whiskey” – The Washington Post Although she could be categorized simply as a jazz vocalist, Cyrille Aimée is so much more; presenting a new, dynamic sound that often features her looping her own vocals, and creating beats, textures, and rhythms to make a tough and driving form of ‘vocalese.’  This duo of French-born singer Aimée and Brazilian guitarist Diego Figueiredo offers a full spectrum of musical offerings, reflecting their traditional foundation that is contrasted with electronic flourishes and international panache, garnering nothing short of rave reviews the world over. Offering a sound that crosses genres and borders alike, Aimée was a finalist in the prestigious Thelonious Monk Vocal Competition of 2010, performing in front of a jury including Al Jarreau, Kurt Elling, Dianne Reeves, Dee Dee Bridgewater. She has since toured the world over, won both the first and public prize in the 2007 Montreaux Jazz Festival Competition, garnered accolades from NPR and has become a fixture on the Manhattan jazz scene.  As the New York Times notes, “Michael Jackson brushes shoulders with Sarah Vaughn in the person of Cyrille Aimée, a saucy, curly-haired jazz singer with one foot in tradition and the other in electronics.”  Indeed, she brings a playfulness to her material, from standards such as “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes” to Creedence Clearwater’s “Fortunate Son,” simultaneously giving them all unexpected twists. Together with Figueiredo, Aimée has crafted a beautiful album, titled Just The Two Of Us.  Featuring the sort of eclectic selection of songs you can expect to see them perform on-stage,...

JLCO with Wynton Marsalis, March 8, 2014

|:||:| FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE |:||:| CONTACT: Sandy Sloan, 831.427.2227 sandy@kuumbwajazz.org   Kuumbwa Jazz Presents Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis At the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium Saturday, March 8, 2014 Kuumbwa Jazz Honor Band performs outside the Civic Auditorium beginning at 6:30 PM “The finest big band in the world today.” – The Daily Telegraph, UK The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, comprising 15 of the finest jazz soloists and ensemble players today, has been the Jazz at Lincoln Center resident orchestra since 1988.  Featured in all aspects of Jazz at Lincoln Center’s programming, this remarkably versatile orchestra performs and leads educational events in New York, across the U.S. and around the globe; in concert halls; dance venues; jazz clubs; public parks; and with symphony orchestras; ballet troupes; local students; and an ever-expanding roster of guest artists. For their Santa Cruz engagement, the ensemble is presenting the compositions of three jazz greats: Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, and Chick Corea. The son of New Orleans pianist Ellis Marsalis, Wynton Marsalis comes from a family long on talent. Saxophonist Branford Marsalis, trombonist Delfeayo Marsalis, and drummer Jason Marsalis are his siblings. It was Wynton and Branford who were the frontline for Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers in 1980, an association that exposed the brothers to the international jazz world. When he left Blakey to start his own quintet, Wynton’s career began a meteoric rise. He was the first musician to earn Grammy Awards (for 1983 and 1984) in both the jazz and classical music categories. The mainstream media, rarely focused on jazz, began paying attention to the young man...

B-3 Obsession

Tuesday, 4 February 2014   | Rich Scheinin  | San Jose Mercury News It’s the sound of Jimmy Smith’s “The Sermon” and Santana’s “Soul Sacrifice” — the sound of the Hammond B-3 organ, powerful like a pipe organ. It’s as big as a casket, and weighing in at 425 pounds, it’s not easy to schlep around. “I’m too old to be doing this,” said Pete Fallico, 66, the longtime Bay Area jazz radio DJ and a regular at KCSM-FM. He is the heart of the region’s thriving B-3 organ scene, a B-3 promoter and historian, a friend to organists far and wide — and a full-service B-3 schlepper. “I would like to find somebody to match my enthusiasm. I don’t want to sound pompous, but who the hell else is going to do it?” The inner workings of a Hammond B3 organ belonging to Pete Fallico in the office of his San Jose home Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014. (Patrick Tehan, Bay Area News Group) When B-3 organist Wil Blades performs Wednesday in Oakland, and when Hammond specialist Wayne De La Cruz performs Thursday with singer Pamela Rose in Santa Cruz, they will play organs delivered by Fallico, who lives in San Jose’s Willow Glen neighborhood. Though he isn’t himself a musician, he owns six vintage B-3s and has devised his own dolly system for carting them around. “It’s a lot of huffin’ and puffin,’ ” he said. The Santa Cruz show is a benefit for the Jazz Organ Fellowship, Fallico’s nonprofit foundation, dedicated to upholding the B-3’s legacy — in the black church, in blues and jazz, in rhythm ‘n’ blues,...
B-3 Obsession!

B-3 Obsession!

Read SJ Mercury Cover Story on the Bay Area’s B-3 Obsession Upcoming B-3 concerts include: Feb. 6 – Pamela Rose & Wayne De La Cruz: “Hammond Organ Party” Feb. 13 – Tony Monaco Trio featuring Howard Paul Feb. 17 – Dr. Lonnie Smith...

Kenny Werner Trio; Monday, February 24, 2014

Kenny Werner Trio Monday, February 24 Kuumbwa Jazz Center “Kenny Werner is a total musician” – Toots Thielemanns Kenny Werner is relentless. A brilliant pianist, Werner is also an esteemed composer whose compositions have been performed by the Mel Lewis Orchestra; Finland’s Umo Jazz Orchestra, and several other European big bands; as well as classical ensembles. His work with harmonica savant Toots Thielemanns and saxophone giant Joe Lovano is lauded by all, as are his stellar groups with Randy Brecker, David Sanchez and Chris Potter. But the acoustic piano trio is Kenny’s home base. A savvy and energetic improvisor, his touring trio includes Johannes Weidenmueller on bass, and Ari Hoenig on drums. Born in 1951, Kenny Werner grew up on Long Island in New York. A child prodigy on the piano, he made his first television at age eleven. Although his early studies focused on classical music, he was interested in playing anything he heard, regardless of category. While in high school, he attended the famed Manhattan School of Music, majoring in classical piano but found it too confining. Kenny’s natural inclination for improvisation put him at odds with the strict classical regimen and he transitioned to the Berklee School of Music. His teacher at Berklee, Madame Chaloff, helped Kenny to realign his not just his piano technique but to change his whole approach to playing music in a spiritually conscious fashion. The next major step in Werner’s evolution as a performer happened in Brazil, studying with Joao Assisa Brasil whose approach to the piano was another major influence on his playing. These learning experiences, over the years, eventually led to...