The Bad Plus Joshua Redman – Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The Bad Plus Joshua Redman – Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The Bad Plus Joshua Redman Wednesday, December 9 Kuumbwa Jazz Center “… a creative unit on its own terms…” – The Boston Globe When The Bad Plus teamed-up with saxophone ace Joshua Redman for a special one-time event, they soon realized they were musical soul-mates. The Bad Plus features Ethan Iverson on piano and keyboards, Reid Anderson on bass, and David King on drums. For nearly two decades they have been shaking up the music world with their special, telekinetic brand of off-kilter arrangements, from the bombastic to the sublime. Like The Bad Plus, Joshua Redman has also challenged convention with his own groups. Traversing through acoustic, straight-ahead formats to electric funk and freeform explorations, Redman’s appreciation for diverse styles of music keeps him on the cutting-edge, always pushing the envelope. The Bad Plus Joshua Redman is the title of their recording debut. The Bad Plus represented a huge slap in the face to the stereotype of the sedate piano trio when they burst on the scene in 2000. The adventurous threesome had crossed paths in the Minnesota music scene, getting together to jam and exchange musical ideas as early as 1989, but it wasn’t until they set aside their individual projects that they released their debut album in 2001 and began touring as The Bad Plus. Their brash approach made waves among the jazz cognoscenti. Were they jazz, pop, rock, or avant-garde? As it turns out they were all of those genres. Covering a range of music as diverse as David Bowie, Nirvana, Aphex Twins, Ornette Coleman, and their own compositions, they often played rock venues instead of...
Charlie Hunter Trio with Bobby Previte and Curtis Fowlkes – Monday, December 7

Charlie Hunter Trio with Bobby Previte and Curtis Fowlkes – Monday, December 7

Charlie Hunter Trio with Bobby Previte and Curtis Fowlkes Monday, December 7 Kuumbwa Jazz Center “…bold musical imagination.” – Guitar Player Magazine It wouldn’t be December without Charlie Hunter visiting Kuumbwa Jazz. Celebrating the release of their new album, Let The Bells Ring, the Charlie Hunter Trio with drummer Bobby Previte and trombonist Curtis Fowlkes delivers a gritty, greasy and celebratory melding of sound with deep-pocket grooves and plenty of ingenious guitar playing. Previte and Fowlkes have been stalwarts of the NYC jazz scene and have each recorded and toured with Hunter in various settings over the years, cementing the trio’s bond as like-minded players and well-suited collaborators. A native of Berkley, Hunter burst onto the scene in the early 90s, as the leader of his influential, namesake trio. Since his debut as a bandleader, he’s released eighteen albums, often centered around his signature, custom seven-string electric guitar, designed in Santa Cruz. A stalwart of both the Bay Area and New York scenes, he has collaborated with Nels Cline, Michael Franti, Bill Frisell, D’Angelo, Jenny Scheinman and countless others. Previte and Fowlkes, members of The Lounge Lizards and The Jazz Passengers were key players in NYC’s “downtown” scene in the 1970s and have collaborated together ever since. Of Previte, Hunter says “…he’s always been one of my favorite drummers. He came up in the 1960s, and he has the beat…we can play the simplest groove and it becomes something really exciting and compositional.” On having Fowlkes in the fold, Hunter continues “I wanted somebody with a vibe who understands free improve and Al Green and Frank Sinatra and Sam...
Dillon Baiocchi Quintet – Thursday, December 3, 2015

Dillon Baiocchi Quintet – Thursday, December 3, 2015

Dillon Baiocchi Quintet Thursday, December 3 Kuumbwa Jazz Center “… a fresh spin on contemporary jazz.” – Good Times The Dillon Baiocchi Quintet, led by Kuumbwa Honor Band Director Dillon Baiocchi, features an all-star lineup of Kuumbwa and Santa Cruz music educators and professional musicians. The quintet will perform Baiocchi’s original contemporary compositions, combining jazz with the influences of classical composers Steve Reich, Phillip Glass, Colin Stetson, and John Luther Adams. Baiocchi will be joined by renowned Kuumbwa Educator-in-Residence Renata Bratt on cello, local drum instructor Zack Olsen, Shoreline Middle School band director Caleb Murray on bass, and El Sistema instructor Terre Lee on violin. A Santa Cruz native and alumnus of the Kuumbwa Jazz Honor Band, Baiocchi continued his saxophone studies at New York City’s New School, graduating with a degree in Jazz and Contemporary Music. Making his name on the New School scene, he was awarded the DownBeat Student Music Award for his original composition “Mountain Road.” Upon returning to California, his band at the time, Neon Deon, embarked on several statewide concert tours as well as returned to NYC for occasional performances. Baiocchi also branched out into other projects and bands, such as collaborations with Siren Solstice, Thunderground Collective and the Cabrillo College Jazz Ensemble. An accomplished arranger, he has also worked alongside the Santa Cruz Symphony. A dedicated music and jazz educator, aside from being the Director of the Kuumbwa Honor Band, Baiocchi also teaches at Vine Hill Elementary, Brook Knoll Elementary and New Brighton Middle School. With half-price student tickets available for this concert date, his set might be considered an ultimate ‘master class.’ CALENDAR INFO Dillon Baiocchi Quintet DATE: Thursday, December 3, 2015...
Matt Wilson’s Christmas Tree-O – Monday, November 30, 2015

Matt Wilson’s Christmas Tree-O – Monday, November 30, 2015

Matt Wilson’s Christmas Tree-O Monday, November 30 Kuumbwa Jazz Center “… creative music from hard-bop to the avant-garde…” – Huffington Post Drummer/composer Matt Wilson likes to have fun in performance, often employing doses of humor with an adventurous approach to composition and improvisation. But make no mistake, Wilson is absolutely serious about his craft. He began his career with the iconoclastic Either/Orchestra and has worked with a plethora of elite jazz artists, including Dewey Redman, Joe Lovano and Charlie Haden. He also played on Matt Haimovitz’s 2011 Grammy-nominated release Meeting of the Spirits. Now just in time for the holidays, Wilson reprises his festive 2010 release, Christmas Tree-O. You’ve never really heard The Chipmunk Song or You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch until you’ve heard them served-up, Matt Wilson-style, by the Christmas Tree-O crew. Born in Knoxville, Illinois, Matt Wilson’s Mid-Western sense of humor often comes through in his performances. In fact it was an episode of the comedy show I Love Lucy, guest starring the legendary Buddy Rich, that inspired Matt to start drumming when he was in the third grade. He grew up listening to a wide variety of music and participated in his school’s music programs, studying drums with an excellent private teacher who taught him to play musically, not just through repetitious mechanical exercises. By his early teens, he was playing professionally for dance gigs on weekends, holding his own with older, more experienced players. Throughout his teens he gained valuable experience playing in big bands, country bands, Dixieland groups, and progressive rock groups. Although a serious student of music, it was in college at...
Evan Christopher and Clarinet Road – Thursday, November 19, 2015

Evan Christopher and Clarinet Road – Thursday, November 19, 2015

Evan Christopher and Clarinet Road Thursday, November 19 Kuumbwa Jazz Center “…one of the world’s major clarinetists.” – Wall Street Journal Few contemporary musicians can put such a vibrant, hearty spin on New Orleans style clarinet as Evan Christopher. He makes the music feel at once familiar, groundbreaking, and contemporary while acknowledging its historical importance. A native Californian, Christopher cut his teeth in the Crescent City, where he soon became dedicated to exploring and expanding the range of the New Orleans clarinet tradition. A devotee to furthering music education programs, Christopher is also an advocate, teacher and scholar. His trio is a buoyant one that illustrates a picture of one of America’s most musical cities with their own unique brush-strokes. Christopher’s move to New Orleans from the West Coast in 1994 certainly was a fateful one. His enthusiasm for exploring the musical history of the city led to gigs with Al Hirt and other musicians borne of the storied Preservation Hall scene, to contemporary local groups such as Galactic and The Nightcrawlers. A regular gig in San Antonio took him away from Louisiana for a short time, but upon his return in 2001 Christopher sought a Master’s degree at Tulane University and launched his Clarinet Road band. Although containing his own unique musical statements, his style recalls many traditional aspects of the New Orleans clarinet’s history, creating a blend of “contemporary early jazz.” His playing so evokes an earlier era that the New York Times has dubbed it “close-encounter music” and the UK Observer has written that his music is “a triumph, joining the present seamlessly to a glorious past.” Christopher’s...
Chris Potter Trio – Monday, November 16, 2015

Chris Potter Trio – Monday, November 16, 2015

Chris Potter Trio Monday, November 16 Kuumbwa Jazz “Easily the most compelling saxophonist of his generation.” – The Detroit Free Press Don’t let Chris Potter’s modest demeanor fool you. From the first note this award-winning saxophonist proves he is clearly in-charge of his instrument and his music. Known for his long association with bass superstar Dave Holland, Potter can be heard on Steely Dan’s Grammy-winning Two Against Nature album, and on recordings by Herbie Hancock, Jim Hall, Paul Motian, and a host of other leading jazz artists. Though valued as a sideman, Chris has been leading and recording his own groups since the late ’90s. Now backed by the seasoned talents of bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Adam Cruz, Potter’s formidable improvising skills are put to the test in an engaging and challenging trio format. Imaginary Cities is his latest recording. Born in Chicago in 1971, Chris Potter grew up in Columbia, South Carolina. At age ten he took up the alto saxophone after brief flirtations with guitar and piano. A precocious student, he played his first professional gig at thirteen. In 1989, he relocated to New York City to attend the Manhattan School of Music and also to study at the New School. Simultaneously, he was exploring New York’s fertile jazz scene, checking out jam sessions and his musical heroes. Only eighteen years of age, Chris was playing along side bebop legend Red Rodney around New York venues. He was also leading his own groups as well. As the ’90s progressed, so was Potter’s career. From the straight-ahead bop of Red Rodney, he dove into the cutting-edge, avant...