Welcome New Staff!

Welcome New Staff!

Welcome New Staff! Kuumbwa Jazz is happy to welcome two new staff members, Emily Shoemaker and Ashley Bouchahine, to the administrative team! Emily joins us as the part-time Development Manager and first staff member solely dedicated to fundraising. She is responsible for developing new opportunities by researching, identifying and responding to public and private funding sources. Emily has been working in nonprofit development for more than 10 years. Her dedication to nonprofits has helped to secure over $35 million to support higher education institutions, international health causes and basic needs organizations. New to the arts, Emily is deeply passionate about the importance of music in everyday life. Emily resides in Aptos with her three children. She enjoys playing with her children at the beach, snowboarding and hiking. Ashley joins the office as our new part-time Administrative Assistant. She is the friendly voice behind answering phone calls, assisting members with ticket sales, and assisting with the smooth functioning of the office. Ashley is an East Coast native, having grown up in New York metro area. While in high school she regularly frequented a number of the city’s famous jazz clubs and was involved in her school’s choir and open mic nights. She attended Emerson College in Boston, where she graduated with a B.F.A in Writing and Publishing. When not at Kuumbwa answering phones and doing all things administrative, Ashley enjoys rocking climbing, reading copious amounts of short stories and experimenting in the kitchen. “It’s amazing to have an organization like Kuumbwa here in Santa Cruz,” says Ashley. “I’m excited to get to know our members and become a part of the...
Esperanza Spalding on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

Esperanza Spalding on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

Watch “Esperanza Spalding presents: Emily’s D+Evolution” on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on Wednesday, March 9 on CBS! Then, watch her take the stage right at the Rio Theatre on Saturday, March 12 at 8:00 pm. Tickets are available...
Flamenco Dancer Antonio Molina “Choro” to join Vicente Amigo

Flamenco Dancer Antonio Molina “Choro” to join Vicente Amigo

JUST ANNOUNCED! Acclaimed flamenco dancer Antonio Molina “Choro” will join Vicente Amigo for a few select dates, including March 8th at the Rio Theatre. Vicente Amigo is a standout among today’s fiery flamenco guitarists. With high accolades for his skillfulness expressed by guitar giants Paco de Lucía and Pat Metheny, Vicente’s natural eclecticism has put him in good company outside the realm of flamenco too. Throughout his career his imaginative collaborations with a stylistically diverse set of music masters, including pop star Sting, Brazilian musicians Milton Nascimento and Eliane Elias, and jazz guitarists John McLaughlin and Al DiMeola, have received kudos from all around the music community. City of Ideas, his fourth album, won a Latin Grammy for Best Flamenco Album in 2001, contributing heavily to his rise as an important performer/composer. A fearless virtuoso as well as a visionary, Amigo’s charismatic pyrotechnics dazzle audiences and win new fans everywhere he goes. Performing with Vicente are Antonio “Añil” Fernández on guitar; Francisco “Paquito” González on cajón (percussion); Ewen Vernal on bass; Rafael de Utrera on vocals; and special guest dancer Antonio Molina “Choro”. While over the years Vicente has performed before sold-out halls in places such as New York, Los Angeles, Washington D.C and Chicago, this is his first major tour of the United...
Banda Magda – Thursday, February 18, 2016

Banda Magda – Thursday, February 18, 2016

Banda Magda Thursday, February 18 Kuumbwa Jazz Center ½ Price Night for Students Founded by Greek singer Magda Giannikou, Banda Magda effortlessly moves from samba to French chanson, Greek folk music to Colombian cumbia and many points in between. The band bursts with energy and humor, accompanying cinematic arrangements of their global musicality. Their colorful first album, Amour, t’es là?, topped many year-end best-of lists and their new album Yerakina is poised for similar success. Co-produced by Michael League (Snarky Puppy) and Fab Dupont (Shakira, Jennifer Lopez) the album is a festive affair and tailor-made for life on the stage. Think French café music with a Latin beat! With a background and training in film scoring from Berklee College of Music, Giannikou’s work in film has led to collaborations ranging from Kronos Quartet to Louis CK. With the band behind her, Giannikou’s songs are filled to the brim quirkiness and have been performed on such notable stages as The Kennedy Center, Celebrate Brooklyn and the Chicago World Music Festival. Banda Magda’s debut album, Amour, t’es là?, reached the Top 10 of the Billboard World Music Charts and was featured on NPR’s All Songs Considered. Also being a collaboration with League and Dupont, the album set the tone for the band’s Technicolor folk music, blended with dynamically arranged pop chestnuts. Although touching on many different sounds and cultures, there is a seamless cross-pollination at play with Banda Magda — a global camaraderie. Yerakina features many of the same boldly colored musical strokes as Amour, t’es là?, while focusing on traditional and classic global folk tunes. “I wanted this album to be about the band,” Giannikou reflects. “I wanted...
Master Classes are Free to the Community

Master Classes are Free to the Community

Master Classes are free to the community, thanks to several special donors! Join singer, songwriter and vocal coach Ariel Thiermann for a dynamic evening exploring the art of vocal improvisation. Ariel fell in love with music at the age of seven when she began recording and touring alongside her mother, acclaimed children’s recording artist, Linda Arnold. As a teen, Ariel formed the popular vocal trio Mayim, and later began performing and teaching internationally. She has five solo CDs to her credit and is the creator and facilitator of Get Vocal, which offers vocal empowerment coaching and workshops for students of all ages. Guitarist Yuji Tojo will join her for this lecture/demonstration format and the class with be invited to participate in a group-singing circle. Kuumbwa Jazz is able to offer these free to the public workshops thanks to donations like yours. These informative and inspiring classes contribute to the cultural vibrancy of our community. In 2015 musicians, educators and students eager to broaden their musical knowledge benefited from a diverse line up of professional artists that featured Ray Brown, Donny McCaslin, Dave Egan, Claudia Villela and Ariel Theirmann. Thank you for your continued support! Wednesday, November 10th Doors at 6:30 pm / Class at 7:00 pm FREE COMMUNITY EVENT!...
Caili O’Doherty “Padme” CD Release – Thursday, July 9, 2015

Caili O’Doherty “Padme” CD Release – Thursday, July 9, 2015

Caili O’Doherty “Padme” CD Release Thursday, July 9 Kuumbwa Jazz Center “… an incredible natural talent…” – Dave Liebman Pianist Caili O’Doherty is representative of the current generation of jazz musicians: informed by tradition but not chained to the past. The native Portlander, now based in New York City, has received awards in performance and composition from DownBeat magazine and the Young Jazz Composer Award from the ASCAP Foundation. A graduate of the Berklee College of Music and a member of the Berklee Global Institute, she has performed with jazz luminaries Joe Lovano and Teri Lynne Carrington. O’Doherty’s quartet features Santa Cruz also now based in The Big Apple, tenor saxophonist Ben Flocks, bassist Zach Brown, and drummer Cory Cox performing selections from her debut recording, Padme. Growing up in Portland, Caili O’Doherty’s early exposure to music was through classical piano lessons starting at age five. By the age of eleven she was fully immersed in the jazz idiom under the tutelage of Grammy-winning composer and trumpeter/educator Thara Memory, who mentored another talented Portland musician, Esperanza Spaulding. With Memory’s encouragement, O’Doherty attended Boston’s Berklee College of Music on a full scholarship, graduating with a performance degree in jazz piano. While at Berklee, she was invited to join the Berklee Global Jazz Institute directed by famed pianist Danilo Perez. Her participation in the Institute led to performing with a number of highly respected jazz veterans including Dave Liebman, Terri Lyne Carrington, John Patitucci, and Joe Lovano. To date she has appeared at a number of prominent jazz festivals, such as the Monterey Jazz Festival, the Toronto Jazz Festival, and the...