Another Successful Free-to-the-Public Master Class Presentation

Another Successful Free-to-the-Public Master Class Presentation

As a way of giving back to the community, Kuumbwa presents a free to the public Master Classes Series which is offered several times each year. Our most recent Master Class featured vocalist and composer, Claudia Villela. Claudia’s talent for musical exploration knows no limits. Growing up in Rio de Janeiro, she absorbed the sounds of Brasil all around her; Samba, Bossa Nova, Partido Alto, Choro, Baiao, Maracatu, as well as influences of music from all over the world, Jazz, from traditional to classical to avant garde. In an interactive master class for all levels, Claudia Villela dove into the rich heritage of Brazilian music exploring an array of rhythms and styles, including Lundu, Maxixe, Maculelê, Capoeira, Ciranda, Xote, Samba, Baião, Frevo, Partido Alto, Choro, Côco, and Bossa Nova. Utilizing one of her own compositions, she demonstrated the use of call-and-response and “Voice Battucada” – where the human voice is used to imitate a specific instrument from a Carnival parade ensemble (samba school) – and explored the use of vocal improvisation. Claudia enjoyed a full house of enthralled music enthusiasts for this class. “The master class Tuesday night was outstanding. Beyond being a musician with a rare gift, Claudia clearly had a love for her audience and for conveying her knowledge as only the best teachers do.” Ron...

Manresa Chef David Kinch

Kuumbwa Jazz Celebrates 40 Years of Creativity with a Fundraising Dinner Hosted by Manresa Chef David Kinch Monday, May 11, 2015 More...

Chester CT Thompson and Powerhouse; Thursday, November 13

Chester CT Thompson and Powerhouse Thursday, November 13 Kuumbwa Jazz Center “Earthy, energetic and exciting.” – Carlos Santana Original Tower of Power organist Chester Thompson started playing at the age of five and has gone on to lead a career that would be the envy of any sideman, including his lengthy stint with Tower of Power, seventeen years with Santana and co-writing credits with both bands. His contributions have always proved integral to the groups he’s shared the stage with and he now brings his trademark sound to the stage with his own group. His Powerhouse band interacts with a paramount devotion to improvising in the moment and provides a return to Thompson’s jazz roots. Featuring the great Chester Thompson on Hammond B-3 organ, Howard Wiley (tenor saxophone), Mitch Butler (trombone), Carl Lockett (guitar), Ron E. Beck (drums) and special guest Santa Cruz favorite vocalist, Tammi Brown. Getting his musical start on piano at the age of five, the Oklahoman-born Thompson began with playing along to the radio (starting with Fats Domino’s “Blueberry Hill”), as well as in church. By the time he was sixteen, he was devoted to jazz and rock and had switched almost exclusively from the piano to the Hammond organ. While touring steadily with groups during and after high school, he discovered his love for the Bay Area and resettled in San Francisco in the late sixties. Gaining a foothold in the SF scene, Thompson recorded his first solo album, Power House, and was asked to join Tower of Power in 1973. For the next ten years, Thompson filled out the group’s sound and co-wrote much of their material. With his joining of Santana in 1983, Thompson gained a...
2014 – 2015 Honor Band Auditions

2014 – 2015 Honor Band Auditions

The Kuumbwa Jazz Honor Band is an all-star ensemble of high school musicians. Band members attend weekly rehearsals, study complex jazz theory, improvisation and arranging, and learn essential life skills such as communication, cooperation and critical thinking. The Honor Band performs at community benefits, festivals and special events, ending each school year with a concert on the renowned Kuumbwa Jazz stage. Qualified high school students are invited to audition for the 2014 – 2015 Kuumbwa Jazz Honor Band. Auditions are open to all high school students who are prepared for an intensive jazz performance group. All positions in the ensemble are open each fall. Please note: Students who audition should have formal training on their instrument/voice as well as experience with jazz improvisation. When: September 16th, 2014 Where: Kuumbwa Jazz Center, 320 Cedar Street, Santa Cruz *Advanced registration is required to receive an appointment. Please fill out the form online to...
Fall Concert Schedule Announced

Fall Concert Schedule Announced

Tickets now on sale for September and October shows. Great line-up includes Airto Moreira & Eyedentity; Eliane Elias; Larry Carlton; The Cookers; Joshua Redman Trio; Stanley Clarke; Dave Douglas and Joe Lovano Quintet: Soundprints and much...

Big Chief Donald Harrison’s Congo Square Nation; Monday, August 18, 2014

Big Chief Donald Harrison’s Congo Square Nation Monday, August 18, 2014 Kuumbwa Jazz Center “Both old school and cutting-edge.” —Wall Street Journal New Orleans alto sax great Donald Harrison is “The King of Nouveau Swing,” a style that merges R&B, hip-hop, soul, rock and jazz with Afro-New Orleans traditional music. Harrison is notably the Big Chief of Congo Square Nation, a group that preserves the legacy of black New Orleans residents parading in beautiful, intricate Native American-influenced costumes. Harrison brings the rituals of Indian “masking’ to the jazz stage, alongside Zaccai Curtis on piano; Max Moran on bass; and Joe Dyson on drums. Harrison’s new album, This is Jazz, has garnered some of the finest reviews of his career. The New Orleans Black Mardi Gras Indians tradition dates back over 150 years, when black citizens of New Orleans donned ornate, Native American-themed costumes and paraded throughout the streets; the Indian imagery rooted in solidarity with the struggles of Native American tribes. There are numerous Mardi Gras Indian tribes in New Orleans, accompanied with a whole lexicon of song attributed to this culture (made famous by the eponymous album of The Wild Tchoupitoulas tribe). Born in the Crescent City in 1960, Harrison’s father was a “Big Chief” who raised his son steeped in the traditions of the Mardi Gras Indians and New Orleans music. Ultimately attending the Berklee School of Music, Harrison became an acclaimed jazz talent, performing with Roy Haynes, Terence Blanchard and Art Blakey. A Big Chief himself, of the Congo Square Nation tribe, Harrison recorded the notable album Indian Blues in 1991, which captured the sounds of...