November 2, 2014
Vocalist Rhonda Benin has earned a reputation for more than just her voice — her showmanship, magnetic stage personality, humor, and great dancing have delighted audiences across the Bay Area and beyond. Rhonda’s impressive resume includes performances at SFJAZZ, Yoshi’s, MOAD, and the Healdsburg, Sonoma, Burlingame, Sausalito, Fillmore, and Calistoga Jazz Festivals. In the summer of 2012 Rhonda traveled to Hangzhou, China for a 3 month engagement at the JZ Jazz Club. In addition to singing, Rhonda is producer and founder of the Women’s History Month’s show “Just Like A Woman,” a tribute to Bay Area women in music and “Jazz Ain’t Nothing But The Blues.” Join Rhonda as she performs her new show, “Groovin, On A Sunday Afternoon,” a unique mix of jazz, blues and soul featuring John R. Burr on piano, Ron Belcher on bass Rob Rhodes on drums.
Take the stage and sing the blues with a killer band! Hosted by acclaimed vocalist Pamela Rose, this special Jazzschool vocal jam session is open to all singers. Please arrive by 6:30 to sign up to sing. No charts needed, but singers should be prepared to explain the form of their song in a few words (e.g. “12-bar blues in the key of F, shuffle”).
November 7, 2014
World premiere! avant-NOIR is a new project by bassist and composer Lisa Mezzacappa, for her critically-acclaimed experimental jazz quartet, Bait & Switch. The music is inspired by noir genre fiction set in New York City (where Mezzacappa was born and raised) and the San Francisco Bay Area (where she has lived for the past 13 years). For this project, the quartet is joined by special guests percussionist William Winant and electronic musician Wobbly. avant-NOIR is a musical companion to Paul Auster’s abstract “soft-boiled” crime stories from his New York Trilogy of the 1980s, set in conversation with the West Coast classic hard-boiled 1920s-era detective fiction of Dashiell Hammett. The music progresses like a detective’s case, using clues and imagery from the crime novels such as maps, letters, messages and relationships between characters and places, to create compositions with acoustic and electric sounds, field recordings and composed and improvised material. Featuring Aaron Bennett on tenor saxophone, John Finkbeiner on electric guitar, Lisa Mezzacappa on acoustic bass and Jordan Glenn on drums. lisamezzacappa.com
Lisa Mezzacappa’s avant-NOIR is made possible through the Musical Grant Program, which is administered by the San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music, and supported by the Heller Foundation, the Hewlett Foundation, the San Francisco Foundation and Grants for the Arts|San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund.
Photo by Martin Phillips
November 8, 2014
Vocalist Cathi Walkup’s new release Secret of the Song is a fresh double CD and songbook full of songs to delight and inspire, from stompin’ blues to sambas and stirring ballads, all in the key of life. Cathi has been called “the thinking person’s jazz singer” for her choice of lyric-driven songs, “a natural comedian” for her wit and ease on-stage, and, both an “important bop-oriented singer” and an “excellent lyricist” by Scott Yanow, respected jazz writer, in his book, The Jazz Singers, The Ultimate Guide. Featuring Benny Watson on piano and vocals, Carla Kaufman on bass, Bob Blankenship on drums and very special guests Shanna Carlson and Hugo Wainzinger. cwalkup.com
November 9, 2014
The Laudami Ensemble performs a program of French Chaconnes by Marais, Dornel, Leclair, Hotteterre and possibly Bach. With Laura Rubinstein-Salzedo and Tyler Lewis on violins, Vijay Chalasani on viola, Emily Davidson on cello, Ricky Torres-Cooban on bass-baritone, Michael Peterson on harpsichord.
The California Jazz Conservatory and The San Francisco Early Music Society have established an exciting affiliation that delights both our audience and our local musicians. Early music lovers and jazz music lovers join together to celebrate the improvisational kinship of the two genres. Early music is not light entertainment but a spiritual bridge to another time and place, a deep momentary experience sent to us by past voices in a universal language we rediscover and re-create with each performance.
November 14, 2014
Drummer and percussionist Brian Melvin brings his new band to the CJC to perform selections from their soon-to-be recorded album. Featuring Virgo Sillamaa on guitar, Raul Sööt on saxophone and Peedu Kass on bass. brianmelvin.com
Brian Melvin is an internationally-known drummer/percussionist/educator. He has played and recorded with many of the world’s leading musicians. Not limited by styles, he’s worked with the late Joe Henderson, Mike Stern, John Scofield, Michael Brecker, Randy Brecker, Joe Lovano, Bobo Stenson, Toots Thielemans, Richard Bona, Bob Weir (“The Grateful Dead”), Greg Allman (“The Allman Brothers Band”) and many more. One of his main associations has been with the Hall of Fame bassist Jaco Pastorius. They were good friends and made five historic recordings together. One of their most famous was “Standards Zone” (Global Pacific Records,) which was the no. 1 jazz album for 15 weeks.
November 15, 2014
Celebrating the CD Release of 10 Degrees South
10 Degrees South paints a vibrant musical landscape depicting the passion and beauty of Brazilian music and contemporary jazz. Silva’s sophisticated arrangements intersect with Sherie Julianne’s rich, warm voice and captivating sense of rhythm. The evening will feature original arrangements by Grammy-nominated pianist Marcos Silva that will include compositions by Sergio Mendes, Dori Caymmi, Tom Jobim, Chico Pinheiro, Joao Donato and Marcos Silva. Joining Sherie will be Marcos Silva on piano, Scott Thompson on bass, Phil Thompson on drums and Zach Pitt-Smith on flute and saxophone.
November 16, 2014
The Prima Volta Saxophone Quartet was founded in 2013 by saxophonists Bill Aron and Renée Deeter. Originally formed as a rehearsal group, the quartet soon transitioned into a full-blown performance ensemble in the standard four-part soprano, alto, tenor and bass format. PVSQ members include Bill Aron on soprano saxophone, Julie Auman on alto saxophone, Renée Deeter on tenor saxophone and Steve Logateta on baritone saxophone. PVSQ specializes in an adventurous repertoire, presenting works from the baroque, classical, modern eras and more.
The group’s premiere performance at the California Jazz Conservatory attests to this eclecticism. The program will range from Mozart’s Overture to the Magic Flute to a modern jazz arrangement of We Three Kings. Also expect pieces written specifically for saxophone quartet, such as Bozza’s Andante and Scherzo and Semler-Collery’s Arlequinades, and arrangements of Gershwin’s Three Preludes and Corelli’s “Christmas” Concerto.
November 21, 2014
Hailed for its spirited performances and fascinating fusion of Latin and folk with adventurous jazz explorations, the VNote Ensemble gives voice to the hidden treasure of Venezuelan music. By defiantly ignoring musical boundaries, they create a new direction that blends the infectious rhythms of joropo and swing, gaita and soul and be-bop and calypso, among other styles. Exquisite arrangements, unique compositions, colors and rhythms blend together to deliver a unique musical profile. Featuring Donna Viscuso on flute, Jackeline Rago on Venezuelan cuatro and bandola, Sam Bevan on bass and Michaelle Goerlitz on percussion. vnoteensemble.com
November 22, 2014
Robin Huntington brings a heart full of song to the Jazzschool, in an emotionally charged vocal performance that will marry her richly nuanced and powerful voice to the stage presence of a veteran lead actress. Her interpretations of The Great American Song Book, jazz classics, Broadway and lesser known tunes are delivered with honesty, joy, laughter and love. You’ll part this show with a song in your heart! Robin will be accompanied by local luminaries Steve Snelling on piano, Doug Lee on bass and Jack Dorsey on drums.
About Robin Huntington
An old black and white photograph of Robin Huntington, taken at age 6, shows her draped over her grandparent’s grand piano, singing heartily to the accompaniment of a family friend. The little girl who charmed loved ones grew up to study theater and voice, and to garner lead roles in a variety of musical shows. Five years ago, Robin left theater to pursue jazz singing, and has been studying at the Jazzschool with Maye Cavalero and Laurie Antonioli. She has appeared at the Jazzschool, Anna’s Jazz Island and Berkeley City Club as a featured singer, and has frequent solos roles with the Berkeley Broadway Singers. After the rigor of theater, Robin loves the freedom of expression afforded by jazz, and the ability to decide the style, feel, groove and interpretation of a song.
“an enormously talented vocalist and performer whose interpretations ring with truth and believability, and whose buttery rich vocals leave audiences wanting more!” – Sarah Hershey
This concert is part of the Jazzschool’s Vocal Mentor Program.