One of my favorite East Bay series, San Ramon’s Jazz at the Library, has announced its 2014 season.
And I do mean season, as Jazz at the Library is solely an autumnal event. That said, it offers audiences the opportunity to hear top-flight regional performers in the intimate surroundings that is the San Ramon Library. Performances are set for 8 p.m. and proceeds benefit the maintenance and continued growth of that institution’s already impressive jazz collection.
October 4: Mads Tolling Quartet
October 18: Kellye Gray and Trio
November 8: Wayne Wallace Latin Jazz Quintet
November 22: Taylor Eigsti
December 6: Jamie Davis Quartet
In other East Bay jazz news, your help is needed to send a group of young musicians to Monterey in September.
The Northgate High Instrumental Music Boosters group has launched a fundraising campaign to cover the $5,000 transportation and lodging costs for the school's 2013-14 jazz band to perform September 21 at the world-renowned Monterey Jazz Festival.
Northgate's Jazz Band I took first place in the High School Big Band Division at Monterey's highly competitive Next Generation Jazz Festival in March 2014.
"Northgate is the only San Francisco Bay Area public school that has performed in the audition-only Next Generation Jazz Festival each of the past six years," said Northgate Music Director Greg Brown. "We have taken fourth place before, but this was Northgate's first win and ticket to the Monterey Jazz Festival stage."
But the Monterey trip involves some complicated logistics.
"Rehearsals will continue throughout the summer, and all the seniors who will have already settled into college will come back to reunite with the band for Northgate's unprecedented trip and performance in Monterey," says Jazz Band parent representative Alice Mace Nakanishi.
The graduated seniors will be returning from universities all around California, including USC and UCLA in Los Angeles, UC Santa Barbara, San Diego State University, and Chico State University; one student is even traveling from Brigham Young University in Utah.
The Northgate High School music program includes more than 150 students who participate in three concert bands, an orchestra, two jazz bands, and a marching band.
While the Mt. Diablo Unified School District contributes about $1,600 annually to the music department, the program relies on multiple fundraisers and direct contributions to pay for the overwhelming majority of the costs for all the groups. The "Movin' On to Monterey" online donation campaign was launched at Yoshi's Oakland in May and has already raised $1,480 of the $5,000 needed to fund the trip.
Also bear in mind that next week brings the 16th annual Lafayette Summer Jazz Workshop. Set for August 3-8 and led by Stanley Middle School music director Bob Athayde and jazz curriculum director Kyle Athayde, the event offers young players the opportunity to take master classes, improvisation workshops and work in jazz combos led by some of the region’s top players. The professionals then perform at Lamorinda Music in Lafayette. Here’s the rundown.
August 4: Kyle Athayde and Bob Athayde
August 5: Debbie Poryes Quintet with Kasey Knudsen, Erik Jekabson, Peter Barshay and Deszon Claiborne
August 7: Ferbers and Friends with Alan Ferber, Mark Ferber, Peter Bashay, Erik Jekabson, Kasey Knudsen and Douglas Yates
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