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News and notes: Museum hosts smooth jazz, Kuumbwa opens the Kiln

Jonathan Butler
Jonathan Butler
Jonathan Butler

Smooth jazz fans traditionally do not have nearly as many opportunities as they would like to see the genre’s biggest names live.
With spring arrived and summer soon to follow, it’s worth noting that the Bay Area smooth jazz faithful have some real options. The schedule includes Peter White (April 18-19, Yoshi’s in San Francisco), Acoustic Alchemy (June 5, Yoshi’s in San Francisco; June 6, Carriage House Theatre, Saratoga) and Brian Culbertson’s Napa Valley Jazz Getaway (June 11-15).
One upcoming smooth-jazz gig sure to fly under the radar due to the venue is Jonathan Butler’s April 13 date in Danville. It seems that the South African-born guitarist-vocalist is playing the Blackhawk Automotive Museum as part of its Music at the Museum Concert Series.

The museum attraction will open two hours before the concert begins so that attendees will have a chance to enjoy the exhibitions and purchase appetizers and cocktails. Bottles and glasses of wine will available to purchase and enjoy at your seats before, during and after the concert.

Kuumbwa Jazz in Santa Cruz is kicking off a new series of workshops next week.

The Jazz Kiln is a series of six weekly jazz improvisation workshops that offers a safe place for musicians of all ages to explore and expand their musical horizons. This series will be directed by noted jazz educator, composer, and pianist Eddie Mendenhall. Instructor and professional bassist, Dan Robbins, will also teach this series of the Jazz Kiln. The final night of class students have the opportunity to join the instructors and special guests onstage. Friends and family are welcome to attend this evening performance.
Eddie believes that you can learn the jazz language by studying the history of jazz (listen!) and pursuing an enjoyable dedication to your instrument. Each student may have a different path to proficiency on the instrument, but improvising is always about your ears and how you communicate your instincts, feelings, and meaning in performance. These workshops are intended to help music students find their jazz voice, expressing themselves with confidence through improvisation and understanding their role within an ensemble.
Classes are held on the Kuumbwa stage Tuesday evenings, March 25-April 29 (6 classes). Tuition for the series is $200. Enrollment is limited, advance registration is required. This course is best suited for instrumentalists.

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