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News and notes: New jazz and blues hires, discounts and releases

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SFJAZZ has announced a new hire. Here’s the lowdown.

SFJAZZ, the leading nonprofit jazz organization on the West Coast, announced today that Donald Derheim will assume the position of Chief Executive Officer beginning January 2, 2014. Mr. Derheim joins SFJAZZ as it enters its next phase of growth and celebrates the milestone first anniversary of its new home, the critically acclaimed SFJAZZ Center. An accomplished media executive, Mr. Derheim served for more than two decades at public television and radio broadcaster KQED Inc. in San Francisco. In 2010, he was appointed Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President, where he was responsible for the strategic and operational oversight of one of the most popular public and financially successful media companies in the country.

Yoshi’s in Oakland has a special going for local residents. The details: “Enter promo code 94115 for 20% select shows for locals only. Limit 4 tickets per purchase. Must show ID with 94115 home zip code, when you pick up tickets at the box office.”

I noted in an earlier post that JazzWest.com has posted an excerpt from a new Cal Tjader bio. The site also has recently added a gallery featuring the jazz art of Rudolph J. Omania, who died this year. Born in the Philippines and raised in Concord developed twin passions for jazz and photography.

Perseverance came from his inner desire to excel as a jazz photographer. This entailed 40 years of devoting countless hours in pursuit of the perfect picture, and even more time in the darkroom as his exquisite images were developed and printed. Omania visited major night clubs in the San Francisco Bay Area and attended a majority of Concord Jazz Festivals (1969-98) to photograph jazz artists in performance. His portfolio of who's-who in jazz includes candid photographs of more than 150 jazz legends, many of whom have now passed on, and over 5,000 negatives of which most have never been printed.
Among Omania's photographic archives are vintage images of jazz artists such as Dave Brubeck, Tony Bennett, Gerry Mulligan, Cal Tjader, Benny Goodman, Woody Herman, Stan Kenton, Ella Fitzgerald, Lionel Hampton, Poncho Sanchez, Wynton Marsalis, Carmen McRae, Tito Puente, Oscar Peterson, Count Basie, Sarah Vaughan, Paul Desmond, Quincy Jones and Dizzy Gillespie.

Veteran bluesman and Healdsburg resident Charlie Musselwhite will issue his latest album, “Juke Joint Chapel,” on December 24 via Henrietta Records. The set includes five originals and seven covers and includes a band made up of Matt Stubbs (guitar), Mike Phillips (bass) and June Core (drums).
Musselwhite said of the album: "The blues sounded like how I felt growing up. Too many people think of the blues as sad, but I think many of these tunes will immediately dispel that notion, as they are fun, dancing tunes that lift your spirits. I often tell people that the blues is your buddy in good times and your comforter in bad times. It empowers you to keep going. It is secular spiritual music, the gospel blues. It’s music from the heart instead of the head."

Speaking of upcoming albums, Hristo Vitchev – easily among the Bay Area’s most innovative (and hardest-working) guitarist-composers – has collaborated with drummer Joe DeRose on a new project, “Peace Streets.” The release concert is set for January 20 at Yoshi’s in Oakland. The band features Dann Zinn (saxophone), Murray Low (keyboards) and Dan Robbins (bass).
Another upcoming release is the latest from Dee Bell (vocals) and Marcos Silva (piano/arranger) “Silva Bell Elation.” Due January 21 on Laser Records, the disc features an eclectic collection of American and Brazilians songs from the likes of George and Ira Gershwin, Joni Mitchell, Joe Zawinul and Antonio Carlos Jobim.

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