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News and notes: Women at Jazzschool, Mardi Gras in Petaluma

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Do you have the next Billie Holiday or Koko Taylor in your home? Now is the time to turn her on to Jazzschool’s Women’s Jazz and Blues Camp, which is set for March 24-28 in Berkeley. Here is the lowdown.

Registration is humming along and we expect to fill up soon. This year's curriculum will be popping with jazz, blues/R&B, Latin and vocal combos, in addition to electives such as percussion, theory/improvisation, vocal workshop and instrumental master classes. Don't miss this one-of-a-kind anywhere in the world jazz camp for women with an all-women pro faculty from the Bay Area. Be a part of jazz herstory.

If you’re anything like me, late winter is Mardi Gras season. There’s nothing better than immersing yourself in a bit of Cajun culture and letting that rollicking, rootsy music take you away.
Northern California residents have the opportunity to do just that and support a good cause Monday night at the Lagunitas Beer Sanctuary in Petaluma. The Mardi Gras celebration will feature Church Marching Band and the Dixie Giants, as well as a meal of Cajun chicken, jambalaya, salad, grilled vegetables and more by Belly Left Coast Kitchen. Tickets are $10-$25 with children admitted free and proceeds benefitting the Petaluma Music Festival.

Single-day tickets are now on sale for Brian Culbertson’s third annual Napa Valley Jazz Getaway. Here are some details.

After a pair of sold-out opening night dinner concerts happening simultaneously on June 11, Napa Valley Jazz Getaway will stage four days of concerts with the June 12-13 shows taking place at The Lincoln Theater and the June 14-15 shows to be held on the majestic grounds of the Jamieson Ranch Vineyards. The Thursday night lineup showcases the Legends of Jazz featuring Dave Grusin, Lee Ritenour and Earl Klugh with special guest Eric Marienthal and more. Friday Night Funk Night headlines The Ohio Players and special guest comedian Keenen Ivory Wayans. The weekend concerts move outdoors with Saturday spotlighting Brian Culbertson and Friends, Morris Day and The Time, Average White Band and Dirty Dozen Brass Band. Eric Benét, Mavis Staples, Eric Darius and Jazz in Pink featuring Gail Jhonson, Althea Rene and Karen Briggs fill the marquee on the final day of the 2014 Getaway.

And if your summer plans include a trip to SoCal, there is a major jazz festival there not to miss.

Singer Al Jarreau and bassist Stanley Clarke will celebrate the legacy of their friend and musical partner George Duke on the opening day of the 36th annual Playboy Jazz Festival at the Hollywood Bowl.
The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, which is presenting the festival for the first time, announced the lineup for the June 14-15 event on Monday. George Benson and fellow guitarist Earl Klugh will headline the closing concert.
Saturday's concert will pay tribute to Duke, the keyboardist, singer, composer and producer who headlined last year's Playboy opener and was a frequent participant in the Los Angeles area's biggest jazz event. Duke, 67, died of leukemia last August shortly after releasing his chart-topping contemporary jazz CD "Dreamweaver," which included a straight-ahead acoustic jazz track featuring Clarke.
Jarreau first performed with Duke in the house band at San Francisco's Half Note Club in the late '60s and the keyboardist was featured on the singer's 1981 album "Breakin' Away." Clarke and Duke recorded three groove-oriented albums.
Saturday's lineup includes singer Dianne Reeves, who featured her cousin Duke on several of her albums; pianist Kenny Barron's trio with guest saxophonist Ravi Coltrane; trumpeter Arturo Sandoval's big band and British singer-pianist Jamie Cullum. On Sunday, the performers include bassist Dave Holland's Prism with guitarist Kevin Eubanks, the former "Tonight Show" bandleader; pianist Craig Taborn and drummer Eric Harland; "American Idol" winner Fantasia Barrino; and the James Cotton Blues Band with guest saxophonist Big Jay McNeely.
As in previous years, the festival will present several emerging artists, including singers Jose James and Allen Stone, and pianist Jon Batiste with Stay Human.

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