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News and notes: Yoshi's spreads holiday spirit, Blades seeks funding

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Yoshi’s in San Francisco has its Locals Discount promotion in place in the run up to Christmas. Those living in the 94115 ZIP Code can enter than number to receive 20% off tickets to select shows. There is a limit of four tickets per purchase and you must pick them up at the box office.
The venue it’s also worth noting has a string of fine holiday-themed shows on the schedule over the next week. Here’s the lowdown.

Thursday: Greg Adams and East Bay Soul (above) offer a “Sweet Soul Christmas”
Sunday: Christmas with the Celts featuring a variety of Celtic musicians performing traditional Irish/Scottish material plus a bit of Celtic pop-rock
Monday: Natasha Miller “The Secret of Christmas” CD release concert
Tuesday: Clairdee’s 11th annual Christmas Eve show

It is very popular for musicians to use such sites as Kickstarter and Indiegogo to raise the funds needed to launch their next recording projects. Among the Bay Area jazz talents going that route is Hammond B3 ace Wil Blades. Here’s how he puts it on his Kickstarter page.

After several years, I am finally ready to record the follow up to my debut recording, "Sketchy"(2007). In the meantime, I have been touring all over the globe, forging new musical partnerships and working on new music. It's been a long time coming and I'm very excited for what I have planned.
The new record will be a trio in the classic organ-guitar-drums format and will feature two great friends and longtime musical collaborators, Jeff Parker (guitar) and Simon Lott (drums). Jeff and Simon are both incredible musicians, with broad palettes and deep musical roots.
Jeff Parker is one of my favorite guitarists. He is incredibly versatile, yet always maintains his voice no matter what kind of music he plays. Although he hails from Connecticut, he made Chicago his home for many years and established himself as one of the heavies of the Chicago music scene. He is mainly known for his work with the experimental rock band Tortoise, but has performed with Brian Blade Fellowship, Joshua Redman, Ken Vandermark and is a member of the AACM. Jeff also has a long history of backing up organ greats such as Charles Earland, Joey DeFrancesco, Larry Goldings, Sam Yahel and Chris Foreman. My history with Jeff goes back 10 years to '03 when we met through a mutual friend, Chicago drummer Ted Sirota. Jeff and I began playing together every summer at the Green Mill in Chicago for my summer homecoming gigs.
Simon Lott is one of the most unique individuals I have ever met. His drumming and stage presence lift the spirits of everyone around him. Originally from Baton Rouge, LA, Simon is one of New Orleans' great drummers. Simon's sound is very much rooted in the NOLA spirit and tradition, but he reaches far beyond. He's got an incredible groove, yet is very spontaneous and "in the moment," never content to play the same way twice. His playing credits include, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Robert Walter's 20th Congress, Charlie Hunter Trio, Nicholas Payton and many others. Simon and I have traveled all over the world together with guitarist Will Bernard. Over the years we've developed a great relationship together playing gigs, as well as hanging out in airports, train stations, cars, and other jet-lagged adventures!

For people like me who are already looking past the holidays to the wonders of January, this seems a propitious time to post the spring’s Jazz at Peace schedule. Concerts at the Danville venue are set for 5 p.m. Sundays.

January 5: Liala Smith
February 9: Kenny Washington and Marcus Shelby
March 2: Tiffany Austin and Marcus Shelby
April 6: Inga Swearingen, Anton Schwartz and Dan Feiszli
May 4: John Calloway and Clave’ Unplugged
June 1: Clairdee and Dmitri Matheny

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