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Brews, Jazz & Funk: Funky fresh fest at Palisades Tahoe

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Monophonics.

Prepare to get funky fresh at one of the best local dance parties of the summer.

At Brews, Jazz & Funk on Aug. 12, festival-goers can sip on an array of tasty beers from 10 breweries spread throughout the Village at Palisades Tahoe while enjoying an amazing lineup of live music by ALO, Monophonics and Sal’s Greenhouse. All proceeds from the event benefit the Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe.

Led by the guitar wizardry of Dan “Lebo” Lebowitz, ALO is a California rock band that encompasses so much more. Born from 90s childhood friendships in Saratoga and honed at the University of California at Santa Barbara, this band’s music is adventurous, untamed and bursting with love, freedom and community. Throughout their 30-year vision quest, ALO somehow finds a way to feel crisp, yet classic as the quartet of friends searches for special magic in every performance.

Sal’s Greenhouse is a lively collective formed out of Oakland in 2010. Their vibe is fundamentally funk-driven and incorporates soul, rock and R&B to create a sound uniquely their own. Their upbeat, catchy EP, “Bloom,” came out in 2020. They’re led by vocalist and baritone saxophonist Sally Green.

“We feel an expectation to put on a great live show. We love what we’re doing out there and we want people to be a part of it. Expect a lot of love. I’m sure it will be a beautiful day and good vibes.”
–Kelly Finnigan

“We’re a fun, high-energy, feel-good, dance band,” says Green. “I really enjoy having women empowerment shine through in my writing, too. I talk a lot about being confident.”

Green discovered the baritone sax after her alto was stolen during freshman year of high school. She was bombing her auditions at summer music camp on a junky loaner, until a camp counselor found her a decent bari to try.

“I fell in love with it,” she says. “I love how powerful it is. It’s a huge instrument, so I feel like such a badass playing it. The vibrations you feel are almost indescribable. It’s deep, heavy and strong.”

Bay Area psychedelic soul sextet Monophonics is fronted by lead singer and keyboardist Kelly Finnigan. He joined the band in 2011 after growing up in a musical family in Los Angeles. His father, Mike Finnigan, was a professional keyboardist who played on Jimi Hendrix’s third and final studio album, “Electric Ladyland.”

Monophonics’ music puts a juicy spin on classic R&B, gospel, Motown and soul.

“A lot of that stuff is still so new and fresh,” says Finnegan. “We pay homage to a sound that represents the best of it.”

Their 2022 album “Sage Motel” was inspired by the imaginary world created by Finnigan based on a retro motel in Oakland.

“I used to drive by it all the time,” says Finnegan. “I kept wondering, ‘What’s happening inside those walls?’ It’s about all the lives behind those closed doors. Inside each room, someone is going through something. It might be good or it might be bad. That’s intriguing to me as a storyteller. It felt like an interesting path to go down and it unfolded into bigger story and concept.”

All three bands are excited to return to the Village at Palisades for what’s sure to be a dance party for the ages.

“The audience should expect energy,” says Finnegan. “They should get ready to be involved. People pay to come to these performances; we believe we owe them something for their hard-earned money and time. We feel an expectation to put on a great live show. We love what we’re doing out there and we want people to be a part of it. Expect a lot of love. I’m sure it will be a beautiful day and good vibes.” | palisadestahoe.com

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Free jazz and heritage festival expands in Rock Island

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Polyrhythms is collaborating with the MLK Center, Rock Island Parks & Recreation, and Rock Island County NAACP to combine the annual “Family Fun Day” with the 9th annual Bill Bell Jazz & Heritage Festival.

This free event (Aug. 18-20) will feature former Bill Bell student and subsequent Arsenio Hall music director Michael Wolff, as the festival headliner, on Sunday.

Pianist Michael Wolff, a former student of Bill Bell, will perform for free at Rivermont Collegiate in Bettendorf on Sunday, Aug. 20.

The festival is held Aug. 18 and 19 at MLK Park, Rock Island, and Aug. 20 at Rivermont Collegiate, Bettendorf. Friday, Aug. 18, will feature live music from 5 to 10 p.m., and a Black authors book forum.

On Saturday, Aug. 19th, the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center invites you to participate in its Family Fun Day Parade which begins at Frances Willard Elementary School (25th Avenue and 9th Street, Rock Island) at 10 a.m., and proceeds north on 9th Street, ending at the MLK Center and Park on 7th Avenue. You can ride bikes, build a float, decorate your vehicle or just walk.

That day’s activities include opening ceremonies at 12:30 p.m., the Pulling Focus Film Festival at 3 p.m., and live music with C.J. Parker at 7 p.m., and the Matt Fuller Band at 8:45 p.m.

In 2014, Polyrhythms — searching for an event that celebrates the history, uniqueness and diversity of our neighborhoods while inspiring pride and belonging to our community — chose to model the new jazz and heritage festival after the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, an annual celebration of local music and culture.

East Moline native Bill Bell, known as “The Jazz Professor” died in 2017.

It was later named the Bill Bell Jazz & Heritage Festival after Bell (1936-2017), the East Moline native, jazz pianist and Bay Area professor.

“We are constantly reminded by how deeply our lives are affected by music and how it affects our diverse cultures,” says a Polyrhythms release on the event. “It is an essential aspect of all civilizations and has the power to emotionally, morally, and culturally affect society. When people from one culture exchange music with another culture, they gain valuable insights into another way of life that bridges a divide in communications.”

People often feel that “no one understands them” or knows how they “truly feel.” Many resort to music or recreation to find connections with others to express themselves and discover a sense of understanding others, the release says.

It has been said of Bill Bell, that he “inspired and encouraged not only through his tremendous musical gifts, but also through the strength of his character,” David Berson said in the Polyrhythms release. “He felt very strongly about the well-being of others and saw music as uplifting. He saw potential in students where others did not and inspired his students to be the very best they could be.”

The Family Fun Day will be Friday and Saturday, Aug. 18-19 at MLK Park at 630 9th St., Rock Island (mlkcenter.org).

The addition of the MLK Family Fun Day parade and community block party, the NAACP’s invitation for organizations to host an informational booth, along with jumpy houses, children’ s activities, food, merchandise and book vendors, means the MLK Center doubles down on its emphasis on family fun in a continued effort to provide activities that lead to an epic experience for all, the release says.

The music on Sunday, Aug. 20, will be at Rivermont Collegiate’s Becherer Hall Auditorium, 1821 Sunset Drive, Bettendorf.

The lineup includes:

  • 3:30 p.m.: Steve Grismore on guitar and Edgar Crockett on trumpet.
  • 5-6 p.m.: Kuchina Trio with James Culver, drums; Corey Kendrick, piano, and Andy Crawford, bass.
  • 6:45- 8 p.m.: Michael Wolff, piano; Saul Lubaroff, saxophone; Frank Russell, bass, and Mike Clark, drums.

All events are free. For more information on the festival, visit the MLK Center website HERE.

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Melissa Etheridge at L.L. Bean, plus a folk trio and indie-…

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The Ladles. Photo by Noel Woodford

The Ladles
8 p.m. Saturday. One Longfellow Square, 181 State St., Portland, $20 in advance, $25 at the door. onelongfellowsquare.com
Roots and folk trio The Ladles is fiddler/singer Lucia Pontoniere, guitarist/singer Katie Martucci and banjoist/singer Caroline Kuhnwith. The band was formed five years ago when they met and bonded at the New England Conservatory of Music’s Contemporary Improvisation program. Much of their quarantine time in 2020 was spent making the album “Springville Sessions,” which was recorded in Springville, New York, and released in 2021. Dense with three-part harmonies, the album checks boxes in pop, jazz and folk, with songs like “Cruisin’” and “Pages.” Singer-songwriter and Mainer Louisa Stancioff opens the show.

Melissa Etheridge. Photo by Myriam Santos

Melissa Etheridge
7:30 p.m. Saturday. Discovery Park at L.L. Bean, Freeport. llbean.com
Sixteen albums into a recording career that started in 1988 with a self-titled album, home to “Similar Features” and “Bring Me Some Water,” Melissa Etheridge has been a steadfast live performer. Hits include “Come to My Window” and “I’m The Only One,” and you haven’t lived until you’ve heard the fire-breathing live version of “Like the Way I Do,” which shows off Etheridge’s astounding guitar and vocal chops. Here’s a chance to see her live for free under the pines at L.L. Bean’s Discovery Park.

Sadie the dog and Griff Washburn (AKA Goth Babe). Photo by Ian Durkin

Goth Babe
8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug 8. State Theatre, 609 Congress St., Portland, $27.50 in advance, $35 day of show, $127.50 VIP meet & greet. statetheatreportland.com
Goth Babe is the moniker of indie-pop creator Griff Washburn, who lives on a sailboat in California with his dog, Sadie. His tunes, including the latest tracks “Bioluminescence” and “Alone in the Mountains,” are multi-layered, high-energy songs that will likely get the rafters rattling at the State Theatre. Both are from the forthcoming album “Lola,” due out in the fall. Mainer turned Californian Zach Hurd, who performs as Bay Ledges, will open the show. His tune “Safe” caught fire in 2016 and racked up just under 25 million streams on Spotify.


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Ryan Smith Recaps UFC 291, Promotes Power Of ‘New Utah’

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SALT LAKE CITY – Utah Jazz and Real Salt Lake owner Ryan Smith spoke to the media after UFC 291 to discuss the event, the future of mixed martial arts, and other sporting events in the Beehive State.

UFC 291

UFC 291 took place at the Delta Center in Salt Lake City, Utah on Saturday, July 30.

It was the second Ultimate Fighting Championship event to take place at the arena in 11 months. UFC 278 in August 2022 was the first UFC pay-per-view in the state’s history.

Less than a year later, Smith and Dana White set up what proved to be a sequel just as good.

Ryan Smith talks UFC in Utah

Following the event, the Jazz owner talked about the fight night and UFC’s future in Utah.

“We’re already talking about next year,” Smith said during his press conference following the fights.

The Jazz owner talked about his organization’s partnership with the UFC and some of the reasons why Utah is appealing for the MMA league.

“I think you’ve got the fastest-growing state in the country.  I think you’ve got the youngest state in the country and it’s been that way for a few years. I mean, it’s what brings me to want to go do what we’re doing in sports and our partnership with UFC. I think we’re both all in on trying to improve,” Smith said. “I think you look from the card standpoint and I mean, the last two years, there’s not going through the motions. I mean, we’re literally working to have an amazing event here and hopefully like the staple of the summer.”

RELATED: Members Of Utah Jazz, Celebrities Attend UFC 291 At Delta Center

Smith also discussed the future of the UFC in Utah.

“We’re taking it year by year but I was just talking to folks about next year, what we can improve on, how we go bigger. I think at the numbers that’ll come out, they’re significantly better than last year,” Smith said. “As you’re coming into a market, you know, people can start putting it on the calendar, they know. Everyone who was here is gonna go tell their friends, right? And you start to see that and you know, we have a lot of people come in from out of town as well. I mean, if you look at the proximity to the airport, how we’re here. It’s just easy. Utah is easy and it just works.”

Ryan Smith on “New Utah”

During his press conference, Smith also talked about the work his company, Smith Entertainment Group, has done since acquiring majority ownership of the Jazz in 2020.

“If you look at SEG and what we’ve done, we’re two years, two and a half years in taking over the Jazz. Obviously the arena, we brought the Delta Center back. I think it’s the first time in sports we’re actually able to bring the naming back. Karl [Malone] was here tonight. He walks in, he’s like ‘Holy cow, it just feels different,” right?” the Jazz owner said. “We just launched a media company to go wall-to-wall in the state of Utah so what, three-point-something million people have access to games. It’s the first in the NBA, the first thing like it. We’re going direct-to-consumer as well. We’re gonna sign a deal to go outside of the state because we’re, you know, 30 minutes from Wyoming and Idaho and there’s a lot of people from there that came down to see the fight.”

Smith continued to speak bullishly on the Beehive State and the power of “New Utah.”

“As you start to look at the power of how to activate this new Utah, and when it comes together, I think All-Star Game was the first time it all came together and everyone’s like ‘Whoa, this is what it looks like,’ since the Olympics maybe,” Smith stated. “If you go fast forward, there’s events like this where it came together. You look at the Olympics coming back, it’s coming together and I think people are realizing like what the power of this place is. So hockey’s on the radar. You know, I think we could walk in on Day One and have an incredible presence. So, I’m excited. Obviously, I’m in the business. So it’s fun.”

No dates have been set for another UFC event in Utah. In the meantime, Smith will continue his push to land an NHL franchise and evangelize others on his home state.

Kyle Ireland is a Sports Producer and Locals in the NFL Insider for KSLSports.com. He’s also co-host of the Yards After College Podcast. Follow him on X/Twitter (@kyleireland), Instagram (@kyleirelandksl), and Threads (@kyleirelandksl).

Download the new & improved KSL Sports app from Utah’s sports leader. You can stream live radio, video and stay up to date on all of your favorite teams.



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JOMO Jammin’ Music Festival wraps up with jazz show | KSNF/…

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JOPLIN, Mo. — The “JOMO Jammin’ Music Festival” by Connect2Culture wraps up this evening.

It’s safe to say it’s been a successful comeback after each show saw over one hundred in attendance.

These concerts were brought back this year after the pandemic and while the Harry M. Cornell Arts and Entertainment Complex was being built.

Tonight, Connect2Culture offered quite the jazz show at the Beshore Performance Hall inside the Harry M. Cornell Arts and Entertainment Complex.

Guests were treated to live music from JOMO Jazz and NWA Jazz and More Orchestra.

“We’ve seen a lot more families enjoying this. They bring out their blankets, they have the kids running around, rolling down the hill in the back and just having a great time as a family. We’re kind of growing in this space and we want people to take a part in it and kind of create the culture of the venue,” said Emily Frankoski, Connect2Culture Executive Director.

Good news – the shows will be back again sometime next year.

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82nd birthday bash for jazz legend Bra – Gilly

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POLOKWANE- Seshego Big Six Jazz Club on Saturday celebrated with jazz legend Gilbert Bra-Gilly Malotane.

The celebration was part of Bra-Gilly 82nd birthday celebrations, which included artists such as Ricky, Rupert Harris and Charlie Bass.

Seshego Big Six Jazz Club Chico Mojapeo said as the Seshego Big Six Jazz Club, they decided to honour Bra-Gilly as a jazz legend.

Jazz legend Gilbert ‘Bra-Gilly’ Malotane during his 82nd birthday.

“He is a legend on the saxophone and gone are the days where we only celebrate legends when they are gone. We should celebrate them while they are still alive. That is why we decided to spend the occasion with him.”

He said Bra-Gilly played a significant role in the upbringing of many young jazz artists in the city, and that they would like to see local jazz clubs unite.

Rupert Harris on the keyboard.

“We want to organise a mother body of jazz clubs so that we preach jazz. All the legends in and around Polokwane must be honoured, they have played a significant role in bringing jazz alive. One thing we like about Bra-Gilly is that he opened a music school where he teaches young people music free of charge.”

Seshego Big Six Jazz secretary Ronny Bra-Ronny Masenya said the club was humbled by their experience with Bra-Gilly.

Charlie Bass.

“Most jazz lovers in and around Polokwane grew up under him. His legacy will live on and he will be remembered for his huge contribution to the music. We are calling all jazz clubs and jazz collectors to come to enjoy the jazz and fusion. We want to bring the people of Polokwane together under one roof, to enjoy themselves and showcase what amazing talent Polokwane has to offer. We want to help people connect through music,” said Masenya.

Malotane said he felt honoured, and supports the club by all means possible.

Ricky plays the saxophone.

“What Seshego Bix Six Jazz Club did is a historical event and I appreciate it. I am proud of this jazz club.”

Reflecting on his career, he said he believes that music chose him.

“When I started playing at school, I played the penny whistle when I was nine years old after my cousin bought me one. I have been struggling these past years, and even turned down an offer or two because I want to stay in Limpopo.”

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Jazz performances return to Columbus Zoo

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An audience watches Kelly Delaveris sing with the Columbus Jazz Orchestra at the Columbus Zoo on July 21.

Gary Budzak | The Gazette

POWELL — For the first time since the pandemic, jazz concerts have returned to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.

On hiatus since 2019, the four-concert “JazZoo” series featuring the Columbus Jazz Orchestra returned on July 14. Spokeswoman Kendal Smith told The Gazette excitement has been building in the community for the performances since the announcement was made in April.

The CJO is the flagship performing ensemble of the nonprofit organization Jazz Arts Group of Columbus, whose mission over the past 50 years has been to promote and educate others about America’s classical music.

“What we’re doing is saving lives with the power of music,” said trumpeter and conductor Byron Stripling.

Although the CJO is based in Columbus, several of the 16 people in the band live in Delaware and surrounding counties.

The Gazette attended the July 21 concert, whose format was similar to the remaining two shows. The concerts are played outdoors next to the Scioto River.

A couple of tunes are played by the big band before Stripling gets introduced to some of the zoo’s various creatures by their handlers in a humorous yet educational manner. At this particular show, he met a screech owl, an armadillo and a tortoise.

There’s an intermission and a raffle for zoo/waterpark passes and CJO passes for upcoming shows in the Southern Theatre, where Stripling pulls the winner’s names from out of a hat.

Often, there are local guest artists who perform with the CJO. In this case, it was “Sisters of Swing” Rachel Azbell (who said she was fulfilling a life-long dream with her appearance), Kelly Crum Delaveris (who has sung with the band for 40 years), and Sydney McSweeney (a graduate of Otterbein University).

“This is the talent you have in Columbus,” Stripling said after the applause at one point during the concert.

The repertoire ranged from swing (“Sweet Georgia Brown,” “Our Love is Here to Say” and “Sing, Sing, Sing”) to the songbook (“Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” “S’wonderful” and “Sunny Side of the Street”) to standards (“Honeysuckle Rose,” “I’ve Got a Crush on You,” “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend,” and “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” in honor of Tony Bennett, who had died earlier that day) to surprises (“Old McDonald Had a Farm” and “The Girl from Ipanema” partly sung in Portuguese) to the blues (“The Thrill is Gone” and “Blue as I Can Be”) and spirituals (“His Eye is on the Sparrow” and “Get Happy”), all with stunning solos from the brass and woodwinds.

There will be two more JazZoo shows this summer. First is “The Great American Songbook” with piano men Bobby Floyd and Dave Powers on Aug. 4. Last is “Jazz meets Tap” with singer Phil Clark and dancer Leo Manzari on Aug. 11. Gates open at 6:15 p.m., and the concerts start at 8 p.m.

For tickets or more information, visit columbuszoo.org or call the zoo at 614-724-3485.

Assistant Editor Gary Budzak covers the eastern half of Delaware County and surrounding areas. He may be reached at the above email address.

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WPSU Jazz Archive – July 28, 2023

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An archive recording of the WPSU Jazz Show as broadcast on July 28, 2023 and hosted by Greg Petersen. The show features a presentation of a live concert from our Jazz @ the Palmer series. The featured artist is the late Arthur Goldstein and his Quartet, and it recorded at Palmer Museum of Art in September 2017.

The musicians in the group are:
Arthur Goldstein – piano and vocals
Steve Bowman on saxophone
Jim Robinson playing bass
Bass Kevin Lowe on drums

This concert was supported in part by Friends of Palmer Museum and Fred and Judy Sears. It was recorded and produced by Craig Johnson. Special thanks to Joyce Robinson from the Palmer.

The last half-hour of the broadcast features music by Tony Bennett who passed away last week at age 96.



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Hip-hop star Big Daddy Kane headlines San Jose Jazz Summer …

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It’s Big Daddy Kane time.

The Golden Age of Hip-Hop icon — who is unquestionably one of the greatest and most influential rappers of all time — is set to perform at San Jose Jazz Summer Fest 2023.

He will help the festival celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Hip-Hop as he headlines the Sobrato Organization Main Stage on Aug. 11.

Big Daddy Kane, whose many accolades and achievements include a number of gold-certified recordings and a Grammy Award, will be performing with a full band at the festival.

His set will draw from a catalog that includes such influential ’80s and ’90s albums as “Long Live the Kane,” “It’s a Big Daddy Thing,” “Taste of Chocolate” and “Daddy’s Home.” And fans will most certainly be looking to hear such well-known songs as “Groove With It,” “Ain’t No Half Steppin’” and “Smooth Operator.”

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