Jazz Notes, September/October 2013


Coming in January

Kuumbwa Jazz will introduce a new improved online service for our members. You will be able to view and manage your tickets to concerts, your donations and much more. Stay tuned for more details on this easy and convenient new service!

Sign-up to Audition for the 2013-14 Kuumbwa Jazz Honor Band!

Qualifying high school students are invited to audition for the 2013-14 Kuumbwa Jazz Honor Band; audition dates are posted on the KJ website.  We welcome Eddie Mendenhall as this year’s band director. A noted pianist, composer and jazz educator, Eddie is an alumnus of the Monterey Jazz Festival High School All–Star Band and a graduate of Berklee College of Music in Boston. He will be assisted by tenor saxophonist Dillon Baiocchi. Dillon has participated in Kuumbwa’s education programs since 2005 – culminating in his  winning a spot in the Kuumbwa Jazz Honor Band. Now with his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from The New School in New York City, Dillon teaches band programs in middle and high schools in Santa Cruz County. Sign-ups and details posted online at: kuumbwajazz.org/education/honor-band.


Jazz Camp Wrap-Up

Our 2013 annual summer Jazz Camp was held from June 17 – 27 on the campus of Cabrillo College. The 61 participants, ages 12 – 18, represented 27 public, charter, and private schools throughout Santa Cruz County and beyond. Santa Cruz County music educators and professional musicians Steve Wilson and Terrel Eaton led the camp. Assisting were rhythm coaches Bill Bosch, Robert Mahoney, Zack Olsen, and Gino Raugi. India Velasquez led the vocal ensemble with assistance from Emily Intersimone on piano. Jazz Camp concluded with a standing-room-only concert at Kuumbwa Jazz Center attended by enthusiastic family, friends, and community supporters. Thank you to all the business and community members that supported this year’s camp: Appenrodt Commercial Properties, Cabrillo College, Hamilton Swift and Associates, Inc, Patti and Brian Herman, Carolyn Hyatt, Erik and Judy Johnson, Newman’s Own Foundation, Pacific Cookie Company, Michele Rivard, and Jennifer Walker of RPM Mortgage.


Kuumbwa Profile: Stefanie Wolf

“It’s such a great place.”

Stefanie Wolf has a passion for DIY, the ‘do-it-yourself’ work ethic; she can show you how to repair your bike, sew your own clothes, or even play a tuba. She acknowledges, “I love working with my hands and showing people how to do things for themselves.” Here at Kuumbwa Jazz Center, on any given concert night, you are more likely to find her standing behind the counter at Café Kuumbwa serving up food to concert goers. “A friend of mine – who was already volunteer – got me interested in volunteering at Kuumbwa. That was in 2007,” she says. “At first, I was hanging concert flyers and helping out with concert preparation. From there, I worked in the bar and in the “pit” (dishwashing), but I really enjoy working at the café counter the most. I’ve learned a lot from Cheryl (Kuumbwa Chef Cheryl Simons), and everyone is so sweet here. It’s such a great place.”

Born and raised in Mountain View, California, Wolf grew up in a family that appreciated art and music. Her father had played trumpet in his younger days. “My parents had a large record collection and that’s where I first heard jazz,” she remembers. As a teenager, Stefanie was involved in middle school and high school music programs. She played the tuba, the sousaphone, and also studied voice. She also enjoyed playing the trombone in her school’s jazz ensemble.  Even after entering UCSC as a history major, Stefanie continued to stay active in music, performing in UCSC’s Wind Ensemble and singing in the Latin American Ensemble. “I was also working at KZSC, the school’s radio station,” she says. “That was where I really learned a lot about jazz. It was a great experience.” Currently, she is headed back to school to study for a master’s degree in social work, focusing on mental health therapy.

When not teaching people how to fix bikes at the Bike Church Tool Cooperative, or how to sew at Fabrica, a sewing cooperative, Stefanie is an avid bicyclist. She has done three long distance bike tours in recent years, including a ride from Santa Cruz to New Orleans; another ride in the Sierra Nevada mountain range; and, last summer, a tour from El Paso, Texas, up into Montana on the Continental Divide. “It’s great to get away and enjoy nature,” she enthuses. “Bike tours can be physically challenging, but they’re also a lot of fun.” As for musical highlights, Stefanie remembers vocalist extraordinaire Kim Nalley as the first performer she heard at Kuumbwa. Concerts by Joshua Redman and Stanley Clarke are standout favorites among the many jazz artists she has heard, too. “I love it when the audiences are really engaged in the music. Stanley Clarke’s concert was like that. The audience was hanging on every note. That’s what makes Kuumbwa so special.” – Kurt Brinkmeyer

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