Jazz Alley

In 2010, Kuumbwa Jazz turned 35, and marked the occasion by teaming up with the Santa Cruz City Redevelopment Agency and Arts Commission to envision Jazz Alley, a 80-foot-by-12-foot mural depicting five famous jazz artists.

The musicians chosen have been regular visitors to Kuumbwa Jazz over our 35-year history and include bassist Christian McBride, guitarist John Scofield, violinist Regina Carter, trumpet player Roy Hargrove, and singer Betty Carter. Kuumbwa Artistic Director Tim Jackson commented, “We wanted the artists to be ethnically and gender diverse, but, really more than that, the most important thing was that they had significance with Kuumbwa. And, in each of these cases, we consider these particular individuals part of our family at Kuumbwa. With the exception of Betty Carter, who was already an established star when we started and who died in 1998, we felt we kind of grew up with these artists.”

The mural was painted in 19 days by Santa Cruz artist Marvin Plummer. Plummer’s two tone painting style was adopted from the famed 40s & 50s Blue Note jazz album covers that were printed in the duo-tone style. To give people a sense of the time it took to complete the mural from start to finish, Plummer created this six-minute time-lapsed video of the entire process.

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