Chick Corea still going strong at 73

August 7, 2014 | Wallace Baine | Santa Cruz Sentinel With his latest band the Vigil, the great jazz master still chasing musical adventures At 73, it is inevitable that Chick Corea would be moving ever higher on the forever shifting list of Greatest Living Jazz Musicians. Of course, such a definitive list doesn’t exist, […]

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One of Africa’s greatest living singers, Angelique Kidjo, pays homage to the female spirit in ‘Eve

June 11, 2014   | Wallace Bain | Santa Cruz Sentinel One of Africa’s greatest living singers pays homage to the female spirit in ‘Eve’ The name of Angelique Kidjo’s latest album is “Eve,” and that tells you a lot about the enormous vision of the most ambitious African recording artist alive today. On a personal […]

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Crash Course

June 24, 2014   | Brian Palmer | Good Times New Carolina Chocolate Drops lineup gets a baptism by fire Change is inevitable, especially in bands. Members come and go—it simply comes with the territory. Hubby Jenkins—who plays the guitar, mandolin, banjo and bones for the Carolina Chocolate Drops—knows this all too well, as he joined […]

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High Spirits

June 18, 2014| Brian Palmer | Good Times Angélique Kidjo is a legend in the world-music scene. The passionate singer and dancer has released a dozen albums, including this year’s Eve, won numerous international awards and honorary degrees, and had her music featured in mainstream films and TV shows. Her uplifting and empowering songs have […]

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Angélique Kidjo interview on

June 7, 2014 5:00AM ET | Angélique Kidjo talks to Stephanie Sy The singer’s latest album, ‘Eve,’ is inspired by the suffering she’s seen on her continent, in Darfur’™s refugee camps. Angélique Kidjo performs Thursday, June 19 at the Rio Theatre in Santa Cruz, California. Stephanie Sy: You were well educated as a child. How […]

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Mandolinist merges Brazilian past and present

By Angela Zonunpari | Sunday, May 25, 2014 | The Post and Courier When Brazilian mandolinist Danilo Brito recorded his first album in 1998, he wasn’t sure whether he would have a future as a professional musician. After all, not many 13-year-olds know what they want to do when they grow up. Even at that […]

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Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn share love for the banjo and passion to innovate

May 13, 2014   | Wallace Baine  | Santa Cruz Sentinel When: Saturday, 8 p.m. Where: The Rio Theatre, 1205 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz Tickets: $35 general; $50 Gold Circle Details: Undoubtedly, the banjo would be a more obscure instrument without Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn. The husband/wife pair haven’t made many waves yet as […]

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Photo by John Davisson/Invision/AP. ( John Davisson )

Review: Branford Marsalis Quartet delivers knockout punch

March 29, 2014   | Richard Scheinen | Mercury News SANTA CRUZ — As the Branford Marsalis Quartet opened its late show Monday at the Kuumbwa Jazz Center, drummer Justin Faulkner jabbed like a boxer. Hook. Uppercut. Jab, jab, jab. The band’s music was raw and rumbling, almost violent — but played with such scarifying control […]

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Ray Brown “Jazz Hero”

Ray Brown “Jazz Hero” Presentation Kuumbwa Jazz Center (April 22, 2014, Santa Cruz, California)  For the past several years, the Jazz Journalists Association, an international group of media professionals working to advance the legacy of jazz music through journalistic endeavors, has honored local “Jazz Heroes” during the month of April – which is also Jazz […]

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B-3 Obsession

Tuesday, 4 February 2014   | Rich Scheinin  | San Jose Mercury News It’s the sound of Jimmy Smith’s “The Sermon” and Santana’s “Soul Sacrifice” — the sound of the Hammond B-3 organ, powerful like a pipe organ. It’s as big as a casket, and weighing in at 425 pounds, it’s not easy to schlep around. “I’m […]

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