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February 2019

Ralph Peterson & the Messenger Legacy

February 21 @ 7:00 pm
Kuumbwa Jazz Center, 320 Cedar St.
Santa Cruz, CA 95060 United States
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Ralph Peterson & the Messenger Legacy is an elite lineup of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers alumni members. The current lineup features Brian Lynch, Bill Pierce, Bobby Watson, Essiet Essiet, Zaccai Curtis and is led by Peterson, the last drummer chosen by Blakey to play at his side in the Jazz Messenger Two Drummer Big Band. This group of musicians seeks to preserve, protect and honor the legacy of a man who was much more than a bandleader to all of them. Said…

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Habib Koité & Bassekou Kouyate – 7:00 PM

February 22 @ 7:00 pm
Kuumbwa Jazz Center, 320 Cedar St.
Santa Cruz, CA 95060 United States
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One of Africa’s most recognized musicians, Habib Koité is a modern troubadour whose musicianship, wit and wisdom translates across cultures. Hailing from the musically prolific West African nation of Mali, the guitarist and composer has been named the biggest pop star of the region by Rolling Stone. In a collaboration that differs from any other in today’s industry, Koité will be performing with fellow Malian Bassekou Kouyate, a master of the olden lute known as the Ngoni. Kouyate’s involvement with the…

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Habib Koité & Bassekou Kouyate – 9:00 PM

February 22 @ 9:00 pm
Kuumbwa Jazz Center, 320 Cedar St.
Santa Cruz, CA 95060 United States
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One of Africa’s most recognized musicians, Habib Koité is a modern troubadour whose musicianship, wit and wisdom translates across cultures. Hailing from the musically prolific West African nation of Mali, the guitarist and composer has been named the biggest pop star of the region by Rolling Stone. In a collaboration that differs from any other in today’s industry, Koité will be performing with fellow Malian Bassekou Kouyate, a master of the olden lute known as the Ngoni. Kouyate’s involvement with the…

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Veronica Swift with the Benny Green Trio

February 25 @ 7:00 pm
Kuumbwa Jazz Center, 320 Cedar St.
Santa Cruz, CA 95060 United States
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At age 23, Veronica Swift is now being recognized around the country as one of the top young jazz singers on the scene. In the fall of 2015, she won second place at the prestigious Thelonious Monk Jazz Competition. In 2016, she was asked to perform a concert of her own at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center in New York City and was a guest artist with Michael Feinstein at Jazz at Lincoln Center. Swift’s first appearance at Jazz at…

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Etienne Charles & Creole Soul

February 28 @ 7:00 pm
Kuumbwa Jazz Center, 320 Cedar St.
Santa Cruz, CA 95060 United States
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During Carnival, the island of Trinidad becomes engulfed in a cacophony of sounds – from singing minstrels, to the clash of stick fights, and lively calypso music with its hallmark steel pan cadences. As a Trinidadian raised in a musical family, trumpeter Etienne Charles feels a deep connection to the Carnival traditions. At a young age he joined his father’s steel band, performing at Carnival fetes, and immersing himself in the folklore. Through Charles’ Guggenheim Fellowship Award, he returns to his roots…

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March 2019

Matthew Whitaker Trio

March 1 @ 7:00 pm
Kuumbwa Jazz Center, 320 Cedar St.
Santa Cruz, CA 95060 United States
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A wunderkind pianist/organist/drummer/composer/arranger born in Hackensack, NJ, Matthew Whitaker grew up surrounded by music. His love for playing music first began at the age of three, after his grandfather gave him a small keyboard. At nine, Whitaker began teaching himself the Hammond B3 organ and four years later he became the youngest artist to be endorsed by Hammond in its eighty-plus year history. In 2010, Whitaker was a winning participant in the “Child Stars of Tomorrow” competition as part of…

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Wild Iris Album Release Party with Joe Kaplow & AJ Lee

March 2 @ 8:00 pm
Kuumbwa Jazz, 320-2 Cedar St
Santa Cruz, CA 95060 United States
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Wild Iris is the culmination of efforts from Bryan Shelton and Kate Mullikin, who formed the band in the fall of 2013 after meeting at a beach side convenience store. Bryan was playing a big, black guitar and Kate started improvising a melody to compliment it. They hadn’t shared more than a few words before they were writing their next song. Bryan already had the name Wild Iris in mind and Kate dug the double meaning, evoking the image of…

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Chris Potter Circuits Trio with James Francies & Eric Harland

March 4 @ 7:00 pm
Kuumbwa Jazz Center, 320 Cedar St.
Santa Cruz, CA 95060 United States
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A world-class soloist, accomplished composer, and formidable bandleader, Grammy Award-nominated saxophonist Chris Potter has emerged as a leading light of his generation. Potter’s music showcases limitless creativity and a vibrant sense of swing, prompting critics, musicians, and fans alike to cite him as the one of the finest saxophonists today. The New Yorker calls Potter, “A tenorist who can remind you of Joe Henderson at his craftiest, he employs his considerable technique in the service of music rather than spectacle.” With his 2019 Edition…

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Joe Lovano: Trio Tapestry

March 11 @ 7:00 pm
Kuumbwa Jazz Center, 320 Cedar St.
Santa Cruz, CA 95060 United States
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Grammy Award-winning composer, saxophonist, and producer Joe Lovano makes his ECM debut with Trio Tapestry, featuring pianist Marilyn Crispell and Carmen Castaldi on drums. Longtime collaborators in various projects over the years, each member of the trio is a pillar in their respective industries: Lovano is a titan of jazz saxophone, The Guardian calls Crispell “one of the most highly regarded pianists at the sharp end of contemporary jazz,” and Castaldi is a superb percussionist in the continuing legacy of Paul Motion. With innovative new compositions Lovano calls, “some of the…

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Ladysmith Black Mambazo at the Rio Theatre

March 13 @ 7:30 pm
Rio Theatre, 1205 Soquel Ave.
Santa Cruz, CA 95062 United States
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South Africa’s Ladysmith Black Mambazo was founded in the early 1960s by Joseph Shabalala, then a teenage farmer living on the lands just outside the small town of Ladysmith, in the province of KwaZulu Natal, half way between Johannesburg and Durban. Shabalala used his hometown’s name to honor his family’s history and also added to his group’s name the word ‘black’ in reference to the black oxen, the strongest of all farm animals. ‘Mambazo’ is the Zulu word for chopping…

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Pedrito Martinez & Alfredo Rodriguez

March 14 @ 7:00 pm
Kuumbwa Jazz Center, 320 Cedar St.
Santa Cruz, CA 95060 United States
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Grammy-nominated artists Pedrito Martinez & Alfredo Rodriguez first worked together on Rodriguez’s 2012 release Invasion Parade. Since that initial recording session, they have gone on to perform together onstage as a duo, leaving audiences completely mesmerized by their fearless and virtuosic playing. Each artist brings a different approach to the collaboration. A protégé of Quincy Jones, Rodriguez was schooled in the rigorous classical conservatories of Havana and his artistry is informed as much by Bach and Stravisnky as it is…

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Dee Dee Bridgewater & the Memphis Soulphony – 7:00 PM

March 18 @ 7:00 pm
Kuumbwa Jazz Center, 320 Cedar St.
Santa Cruz, CA 95060 United States
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The story of Dee Dee Bridgewater‘s stunning new album, Memphis…Yes, I’m Ready, begins in that city, where she was born at Collins Chapel Hospital, located not far from where the album was recorded at Producer Willie Mitchell’s historic Royal Studios.  Bridgewater’s father, a trumpet player also affectionately known as “Matt the Platter Cat” was a DJ at WDIA, the top Memphis radio station.  Even when the family moved to Flint, Michigan, as a young girl Bridgewater would listen to the…

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Dee Dee Bridgewater & the Memphis Soulphony – 9:00 PM

March 18 @ 9:00 pm
Kuumbwa Jazz Center, 320 Cedar St.
Santa Cruz, CA 95060 United States
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The story of Dee Dee Bridgewater‘s stunning new album, Memphis…Yes, I’m Ready, begins in that city, where she was born at Collins Chapel Hospital, located not far from where the album was recorded at Producer Willie Mitchell’s historic Royal Studios.  Bridgewater’s father, a trumpet player also affectionately known as “Matt the Platter Cat” was a DJ at WDIA, the top Memphis radio station.  Even when the family moved to Flint, Michigan, as a young girl Bridgewater would listen to the…

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Live & Local: Ashwin Batish – Sitar Power

March 21 @ 7:00 pm
Kuumbwa Jazz Center, 320 Cedar St.
Santa Cruz, CA 95060 United States
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Ashwin Batish is an extraordinary sitarist and tabla player. He received training in the North Indian classical tradition from his father, S.D. Batish, and later created his own unique fusion of Indian classical sitar with pop, rock, jazz, calypso, funk. He is famous for such songs as the “Bombay Boogie”, “Raga Rock”, “Raga Jazz”, “Casbah Shuffle” and “Sitar Mania”. His pioneering efforts in worldbeat music have earned him critical reviews and great respect in the music community. $26.25/Advance $31.50/Door | All Ages…

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