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Kuumbwa Jazz Center

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320 Cedar St.
Santa Cruz, CA 95060 United States
831-427-2227 www.kuumbwajazz.org

“We’re so happy to be here. Kuumbwa is one of the mainstays… one of the greater reservoirs of creativity.”
– Christian Scott, trumpeter Ninety Miles, 8/22/11

Kuumbwa Jazz has grown from its small beginnings to one of the most highly respected jazz-presenting institutions in the country, attracting artists of national and international renown. We present over 120 concerts per year at our intimate 200-seat venue, plus concerts at the Rio Theatre and Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium.

Since 1975, our nonprofit arts organization has presented the full spectrum of jazz, preserving the history and legacy of this unique art form. Our jazz education programs include: Summer Jazz Camp for grades 8–12, Kuumbwa Jazz Honor Band, Master Class Series, Artist-in-Residence Program and Artist in the Schools Program. Since 1983, our education programs have reached thousands of residents of all ages in Santa Cruz County.

January 2019

Martin Taylor

January 17 @ 7:00 pm
Kuumbwa Jazz Center, 320 Cedar St.
Santa Cruz, CA 95060 United States
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Recognized as the world’s foremost exponent of solo jazz guitar playing, British-born Martin Taylor has enjoyed a musical career spanning over thirty years. A child prodigy who began to play at the age of four, Taylor’s self-taught style was inspired by gypsy guitar great Django Reinhardt, as well as pianists Art Tatum and Bill Evans. Despite his connection to the great Reinhardt, he has developed a solo guitar style that is uniquely his own through his melding of influences including Chet Atkins,…

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Sheila Jordan with Cameron Brown

January 21 @ 7:00 pm
Kuumbwa Jazz Center, 320 Cedar St.
Santa Cruz, CA 95060 United States
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Vocalist and NEA Jazz Master Sheila Jordan – who reaches the tender age of 90 in November of 2018 – and bassist Cameron Brown join together to take listeners on a musical adventure of scatting, balladry, sung poetry, improvised lyrics, and more. The duo format has been Jordan’s favorite form of musical expression during her musical life and extraordinary career. $31.50/Advance $36.75/Door | All Ages (5% City of Santa Cruz Admission Tax included, service charge not included) 1/2 Price for Students at the Door…

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André Mehmari Trio

January 24 @ 7:00 pm
Kuumbwa Jazz Center, 320 Cedar St.
Santa Cruz, CA 95060 United States
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Award-winning pianist and composer André Mehmari traces the evolution of Brazilian musical identity through its crucial transformations, beginning with the birth of choro in the 19th century, the flowering of new forms in the 20th century, and today’s stylings. Among the composers celebrated in this journey are Ernesto Nazareth, Pixinguinha, Radamés Gnatalli, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Hermeto Pascoal, and Edu Lobo. Mehmari’s trio on this concert date features bassist Neymar Dias and drummer Sergio Reze. $26.25/Advance $31.50/Door | All Ages (5% City of Santa…

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Bill Frisell: When You Wish Upon A Star – 7:00 PM

January 25 @ 7:00 pm
Kuumbwa Jazz Center, 320 Cedar St.
Santa Cruz, CA 95060 United States
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Rolling Stone calls revered guitarist, composer and Grammy-winner Bill Frisell “…a genuine guitar hero and a major influence on generations of six-stringers that you worship.”  The New York Times proclaims “it’s hard to find a more fruitful meditation on American music than in the compositions of guitarist Bill Frisell.” The guitarist’s When You Wish Upon a Star project features the group from his Grammy-nominated album of his arrangements/adaptations of music for film and television, with Petra Haden on vocals, Thomas Morgan on bass and Rudy Royston on…

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Bill Frisell: When You Wish Upon A Star – 9:00 PM

January 25 @ 9:00 pm
Kuumbwa Jazz Center, 320 Cedar St.
Santa Cruz, CA 95060 United States
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Rolling Stone calls revered guitarist, composer and Grammy-winner Bill Frisell “…a genuine guitar hero and a major influence on generations of six-stringers that you worship.”  The New York Times proclaims “it’s hard to find a more fruitful meditation on American music than in the compositions of guitarist Bill Frisell.” The guitarist’s When You Wish Upon a Star project features the group from his Grammy-nominated album of his arrangements/adaptations of music for film and television, with Petra Haden on vocals, Thomas Morgan on bass and Rudy Royston on…

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Peter Bernstein, Larry Goldings & Bill Stewart Trio

January 28 @ 7:00 pm
Kuumbwa Jazz Center, 320 Cedar St.
Santa Cruz, CA 95060 United States
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Guitarist Peter Bernstein, organist Larry Goldings, and drummer Bill Stewart make up one of the best jazz organ trios of the past two decades. The respect the musicians have for one another comes through in the subtle and intricate manner of their musical conversation on stage. Indeed, you can hear them listening to each other. Drawing mainly on jazz standards, and a few original pieces, they re-imagine the organ jazz trio in a quiet, sensual, and grooving presentation. $31.50/Advance $36.75/Door…

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Hot Club Of San Francisco

January 31 @ 7:00 pm
Kuumbwa Jazz Center, 320 Cedar St.
Santa Cruz, CA 95060 United States
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Led by ace guitarist Paul Mehling, the Hot Club Of San Francisco is one of the Bay Area’s great musical treasures. Mehling started the band by coaching some of his favorite local musicians on how to play the gypsy jazz style and blending it with the classic swinging jazz styles of New York City’s 52nd Street.  Since its inception, the Hot Club of San Francisco has had a “swing or die” approach that’s ingratiated itself with fans across many genres. On this concert date…

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February 2019

Ben Wendel Seasons Band

February 4 @ 7:00 pm
Kuumbwa Jazz Center, 320 Cedar St.
Santa Cruz, CA 95060 United States
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In 2015, Grammy nominated and award-winning saxophonist, bassoonist, composer Ben Wendel released a music-video art project entitled The Seasons – inspired by a set of twelve piano pieces written and released each month by one of his favorite classical composers, Tchaikovsky, in 1876. Wendel’s modern take on the idea was to compose and release twelve original jazz chamber duets in video format with modern luminaries such as Joshua Redman, Aaron Parks, Gilad Hekselman, Eric Harland, Matt Brewer, Julian Lage, Ambrose…

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Leyla McCalla

February 7 @ 7:00 pm
Kuumbwa Jazz Center, 320 Cedar St.
Santa Cruz, CA 95060 United States
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The Capitalist Blues is Leyla McCalla‘s way of processing the current political environment. “It feels like everyone’s in a pressure cooker in this country,” she says. The album is McCalla’s third, after Vari-Colored Songs: A Tribute to Langston Hughes and A Day for the Hunter, A Day for the Prey. Those albums and her time as a member of The Carolina Chocolate Drops presented her vision in songs that revealed the realities that people lived. She explored Haitian Creole identity issues in songs…

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The Rad Trads

February 11 @ 7:00 pm
Kuumbwa Jazz Center, 320 Cedar St.
Santa Cruz, CA 95060 United States
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Currently touring in anticipation of their second full-length album “On Tap,” New York City’s The Rad Trads are winning over audiences, gaining loyal fans, and defying classification. They’ve been described as “Wilco at the Circus”, “The Band meets Miles Davis”, and “the greatest band you’ve never heard of.” Few can pin down their unique blend of indie rock, Americana, and soul. On Tap showcases a singular sound that reveals an exciting possibility: this band is ready to etch their names into…

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Tuck & Patti

February 14 @ 7:30 pm
Kuumbwa Jazz Center, 320 Cedar St.
Santa Cruz, CA 95060 United States
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For forty years this unique, genre-crossing vocal/guitar jazz duo has cast its passionate musical spell worldwide, capturing the hearts of lovers, the respect of jazz buffs and the jaw-dropping awe of guitarists and singers. To understand Tuck & Patti, start with the wellspring of love within them, then their music begins to make perfect sense. Married thirty-seven years, Tuck Andress and Patti Cathcart continue to stoke the fires, not only of their own love, but also of their love of…

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The Bad Plus

February 18 @ 7:00 pm
Kuumbwa Jazz Center, 320 Cedar St.
Santa Cruz, CA 95060 United States
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The Bad Plus came together at the end of the 20th century and has avoided easy categorization ever since, winning critical hosannas and a legion of fans worldwide with their creativity, unique sound and flair for live performance. The intensely collaborative trio has constantly searched for rules to break and boundaries to cross, bridging genres and techniques while exploring the infinite possibilities of three exceptional musicians working in perfect sync. The band consists of founding members Reid Anderson (bass) and Dave…

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