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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.

May 2019

Mads Tolling & the Mads Men with Spencer Day

May 23 @ 7:00 pm
Kuumbwa Jazz Center, 320 Cedar St.
Santa Cruz, CA 95060 United States
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Internationally renowned violinist, composer, and two-time Grammy Award-winner Mads Tolling is celebrating the music of the 1960s “Mad Men” era with his own distinctive style and innovative flair. It is a fun and exciting program that is at once nostalgic as well as contemporary. So how did a Danish classical violin student growing up in Copenhagen in the 1980s discover his passion for American music of the 1960s? When Tolling was fourteen, his father gave him a Miles Davis cassette tape that…

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UCSC Jazz Ensembles

May 30 @ 7:00 pm
Kuumbwa Jazz Center, 320 Cedar St.
Santa Cruz, CA 95060 United States
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UCSC Director of Jazz Studies professor Karlton Hester will showcase students from his classes. These UCSC Jazz Ensembles will perform composed arrangements as well as their own arrangements of jazz standards and original compositions. Past concerts have included works from composers such as John Coltrane, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Charles Mingus, Wayne Shorter, Horace Silver, Don Grolnick, and many more. This evening will feature the UCSC Large Jazz Ensemble. In an effort to promote and perpetuate the indigenous American form of music…

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June 2019

Ralph Towner: Solo

June 2 @ 7:00 pm
Kuumbwa Jazz Center, 320 Cedar St.
Santa Cruz, CA 95060 United States
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After critically-lauded projects with trumpeter Paolo Fresu and with fellow guitarists Wolfgang Muthspiel and Slava Grigoryan, Ralph Towner returns to solo guitar for My Foolish Heart. Whether on classical guitar or 12-string guitar Towner’s touch is immediately identifiable. Solo music is an important thread through his rich discography and this latest album – recorded at Lugano’s Auditorio Stelio Molo RSI in February 2016 and produced by Manfred Eicher – follows in the great tradition of Diary, Solo Concert, Ana, Anthem,…

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Judy Carmichael with Larry Koonse

June 3 @ 7:00 pm
Kuumbwa Jazz Center, 320 Cedar St.
Santa Cruz, CA 95060 United States
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Described by The New York Times as “…astounding, flawless, captivating…” Grammy nominated pianist Judy Carmichael is one of the world’s leading interpreters of stride piano and swing. Count Basie nicknamed her “Stride”, acknowledging the command with which she plays this technically and physically demanding jazz piano style. Carmichael’s latest album, I Love Being Here With You, is her first vocal album, exploring her love of witty lyrics, ballads and Broadway standards. Carmichael will be joined by guitarist Larry Koonse on…

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Remy Le Boeuf’s Light as a Word

June 6 @ 7:00 pm
Kuumbwa Jazz Center, 320 Cedar St.
Santa Cruz, CA 95060 United States
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Saxophonist and composer Remy Le Boeuf has performed and had his works featured throughout North America, Europe, and Asia.  Known for his integration of jazz, classical, and indie-rock genres, Le Boeuf has received many of today’s most prestigious honors and awards for composition and performance. While envisioning his approach to composition and improvisation as never veering far from the roots of language, Le Boeuf often employs literary elements to fuel his compositions. Born and raised in the Santa Cruz area and…

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Jazzmeia Horn

June 10 @ 7:00 pm
Kuumbwa Jazz Center, 320 Cedar St.
Santa Cruz, CA 95060 United States
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Grammy-nominated vocalist Jazzmeia Horn has a name that speaks for itself, capturing her very essence. Since winning the Thelonious Monk Competition in 2015, Horn’s star has continued to rise, along with her reputation as an artist with an assured maturity and a vocal confidence far beyond her years. JazzTimes exclaims that her “vivacity, imagination, gutsiness and sociopolitical savvy echo the likes of Carter and Abbey Lincoln. Simply put, she is as exciting a discovery as Cécile McLorin Salvant or Gregory Porter.” Her debut album, A…

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Tia Fuller Quartet

June 13 @ 7:00 pm
Kuumbwa Jazz Center, 320 Cedar St.
Santa Cruz, CA 95060 United States
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When Tia Fuller picks up her saxophone to play, something amazing happens as the reverberations of her musical elixir fill the room. Balancing both worlds of performance and education, it is understood why this touring artist and full-time professor was selected to be a member of the all-female band touring with Beyoncé. As part of the I AM..Sasha Fierce and Beyoncé Experience World Tour promoting the superstar’s albums, Fuller has played in various venues throughout the US, Europe, Africa, Asia…

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Sona Jobarteh

June 14 @ 7:00 pm
Kuumbwa Jazz Center, 320 Cedar St.
Santa Cruz, CA 95060 United States
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Sona Jobarteh is the first female Kora virtuoso to come from a prestigious west African Griot family. Breaking away from tradition, she is a modern-day pioneer in an ancient, male-dominated hereditary tradition that has been exclusively handed down from father to son for the past seven centuries. Also a lecturer, composer, and multi-instrumentalist, Jobarteh is one of the most exciting new talents from the West African Griot tradition to hit the stage in recent years. She has an effortless ability to blend…

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An Evening with Raul Midón & Lionel Loueke

June 17 @ 7:00 pm
Kuumbwa Jazz Center, 320 Cedar St.
Santa Cruz, CA 95060 United States
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Genre-bending icons Raul Midón and Lionel Loueke join forces to present a special night of song and guitar wizardry. The revered instrumentalists and vocalists will perform sets of original material in an evening that will culminate in an unforgettable jam. Heralded as a “one-man band who turns a guitar into an orchestra and his voice into a chorus,” Midón has collaborated with such heroes as Herbie Hancock, Stevie Wonder, Jason Mraz, Queen Latifah and Snoop Dogg. Blind since birth, Midón produced-engineered…

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Cécile McLorin Salvant & Sullivan Fortner – 7:00 PM

June 21 @ 7:00 pm
Kuumbwa Jazz Center, 320 Cedar St.
Santa Cruz, CA 95060 United States
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SOLD OUT! The world first learned of the incredible vocal artistry of Cécile McLorin Salvant when she won the prestigious 2010 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition. In just under the span of a decade she has evolved from a darling of jazz critics and fans, to a multi-Grammy Award winner, to a prescient and fearless voice in music today. Her newest release, The Window – a Grammy-winning album of duets with pianist Sullivan Fortner – explores and extends the tradition…

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Cécile McLorin Salvant & Sullivan Fortner – 9:00 PM

June 21 @ 9:00 pm
Kuumbwa Jazz Center, 320 Cedar St.
Santa Cruz, CA 95060 United States
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The world first learned of the incredible vocal artistry of Cécile McLorin Salvant when she won the prestigious 2010 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition. In just under the span of a decade she has evolved from a darling of jazz critics and fans, to a multi-Grammy Award winner, to a prescient and fearless voice in music today. Her newest release, The Window – a Grammy-winning album of duets with pianist Sullivan Fortner – explores and extends the tradition of the…

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Eric Alexander Quartet with Special Guest Eric Reed

June 24 @ 7:00 pm
Kuumbwa Jazz Center, 320 Cedar St.
Santa Cruz, CA 95060 United States
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Boasting a warm, finely burnished tone and a robust melodic and harmonic imagination, tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander has been exploring new musical worlds from the outset. He started out on piano as a six-year-old, took up clarinet at nine, switched to alto sax when he was twelve, and converted to tenor when jazz became his obsession during his one year at the University of Indiana, Bloomington. At William Paterson College in New Jersey he advanced his studies under the tutelage…

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Kuumbwa Summer Jazz Camp Concert

June 27 @ 7:00 pm
Kuumbwa Jazz Center, 320 Cedar St.
Santa Cruz, CA 95060 United States
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Kuumbwa’s Summer Jazz Camp is an annual day camp for students 12-18 years old who are interested in learning to play jazz. Students receive both one-on-one and group instruction and the camp focuses on live performance, basic improvisation, theory, soloing concepts/phrasing, along with jazz history and appreciation. Daily classes are held in the VAPA complex at Cabrillo College, with this final day performance on the Kuumbwa Jazz Center stage. FREE | All Ages Doors beginning at 6:00 PM Kuumbwa Jazz Camp Website

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Kuumbwa Jazz & Santa Cruz Shakespeare Present: A Winter’s Tale Remix

June 28 @ 7:30 pm
Kuumbwa Jazz Center, 320 Cedar St.
Santa Cruz, CA 95060 United States
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A co-presentation by Kuumbwa Jazz and Santa Cruz Shakespeare, A Winter’s Tale Remix is a melding of theatre and jazz. In this production, Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale receives a reimagining by Santa Cruz Shakespeare actor Tommy Gomez and the Le Boeuf Brothers, an acclaimed jazz ensemble with local roots. This co-presentation supports the nonprofit education programs of both Santa Cruz Shakespeare and Kuumbwa Jazz. $42/Advance $47.25/Door | All Ages (5% City of Santa Cruz Admission Tax included, service charge not included)…

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Kuumbwa Jazz & Santa Cruz Shakespeare Present: A Winter’s Tale Remix

June 29 @ 7:30 pm
Kuumbwa Jazz Center, 320 Cedar St.
Santa Cruz, CA 95060 United States
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A co-presentation by Kuumbwa Jazz and Santa Cruz Shakespeare, A Winter’s Tale Remix is a melding of theatre and jazz. In this production, Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale receives a reimagining by Santa Cruz Shakespeare actor Tommy Gomez and the Le Boeuf Brothers, an acclaimed jazz ensemble with local roots. This co-presentation supports the nonprofit education programs of both Santa Cruz Shakespeare and Kuumbwa Jazz. $42/Advance $47.25/Door | All Ages (5% City of Santa Cruz Admission Tax included, service charge not included)…

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July 2019

Kenny Werner & Gregoire Maret – Between a Smile and a Tear: A Tribute to Toots Thielemans

July 1 @ 7:00 pm
Kuumbwa Jazz Center, 320 Cedar St.
Santa Cruz, CA 95060 United States
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Between a Smile and a Tear is a heartfelt celebration of the influential Belgian harmonica player Toots Thielemans. Revisiting Thielemans legacy in this project are his longtime pianist Kenny Werner and Gregoire Maret, Thielemans heir-apparent in the world of jazz harmonica. Werner and Maret bring their own sensibilities to Thieleman’s oeuvre, while never losing sight of his influence and impact. $31.50/Advance $36.75/Door | All Ages (5% City of Santa Cruz Admission Tax included, service charge not included) Doors & Dinner Beginning at 6:00 PM Sponsored…

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Master Class: Gary Meek – Music & Motion

July 10 @ 7:00 pm
Kuumbwa Jazz Center, 320 Cedar St.
Santa Cruz, CA 95060 United States
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Acclaimed local saxophonist Gary Meek presents an instructional master class of techniques and methods titled Music & Motion: Getting Yourself Out Of The Way. Meek will be joined by bassist Dan Robbins and drummer Skylar Campbell. This class will focus primarily on Meek’s philosophy of playing, learning, and teaching he received from his twenty-plus years of study with Phil Sobel. Sobel Studied with Henry Lindeman, a great teacher in New York in the 30s and 40s. Charlie Parker also studied…

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Acoustic Alchemy – 7:00 PM

July 11 @ 7:00 pm
Kuumbwa Jazz Center, 320 Cedar St.
Santa Cruz, CA 95060 United States
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Acoustic Alchemy have spent thirty years making music together. In that time they have not only received critical acclaim for their albums (including three Grammy nominations), but have built a reputation for being one of the most exciting live bands in the business. For the last decade, the band lineup has featured Greg Carmichael on nylon guitar, Miles Gilderdale on steel string acoustic & electric guitars, Fred White on keyboards and the powerhouse rhythm section of Greg Grainger on drums and his brother Gary Grainger on bass. Since 1987, Acoustic Alchemy…

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Acoustic Alchemy – 9:00 PM

July 11 @ 9:00 pm
Kuumbwa Jazz Center, 320 Cedar St.
Santa Cruz, CA 95060 United States
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Acoustic Alchemy have spent thirty years making music together. In that time they have not only received critical acclaim for their albums (including three Grammy nominations), but have built a reputation for being one of the most exciting live bands in the business. For the last decade, the band lineup has featured Greg Carmichael on nylon guitar, Miles Gilderdale on steel string acoustic & electric guitars, Fred White on keyboards and the powerhouse rhythm section of Greg Grainger on drums and his brother Gary Grainger on bass. Since 1987, Acoustic Alchemy…

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Caminos Flamencos with Yaelisa & El Rubio

July 12 @ 7:00 pm
Kuumbwa Jazz Center, 320 Cedar St.
Santa Cruz, CA 95060 United States
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In the vanguard of the nuevo flamenco movement, Caminos Flamencos co-founders Yaelisa and Jason “El Rubio” McGuire have dedicated themselves to the presentation of traditional and contemporary flamenco music and dance. Yaelisa is an Emmy award-winning choreographer and dancer, and the recipient of a NEA Choreography Fellowship. El Rubio is internationally respected as one of the top flamenco guitarists playing today. Absolutely riveting in their intensity, Caminos Flamencos performances are a high-octane combination of music and dance. $26.25/Advance $31.50/Door | All Ages…

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John Hanrahan Quartet: A Tribute to Wayne Shorter

July 18 @ 7:00 pm
Kuumbwa Jazz Center, 320 Cedar St.
Santa Cruz, CA 95060 United States
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Many Central Coast jazz fans will recognize the John Hanrahan Quartet from their breakout performance at the 2014 Monterey Jazz Festival, where they paid tribute to John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme, which is widely considered one of the greatest jazz recordings of all time. The Chicago Tribute wrote of the tribute that “the Hanrahan Quartet embrace, honor, and nurture a masterpiece.” Now the quartet turns it gaze towards another one of the most icons figures in jazz with their Tribute to Wayne Shorter. If any…

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