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Palo Alto Weekly

Arts & Entertainment - April 20, 2012

Jazz for the ages

Stanford Jazz marks its 40th-anniversary season

by Rebecca Wallace

In its 40th year, the Stanford Jazz Workshop keeps spanning the decades. The coming festival season, announced this week, includes artists old and new: from tributes to Satchmo and Sinatra to a concert by the new quartet Vertical Voices Live.

About 100 artists are set to perform in 38 concerts. Preview shows launch the summer with San Francisco singer Kitty Margolis on June 17 at the Oshman Family Jewish Community Center, and the SJW Faculty All-Stars on June 21 at the Stanford Shopping Center. The festival runs June 22 through Aug. 4 at Stanford University, with concerts, talks, jazz camp and jams.

Founder Jim Nadel still heads the workshop and festival. "It started as a gathering of friends at the Stanford Coffee House," he said in a press release. "We would invite local musicians for jam sessions and then sit up late into the night sharing ideas about the music we loved."

New acts this summer include Vertical Voices Live, which grew out of the 2010 album "Vertical Voices: The Music of Maria Schneider." The recording combined the multi-tracked voices of Julia Dollison and Kerry Marsh with the rhythm section of American composer and bandleader Schneider. When the two wanted to perform live, they enlisted friends Jennifer Barnes and Greg Jasperse to help create a vocal quartet, according to the group's website.

Now the four singers perform "wordless vocal, new composition, improvisation" and other works in addition to the album. Their Stanford Jazz concert is set for July 19 in Dinkelspiel Auditorium.

Other young voices include frequent Norah Jones opening act Sasha Dobson and Los Angeles singer Gretchen Parlato, sharing the bill on Aug. 1.

More established performers include drummer Peter Erskine, who played with the Stan Kenton Orchestra and will join the Ray Brown Great Big Band in a tribute to Kenton on July 1. Fellow drummer Roy Haynes, who has had a career of more than 60 years, performs July 14.

Tribute concerts will include a July 28 gig with trombonist Wycliffe Gordon, who pays homage to Louis Armstrong. Kenny Washington croons away to honor Sinatra on July 8.

Bassist Ruth Davies brings back her popular blues night with harmonica player Charlie Musselwhite on July 17.

For a full schedule and ticket prices, go to http://stanfordjazz.org or call 650-736-0324.


Posted by Ronnie, a resident of Midtown
on Apr 18, 2012 at 4:00 pm

Gretchen Parlato is absolutely amazing! Should be a great show.

Posted by Retired Teacher, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 19, 2012 at 6:57 am

Don't miss Taylor Eigsti, who blew audiences away at Filoli when he was sixteen, and Dina DeRose, who delivers songs like nobody else.