Posts Tagged ‘Point of View’

Returning Home: A Conversation with Donny McCaslin

January 31, 2017

Though saxophonist Donny McCaslin made his name in the jazz world after moving to New York, he still has fond memories of growing up in the greater Santa Cruz area, where he cultivated his musical foundation. He recalls traveling over the hill to San Jose to participate in summer workshops, of sitting in with the late Smith Dobson at Garden City, then a South Bay hotbed for jazz. Back in Santa Cruz, he recalls watching …

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SJZ Fall Concert Series Preview: Mariachi Flor de Toloache

October 25, 2016

San Jose Jazz closes out its first Fall Concert Series with an SJZ Boom Box performance by Mariachi Flor de Toloache as part of La Ultima Parada, a day-long Dia de Los Muertos celebration at Mexican Heritage Plaza. Like Rudresh Mahanthappa and Rez Abbasi, Mariachi Flor de Toloache represents a new musical vision of an old tradition, one in pursuit of a more open mariachi sound that incorporates elements of bachata, jazz, pop and soul. …

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Rudresh Mahanthappa: Bird Calls Engages and Challenges

October 19, 2016

Over a two-set, nearly two-hour show, alto saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa and his quintet showed why they may be one of the best live bands on the national jazz scene today. Spurred on by the ever-changing rhythms of chameleon drummer Dan Weiss, the band showed themselves immensely capable of transforming mood and melody at a beat’s notice. Such quick changes showcased how deep these musicians listen to each other, as anything on the bandstand seemed likely to dissolve …

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Summer Jazz Camp: I Discovered the Possibilites

June 19, 2015

Four years ago, when I attended the 2011 San Jose Jazz Summer Camp at Archbishop Mitty High School, I was one of the few guitarists at camp who knew the major and natural minor scales; accordingly, I was assigned to the New York Big Band and the best combo in the camp — a memory that never fails to amuse me. Out of all my memories at Jazz Camp, there are a few that stand out in …

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Spring 2015: What’s On Deck for Progressions

February 1, 2015

Progressions students and staff been hard at work these past few months. The fall semester culminated with a full house Nucleo performance on Saturday, December 6 at Santee Elementary School featuring 125 proud Progressions students. The intermediate band played the entire version of The Sky and Jingle Bells, our beginning band gave their first ever public performance, our 2nd and 3rd grade singers sang Hip-Hop Reindeer, a cool holiday tune that got the crowd on …

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Notes from the Classroom (and Beyond)

September 24, 2014

Progressions Director Julie Rinard periodically shares her student interactions with us, as part of the San Jose Jazz blog. In this update, she summarizes the vision behind Progressions, and shares the newly-kindled musical interest of one of her new students, Francisco. Many of the kids we work with come from unspeakably grim home environments and have shared difficult life stories that most of us would not allow ourselves to fully imagine. Amidst these challenges, many …

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Progressions in Focus: “When You Know Me by Name”

September 4, 2014

Progressions Director Julie Rinard periodically shares her student interactions with us, as part of the San Jose Jazz blog. In this update, she recalls how introducing two students helped to finally resolve an ongoing conflict. A male student from Success Academy has a trumpet that his father gave him. He is proud of that instrument and guards it with his life, so when a student from Santee kicked it the second day of camp, he …

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Progressions in Focus: Just When You Think You Have Someone Figured Out

September 4, 2014

Progressions Director Julie Rinard periodically shares stories about interactions with her students, which we post on our blog. Below, Julie recounts the program finally getting through to a troublemaker. Jesus is a kid who knows how to get under your skin. He is intransigent, an odd mix of apparent apathy and a bully. Throughout the entire 2014 spring semester at Santee Elementary School, Jesus was a daily distraction in brass class and his instrument teacher …

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Recap: Inaugural Progressions Nucleo at Santee Elementary

May 14, 2014

In this guest post, Progressions Director Julie Rinard recaps what students from our three Progressions schools experienced in their first “nucleo,” a community event that brought our programs together for a morning of cultural expression and collaboration. Below, she recaps the excitement that ensued. Saturday, May 3, 2014, 9:18 am – I expected to be the first one to arrive for the inaugural Progressions Nucleo as I approached the Santee Elementary School parking lot Saturday morning. To my …

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Eye on the Scene: Ren Geisick

May 14, 2014

Photo Credit: Carrillo + Decoux For our periodic blog series Eye on the Scene, we take a closer look at some of the local artists helping make an impact on our jazz community. Our newest addition: Ren Geisick, a powerful vocal presence who is using her jazz chops to illuminate songs from a number of styles in fascinating ways. As she mentions in her interview, emotion is at the core of her work. It shows in her …

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