Whale & Jazz Festival
Gualala Arts Festival Concert
"Spanning the Decades"
...from Frank Jackson to Jeff Oster
& from Monk to Vuk to Jekabson
Gualala Arts Center
Saturday, April 2, 2011
Gualala Arts Festival Concert 2011, "Spanning the Decades" ...from Frank Jackson to Jeff Oster & from Monk to Vuk to Jekabson.
This unusual and entertaining concert will showcase a continuum of classic and innovative musical inspirations and jazz expressions created over recent decades.
SF veteran, Frank Jackson, an acknowledged "living legend" of the renowned after-hours Fillmore district's Jimbo's Bop City, was the house pianist during that club's halcyon years of the 1940s and '50s, when every history-making jazz icon played there.
Jackson will reminisce, sing and play some Nat King Cole favorites and will then be joined by the younger vocalist, Jeff Oster, for the "Art of Scat." Both are authentic scat masters and should tear up the house together with their inventive vocal, be-bop ad libs. Oster can legitimately be compared to his idols, Jon Hendricks and Mel Torme with his sensational phrasing, exquisite tone and imaginative riffing.
The concert will include an instrumental tribute to Thelonious Monk presenting some of his most lofty and sublime compositions written for the women in his life; works such as the very beautiful "Ruby, my Dear." The beloved and atmospheric Monk masterpiece, "Round Midnight" will also be featured.
Yugoslavian born, Larry Vuckovich's Eastern European-flavored Blue Balkan originals will be performed by such young and accomplished master musicians as Christian Tamburr, vibes; Evan Price, violin and Erik Jekabson, trumpet. The pieces illuminate Vuckovich's love for indigenous musical forms intertwined with an unmistakable jazz core.
Trumpeter, Erik Jekabson's brilliant cascading originals will be highlighted. He will premiere his brand-new original written in honor of the northern California Coast, in response to Jekabson's acclaimed and provocative piece "Gualala", introduced at last year's stellar Gualala Arts' Whale & Jazz Festival Concert.
The taut and crackling, first-class rhythm section of Jeff Chambers, bass and Chuck McPherson, drums will deeply propel the evening's concert to further musical heights.
This night promises to be another Gualala Arts Whale & Jazz concert of historic proportions and is certainly not to be missed.
Buy tickets online,
or call 800-838-3006; $28 advance, $5 more day of event. No-host bar, appetizer buffet.
Frank Jackson, piano, vocals
Legendary Bay Area Giant of Jazz, Frank J. Jackson has long been recognized as a brilliant jazz pianist and vocalist, standup vocalist, bandleader, producer, recording artist and composer. For more than 60 years, Frank has been serving up his impeccable, elegant piano style, smooth warm vocals and unique phrasing. Frank Jackson's place in San Francisco jazz history is solidified even more forcibly, as he is prominently featured in "Harlem of the West," the recent best-selling history of the Fillmore Street Jazz era of the 1940s and 1950s, with an exhibit revolving around the book, which was on display at SF PALM, Jazz Heritage Center, and African Museum in LA. Frank composed the music for KQED's 2007 documentary, "The War: Bay Area Stories," which aired September 2007. Frank Jackson, recent honoree of SF Fillmore Jazz Heritage Pioneer Award and Public Radio Lifetime Achievement by four public radio stations, has heard it all, sung it all and met them all. He has performed with and for the greats: Lionel Hampton, Duke Ellington, Ben Webster, Charlie Bird Parker, John Coltrane, Lester Young, Chet Baker, just to name a few.
Born in 1925 in Cleburne, Texas, and living in San Francisco since 1942, Frank Jackson, one of the Bay Area Giants of Jazz, is a traditional jazz musician and one of the most accomplished interpreters of the Great American Songbook. He is a consummate entertainer, able to fulfill practically any request with his astonishing knowledge of the ranging from the Tin Pan Alley to theme songs from "Star Trek" and "Being Green." Looking for obscure standards, you'll find them amongst Frank's impressive repertoire. Frank's live performances are high energy & audience pleasing.
Frank's music is swinging at any tempo. His versatility ranges from up tempo, ballads, blues, Latin and instrumentals. His piano playing recalls the minimalism of Count Basie, the lushness of Duke Ellington, the two-handed melodic sound of Erroll Garner, and sheer virtuosity of Bud Powell. Frank is by no means an imitator. He has formed his own, individual conception of how jazz is to be played. His cheerful personality is contagious, possessing a joy of life that is obvious on the bandstand or off. What has truly earned the respect and admiration of musicians and music lovers alike is Frank's one-of-a-kind interpretations and delicious vocal renderings of the great standards. His vocals are suave, elegant, formidable, articulate, and are among the most respected in jazz.
Jeff Oster, jazz vocalist
Jeff Walter Oster was born February 17, 1951 in San Francisco, California. His jazz roots run deep. Coming from a musical family, Oster has been singing and playing trumpet since he was eight years old. His parents were both performers, his mother a big band vocalist and his father a jazz composer, arranger, music educator and multi-instrumentalist. His uncle Otto played trombone in the Las Vegas show bands for more than 40 years. Oster has been lead vocalist and has played trumpet, flugelhorn, and flute with several bands in the San Francisco Bay Area over the years.
After taking a long, (nearly twenty-year), break from the music scene to raise his family, Oster has returned to performing jazz. Since his return, he has performed exclusively as a vocalist, featured with the Peter Welker Sextet. "I feel so fortunate to be in the company of so many wonderful musicians. The guys in the band are always world class. I'm having a gas! I feel right at home", says the beaming Oster.
Oster uses his voice like an instrument, as evidenced by his unique scat style. "I approach the melody and scatting as if I were playing it on the horn. In regards to the melody or chorus of a given song, I always want to make sure the words (of the story) are clearly understood. Being predominately a 'note' guy for so long, I've made great efforts to enunciate and communicate the lyric. It's always been a tug-of-war between words and music for me, and a bit of a challenge at times. But, hey, it's JAZZ and I'm having fun! What a high! There's nothing like it."
Oster released his first CD, Shining Hour, in June 2009 on the Jazzed Media label. It was a project he and trumpeter, arranger, and producer Peter Welker artfully crafted, along with a group of musicians known as "The Oster/Welker Jazz Alliance." Oster says, "I dedicated this album to my wonderful wife Sherri. Without her encouragement, I would not have hooked up with Peter and as a result of that partnership, enter into the most fulfilling jazz experience of my life!"
Oster's biggest influences have been Mel Torme for his light, smooth treatments of the melody; Jon Hendrix for his red-hot bebop; Sarah Vaughan for her incredible tonal flexibility and range; Peter Welker, John Coltrane, Lee Morgan, and Bill Evans for their innovative outside jazz stylizations; and Woody Herman's big bands of the '60s for their driving SWING!
Erik Jekabson, trumpet
Erik Jekabson is a trumpet player and composer whose music draws from many different sources, but remains firmly rooted in the "third-stream" explorative west coast tradition. A Berkeley, California native, his music has been shaped by his time spent studying at the Oberlin Conservatory, playing professionally in New Orleans (1994-98), New York (1998-2003) and San Francisco (2003-2010), and by his recent completion of graduate studies in classical composition at the San Francisco Conservatory in 2006.
Erik has toured with John Mayer, Illinois Jacquet, the Woody Herman Big Band and the jam-band Galactic, and has composed for film and dance projects. His solo album Intersection was released in the fall of 2003 by the Fresh Sound / New Talent label and recordings of two of his other projects, Vista: the Arrival and New World Funk Ensemble are also widely available.
Erik has recorded as a sideman on over 25 other jazz recordings, as well as recording on movie and video game soundtracks, and has self-published 32 Jazz Duets for Trumpet: Beginning, Intermediate and Advanced. He currently leads his own ensembles in the Bay Area, and has performed with them at the DeYoung Museum, Jazz at Pearl's, Pacifica Performances, the Downtown Berkeley Jazz Festival, the Jazzschool, and the Red Poppy Art House. He has also appeared with other groups at the San Jose Festival, San Francisco Jazz Festival, Monterey Jazz Festival, North Beach Jazz Festival and Redwood Coast Whale & Jazz Festival.
Erik maintains a busy schedule as a freelance musician in addition to his teaching jobs and often performs with local Bay Area musicians such as Marcus Shelby, Larry Vuckovich, Lavay Smith, and the Jazz Mafia. Erik is currently teaching at The Jazzschool, Berkeley City College, Chabot College, Cal State East Bay, Los Medanos College, Diablo Valley College and has taught clinics at Santa Rosa Junior College and Loyola College in New Orleans, as well as teaching at Jazzcamp West, the Stanford Jazz Workshop, and the Lafayette Summer Jazz Workshop.
Jekabson was co-leader of last year's Whale & Jazz
Gualala Arts Festival Concert with Bay Area Composers Jazz Ensembles & Orchestra, and performed an original piece orchestrated for the band called "Gualala."
Christian Tamburr, vibes
Christian Tamburr is a multi-instrumentalist, accomplished on the piano and trapset as well as world and orchestral percussion. However, his true talent is exhibited on his instrument of choice, the vibraphone. Confirmed in May of 2001 when, in their annual poll of collegiate musicians, Downbeat Magazine awarded him "Outstanding Solo Jazz Performer." Christian is currently the leader of the critically acclaimed Christian Tamburr Quartet, a four-piece acoustic jazz group. After a year and a half of touring around the world, Christian just returned home from working as Musical Director and Pianist for Latin Vocal Legend Julio Iglesias. For the past year Christian has been under contract with Cirque du Soleil as musical director for a brand new production.
Christian first started performing jazz at the age of 14, now 29, he has since had the opportunity to work with many jazz legends including Ira Sullivan, Kenny Barron, Clark Terry, James Moody, Benny Green, Bucky Pizarelli, Kevin Mahogany, Nicolas Payton, Art Van Damm, Slide Hampton, Bob Mintzer, Milt Hilton, Dick Hyman, Bob Haggart, Mark Murphy, Eric Marienthal, Marcus Printup, and Bunky Green to name a few.
Christian has performed as a guest artist with Dave Brubeck, as a solo percussionist with Michael Feinstein, and opened for Harry Connick, Jr.
Over the past 6 years Christian and his quartet have performed at such venues as Lincoln Center in New York City, The Blue Note and numerous Jazz Festivals (Atlanta, North Sea, Jacksonville, Harrington, New Jersey, Cocoa Beach) and the Ravinia Jazz Residence in Chicago. In 2008 the quartet traveled to Japan for a 3-week tour, performing at festivals and clubs throughout the country. In March of 2009, the Christian Tamburr Quartet was featured on the Millennium Stage at the prestigious Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington DC.
In December of 2005 Christian and bassist Elisa Pruett were hired to play for NBA legend Michael Jordan in Charlotte, NC. While in residency at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas as a member of the Noel Friedline Quintet, Christian was hired to perform for Julia Roberts at her highly publicized, surprise birthday party in New York City in 2002. In winter of 2006, Christian's first album "Move" was released as a part of a Starbucks Gift Set available around the country.
In February of 2007, Christian joined Latin vocal star Julio Iglesias performing as his featured pianist and shares as musical director. Although rooted in jazz, Christian's ability to be diverse in the music industry has allowed him to be successful in multiple genres of performance and recording. The world tour has included stops throughout the US, Mexico, Argentina, Paraguay, Dominican Republic, Portugal, Sweden, Latvia, Lithuania, France, Spain, and Monaco, South Africa... just to name a few.
Christian works as a producer, arranger, and writer for many groups of all styles around the country. Famed magicians Penn and Teller hired Christian to write and teach them music for their stage show in Las Vegas. Off the stage, Christian also works as a clinician, teaching high school and college students all around the country. Clinics vary from working with jazz big bands, small groups, and improvisation, to percussion technique for mallets in the concert or marching idiom. Christian is endorsed by Receptor Muse, Pro-mark sticks and mallets, and plays exclusively Musser vibraphones.
Evan Price, violin
Evan Price grew up playing folk, blues and traditional jazz while studying classical violin. At the age of nine, Price began performing in this native Detroit - everything from strolling gypsy violinist to a Renaissance court piper.
By the time Evan left for college, he had played with virtually every jazz, blues and string band in Detroit, as well as working in the city's top musicals. He has since performed with some of the masters of fiddle lore: Stephane Grappelli, Johnny Frigo, Claude "Fiddler" Williams, Johnny Gimble, Mark O'Connor, Buddy Spicher, Vassar Clements, and Alasdair Fraser, as well as a diverse array of pop icons from Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page and Robert Plant to comedian Steven Wright. As a competitive fiddler, Evan has been the U.S. Scottish Fiddling Champion, the Kentucky State Fiddle Champion, Canadian Junior Fiddle Champion, and Canadian Novelty Fiddling Champion.
Evan has studied the violin with Linda Cerone at the Cleveland Institute and with Matt Glaser at the Berklee College of Music, and has served as a member of the music department faculty at Wellesley College. Since joining TISQ in May 1997, his playing has been featuring on three TISQ recordings: The Hamburg Concert, Art of the Groove, and Danzón. In addition to his work with TISQ, Evan is an active performer with other Bay Area groups, most notably the Hot Club of San Francisco, a gypsy swing band with whom he recorded the CD, Clair de Lune.
Larry Vuckovich, piano
Yugoslavian-born, West Coast based jazz pianist Larry Vuckovich has recorded two highly successful CDs celebrating the film noir genre. His current CD, High Wall: Real Life Film Noir (2008), and Street Scene (2006), both recorded on his Tetrachord Music label, have placed in the Top 10 of the national JazzWeek charts. Street Scene hit #1 on XM Satellite Radio for six weeks. His interview with Marian McPartland on her Piano Jazz show was heard in May 2008 on NPR affiliated stations. The show was recorded during his successful 2007 East Coast tour that included a concert at Lincoln Center's Dizzy's Club Coca Cola.
A highly versatile jazz pianist, Larry has performed with top musicians from various jazz influences, including Anita O'Day, Joe Williams, Helen Humes, Cab Calloway, Red Norvo, Don Byas, Charlie Haden, Bobby Hutcherson, Larry Grenadier, Tom Harrell, and Charles McPherson. Accompanist for vocalist / lyricist Jon Hendricks for many years, Larry has appeared at major festivals and clubs in the U.S., Canada, and Europe.
While in Europe, Larry met and toured with Dexter Gordon and Philly Joe Jones. In the late '60s, he led the house trio for one of Germany's top jazz clubs, The Domicile, in Munich, where he backed such greats as Slide Hampton, Lucky Thompson, Pony Poindexter and Clifford Jordan. He returned to San Francisco and became house pianist at the famous Keystone Korner from 1978 until its closing in 1983, working with Arnett Cobb, Buddy Tate, Charles McPherson, Leon Thomas, and Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson.
Larry moved to New York in the 1980s. He appeared at major jazz clubs, including Village Vanguard, Blue Note, Bradley's, Zinno's, West End, and Hanratty's, working with Billy Higgins, Cecil Payne, Al Cohn, Curtis Fuller, Milt Hinton, and Mel Lewis and received top reviews from the New York Times, the Village Voice and The New Yorker. Jon S. Wilson of the New York Times praised Larry for "bringing with him an outlook and a collection of influences that set him apart from most pianists who are heard regularly in New York."
Larry now lives in Calistoga, in the wine country north of San Francisco with his wife and co-producer, singer-percussionist Sanna Craig. He performs and records on his Tetrachord Music label with a variety of combos, including the Young at Heart band and the Blue Balkan ensemble (whose CD was selected among the top jazz CDs for 2002 by Gary Giddins in the Village Voice.) He has performed at all major jazz clubs and venues in the Bay Area.
Jeff Chambers, upright bass
A talented and versatile bassist, Jeff Chambers is known for his impeccable timing, dynamic rhythms and improvisational dexterity. Chambers' musical style is both lyrical and playful. With his distinct touch, smooth sound and innovative sensibility he travels the vast tradition of rhythm-fueled bass playing, skillfully referencing his predecessors while exploring new musical territory.
Chambers masterfully breaks the conventionally accepted boundaries of his instrument and forges new melodic possibilities. According to San Francisco Chronicle music critic Phil Elwood, Jeff Chambers "makes playing upright bass look and sound so easy with his rhythmic sense and melodic vocabulary."
Chambers' facility to play both acoustic and electric bass allows him to express himself fluidly in a variety of idioms, including Bebop, Funk, Latin, Blues, Reggae and Fusion. In any genre, Jeff Chambers is an improvisational master.
"When I am playing music I have one destination, but many routes. It doesn't matter which one I choose; there are many ways to go. The musicians are listening to one another. I can walk with them; then I can venture off, saying 'I'm going this way. I'll meet you down the path.' Sometimes one is a leader, then another. We switch up. The path is clearer if I close my eyes. I don't have to see the path; I just have to hear the path."
Chambers began his career in Milwaukee on the electric bass with the renowned pianist and vibraphonist Buddy Montgomery. He studied at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music where he first began to play acoustic bass. His combo, #8, won first place in the College Division Awards in 1976, and the next year at the University at Notre Dame. But for Chambers, the chance to play full time with Buddy Montgomery offered an invaluable education and a quick entrance into the international world of jazz. In 1978, he left the Conservatory and entered the "University of Buddy Montgomery," touring extensively with the master.
Since then, Chambers has toured all over the United States, Canada, Central and South America, Europe, Russia, Australia and Japan, performing with many of the world's most prominent jazz musicians. He has played at many major Jazz Festivals: Concord, Monterey Newport, Montreux (Switzerland), Fujitsu (Japan) and countless others. He has also performed for the Black Entertainment Television Network at the St. Lucia and Anguilla Jazz Festivals.
Now known as one of the foremost bassists in the country, he has played with many great jazz artists such as Dizzy Gillespie, Les McCann, Eddie Harris, Benny Carter, Tommy Flanagan, Joe Henderson, Dakota Staton, McCoy Tyner, Joe Williams, Little Jimmie Scott, Tony Williams, Frank Morgan, Dr. Dorothy Donegan, Kenny Burrell, James Moody, Nat Adderley, Milt Jackson, Jon Hendricks, Benny Golson, Larry Coryell, Hank Crawford, Abbey Lincoln, Ernestine Anderson, Don Cherry, Laurindo Almeida, Teddy Edwards, Slide Hampton, Jeff Hamilton, George Coleman, Mel Lewis, Archie Shepp, Cedar Walton, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Ahmad Jamal, Pharoah Sanders, Russell Malone, Red Holloway, Wallace Roney, Houston Person, Curtis Fuller, Hadley Caliman and many many others. He is currently working with Marlena Shaw and beginning to headline his own band. Chambers has recorded with Bobby Hutcherson, Charlie Rouse, Buddy Montgomery, Freddie Hubbard, Eddie Harris, Al Jarreau, Dizzy Gillespie, Marlena Shaw, Ahmad Jamal, Freddie Cole, and many more.
Jeff Chambers has taught bass, improvisation and combo direction at The Brubeck Institute, University of the Pacific; San Francisco State University; JazzCamp West; The Jazz School; Berkeley High School; Fresno State University and Dominican UC in San Rafael, CA and thoughout the greater Bay Area public school system. Chambers also teaches privately.
Chuck McPherson, drums
Born in Detroit, Michigan, Chuck McPherson spent his formative years surrounded by modern jazz masters, including his father, the great alto saxophonist Charles McPherson, Sr. Chuck grew up watching his dad make records with legendary composer and bassist Charles Mingus. His career began at age 16 as a drummer, vocalist and songwriter in jazz, R&B and rap. A student of master drummers Billy Higgins, Max Roach and Art Blakey, Chuck is a gifted and versatile percussionist. He swings with distinction and has a rare and professionally recognized mastery of brushes.
Chuck McPherson has toured with contemporary musical greats Freddie Hubbard, Roberta Flack, Harold Land and many others. He has performed in collaboration with poets, actors and symphonies. Staff drummer for Sugar Hill artists, the preeminent rap record label, Chuck has worked with some of the most vibrant artists in rap and contemporary music.
True to the spirit of innovation, he pioneered blending hip-hop and jazz in 1984 with the single Shahid, which rose to the top of British soul charts. His self released album, "Soul Jazz Collaboration" hit #1 in Acid Jazz on the web site MP3.com.
2011 Whale & Jazz Festival
Gualala Arts Festival Concert
Gualala Arts Center
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The Gualala Arts Center, located at 46501 Old State Highway in Gualala, CA,
is open weekdays 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and weekends from noon to 4:00 p.m.
Please call (707) 884-1138 for more information, or email
Join us in celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Gualala Arts, 1961 - 2011
Serving the coastal communities of northern Sonoma & southern Mendocino Counties.