More Performances Are Coming to the Sequoia Room
Back in 1988, when North Coast Brewing first opened its doors, vibraphonist Fred Raulston led the jazz band that played on Saturday nights in the pub. Well-known in jazz circles around the country, Fred performed with an assortment of local musicians and visiting artists from the Bay Area, Los Angeles and the East Coast. Sometime in 1997 Fred left the coast to pursue other interests, but in February of this year he returned to North Coast Brewing to expand and grow the musical programming and performances in the brewery’s Sequoia Room.
Fred’s experience – as a musician, recording artist, recording engineer, jazz educator and jazz festival director – makes him especially well-suited for his current position as Music Director with North Coast. He has plans to bring some of the finest jazz artists in the world to perform in the Sequoia Room, expand the musical programming to include a variety of genres and include the local community of musicians in the mix. “I’m proud to be part of the team that believes in the power of music, supports jazz education, jazz festivals across the country, has contributed generously to the Thelonious Monk Institute and donates to over 100 local non-profit organizations.”
Fred says the dinner shows and concerts in the Sequoia Room will offer coastal residents and visitors access to special programs and quality experiences that are usually only available in larger urban areas. The room will feature an excellent sound and recording system, and now has a new-to-the-brewery seven-foot Baldwin concert grand piano.
Involved in music all his life, at age 15 Fred had hit records with The Continentals, a Texas band that launched the record company that eventually became the Lee Ann Rhymes Empire. In high school he played with John Lee Hooker and Jimmy Reed in the Texas blues and rock scene. While attending Southern Methodist University he won the outstanding musician/composer award at the American College Jazz Festival. His judges included Dizzy Gillespie and Roy Haynes.
After graduating he was under production contract to Electric Lady Studios in NYC. He then landed a recording contract with Inner City Records and composed and recorded Open Stream and Uncharted Waters and later recorded Fred’s Rescue with west coast label Seabreeze. On the west coast he worked with John Handy, Harold Land and Buddy Colette, and recorded three albums for Chet Baker.
An owner and operator his own 24 track studio, Fred has recorded albums and worked as a sideman with numerous jazz artists. His work as a producer resulted in Juno nominations for two Canadian jazz vocalists. He has been a jazz educator at Santa Barbara City College, Western Washington University and Montana State University. He was instrumental in revitalizing the Santa Barbara Jazz Society and founded and directed the International Jazz Festival in Santa Barbara, CA. In addition, he was director of the North York Jazz Festival in Toronto, Ontario Canada.
Fred feels a deep connection to the people and culture of the Mendocino Coast and he is delighted to be living and working here again. He feels this community understands that music, especially live music, is a shared circle of communication, the audience as much a part of the performance as the musicians. In addition to the artists and groups that he books for the Sequoia Room, Fred will perform on a regular basis. The vibraphonist brings good vibes to the community.
Photo by Sharon Garner