Tag Archives: All About Jazz

Saturday, July 19 is Iconic Trombonist Phil Ranelin’s 75th Birthday Bash at the Sequoia Room

Phil-Ranelin(w)

Phil Ranelin’s exclusive appearance at North Coast Brewing’s Sequoia Room on Saturday, July 19th will be a celebration of the Jazz musician’s 75th birthday. It’s a party everyone is invited to attend! Trombonist, sideman, bandleader, composer, arranger and teacher, Ranelin’s done it all for many years and he hasn’t stopped yet.

He was born in Indiana where he studied trombone and began his career, sitting in with Wes Montgomery, Eddie Harris and other notable musicians. In 1964 Ranelin’s childhood friend, Freddie Hubbard, asked him to come to New York to join and record with his group. After his time in New York and a brief return to Indiana, Ranelin moved to Detroit in 1968 to perform and teach musically advanced inner city children. He co-founded “Tribe,” an artists’ collective of jazz musicians who learned the business and recording aspects of music to maintain more artistic control. The Tribe also published its own magazine with political and social commentary as well as music reviews and interviews.

As a session player for Motown Records, Ranelin played on albums for Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, The Four Tops and The Temptations. He also performed in the Motown traveling band, the Swinging Dashikis. Ranelin’s Motown work enabled him to invest in his own music, which eventually allowed him to produce his own records.

In 1977, Phil moved to Los Angeles where he still lives. The names of Jazz musicians he has recorded and performed with read like the Jazz Hall of Fame. A partial list includes Ella Fitzgerald, Art Pepper, Sarah Vaughan, Tootie Heath, Freddie Hubbard, Stanley Clarke, Christian McBride, Les McCann, Sonny Rollins, Wayne Shorter, Jimmy Smith, and McCoy Tyner.

From the Midwest to the East and West Coasts, Phil Ranelin has made his mark on Jazz. Now he and his band – Aaron Provisor, piano, Eugene Owens, bass and Don Littleton, percussion – are coming to North Coast Brewing’s Sequoia Room to share their history, talent and enthusiasm for live Jazz performance.

Come to the celebration! Dinner seating begins at 6:00 pm with shows at 7:00 and 9:00. Reservations are not necessary but are recommended.

707 964-1286 daytime or 707 964-3400 after 5:00 pm

North Coast’s Brewery Taproom is located at 444 N. Main St (southeast corner of Main & Pine) in Fort Bragg, CA.

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La Orquesta El Vucko Performs Latin Jazz at the Sequoia Room on Saturday, May 31

Larry-Vuckovich(w)

You might not find el Vucko in a Spanish dictionary, but you will find El Vucko and his Orquesta at North Coast Brewing’s Sequoia Room on Saturday, May 31 at 6 pm. The ensemble offers a combination of East Coast and West Coast All-Stars, featuring versatile pianist Larry Vuckovich, master Latin percussionists Luis Romero and Hector Lugo, and veteran bassist John Wiitala.

Larry Vuckovich learned Latin Jazz firsthand from the legendary Bay Area master pianistLuis-Romero(w) Vince Guaraldi, with whom he studied for many years. Brooklyn born Luis Romero performed with the famed Willie Colón Salsa Band from 1967 to 1977 and eventually expanded into folkloric music and Jazz, playing with greats like Paquito D’Rivera.

Hector-Lugo(w)Born in Puerto Rico, Hector Lugo is a multi-percussionist, singer, composer, teacher and band leader who is at home in both Latin music and Jazz and is adept at fusing folkloric Puerto Rican genres with contemporary Latin styles. John Wiitala has worked with some of the greatest Jazz musicians in the business, including James Moody, Bud Shank, Arturo Sandoval, Shorty Rogers and Scott Hamilton.

At the Sequoia Room performance the band will John-Wiitala(w)play Afro-Cuban classics, Jazz standards, and highlight the music of Thelonious Monk in Latin style, including Panonica, Ask Me Now, Straight No Chaser and ‘Round Midnight. Seating for the dinner concert will begin at 6 pm with music starting at 7:00. The second set begins at 9 pm with a $10 minimum per person. Reservations are not necessary, but the Sequoia Room will fill rapidly for this exciting evening of Jazz. For more information call 707 964-1286 (days) or email.

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Fred Raulston Quintet Performs at the Sequoia Room on Saturday, April 19 from 6 to 9 pm

Raulston-Jazz-Poster-Quintet-(w)North Coast Brewing’s Music Director and vibraphonist Fred Raulston will lead his accomplished quintet in an evening of Jazz in the American Tradition, including covers and originals from the 50s through the present day on Saturday, April 19 from 6 to 9 pm at North Coast Brewing’s Sequoia Room.

The quintet includes Fred on vibes, Randy Vincent on guitar, Francis Vanek on sax, Chris Amberger on bass and E. W. Wainwright on drums. Francis performs regularly in the Friday and Saturday Dinner Jazz evenings at the Sequoia Room. Randy, Chris and E. W. have illustrious careers and have performed with many Jazz legends including (Randy) Joe Henderson, Dizzy Gillespie and Bobby Hutcherson, (Chris) Dexter Gordon, Art Pepper and Bobby McFerrin, and (E. W.) McCoy Tyner, Pharoah Sanders and Eddie Palmieri. Fred can’t wait to bring these musicians together for an evening of great Jazz at the Sequoia Room.

444 N Main St, corner of Main and Pine, Fort Bragg CA 95437
707 964-1286 or 707 964-3400

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Baritone Monk on JazzWeek Top 100 Albums of 2013

Claire_Daly-(w3)We couldn’t be prouder! The Claire Daly Quartet’s album Baritone Monk made JazzWeek’s Chart of the 100 Top Albums of 2013. This is a big deal in the jazz world. The Quartet is keeping company with Diego Rivera, Chick Corea, Kenny Barron, Kevin Eubanks and Christian McBride, amongst others. No one can express the joy of this album’s success better than Claire Daly herself:

“First of all, just making this CD was so much fun, that the fact it spent 26 weeks on the JazzWeek chart (nine weeks in the top 10 slots!) was icing on the cake. Really, really, good icing. That it is in the Top 100 albums of 2013 makes it even more delicious, if that’s possible! That 100% of the proceeds go to the Monk Institute for Jazz Education makes it OFF THE HOOK exciting. This project is the highlight of my musical life so far. Thank you, North Coast Brewing Company!”

The album was produced by North Coast Brewing’s Vice President of Sales and Distribution, Doug Moody and entirely underwritten by North Coast Brewing to benefit the Monk Institute’s international jazz education programs. Released in October of 2012, the album features four superbly talented jazz artists: Claire Daly on baritone sax, flute and vocals, Steve Hudson on piano, Peter Grant on drums and Mary Ann McSweeney on bass.

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Post recording session photo from L to R – Charlie Kramsky (Assistant Recording Engineer), Jim Anderson (Grammy Winning Recording Engineer), Claire, Steve, Peter, Doug & MaryAnn at Avatar Studios in NYC – Photo by Deborah Moody

If you already bought the CD for $15 dollars, you deserve some kudos. You’ve treated yourself to a sophisticated, nuanced and consummate interpretation of Monk’s music. You’ve acknowledged four outstanding jazz artists deserving of more widespread recognition. You’ve supported the Monk Institute jazz education programs. That’s a lot for $15.

Robin D. G. Kelley, author of Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original, wrote discerning liner notes for Baritone Monk. Did he anticipate the rousing success of the album? “Monk’s music is notoriously difficult, though you wouldn’t know it from this recording. Daly’s superb quartet combines a mastery of Monk’s less-recorded repertoire with the casual joy of a jam session.” He goes on to talk about each of the musicians: “Pianist Steve Hudson avoids Monkish cliche, displaying his own unique style to great effect. Bassist Mary Ann McSweeney plays with a profound sense of melody, swing, and harmonic imagination…Peter Grant…gives the band its driving pulse but with a subtlety that allows all voices to be heard (and) Claire Daly, whose breadth of styles, enormous tone, and distinctive phrasing place her among the very best of contemporary baritone players.”

If you haven’t bought the album but want to get in on the action, click here.

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2013 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competitionin Washington, DC on September 15 & 16

Wayne-Shorter-byRobertAscroft(w)Washington, D.C. will be the world center of jazz when the prestigious 2013 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition comes to town on September 15th and 16th. The Competition, established in 1987 and recognized for discovering the next generation of jazz masters, will feature fourteen of the world’s most outstanding young jazz saxophonists. They will perform before a panel of renowned jazz musicians including Jimmy Heath, Branford Marsalis and Wayne Shorter.

jimmyheath(w)The semifinals will be held on Sunday, September 16 from noon to 6:00 pm at the Smithsonian Institute’s Baird Auditorium inside the National Museum of American History. Each competitor will perform for 15 minutes. Three musicians will be selected by the panel of judges to participate in the competition finals at the Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater at 7:30 pm on Monday, September 16. They will vie for prizes totaling more than $100,000 including a $25,000 first place scholarship and a guaranteed recording contract with Concord Music Group, a $15,000 second place scholarship and a $10,000 third place scholarship.

george_duke(w)An All-Star Gala Concert will follow the final competition. Some of the biggest names in jazz will perform, including Brian Blade, Kurt Elling, Herbie Hancock, Roy Hargrove, Jimmy Heath, Branford Marsalis and Take 6, to name just a few. The Institute will present Wayne Shorter with a Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his extraordinary, six-decade career as a saxophonist, educator and composer. There will be a special tribute to the late George Duke, a longtime friend and supporter of the Institute, who was scheduled to serve as the evening’s Musical Director.

307_Branford_Marsalis(w)Doug Moody, Senior Vice President/Director of Sales, and Deborah Moody, Social Media Manager, will attend all the competition events, representing North Coast Brewing Company, a Benefactor Sponsor of the Monk Institute. The arrangement between the Monk Institute and NCBC is a model for commerce meeting arts. For every case of Brother Thelonious sold, NCBC makes a financial contribution to the Institute. Over the last six years, NCBC has donated more than $500,000 to the Institute in support of jazz education.

Photos top to bottom: Wayne Shorter, Jimmy Heath, George Duke and Branford Marsalis

 

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North Coast Brewing Sponsors the Thelonious Monk Institute National Performing Arts High School All-Star Jazz Sextet Workshop & Performance at 2013 Mendocino Music Festival on Saturday, July 20

LOOK WHO’S COMING TO TOWN!

PAHS-All-Star-Sextet-2013-(3)-webMonk-Institute

Clockwise from left: Miles Berry (18), tenor sax, New Orleans Center for Creative Arts; James Francies (17), piano, High School for the Performing & Visual Arts, Houston; Michael Mitchell (18), drums, Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing Arts, Dallas; Jose Albizu (17), bass, New World School of the Arts, Miami; Joel Ross (17), vibes, Chicago High School for the Arts; Nick Saia (17), guitar, LaGuardia High School of Music & Art, New York

How do you get to be one of the best young jazz musicians in the country? It doesn’t just happen. It takes dedication to the art form, discipline to practice for countless hours, focus during lessons, concentration during rehearsals, respect for colleagues and the creativity and chops to improvise. It also helps to have talent and some great teachers for role models, instruction and inspiration.

The six young musicians who comprise the 2013 Thelonious Monk Institute National Performing Arts High School All-Star Jazz Sextet are among the best young jazz musicians in the country. They attend high schools that participate in the Thelonious Monk Institute National Performing Arts High School Program. Of all the musicians in this nation-wide program they have been selected as the best of the best.

The Program is designed to support the education of gifted musicians who are attending public performing arts high schools across the nation, offering these students a high-level, musically sophisticated, performance-based jazz curriculum. Participants have the opportunity to study with some of the best jazz artists and educators in the world, perform in jazz combos with their peers, and learn, absorb and integrate what they need to gain entry into esteemed music conservatories and university music schools.

The Institute works with each school to develop a course of study that includes classes in theory, composition, improvisation, history, styles and analysis. It also provides ongoing private and group instruction with Institute educators and visiting artists. The students have opportunities to work with jazz masters and perform in high-profile student ensembles.

Over the last six years North Coast Brewing has contributed more than $500,000 to the Monk Institute in support of jazz education through contributions from the sale of Brother Thelonious Belgian Style Abbey Ale. In its role as Presenting Sponsor of the Mendocino Music Festival, North Coast Brewing is delighted to bring the Monk Institute’s National High School All-Star Sextet to perform in the 2013 season. This is an opportunity for North Coast Brewing to dovetail two organizations it supports and bring an outstanding group of young jazz players to the Mendocino Coast. The concert will take place on Saturday, July 20th at 3:00 pm at Preston Hall on Main Street in the town of Mendocino. Tickets are on sale at the Mendocino Music Festival website or 707 937-4041 and are $25, non-reserved and limited seating. In other words, get your tickets now before they sell out.

In addition to the performance, the members of the Sextet will conduct a Peer-to-Peer Jazz Workshop, a special event free to students, on Saturday, July 20 at 10:00 am at the Matheson Theater on Ford Street in Mendocino. The workshop will be a micro version of the Peer-to-Peer Jazz Education Initiative, funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Through this national initiative, jazz combos in the performing arts high school programs together with established jazz artists, participate in week long performance and information workshops called “informance tours.” Members of the combos perform for and play alongside high school musicians whose schools they are visiting, acting as ambassadors of jazz. They teach their peers about the rich history of jazz and about the deeply held American values it represents: teamwork, collaboration, unity with ethnic diversity, and the vital importance of really listening to one another.

The setting on July 20 will give music students from Northern California the opportunity to work with the exceptionally gifted and motivated members of the All-Star Sextet who are eager to share their skills and knowledge and encourage their peers. High school students interested in participating should contact the Mendocino Music Festival at 707 937-4041.

Eminent jazz educator and professional bassist, Dr. J.B. Dyas, Vice President for Education and Curriculum Development at the Monk Institute, will accompany the All-Star Sextet on this visit to the Mendocino Coast. Formerly Executive Director of the Brubeck Institute, Dyas has performed across the country, taught students at every level, directed large and small ensembles, developed and implemented new jazz curricula and written for national publications. His dynamic and innovative teaching style engages and inspires. Among the many projects he works on, Dyas visits the eleven performing arts public high schools in the program two to three times a year, works with the students, mentors their teachers in how to better teach jazz and goes on the road with the groups selected for the Peer-to-Peer Informance Tours.

So, will the young musicians in the All-Star Sextet go on to become professional jazz musicians and educators? There’s a very good chance they will. These youngsters have a distinct sense of who they are. They are creative, goal oriented, focused and able to concentrate and build on their skills as individuals and in a group. The have developed self-esteem and confidence. They have high expectations for themselves. They have a passion that inspires and guides them. Whatever they decide to do, they have developed the skills to succeed and to create fulfilling lives for themselves.

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Brother Thelonious Quartet Review in All About Jazz

North Coast Brewing Brother Thelonious Quartet CDReviewed by Mark Corroto in All About Jazz:

Nobody can deny the distinctive signature of Thelonious Monk‘s music. Written for simple piano, bass, and drums, it is a remarkable blending of melody, harmony, and rhythm. Now, expand his conception into a quintet setting and the challenge as Monk would say, to “lift the bandstand,” presents itself to the musicians and arrangers.

Assigning such a task to six distinguished graduates of The Thelonious Monk Institute Of Jazz finds the music in great hands. Featuring a core quintet of Helen Sung (piano), Alan Hampton (bass), James Alsenders (drums), Wayne Escoffery (tenor saxophone), Ambrose Akinmusire (trumpet) and adding vocalist Gretchen Parlato on one track, the group recorded six Monk classic compositions and four original tracks. The music was produced by North Coast Brewing Company, maker of a very nice dark Belgian-style ale called Brother Thelonious, with a painting of Monk on the label, piously dressed as a monk.

All the proceeds of the sale of this fabulous disc go The Thelonious Monk Institute Of Jazz, as if we need another reason to pour a cold one when listening to Brother Thelonious.

Read the whole review here.

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Brother Thelonious: The CD

Brother Thelonious, the CDNorth Coast Brewing Co. publishes the Brother Thelonious Quintet, made up of Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance alumni, with Helen Sung, class of ’97, on piano; Alan Hampton, class of ’05, on bass; James Alsanders, class of ’05, on drums; Wayne Escoffery, class of 99, on tenor sax and Ambrose Akinmusire, class of ’07, on trumpet. Vocalist Gretchen Parlato, class of ’03, performs on the closing track. Read more and hear some of the tunes.

All the proceeds of the sale of this fabulous disc go to The Thelonious Monk Institute Of Jazz, as if we need another reason to pour a cold one when listening to Brother Thelonious. Read the review in All About Jazz

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