COMING JULY 2017 TODD BARKAN KEYSTONE KORNER 45TH ANNIVERSARY


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KEYSTONE KORNER 45th ANNIVERSARY

A Celebration of the North Beach Jazz venue in San Francisco

(Established July 7 1972)

Three Exciting Dates of Electrifying Music for You

July 7th 2017 – KUUMBWA JAZZ CENTER  7pm- Santa Cruz,CA.

July 8th 2017 – BACH DANCING & DYNAMITE SOCIETY – 2pm HALF MOON BAY,CA.

July 8th 2017 – PIER 23 on the EMBARCADERO -7pm            San Francisco, CA.

The action gets started with legendary artists performing

Charles McPherson..Gary Bartz.. Azar Lawrence.. Eddie Henderson.. Mel Martin.. Ray Drummond.. Kenneth Nash.. Benito Gonzalez.. Denny  Zeitlin & quite a few Surprises  &          BRIGHT MOMENTS!!

MORE INFORMATION and DETAILS Follow Hipster Sanctuary E-zine’s coverage and backstories in the coming weeks…#@blues2jazzguy

Coming soon in coming weeks Interviews with Mel Martin, Chuck McPherson , Azar Lawrence and others..

NORTH ON SOUTH CENTRAL AVE. THE MUSICAL SWUNG HARD TO A TRIUMPHANT NIGHT!


posted by Kamaad Tauhid  @blues2jazzguy

North on South Central Avenue, the jazz and dance musical took their audience in a time machine and harkened it back to 1940s/50s Los Angeles . Back to the days of a thriving economy spurred on by lot of wartime jobs and plenty of vice to loosen up some of that money.. the scene was a stretch of town that took you from Downtown-north all the way south to Watts/Compton on a street named Central Avenue. This wonderful musical was completely the total package in every respect. Oh you had your great Musical numbers , sung by professional singers cast as not only singers but actors as well. The multi-award winning play was directed by multiple award winning Director ,Carla Dupree Clark, in which up to now has amassed 14 nominations and 7 awards, as director,co-writer or co-producer. This includes this 2017 project’s previous run in the mid-2000s which garnered 14 nominations and four awards. Clark is quite the able-bodied director that Hollywood should be calling soon.  Supported by the partnership of TPC(Theater Perception Consortium) Mr. Larry Robinson Producer/actor/writer & set designer. as well as Tu’Nook( Barbara Alexander) Producer/Writer  and casting director for the company.  This crew has consistently nailed hit plays or musicals for the last decade or more.(ARE YOU LISTENING HOLLYWOOD!)  First, Clark created a brilliant approach to opening the play by having a truth-teller or “Griot in a Tux” (Robby Royale aka Robert J. Carmack) comes out and tell you what you’re going to see, and how it was done, then, where.. after getting a few “Amen” on relating to the Black Hollywood moniker that was given the “L.A. Jazz scene” going back as far as the 1920s and 30s.

Blacks had their own way of “livin” and swingin”  and going to Church… With a rich cast of characters, NOSC, opens in today’s time with an old man sitting at a bus stop, when a  young man rolls up in a wheel chair .The story centers around the most famous and “notorious” club in LA history, The Club Alabam.. the West coast  equal to New York’s Cotton Club. Glamorous patrons and famous black celebrity entertainers appeared night in and night out.

Clark’s piece offers a glimpse into what it must have been like as a person living during the days of gangsters; Mickey Cohen, or a Bumpy Johnson like figure in a character known as “Black Dot” , a man who owned lots of businesses and kept the small time hoods in line to keep the Cops away from the real gravy.  Carla Clark’s production juxtapositioned the great music of the times with strong vocals and acting like lead actress,Windy Barnes . Barnes portrayed owner of the Alabam along with Larry Robinson as husband and wife team, Eloise and L.C. Lomax.  A stand out scene from the play ..the Lomaxs are in a pickle, when gangsters are blackmailing them to gain control of their very popular and profitable club. She absolutely nails a song penned by her & co-writer, Andre Washington entitled, “Hold On”.

Robert J Carmack /Robby Royale Windy Barnes/Eloise Lomax

Barnes, a veteran actress from the musical stage beginning with her California debut in the national touring company’s The Wiz. Eloise character provided glue to the story of the Alabam’s plight and the overall story of the Jazz scene in Black Hollywood. All the greats were present in this magnificent showcase of glamour and Soul. Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughn, (brilliantly portrayed by jazz vocalist Pat Sligh), along with special guest cameo performance by jazz and pop singer/actress Ms. Eloise Laws… performing a blistering rendition of “Dinah Washington’s What a Difference a Day Makes. 

Also appearing on stage was a electrifying performance by Larry Robinson’s portrayal of Little Walter and Dr. Richard Sanders as Muddy Waters on guitar and Robinson “trading fours” back and forth on Harmonica(They Jammed hard). Its rare to get all of the feel of a real life club and the soul and panache to boot. But Clark’s  production North on South Central is in my opinion, Fully Copacetic!

Hopefully this play is Broadway bound or at least national tour.. I also must mention the great music playing band, Conducted by pianist Duane Laskey.

WINDY BARNES FEATURED IN AWARD WINNING MUSICAL PLAY..NORTH ON SOUTH CENTRAL


posted by Robert J. Carmack    #@blues2jazzguy

sultry singer/songwriter Windy Barnes

If you just happened to be in attendance at many of the early 80s Stevie Wonder concerts and just by chance wondered “Who was that searing angelic voice coming across the microphone over the music?” Well..chances are,that was Ms. Windy Barnes. “Windy” came whirling into Los Angeles as part of the national touring cast of the Hit musical, The WIZ in 1977. while all good things must come to an end, the The Wiz went on to score as a hit movie and quite a brand item. However, Windy’s sights  were on bigger fish. Upon getting a call that Stevie Wonder was trying get in touch with her,  Stevie heard her voice at a Richard Pryor Telethon. Stevie over the Television announced   “If anyone knew her to please contact him immediately.. one thing lead to another, they finally connected.  Windy spent multiple years as a member of Stevie’s backup group “Wonder Love.”

The experience while singing with the great Stevie Wonder, It was not anything I ever witnessed. During that time in my life, I was actually “Living Inside the Music” While touring with Stevie Wonder. Now known as Windy Barnes-Farrell resides still in Los Angeles suburb with her significant other.

This is Windy’s second time around with the lead role in North On South Central, a NAACP multi award winner, Directed by Ms. Carla DuPree Clark and co-written by Larry Robinson and Tu’nook(Barbara Alexander) TPC.

Windy is the total package, as she is also a prolific entertainer and songwriter too. She has written two originals for this musical,Hold On,Be Strong (co-written by Andre Washington) and “Perfect View” also co-written by Andre Washington ,both are featured songs in the famous night club, Alabam ,which she(Eloise) and her husband owns on Central Avenue during the heyday of “the so-called Black Hollywood” up and down Central avenue.”  http://windybarnes.com/

In an interview with me recently, the vivacious Windy Barnes-Farell shared what her early up-bringing was like in Chicago. when she was only 3 years old, She would get up on a box in church and sing gospel songs and entertain the congregation every Sunday . “Barnes-Farrell went on to say, “I don’t think I ever thought I was Not going to be an entertainer. With that dream in her head, she left home at 15 years old  by 16 she was working as a professional singer, holding her own among veteran singers and flim-flam artist who wanted to take advantage of her . She got her first big break by joining the Comedian Redd Foxx Tour in early 1970s..Windy was finally on her way to greater things. Windy Barnes Farrell noted for her soulful yet angelic voice, is also an accomplished actor, songwriter, producer and choral director. She has written and produced several CDs, numerous musical events, music videos and jingles that have been featured worldwide. Windy is founder and CEO of WINDY CITY ENTERTAINMENT (WCE), a music production company that develops and mentors singers with the WINDY BARNES INTERNATIONAL VOICE ACADEMY (WBIVA). ” Many of today’s young singers don’t have the proper training to “last, or cut it” with the music business, I would say to them. a. learn how to read music b. seek a coach and learn ear training. c. never let go of your dream.” Windy chimed in.

WCE has provided specialized entertainment for the following successful clients; Victoria’s Secret Fashion Shows 2007 & 2008, KCET Holiday Celebration, Comedy Central PBS, House of Blues, B.B. Kings, Portman Ritz Carlton – Shanghai, Mandarin Oriental Hotel – Macau, Sirocco – Bangkok, Ed Weinberger, Pastor Shirley Caesar, the Jerry Lewis Telethon and the Lou Rawls Evening of Stars show. Windy has toured extensively with Stevie Wonder, Julio Iglesias, and Michael Bolton to name drop a few.  WindyCityEntertainment.net

Windy has starred in various productions including Jezebel, The Wiz, Gospelrella and Voices.  She is the proud recipient of the prestigious HAL Award for Theater Excellence. In addition,Windy has performed on five Continents and currently headlines internationally and locally at various venues in and around Los Angeles. “Windy…one of the most beautiful voices in America” – Julio Iglesias.    

Go and Catch Windy as Eloise in the Award winning Musical play North On South Central  directed by Carla DuPree-Clark & produced by TPC.  Sunday March 26 at 5pm The Warner Grand Theater in San Pedro  for ticket info  (click on following link) http://www.wgt.tix.com  or email this writer at blues2jazz2003@yahoo

SINGER ELOISE LAWS JOINS AWARD WINNER “NORTH ON SOUTH CENTRAL” MUSICAL


posted by Kaumaad Tauhid      #@blues2jazzguy

 

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Los Angeles _It was announced recently by Carla Du Pree Clark Director of the hit Musical,”North On South Central”, Ms. Eloise Laws has joined the talented cast. The Houston born singer/songwriter is well-known for her gifted voice being heard on radio stations and concert halls around the world. But, in recent years,she’s also put her vocal skills to work on the Theater stage as well. while most will remember her chart toppers,You’re Incredible,Love Comes Easy, and Baby You Lied..she also excelled in her theatrical endeavors with a Tony Award Nomination for a musical she co-wrote and starred in “It’s Nothing But the Blues.”    17022235_10212551378763295_5203571639174267846_n

Ms. Laws comes from a very talented family of singers and musicians, including iconic brothers, Hubert and Ronnie…with younger sister Debra, fully established in her own career.

 

Eloise is asking all of her fans in Los Angeles to come out and support this award-winning Musical, “North on South Central”.. It’s a Keeper! eloise-laws-1-silver-gown

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L.A. JAZZ JOURNALIST ADDED TO CAST OF AWARD WINNER-NORTH ON SOUTH CENTRAL


posted by Kamaad Tauhid   #@blues2jazzguy

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Robert J. Carmack as Robby Royale – Club Alabam-2014

Our Publisher and Editor in Chief has been tapped to perform a role in the One Night Only Production of “North On South Central” a musical Play directed by Carla Clark and produced by TPC. Warner Grand Theater   478 W.6th Street San Pedro, California   310-548-2493

Mr. Carmack is a Theater Arts major and alumnus of Cal State University,Dominguez Hills. Robert was asked to recreate his character from the N.O.S. spin-off, The Club Alabam MC, Robby Royale. He’s the house M.C. for the club. He will charm the audience and introduce the show and engage with the audience as a “Host with the Most” should. Alabam, another TPC production was staged in 2014 ,Inglewood California. Mr. Carmack is well-known  locally as a jazz archivist and journalist/musician/poet in Los Angeles. He’s constantly working with local musicians on various jazz/poetry projects..such as last year’s Bobby Hutcherson & Jackie McLean Tribute , and 2015’s  Duke Pearson:Thank You Uncle Duke and a 95th Birthday celebration at the Leimert Park venue , World Stage for a 21 saxophone Salute to Charlie Parker. Carmack is already gearing up for a  “Thelonious Monk turns 100” project.Plight Pixs Robert Rasta hat

Carmack has also written several plays and produced them in Los Angeles, Oakland, California  and Atlanta,Georgia. Prior to Mr. Carmack’s years in theater and producing and promoting shows ,He was a musician,playing saxophones and flute.Robert grew up in Watts and Compton, and traveled around the world playing or promoting music of various genres.”BUT, JAZZ is my Passion!,said Carmack as he eases on a classic CD with McCoy Tyner and Charles Davis with Jimmy Garrison,Elvin Jones 1964 album “Illuminations” .

Robert J inside Stage squating 21 sax

Robert kneeling on right next to Azar Lawrence 21 Saxophone salute

“I’m inviting all my family and friends to come on out that Sunday afternoon, March 26th at 5PM . Let us take you on a time-machine trip back to Los Angeles 1940s and 50s. as we explore all that Black Hollywood had to offer then. Billie Holiday, Dorothy Dandridge, Sarah Vaughn, Little Walter the Blues man and many others. They will all be there along our own special Alabam Chorus Girls high stepping and raising raucous all night long.. Our very special Alabam Jazz musicians orchestra.” boasted  Carmack..We bring the Party flavor of yesterday inside of two hours…More information Call 562- 2159616 or go to website for tickets at http://www.WGT.tix.com

sepia Robert on sax

JAZZ LEGENDS BAND THE COOKERS POURS ON HARD BOP LEGACY


cookers-band-feb-17-2017

Posted by Robert J. Carmack & photos by George Jeffries & Robert Hill

Recently in Los Angeles on a stormy Friday night the heavens opened up due to The Cookers Band performing at the Nate Holden Center for the Arts. A truly rare Los Angeles appearance by 7 legendary Jazz Band, that included Tenor saxophonist Billy Harper, Trumpeter David Weiss, Bassist Cecil McBee, Trumpeter Dr. Eddie Henderson, Alto Saxophonist Donald Harrison, Veteran Drummer Billy “Jabali” Hart, and substituting for pianist George Cables was Journeyman, Stephen Scott on Piano. Once the audience settled in their seats, the group wasted no time taking us on a blissful journey.

Most tunes were expansive in content as far as improvisations, yet melodically pleasing on all fronts, whether they were “blistering” tempos in odd meters, or alternating 3/4 to 4/4. 

stephen-scott-don-weiss-cookers-concert-laOne could only have wished for being back in time via Time machine. Hard Bop was the call of the day and the prince of night in the New York haunts and all over the east coast hot spots during the 50s and 60s .

Billy Hart with jazz journalist Robert J. Carmack

 

 

 

 

 

 

This particular Friday night was unusual as it was raining very hard(Stormy Weather) and my getting to witness one of the last of the true Hard Bop bands ever assembled since the Jazz Messengers. cecil-mcbee-cookers-concertHanging out in LA is not like it use to be when I was a young pup. Hitting the spots that reeked of Jazz on a 7 nights a week basis, primarily from mid 60s up to the end of the 70s. By then, L.A. was hardly a Mecca for jazz musicians as a new form of music was dominating the radios and car tape players and later CDs.

One of the special treats for me was seeing Billy Harper play that big “Texas Tenor” approach to jazz and his very spiritual compositions in rather odd meters. I had not seen this group since I moved back to Los Angeles from the San Francisco bay area in 2009. They were frequent visitors on the circuit of clubs, festivals and wineries in northern California. I took full advantage of the presentations. A remarkable bassist, Cecil McBee was on this trip and a very good conversationalist, we spoke about jazz in general and his old days with Charles Lloyd. His resume is over flowing with a virtual who’s who in Jazz.

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Missing from the lineup was in my opinion one of the most under-rated Jazz pianist since John Hicks and Bobby Timmons, George Cables, who was still in rehab from health challenges. Incidentally, The Cookers group chose another young man who has been “putting-in” his work. Steady on the scene “quiet as kept”, Mr. Stephen Scott. He filled in admirably and commendable with those blistering solos on classics like the jazz messengers favorite by Freddie Hubbard, “Crisis” and “Croquet Ballet” by Billy Harper. The band took the audience on a celestial journey with another Harper composition, If Our Hearts Could Only See, beautiful solos by members of the band, including somewhat new to me seeing him in this type of setting of late, Mr. Donald Harrison on alto, in the past I have seen Craig Handy or the master woodwinds icon, James Spaulding. Spaulding by the way is one of four surviving original musicians on the 1965 “Night of the Cookers date, featuring a battle Royale between Freddie Hubbard and Lee Morgan…Both Titans of the time, when this writer was in high school.

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shown backstage L-R: Cecil McBee & Patrick Gleeson producer/keyboard programming pioneer

dr-eddie-henderson-and-rjcThe band did not disappoint with a litany of great compositions from the past and present. where the improvisations were strictly top shelf.

Dr. Eddie Henderson’s playing, along with David Weiss kept me and the rest of the audience on the edge of our seats, clamoring for more even after a one and a half-hour set. “No Seven ways about it, Pound for Pound, The Cookers are the Rolls Royce on the scene, keeping the Flame nicely stoked.”

 

 

STRATO-SPHERE: THELONIOUS SPHERE MONK TURNS 100 – JAZZ-POETRY TRIBUTE


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A ROBERT J. CARMACK PRODUCTIONS Presents

Strato-Sphere:Thelonious Monk Turns 100

A moving and eclectic project involving Jazz legend Thelonious Monk’s most prized compositions performed by Los Angeles’s most talked about Jazz musicians,vocalists, poets and dancers.  Follow this blog for all information forthcoming.

If you’re interested in participation as co-sponsor, artist or media  email me. blues2jazz2003@yahoo.com  attn: Robert J. Carmack

 

t-monk-at-piano-plaid-jacket  monk-and-charlie-rouse

Robert J. Carmack Plight Jazz Ensemble

Robert J. Carmack Plight Jazz Ensemble

JAZZ ICON BENNIE MAUPIN & CELLOIST-VOCALIST SHANA TUCKER INVADES WORLD STAGE


Posted by Robert J. Carmack Photos by Chuck Koton

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Bennie Maupin & Shana Tucker @ World Stage

 

 

With me not being able to attend this electrifying show, Lucky for me  one of my contributing photographers was there , Mr. Chuck Koton. Chuck Koton is a well-respected shutter-bug of our genre, that always seem to be on the scene. when the downbeat is signaled, Chuck’s lens is working to capture the essence of the sessions.

hipster-drummerand-pianist-w-benny-maupin-koton-pixsThanks again for these great pictures. The world Stage , Founded by Drummer Billy Higgins and Poet Laureate Kamaau Daood over 25 years ago. The new World Stage is off to a great start in its new facilities . Over the last 4 months they have procured a plethora of  legendary jazz artists.    This past weekend was no different as multi-instrumentalist and composer, Bennie Maupin  brought in his aggregation of players.

In addition to his group of fine musicians, He also showcased Shana Tucker, a new face and voice thats been making a lots of noise on the east coast with superior skills on cello, guitar and vocals. Spurred on by her success of her debut CD “Shine” just a couple of years ago. The young entertainer did not disappoint with her sublime performances on all her instruments.

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Jazz vocalist/musician Shana Tucker , with family friend and fan Clyde Head backstage at World Stage Performance Gallery

This writer promises a more personal interview very soon with the young musician, Ms. Shana Tucker, on her latest projects and coming tour venues. Stay tuned to this blog or #@blues2jazzguy – twitter

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RIFFIN’ IN HOLLYWOOD WITH MARCUS MILLER at CATALINA’S


Posted by Robert J. Carmack-All Photos by Chuck Koton

Marcus Miller on Bass Clarinet

Marcus Miller on Bass Clarinet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jazz Shutter Bug, Chuck Koton was just able to eek out the last set at Catalina’s Jazz Bar & Grill in Hollywood recently. Miller was in town for a short stint to promote his latest effort entitled Afro Deezia. the Band seemed to  push out a mix of Originals and covers. Miller was just in town last month for two big concerts at the Hollywood Bowl.  The talented multi-instrumentalist was showcasing all his skills as jazz musician and bandleader. Often Marcus found himself trading licks with alto saxophonist, Alex Hahn and Atlanta-based Trumpeter Russell Gunn. One of his tunes that stood out during the last set was a thunderous bass-thumping version of Papa Was a Rolling Stone. also, a special tribute to “Goree” was highlighted by his mastery of the bass clarinet. Thanks Chuck for the pictures.

 

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