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Cheap Trick To Play Free Festival In San Francisco

Posted by Billyjam, September 2, 2017 01:59pm | Post a Comment

Cheap Trick, who play the Shoreline in Mountain View later today, will be returning to the Bay Area in a month to play a free gig in San Francisco as part of the upcoming, always free Hardly Strictly Bluegrass (HSB) music festival in Golden Gate Park, according to an inside source. Traditionally HSB, now in its 17th year, attracts three quarters of a million music fans to check out dozens of musically diverse acts across seven different stages. The annual free event (thanks to the generous funding of the late Warren Hellman) will take place this year from October 6th to 8th. Those dates were officially announced a couple of weeks ago. Since then HSB organizers have been unveiling online, short three-minute music medleys containing snippets of songs by artists on the upcoming that folks have to guess. These HSB Music Medleys of uncredited songs/artists (the third and latest on published four days ago) act as teasers for fans to guess some of the artists on the 2017 schedule. So far the medleys have included such artists as Randy Newman, Conor Oberst, Béla Fleck & Abigal Washburn, Gillian Welch, Rodney Crowell, Poncho Sanchez, Chuck Prophet and Sturgill Simpson. Not identified however in any of these three teaser medleys was Cheap Trick whose inclusion in the upcoming festival lineup is according to a reliable source within the organization who asked not to be identified. For more general 2017 HSB info  or here to volunteer @ HSB.

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Amoeba Will Be at Three L.A. Concerts Weekend of June 19-21

Posted by Amoebite, June 11, 2015 09:23am | Post a Comment

poncho sanchezAmoeba Music will be on hand at three shows in Los Angeles the weekend of June 19-21 with our booth.

First up is Latin jazz legend Poncho Sanchez at Levitt Pavilion June 19 as part of their free summer concert series. The Grammy-winning percussionist and singer is one of the most influential conga players in Afro-Cuban jazz. The event starts at 6:30 p.m., with music at 8 p.m. Amoeba will be there with our Prize Wheel, so come check it out and give it a spin to win great prizes like gift certificates, Amoeba-branded items and more. Levitt Pavilion is located in Macarthur Park at 2230 West 6th Street in Los Angeles.

grand performancesThen June 20, we'll be at Grand Performances in Downtown L.A. for Wattstax Revisited. The free show celebrates landmark concert film Wattstax, which documented the Stax Records-sponsored all-day concert at the 1972 Watts Summer Festival that featured performances by such artists as Isaac Hayes and The Staple Singers. Wattstax Revisited revives the funk, soul, dancing and comedy of the film and concert with an array of performers, dancers, visuals and special guests. The event is part of Los Angeles Aftershocks, a program that focuses on the cultural impacts of the upheaval in Los Angeles in 1965 and 1992, and how music, dialogue and community celebration help us address racism in our city and nation. Grand Performances take place at California Plaza, located at 350 South Grand Avenue. We will be at the show with our prize wheel. Watch the original trailer for Wattstax below:

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Check Out Free Jazz at Hollywood & Highland in July

Posted by Billy Gil, June 18, 2014 10:15am | Post a Comment

The annual Wine & Jazz Summer Concert Series, presented by KJAZZ 88.1, kicks off July 1, giving jazz fans something fun and free to do every Tuesday in July from 7 to 9 p.m.

On July 1 the series will host Latin American percussionist Pete Escovedo. The jazz great has a celebrated solo career, having released solo albums since the late 1970s and having played with groups such as Santana.

Poncho Sanchez

The event will also feature wines by Stella Rosa and food by Wolfgang Puck Catering. (There's a nominal charge for wine; proceeds go toward Project Angel Food, a non-profit that provides food to the seriously ill.) It takes place in the Central Courtyard (2nd Level) of Hollywood & Highland.

Next, on July 8, the series will host Brian Auger's Oblivion Express. Jazz and rock keyboardist Auger has been releasing albums solo and in collaboration since the 1960s, having played with the likes of Rod Stewart, Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin.

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The 17th Central Avenue Jazz Festival

Posted by Eric Brightwell, July 31, 2012 03:05pm | Post a Comment
THE CENTRAL AVENUE JAZZ FESTIVAL


 


Every year for the past 17 years, during the last weekend in JulyLA residents and visitors are treated to the preeminent jazz event on the West Coast with The Central Avenue Jazz Festival. It’s free and open to the public – last year, 35,000 attended. The focus, of course, is live music but there are also craft and food booths. I've been meaning to check it out in the past and this I year finally did.


LOCATION OF EVENT


The Dunbar in 2012 and Central Ave - A Community Album


A BRIEF BIT OF BACKGROUND ABOUT SOUTH CENTRAL


 
          Intersection of Malcolm X Way and MLK                                A Jazzy mural at Alondra's Bakery


The event takes place at the historic Dunbar Hotel in South Central -- the actual neighborhood named after South Central Avenue and not the coded catch-all for “all neighborhoods south of the 10 Freeway assumed to be mostly black, impoverished and dangerous." I could be wrong but it's my guess that it's mostly due to the perceived, negative connotations of "South Central" that there seem to be almost no official uses of that name in reference to the area. Instead one get's the "Central Avenue Corridor" in its stead, or "Historic South Central" as a way of deflecting lingering associations -- much as Compton Boulevard was re-branded Marine Boulevard on South LA's Westside.


   
South Central historical markers for the corridor, Jack's Chicken Basket, California Eagle and Elk's Club

On the second day of the festival I took the Blue Line to Washington Boulevard, walked over to Central Avenue and headed south. I didn't realize how big South Central is, and how hot it was, until I'd begun walking 23 blocks, keeping my eyes open for historic markers and sites of interest along the way. One landmark that I passed and didn't see a marker for was the former headquarters of the Black Panthers' Southern California chapter (4115 S. Central Avenue).


SOUTH CENTRAL'S BEGINNINGS 


the all black LAFD Station 30 now the African American Firefighter Museum (AAFFM)


Before the rise of the South Central neighborhood, most of Los Angeles’s black population lived in a small area around Skid Row colloquially known as “Brick Block,” where several black-owned businesses were established. Leapfrogging south over Skid Row, more black businesses and residences sprang up around the intersection of South Central Avenue and 12th Street in what's now the Downtown LA's The Wholesale District. By 1915, the black-owned California Eagle publication was referring to South Central as the LA's "Black Belt." Because it was centered along South Central Avenue, the neighborhood came to be known as South Central


RISE OF THE EASTSIDE

  
Pendersleigh & Sons Cartography's Map of South Central and the Eastside

In 1917, famed New Orleanian ragtime and jazz musician Jelly Roll Morton made a new home in LA. Two years later, fellow Louisianan jazz musician Kid Ory followed. The so-called Black Belt began to move further south along Central Avenue Corridor and expanded to the surrounding area roughly hemmed in by Alameda, Main, Slauson and Washington (including what's now the Furniture & Decorative Arts District. To many inhabitants of the area, the region east of Main Street as "The Eastside" (not to be confused the  Eastside region east of the LA River). 


THE DUNBAR HOTEL


Dunbar Hotel postcard


The most important site of West Coast Jazz in South Central was the Dunbar Hotel. The hotel, which had an Art Deco lobby, was built in 1928 and was originally known as the Hotel Somerville. Its original owners, John and Vada Somerville, two prominent black Angelenos (John was the first black graduate of USC). There’s was one of the only hotels to allow black guests to stay there and many did. In 1928, delegates of the NAACP stayed there when in town. Somerville sold the hotel in 1929 to white owners who nonetheless renamed the hotel "Hotel Dunbar" after black Ohioan poet, Paul Laurence Dunbar.


DUNBAR'S HEYDAY



Soon after, the hotel again sold in 1930, this time to a black owner, Lucius W. Lomax, Sr. In 1931 he obtained a cabaret license which allowed for live entertainment. Soon, black luminaries including Billie Holiday, Cab Calloway, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, James Weldon Johnson, Joe Louis, John Coltrane, Josephine Baker, Langston Hughes, Lena Horne, Lionel Hampton, Louis Armstrong, Louis Jordan, Marian Anderson, Nat King Cole, Paul Robeson, Ralph Bunche, Ray Charles, Redd Foxx, Stepin Fetchit, Thurgood Marshall, W. E. B. Du Bois, and others congregated, performed and/or stayed there. Black Western star Herb Jeffries did as well, after he quit Earl Hines’s band and moved to LA.


OTHER SOUTH CENTRAL CLUBS


The Lincoln Theater - nicknamed "The West Coast Apollo"


For a period during the Great Depression the hotel ceased operations as a hotel and served as a mission run by Reverend Mayor Jealous Divine, a cult leader who proclaimed to his followers in the Peace Mission movement that he was God. But the Dunbar (and attached Club Alabam) wasn’t the only hot spot in South Central. There was also Alex Lovejoy'sThe Avalon TheaterThe Casablanca, The Crystal Tea RoomThe Downbeat (4201 S. Central - demolished), Elk's Hall (3416 S. Central - demolished) The Hole in the Wall, Ivy's Chicken ShackJack's Chicken Basket (Jack Johnson's after hours - 3219 S. Central - now demolished), The Last Word (demolished), The Lincoln Theater (2300 S. Central - now a church), The Memo Club (demolished), The Ritz ClubThe Showboat, and Stuff Crouch's Backstage all operating nearby. In the 1940s, the Dunbar returned to its roots, again becoming a hotel with live music.


DESEGREGATION AND THE DECLINE OF JAZZ’S POPULARITY 


Street scene at 2012 Central Avenue Jazz Festival


As a result of 1948's Shelley v. Kraemer case, the Supreme Court banned the continued enforcement of racist restrictive covenants. As a result, the black population of South Central (and by then, Watts), began to fan out from their cramped neighborhoods. Visiting black musicians like Duke Ellington could suddenly stay in places like Chateau Marmont in Hollywood, closer to the venues where they were playing. At the same time, amongst jazz fans, West Coast Jazz’s popularity waned as new styles including Hard Bop, Modal Jazz and Free Jazz waxed. More damaging to jazz, Rock ‘n’ Roll stole Jazz's place in the spotlight.


YEARS OF NEGLECT


A look inside the Dunbar today


The Dunbar struggled on until 1974, when it finally closed its doors (the same year it was designated as an Historic-Cultural Landmark (no. 131)). After it closed, Rudy Ray Moore filmed much of Dolemite (1974) and A Hero Ain’t Nothin’ but a Sandwich (1976) on the premises. The former hotel was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976 but continued to suffer from neglect and vandalism. Closed and long vacant, it attracted squatters until, after renovations, it re-opened in 1990 as an apartment for low-income seniors. It also became the home of the Museum in Black, a museum of black history originally established by Brian Breye in Leimert Park in 1971. As of 2011 it was empty and began undergoing restoration. Although currently without a home, the MiB still has an online presence -- Preserve the Museum in Black.


REVIVAL


Another scene at the 2012 Central Avenue Jazz Festival


Following the 1992 Riots and the introspection and dialogue that followed, several black cultural events arose including the Pan-African Film Festival (1992) and Central Avenue Jazz Festival (1996) and there seems to have been a general re-assessment of South LA's unique cultural and historic importance. Despite the fact that much of South LA and South Central’s black population moved in the wake of the riots, (today South Central is more than 87% Latino and only 10% black) the Central Avenue Jazz Festival offers attendees a chance to experience a bit of history and culture and maybe will serve as an example of why we should hold onto the sites of our city's rich history instead of, oh, tearing them down to make room for a KFC or police station.


CENTRAL AVE - A COMMUNITY ALBUM


There was a large art piece in the middle of the street with reproductions of photos from several generations. It was part of a project called Central Ave. It includes a mix of portraits taken by Sam Comen and family photos from Eastsiders of all generations. Since the website seems to be down, click here to check out the Facebook event page for the opening, or write to Comen at sam@samcomen.com


THE 2012 EVENT




No sooner had I arrived than a woman asked me what I'd thought of Ernie Andrews. Everybody seemed to be buzzing about his performance. One gentleman joked that he'd missed the performance, which started shortly after 1:00, because he was just getting up then -- because he'd only gone home at 7:00! 




I did catch Phil Ranelin's set which I enjoyed quite a bit, as did the rest of the attendees, apparently. The band rumbled and swung through numbers that touched on modal jazz, hard bop and avant-garde jazz showing that West Coast Jazz fans can appreciate other styles. Other performers included Diana Holling Band, Gerald Wilson Orchestra, Jazz America, LAUSD Beyond The Bell All-City Jazz Big Band, Poncho Sanchez, Sons of Etta, The New Jump Blues, and The Ray Goren Band. If you missed it this year, make sure you come to next's!

*****

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The 54th Annual Monterey Jazz Festival Wrap-Up!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, September 20, 2011 05:13pm | Post a Comment
We’re back from the 54th annual Monterey Jazz Festival where we were onsite at the Monterey Fair Grounds with a Mini-Amoeba store selling CDs, vinyl, posters, and special edition jazz t-shirts. We wereIndia.Arie Idan Raichel Monterey Jazz Festival also live blogging all about the amazing signings with jazz luminaries we hosted at our tent and making hundreds of new friends! Now it’s time to share the photos and great experiences we had withthe many heroes and their fans we met while out in Monterey.

There were several artists that made a huge splash at the festival and their albums flew off our Mini-Amoeba shelves directly after their performances. Friday night, pianist Hiromi gave two performances that blew the audiences’ socks off and created a weekend-long craze for her newest release, Voice. Another was Grammy-award winning singer/songwriter India.Arie who performed with Israeli artist Idan Raichel on Sunday. Their collaboration, Open Door, hasn’t been released yet, but you should check out their separate works, which were very popular at our tent. Bassist, vocalist, songwriter, arranger, and bandleader Richard Bona performed with guitarist, singer, and songwriter Raul Midon as the Duwala Malambo Project on Friday and Saturday, creating quite a stir for their back catalogue.

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