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Downtown Jazz 2012
Mondays 6:00-8:00pm
June 18 - August 6, 2012

2600 Block of Broadway (map)
Redwood City’s Downtown Jazz series is back again this year with a new name. Formerly Jazz on Main, Downtown Jazz will head to a new location in Downtown this year… the 2600 block of Broadway. Redwood City will host outdoor jazz concerts every Monday evening from June 18th through August 6th featuring the Bay Area's very best jazz artists and other artists from around North America. The jazz is on from 6 - 8pm, and everyone can enjoy the music, eat at one of the many great restaurants on the surrounding streets, and if the mood strikes - DANCE! The all-star lineup will be sure to make for many jazzed-up Monday evenings in Downtown Redwood City.
Oneill washington

June 18 Vocal Jazz
Michael O'Neill Quintet
featuring Kenny Washington

Michael O’Neill was influenced early on by jazz great John Guerin and Edward Fisher, principal clarinetist with the San Diego Symphony. In the Bay Area, he began studying with the great Joe Henderson, and became involved with composition, forming groups to perform his original material.  This started a trend that is ongoing today with his current quintet which features vocalist extraordinaire Kenny Washington. He has performed with several of the Bay Area’s leading big bands, including a two-year stint with the Contemporary Jazz Orchestra.

Kenny Washington is a jazz vocalist virtuoso. A native of New Orleans, Kenny grew up singing and performing gospel in church. Emulating the classic styles of Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughn and infusing colors of Stevie Wonder and Donny Hathaway, Kenny's free, playful approach—with over a four-octave range—is awe inspiring. Like Michael, Kenny spent time playing music in the military, and he has also played and recorded in all of the Bay Area’s top venues. Kenny is the featured vocalist on Michael's CDs, The Long and the Short of It, and Still Dancin, recorded on Jazzmo records.

Leon Joyce Quartet

June 25th Straight Ahead Jazz
Leon Joyce Quartet

Leon Joyce, Jr., a native of Meriden, Connecticut, received his musical training through private instruction under John Oblon and Jimmy Rozelle.  As a drummer, Leon has worked with a wide variety of top artists which include Ramsey Lewis, Nancy Wilson, Norman Connors, Tom Browne, Yve Evans, and many more. Leon is currently a regular with the Leon Joyce Trio, the Jamie Davis Quintet and the Sista Monica Band.  He has performed at many of the top International Jazz Festivals, including Montreaux & Lugano Jazz Festivals in Switzerland and the Villingen Swing/Jazz Festival in Germany. Nationally, he has appeared in the MontereyJazz, Playboy Jazz and JVC Jazz Festivals in California, New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival in Louisiana & the JVC Jazz Festival in Colorado.


July 2nd Modern Jazz
SEVA featuring Hristo Vitchev and Weber Iago

SEVA is a modern jazz formation combining elements of classical, folk, rock, latin, and world music under the umbrella of the jazz sensibility and seeks to explore vibrant and distant harmonic landscapes with their modern and sophisticated sound.  SEVA was formed in late 2010 by Bulgarian modern jazz guitarist Hristo Vitchev and Brazilian (Latin Grammy Nominee) piano sensation Weber Iago. Vitchev and Iago have a long musical relationship as band mates, and each of their musical endeavors have received critical acclaim at the national and international jazz scenes. With their brand new formation SEVA, the duo seeks to explore even more distant harmonic landscapes. For this endeavor Vitchev and Iago are joined by virtuoso bassist Dan Robbins, and master drummer/percussionist Mike Shannon.

Nate Pruitt

July 9th Vocal Jazz and Blues
Primary Colors featuring Nate Pruitt

Rick VandivierVocalist Nate Pruitt and guitarist Rick Vandivier are Primary Colors, a jazz and blues duo often featuring other great musicians from the San Francisco Bay Area. Their music, although primarily jazz and blues, also includes elements of swing, soul, pop, spiritual, and Latin styles ... even a trademark deep Southern yodel. Acclaimed as "the finest jazz scatting vocalist on the West Coast" (Good Times, Santa Cruz, CA), Nate Pruitt has developed his unique style over a long and varied career. The master of jazz, blues, and popular vocals that you hear in Nate today is the result of a long and multifaceted musical education. Rick Vandivier is a guitarist who has found inspiration in influences that stretch from Andres Segovia to Pat Metheny to Jimi Hendrix. His performances are daring, soulful, and evocative. In addition to his work with Nate Pruitt in Primary Colors, Rick has been active in numerous other projects as a guitarist and composer, including leading his own ensemble.

Lisa Engelken

July 16th West Coast Jazz
Octobop featuring Lisa Engelken

Octobop - Cool jazz. Images of the early days on the West Coast when new ideas, harmonies, ensemble playing and great improvisation were all happening. Recreating and updating that experience is the mission of Octobop. Performing and promoting the music that began with The Birth of the Cool -- and the innovations of Gerry Mulligan, Chet Baker, Shorty Rogers, Bud Shank, Bob Cooper, Dave Pell, Jimmy Guiffre, and Howard Rumsey among others -- Octobop makes cool jazz hot again.  Lisa Engleken is a fearless singer with a daunting stage presence.  Part freight train, part junkyard trombone, the tumbleweed Engelken alternately locomotes and floats through a myriad of moods & vocal styles, spicing her tunes with Portuguese, French, Spanish and Italian.  But operatic and theatrical training couldn’t polish off the rough edges as she wields her acrobatic 3-octave range like a weapon, like a wand, intensified by sheer joy, crankiness and irony.

Jennifer Scott

July 23rd Vocal Jazz
Jennifer Scott Sextet

Jennifer Scott is a Vancouver-born vocalist and jazz pianist specializing in jazz, blues and world music. Considered one of the most important jazz artists working in Canada and the United States today, Jennifer has appeared at Jazz Festivals across both countries. She has also appeared with such jazz luminaries as Tommy BanksDon ThompsonKenny WheelerSkywalk, and Hugh Fraser, to name a few. Jennifer is pianist/vocalist for San Francisco-based Novo Tempo, a Brazilian/jazz Fusion group featuring the music of Ed Johnson. She has recorded 2 CDs and toured extensively with this group. She was also featured with jazz legend Clark Terry, performing with him at the Centre for Performing Arts in Vancouver. Jennifer and  her husband, Rene Worst also teamed up with S.F. Bay Area saxophonist Kristen Strom, guitarist Scott Sorkin, and drummer Jason Lewis to form Crossing Borders, a new international jazz group that performs and records music from the heart.

Anton Schwartz

July 30th Straight Ahead Jazz
Anton Schwartz Quintet

Jazz saxophonist Anton Schwartz has been drawing listeners in with the power, spirit and subtle complexity of his music since he bounded onto the San Francisco jazz scene in 1995. In the years since, Anton has won over listeners and critics at high-profile jazz venues across the country, including the Blue Note in New York, Washington D.C.'s Blues Alley and the Monterey Jazz Festival. His appearances at Yoshi's in San Francisco and Oakland draw sellout crowds; one such concert was broadcast nationwide on NPR's JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater in December, 2005. Each of his four CDs has earned sterling reviews and strong airplay, with his most recent Radiant Blue landing Top Five on the national jazz radio charts. While his own writing earns consistently high praise, Anton remains as much at home with the great jazz standards as he is with his own compositions.

Dayna Stephens

Aug 6th Straight Ahead Jazz
Dayna Stephens Quartet

Internationally renowned saxophonist/composer/educator Dayna Stephens, is a force to watch out for. A fluid, vigorous soloist with a warm, soulful sound, Dayna has also proven himself a master of composition and arrangement, a highly acclaimed band leader, and an “in-demand” side-man for some of Jazz’ contemporary masters, such as Kenny Barron, Idris Mohammed and Taylor Eigsti. His debut album “The Timeless Now,” released on “Contagious Music” in 2007 was immediately embraced by the jazz community and resulted in heavy radio airplay and warm reviews from a number of magazines, including a four-star review in the Nov 2007 issue of “Downbeat,” and a #11 on the Billboard jazz charts. He has performed in recent times with Terrance Blanchard, Geoffrey Keezer, Albert “Tootie” Heath, Matt Wilson, Oliver Lake, Roy Hargrove, Carlos Santana, Stephon Harris, Stevie Wonder, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Peter Apfelbaum, OZOmatli, Patrice Rushen, Tom Harrell, Reuben Rogers, Gregory Hutchinson, and many others.

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