Archive

Special Event

Bluewhale + Cafemode present
OCTOBER 13, 2014  9pm – midnight
EMPTY CAGE QUARTET + VLATKO
123 Astronaut E S Onizuka St. Suite 301, Los Angeles, CA 90012 | 213.620.0908

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EMPTY CAGE QUARTET:

JASON MEARS  saxophone
KRIS TINER  trumpet
IVAN JOHNSON  bass
PAUL KIKUCHI  drums

VLATKO:
MICHAEL VLATKOVICH trombone / compositions
TOM MCNALLEY electric guitar
DOMENIC GENOVA  electric bass
JOHN “VATOS” HERNANDEZ  drums

set times: 9pm + 10:30pm

curated by Kio Griffith

$10 cover for both sets  |  21+

BLUEWHALE
123 Astronaut E S Onizuka St. Suite 301, Los Angeles, CA 90012

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MICHAEL VLATKOVICH

Michael Vlatkovich, trombonist, composer, and arranger, is one of the leading talents among Los Angeles improvisational players. Located on the West Coast since 1973, he is an emotionally charged performer, comfortable in a variety of jazz and world music styles. Vlatkovich has performed extensively in the United States, Canada, and Europe. His improvisionally free music expresses raw power and beauty in a minimally structured format. Michael tours extensively in the United States, Canada, and Europe.

In addition to leading his own diverse imaginative ensembles, Vlatkovich has performed with a wide array of singers and instrumentalists including Peggy Lee, Brian Setzer, Ricky Lee Jones, Solomon Burke, Medesky, Martin, and Wood, Boingo, Don Preston, Bobby Bradford, Gerry Hemingway, Vinny Golia, Andrew Cryrlle, Rob Blakeslee, Rich Halley, among many others. The trombonist has also performed on sound tracks for a variety of television and film projects including The Mask, Jingle All The Way, and the critically acclaimed John Cassavette’s film the Tempest.

Most recently the trombonist has been performing with his own ensembles, and co-leading Transvalue with poet Charles Britt. Vlatkovich is also a regular member of the Rich Halley 4 and the Bobby Bradford Motet.

http://www.vlatkovich.com/
TOM MCNALLEY

“With his guitar ablaze, McNalley turns fighter. He scores a knockout punch several times as he rips the air with ferocious streams of descant. Clear and crisp, the technique with which he excites the music carries a powerful message. With emotions bared and fingers flying, he sets fire to each extended piece and doesn’t let up…”
– Jim Santella, All About Jazz.
JOHN “VATOS” HERNANDEZ

Johnny “Vatos” Hernandez’s played in a variety of pit orchestras and backing acts, like Bob Hope, Billy Daniels and Gordon McCray. In the 1970s, he played with The Helen Reddy Band and served as the house drummer of “The Midnight Special” television show. There, he played with acts, such as Frankie Avalon, Petula Clark, Keith Carradine and Martin Mull. When Helen Reddy hosted “The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson,” Hernandez had the honor of sitting in with The Doc Severinsen Band. Playing the famous opening theme song was a lifelong thrill.

After having been heard, drumming with Toni Basil’s band by composer, Danny Elfman and his longtime orchestrator, Steve Bartek, Hernandez was hired as a session drummer on Elfman’s first film score, “The Forbidden Zone” (which continues to have a worldwide cult following). Hernandez joined the original lineup of the famous band, Oingo Boingo, a position he held for seventeen years, until their breakup in 1995. During that time, the band released eight albums, toured the world and played thousands of concerts.

After the breakup of Oingo Boingo, Hernandez joined the band, Tito and Tarantula and was featured in the Robert Rodriguez film, “From Dusk Till Dawn.” He had a rewarding time, touring Europe with Tito until 911, but at that point, he decided to return to Los Angeles to play jazz again.

http://www.johnnyvatos.com/

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EMPTY CAGE QUARTET

The Empty Cage Quartet has been consistently praised as one of the most powerful and original new jazz groups to emerge from the American West Coast. For nearly a decade they have explored new ways to integrate a diverse mix of musical influences, from traditional forms to contemporary experimental practices. The result is a continually evolving, multidimensional approach to jazz and new music performance, improvisational acuity, and compositional craft that Amazing Sounds Magazine has described as an “urban folk music of the future.”

http://emptycagequartet.com/

BlueWhale website

CAFEMODE + BALCONI COFFEE COMPANY present
ARTIST RECEPTION AUGUST 31, 2014 7-10PM
[AUGUST 31 – OCTOBER 5, 2014]
NO ROOM FOR SQUARES
11301 Olympic Blvd. #124, Los Angeles, CA, 90064

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Cafemode proudly presents “No Room For Squares” group show of Jazz inspired art.
Douglas Alvarez
Michael Arata
Nadege Monchera Baer
Terri Berman
Heyward Bracey
Anita Bunn
Stella Chong
Helen Chung
Doug Eisenstark
James Faulkner
Simone Gad
Tomoyuki Iwanami
Michelle Lai
Christine Lee
Misato Nagare
Le Poel
Norton Wisdom

and more… (if you know what i mean 🙂

with a live set by the amazing
Goh Nakamura!

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Balconi Coffee Company website

Grand Star Jazz Club + Cafemode present
AUGUST 27, 2014  9:30pm – midnight
the velvet frequencies + .5mnk
943 N. Broadway [Chinatown]  Los Angeles, CA 90012

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the velvet frequencies


karrie benoit – vocals
g.e. stinson – beats, electronics, guitar

.5mnk
g.e. stinson – beats, electronics and guitar
steuart liebig – bass, electronics

special guests may appear…

[9:30pm] will start promptly

curated by Kio Griffith

$5-10 sliding donation | first come first serve | arrive early

GRAND STAR JAZZ CLUB
943 N. Broadway [CHINATOWN] Los Angeles, CA 90012

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https://soundcloud.com/the-velvet-frequencies

https://soundcloud.com/5mnk-1

http://halfmonk.bandcamp.com/

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Grand Star Jazz Club website

Bluewhale + Cafemode present
AUGUST 17, 2014  9pm – midnight
HONDA | SCHENCK | TINER + WALSH SET 5
123 Astronaut E S Onizuka St. Suite 301, Los Angeles, CA 90012 | 213.620.0908

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HONDA / SCHENCK / TINER:
MOTOKO HONDA 
 [piano]
BETH SCHENCK  [saxophone]
KRIS TINER  [trumpet]

WALSH SET 5:
BRIAN WALSH  [clarinet and bass clarinet]
COLIN BURGESS  [bass]
ALEX NOICE 
 [guitar]
ERIC KM CLARK  [violin]
ANDREW MCINTOSH  [viola]

set times: 9pm + 10:30pm

curated by Kio Griffith

$10 cover for both sets  |  21+

BLUEWHALE
123 Astronaut E S Onizuka St. Suite 301, Los Angeles, CA 90012

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The trio of pianist Motoko Honda, saxophonist Beth Schenck, and trumpeter Kris Tiner performs original compositions and improvisations that explore subtle sonic textures, deeply nuanced lyricism, and a unique take on the idea of “chamber jazz.” Frequent collaborators over the past decade, these three musicians have established wide ranging associations in the jazz and improvised music communities of San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York.

MOTOKO HONDA

Motoko Honda is a concert pianist, composer, and sound artist who has created a distinctive sound through her holistic approach to music, and her exceptional sensitivity in relating to other art forms and technologies. Employing a “virtuoso technique paired with her intensely imaginative mind” (Susan Dirende, L.A. Splash Magazine), and with stylistic influences ranging from jazz to Indonesian music to contemporary prepared piano with electronics, Motoko’s compositions and structured improvisations are intended to affect the skin, organs and minds of the listener rather than simple recitations of rhythmic and harmonic themes. Called both a “keyboard alchemist” (Chris Barton, L.A. Times), and the “embodiment of a muse” (Greg Burk, Metaljazz), Motoko’s performances transport audiences on sonic adventures that transcend the boundaries and conventions of contemporary music.

www.motokohonda.com

BETH SCHENCK

Beth Schenck is a SF based saxophonist, composer and educator who has worked throughout the United States and abroad. A recent NYC transplant, Beth has performed frequently in the New York downtown scene as a leader and a sidewoman. She has been featured in Andrew D’Angelo’s Big Band and Saxophone Quartet, Vinny Golia’s Large Ensemble, and Andrew Durkin’s “Industrial Jazz Group.” She has also had the opportunity to perform with Greg Osby, Henry Threadgill, Ben Street, Jim Black, Larry Koonse, Gerald Cleaver, Becca Stevens, Trevor Dunn, Cory Smythe and many others. As a composer, Beth has been commissioned to write for Saint Ignatius Loyola School in New York City, Oakwood High School in Los Angeles, the Sunset Jazz Festival in Nagasaki, Japan, and the Women’s Work Festival in New York City. In 2010, Beth released her debut record, “What Shock Heard,” which has been described by critics as “frank and beautiful”, with “solos full of artful logic”. It features Bill McHenry, Matt Wrobel, Eivind Opsivk and Jeff Davis.

www.bethschenck.com

KRIS TINER

Kris Tiner is a California-based trumpet player, composer, and improviser. His playing has been described as “extraordinarily inventive” in Signal to Noise Magazine, and the LA Weekly claims “Trumpeter Kris Tiner can turn barbed wire to beauty.” His music has been performed on five continents, his 50+ recordings have been enthusiastically reviewed in the international jazz press, and he has been recognized with awards from ASCAP, the American Composers Forum, Chamber Music America, the International Association for Jazz Education, Montalvo Arts Center, and the Kennedy Center. He is a member of the acclaimed Empty Cage Quartet, and he collaborates with New York guitarist Mike Baggetta in the duo Tin/Bag. Tiner performs with the Industrial Jazz Group, Chris Schlarb’s Psychic Temple, the Los Angeles Trumpet Quartet and the Jeff Kaiser Ockodektet, and has collaborated with Wadada Leo Smith, Vinny Golia, Kraig Grady, Tatsuya Nakatani, Donald Robinson, Nels Cline, Lukas Ligeti, Phillip Greenlief, and Cathlene Pineda. He directs the Jazz Program at Bakersfield College, and is the Trumpet Studio Instructor at CSU, Bakersfield. He is the founder of Epigraph Records, an independent label dedicated to the documentation of new creative music recorded live in Bakersfield.

www.kristiner.com

WALSH SET 5

Walsh Set 5 explores compositions by Brian Walsh that tie melody, improvisation and microtonality together. Sometimes they sing, talk and hiss.

BlueWhale website

Bluewhale + Cafemode present
AUGUST 10, 2014  9pm – midnight
FOR TREES & BIRDS
123 Astronaut E S Onizuka St. Suite 301, Los Angeles, CA 90012 | 213.620.0908

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JASPER DUTZ [bass clarinet / alto saxophone]
LEE MEADVIN [guitar]
CHRIS GASKELL [upright + electric bass]
CONNOR PARKS [drums]

9pm + 10:30pm

curated by Kio Griffith

$10 general admission | 21+

BLUEWHALE
123 Astronaut E S Onizuka Street #301 Los Angeles, CA 90012
Weller Court Plaza 3rd Floor

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JASPER DUTZ

Jasper Dutz began his journey in Music at an early age of 7 when he fell in love with the technical aspects of the clarinet. He has performed many classical works on the clarinet and is greatly influenced by composers such as Debussy, Ravel, Stravinsky, Bartok and Aaron Copland. Growing up with a musical family, Jasper has always enjoyed jazz. He has attended workshops such as the Port Townsend Centrum Jazz Workshop on scholarship. In addition, Jasper was a member of the 2010 Next Generation Jazz Orchestra with which he toured the east coast and Canada. He was also a member of the 2012 Next Generation Jazz Orchestra which toured Japan.

He has performed at venues such as the Alex Theatre, Jazz Standard, Walt Disney Concert Hall, The Dorothy Chandler Pavillion, Hollywood bowl, The Montreal Jazz festival, The Monterey Jazz Festival and many more. He has performed with artists such as Herbie Hancock, Joshua Redman, Natalie Cole, Barry Manilow, and Dianne Reeves. He has studied with artists such as Lee Konitz, Jeff Clayton, Walter Smith III, Gary Foster, Kim Richmond, Ben Wendel and Terry Harrington. Jasper is currently studying at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York City. He was given a full tuition scholarship.

FOR TREES & BIRDS

For Trees and Birds is a New York based quartet that features Jasper Dutz (Alto Sax/Bass Clarinet) Lee Meadvin (Guitar) Chris Gaskell (Bass) Connor Parks (Drums) and performs a variety of original music with some covers influenced by Jazz/Alternative Rock/Folk Music. Each member of the band currently attends the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music or New York University(NYU).

FB page
https://www.facebook.com/fortreesandbirds?ref_type=bookmark

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BlueWhale website

Bluewhale + Cafemode present
JULY 27, 2014  9pm – midnight
HAMMOND | TRIBLE | MITCHELL | WARE | SMITH
123 Astronaut E S Onizuka St. Suite 301, Los Angeles, CA 90012 | 213.620.0908

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ROSS HAMMOND [guitar]
DWIGHT TRIBLE [vocal]
NICOLE MITCHELL [flute]
TREVOR WARE [bass]
BREEZE SMITH [drums / percussion / electronics]

9pm + 10:30pm

curated by Kio Griffith

$10 general admission | 21+

BLUEWHALE
123 Astronaut E S Onizuka Street #301 Los Angeles, CA 90012
Weller Court Plaza 3rd Floor

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ROSS HAMMOND

With Humanity Suite, guitarist Ross Hammond has created an extended piece that’s certainly free and aggressive but exudes a sense of serenity. It’s a free-jazz statement based on rhythms that become the foundations for individual solos — an uncluttered, free sound with lots of chances for soloists to soar. -Craig Matsumoto

http://www.rosshammond.com/

DWIGHT TRIBLE

Dwight Trible is a singer who combines the best of vocal virtuosity with musicianship and improvisational skills to the delight of audiences and musicians alike. In addition to performing with his own group, The Dwight Trible Ensemble, Dwight is the Vocalist with Pharoah Sanders Quartet; he is also the vocal director for the Horace Tapscott Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra.

Not a newcomer to the music scene, Dwight has worked with such notables as Oscar Brown Jr., Bobby Hutcherson, Charles Lloyd, Billy Childs, Kenny Burrell, Kenny Garrett, Steve Turre, Harold Land, Harry Belafonte, Della Reese, Norman Conners, as well as contemporary soul artists like LA Reid and DJ Rogers. Dwight’s collaborations with Horace Tapscott, Billy Higgins, Kamau Daaood and others have produced some of the finest musical moments in Los Angeles in recent years – and his best is yet to come!

http://dwighttrible.com/

NICOLE MITCHELL

Nicole Mitchell is a creative flutist, composer, bandleader and educator. As the founder of Black Earth Ensemble, Black Earth Strings, Ice Crystal and Sonic Projections, Mitchell has been repeatedly awarded by DownBeat Critics Poll and the Jazz Journalists Association as “Top Flutist of the Year” for the last four years (2010-2013). Mitchell’s music celebrates African American culture while reaching across genres and integrating new ideas with moments in the legacy of jazz, gospel, experimentalism, pop and African percussion through albums such as Black Unstoppable (Delmark, 2007), Awakening (Delmark, 2011), and Xenogenesis Suite: A Tribute to Octavia Butler (Firehouse 12, 2008), which received commissioning support from Chamber Music America’s New Jazz Works.

Mitchell formerly served as the first woman president of Chicago’s Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), and has been a member since 1995. In recognition of her impact within the Chicago music and arts education communities, she was named “Chicagoan of the Year” in 2006 by the Chicago Tribune. With her ensembles, as a featured flutist and composer, Mitchell has been a highlight at festivals and art venues throughout Europe, the U.S. and Canada.

http://nicolemitchell.com/

TREVOR WARE

One of the most in-demand bassists in Los Angeles, Ware is regularly featured with a number of bands, but most often forms strong bonds with drummers. Developing his craft at The World Stage Performance Gallery, Ware had the opportunity to hone the craft of swing under the tutelage of master drummer Billy Higgins (still the most recorded jazz drummer in history). After being offered his first professional gig by legendary pianist and composer Horace Tapscott & New York saxophonist Sonny Fortune, Ware developed as sense of musical adventure playing in Tapscott’s quartet and Pan Afrikan People’s Arkestra.

Mr. Ware’s internationally performances include the North Sea, Monaco, Jazzaldia, Monterey, & Montreux Jazz Festivals. His film credits include the Dreamworks film release Collateral starring Tom Cruise and Jamie Fox and the CBS series Smith starring Ray Liotta.

http://www.trevorware.com/

BREEZE SMITH

………breeze vision in music
music is the strength of the wind which has no barrier,
music impacts politics & human rights – and impassions emotions between lovers,
music is an integral part of our lives – melodies of birds – the rhythmic whir of an airplane – 3 dancing pitches of a sacred singing bowl in the masterful hands of a tibetan monk.

influences………..
short wave radio [finding space sounds between stations & unknown languages], late night freight trains, wind howling against my bedroom window through the 4 distinct seasons of central ohio, dad playing the saw with violin bow, tv cartoon & sci-fi movie sound tracks…these from early days & even now keep my sound imagination searching, ever in the state of experi-mental.

what do i do?!~
design and build musical instruments from influences like dreams [smith-curse-delight], design drum set-ups & percussion set-ups for more of a sculptural/musical/textural approach, experiment in ancient marbling-book liner painting technique for revolving/viewing capability, design/build sound scuptures of various sizes & incorporating metals, woods & stones, hand carving objects for casting in bronze, write ‘open’ style of free poetry & try my very best to listen to & learn from what nature & the cosmos are desperately attempting to communicate.

http://www.breezemuse.com/

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BlueWhale website

Grand Star Jazz Club + Cafemode present
JUNE 11, 2014  9:30pm – midnight
JENKINS / HAMMOND / GOLIA
943 N. Broadway [Chinatown]  Los Angeles, CA 90012

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JENKINS / HAMMOND / GOLIA

Alex Jenkins – drums / percussion
Ross Hammond – guitar
Vinny Golia – saxophone

[9:30pm] will start promptly

curated by Kio Griffith

$5-10 sliding donation | first come first serve | arrive early

GRAND STAR JAZZ CLUB
943 N. Broadway [CHINATOWN] Los Angeles, CA 90012

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ALEX JENKINS

Due to his in-depth study of the music of different cultures, Alex’s playing transcends musical traditions and boundaries. His expression of rhythm is heavily influenced by his study of Tabla. As a result, Alex has become known for his creative approach to music and his unique ability to fuse rhythmic ideas from various disciplines, into one cohesive performance.

http://www.alexdrums.net/

ROSS HAMMOND

…Free-jazz improvisation with something that’s thematic, a larger thematic idea that’s the undercurrent of the piece. If I’m improvising, I try to play melodies against what’s happening.”

Hammond’s own listening tastes suggest the eclecticism of his compositions. On any given day his house will be filled with the sounds of Joni Mitchell or Iron & Wine or Tarbaby or Iron Maiden. He also stays current with the jazz scene. “I’m constantly hearing music that’s flooring me and I’m trying to stay up on it. I feel like if you don’t stay up on the new music you’re living in a bubble and I don’t want to do that. “

http://www.rosshammond.com/

VINNY GOLIA

A multi-woodwind performer, Vinny’s recordings have been consistently picked by critics and readers of music journals for their yearly “ten best” lists. In 1990 he was the winner of the Jazz Times TDWR award for Bass Saxophone. In 1998 he ranked 1st in the Cadence Magazine Writers & Readers Poll and has continually placed in the Downbeat Critic’s Poll for Baritone & Soprano Saxophone. In 1999 Vinny won the LA Weekly’s Award for “Best Jazz Musician”. Jazziz Magazine has also named him as one of the 100 people who have influenced the course of Jazz in our Century. In 2006 The Jazz Journalists Association honored him with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

http://vinnygolia.com/

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Grand Star Jazz Club website