This jazz club’s had everybody who’s anybody inside its doors for a jam, a pre-recording/tour experiment, a change of pace, maybe a CD release party. A fairly new venue in a city crammed with places for live and canned music, Jazz at the CAP attracts some far-out acts who show up more for the opportunity to make living, breathing, evolving music than another mindless promotional obligation.
Like the Baked Potato, artists come to Jazz at the CAP to see what arises once they take the stage and cue the mics. The Jon Mayer Quartet’s been here, with Steely Dan’s sax guy, Pete Christlieb. So have the Jeff Hamilton Trio featuring Tamir Hendelman and Christoph Luty, Joshua White Trio, Josh Nelson’s Discovery Project, Katia Moraes & Brazilian Hearts, Gina Kronstadt and Her Big Fancy Band, Grace Kelly, Matt Slocum Trio, Ignacio Berroa Quartet, and Sara Gazarek.
Coming up: a world-wide phenomenon for many jazz musicians, saxophonist Bob Mintzer (Yellowjackets) with his R&Big Band, the left-handed bass virtuoso Jennifer Leitham and her trio, spellbinding, award-winning trumpeter John Daversa and his not-so-Small Band, Jeff Denson (Lee Konitz New Quartet) and his new trio, and famous veteran trumpeter/bandleader John LaBarbera (Buddy Rich Orchestra) with his big band.
Jazz at the CAP (A Jazz Temple Production) is an oasis for jazz and world music performed by veteran and rising stars every Tuesday and select evenings. Shows usually include two sets, 8:30 p.m. and 10 p.m., are open to all ages, and accommodate 100 in its cabaret seating. There’s a no drink minimum, a donation bar, free snacks, and free street parking (after 8 p.m.) — or park on Matilija Ave., west of CAP Studio.
Co-music promoters Ipolani and Sinclair Lott have helped turn this jazz club into a destination. Ipolani, who hails from Hawaii, designs all of the artist promos for the club, giving the vibe an even more distinctive look. Contact Sinclair by email for booking. The CAP Studio is located on 13752 Ventura Blvd. in Sherman Oaks, CA. Phone: (818) 990-2001.
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Bob Mintzer R&Big Band
All that’s required for a crowd to form anywhere is to drop saxophonist Bob Mintzer’s name. It doesn’t matter if he’s playing Yellowjackets material, big band, Latin jazz, or — in the case of his upcoming Friday show, R&Big Band… people will come to hear him. Bob Mintzer R&Big Band includes a trumpet, sax, trombone, and rhythm section full of musicians everyone’s heard of, like Russell Ferrante (Yellowjackets) on piano, Bob Sheppard (Steely Dan, Chick Corea) on sax, William Kennedy (Yellowjackets) on drums, and John Daversa (Herb Alpert Award, Fiona Apple, Michael Bublé) blowing trumpet. They’ll re-fashion 1960s R&B with a big band sound. Doors open at 8 p.m. Cost is $30. Ask about the $15 student discount. It’s even cheaper, presale.
Jennifer Leitham Trio
Prolific and profound, left-handed upright bassist Jennifer Leitham once lived life as a man named John. By the time she was in the middle of a 2001 tour with Doc Severinsen, she put herself through hell physically and emotionally to become a woman. Leitham has performed with as many famous artists as she has released many famous recordings, and earned herself a place in history as one of the finest bassists around. She brings her trio — pianist Rich Eames and drummer Randy Drake — to the May 21st show.
John Daversa Small Band
Trumpeter, composer, producer, educator, arranger, and bandleader John Daversa stylizes everything he touches with his fine hand. An innovator of large ensemble jazz (John Daversa Progressive Big Band), award-winning Daversa steers musicians on the right course toward elusive and intense conflagrations. He’s appeared on Late Night with David Letterman, The Today Show, Oprah Winfrey, and all the world’s best jazz festivals, and rubbed shoulders professionally with these stars: Fiona Apple, Michael Bublé, Sheryl Crow, Bob Mintzer Big Band, and The Yellowjackets. The John Daversa Small Band appears May 27 for one show only, 8:30 p.m. Daversa, alto saxophonist/flautist/vocalist Katisse Buckingham, tenor saxophonist Robby Marshall, keyboardist Tommy King, bassist Jerry Watts Jr., and drummer Gene Coye will definitely go into some of their tracks from the 2012 album, “Artful Joy.”
Jeff Denson Trio: “I’ll Fly Away” CD Release Show
Double bassist Jeff Denson and pianist Joshua White collaborated on their 2014 album of spirituals and hymns, done deeper, gripping the balance between sacred music and human emotion. Drummer Jon Arkin completes their trio for the June 3rd “I’ll Fly Away” CD Release Show. The project was inspired by the hymns Denson played at his father and maternal grandmother’s funerals, including the solo arco version of “Amazing Grace.” The one-day session was captured in one take, save for one track. Denson’s Trio is new, but certainly not new to the game. Originally from Washington D.C. and settled in the Bay Area, Denson himself has spent over a decade with the internationally well-known trio Minsarah, co-founded with Ziv Ravitz and Florian Weber, as well as seven years working with the Lee Konitz New Quartet.
John LaBarbera Big Band
Born in Mount Morris, NY, John LaBarbera started off playing cornet, then graduated to the trumpet in an astounding number of big big bands, including the Buddy Rich Orchestra in the late 1960s. He was a child prodigy, performing professionally with his musical family since the age of seven. He found his calling as a big bandleader and composer soon enough — for the likes of Dizzy Gillespie, Sammy Davis Jr., Mel Tormé, Chaka Khan, the Glenn Miller Orchestra, Count Basie, and more. His touch produced gold and platinum records for the Glenn Miller Orchestra’s “In The Christmas Mood I & II.” He’s also led the women’s big band DIVA to some fantastic adventures as co-founder. On June 20 and 21, the John LaBarbera Big Band will hold court for two sets.
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