Angel City Jazz Festival: Rethinking Jazz

The Coolest Labor Day EVER!

  • Date & Time: Monday, September 1, 2008 11:00 AM to 10:30 PM
  • Location: Barnsdall Art Park
  • Admission: Full day pass: $25.00 presale, $35 at the door (cash only) VIP Pass: $50 presale

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Angel City Jazz Festival features some of the most innovative jazz musicians from around the country and beyond. From acoustic piano trios to hard bop combos & avant guard ensembles, a wide array of genres will be covered. The eclectic program will place equal emphasis on established, world renowned artists and young emerging talent. All of the performers are exclusively selected for their unequaled commitment to create cutting edge original music through their extraordinary musicianship and improvisational genius.


Andy Milne’s Dapp Theory (Gallery Theatre 9pm)

Dapp Theory is a quintet that blends “contemporary funk, groove and hip-hop into jazz with such seamless, casual precision it’s almost freaky.” (LA Weekly) Awarded the Chamber Music America “New Works” commission in 2006 and voted “Rising Star Keyboardist” by Down Beat Magazine in 2004, leader, Canadian-born pianist/composer, Andy Milne is one of the most important and respected young voices in jazz today. With Dapp Theory, Milne combines the talents of percussive poet John Moon, saxophonist Loren Stillman, bassist Chris Tordini and drummer Kenny Grohowski, collectively helping to re-draw and extend the boundaries of jazz.

Arthur Blythe Quintet (Gallery Theatre 7:45pm)

A singularly distinctive and uniquely distinguishable stylist, Arthur Blythe is considered one of the greatest alto saxophonist’s of his generation. Born in Los Angeles, May 7, 1940, and raised in San Diego, CA Blythe’s beautiful, passionate and expressive sound validate his reputation as one of the most significant jazz musicians of our times. Arthur’s discography, as a leader or guest artist, extends to over 50 albums and includes ten seminal CBS Record albums, recordings with the Roots Band, The Leaders and The World Saxophone Quartet he made during the 80’s. In the 90’s, AB has recorded for the Clarity, Enja, and CIMP labels, among others. Arthur Blythe – sax | Gust Tsillis – marimba | Nick Rosen – bass | Nate Morgan – piano | Alex Cline – drums

Satoko Fuji Ma-Do Quartet (Gal Lery Theatre 6:30pm)

Critics and fans alike hail pianist and composer Satoko Fuji as one of the most original voices in jazz. A truly global artist, she splits her time between New York City and Japan and tours internationally leading several different ensembles. Just as her career spans international borders, her music spans many genres, blending jazz, contemporary classical music, and traditional Japanese folk music into an innovative synthesis instantly recognizable as hers alone. Satoko Fuji – piano | Natsuki Tamura – trumpet | Norikatsu Koreyasu – bass | Akira Horikoshi – drums
“Unpredictable, wildly creative, and uncompromising…Fuji is an absolutely essential listen for anyone interested in the future of jazz.” – Dan McClenaghan, Allaboutjazz

Alan Pasqua Quartet (Gal Lery Theatre 5:15pm)

Born in New Jersey, Alan began studying piano at the age of seven, playing both classical and jazz. He attended Indiana University, and received his Bachelors Degree in Jazz Studies from the New England Conservatory. His teachers at the time were Jaki Byard, Thad Jones, George Russell, David Baker and Gunther Schuller. While performing a concert at Carnegie Hall, Alan met the legendary drummer Tony Williams. Pasqua was asked to join “The New Tony Williams Lifetime” along with guitarist Allan Holdsworth. His other album and touring credits include: Pat Benatar, Joe Cocker, Ry Cooder, John Fogerty, Aretha Franklin, Sammy Hagar, Al Jarreau, Graham Nash, Bob Seger, Rick Springfield, Rod Stewart, The Temptations, Joe Walsh, Dionne, Warwick and Phil Spector among others. Alan Pasqua – piano | Darek Oles – bass | Peter Erskine – drums | Bob Mintzer – sax

Wayne Horvitz & Sweeter Than The Day (Gal Lery Theatre 4:00pm)

Formed in 1999, Sweeter Than the Day began simply as the acoustic incarnation of Zony Mash. Despite the shared personnel, the ensemble is quite distinct from the electric Zony Mash and the repertoire is almost entirely different. As a sideman and collaborator Wayne Horvitz has performed and recorded with Billy Bang, Carla Bley, Curlew, Marty Ehrlich, Bill Frisell, Fred Frith, Robin Holcomb, Butch Morris, David Moss, Bobby Previte, Elliott Sharp, Michael Shrieve, Kazutoki Umezu, Philip Wilson and John Zorn (Naked City, Cobra, etc.), among others. Wayne Horvitz – piano | Timothy Young – guitar | Keith Lowe – bass | Eric Eagle – drums

Elliott Sharp ‘The Velocity Of Hue’ (Gal Lery Theatre 2:45pm)

A familiar face in New York’s downtown music scene for almost three decades, the über-eclectic Sharp has released nearly a hundred albums, ranging from suites of solo-acoustic guitar improvisations to full-scale orchestral work. Sharp studied with master composers such as Benjamin Boretz, Roswell Rudd, Lejaren Hiller, and Morton Feldman while attending Cornell, Bard College, and the University of Buffalo, but he simultaneously indulged his fascination with physics and other sciences—which arguably affected his artistic aesthetic as much as his formal compositional studies. Sharp’s “extreme science nerd” bent has led to everything from building his own effects pedals to extrapolating guitar tunings from the Fibonacci series of numbers to being an early-adopter of computer-based composition and effects processing. Elliott Sharp – guitar

Motoko Honda Sound/E/Scape Project (Gal Lery Theatre 1:30pm)

World premiere of “Los Angeles 2008”, an improvisation based composition utilizing traditional and nontraditional methods, drawing out the image of Los Angeles’ landscape, city dynamics and diversity. Motoko Honda is a pianist/ composer/ improviser who has created a very distinctive sound though her holistic approach to music. Backed by an exceptional classical technique, and stylistic influences ranging from jazz to Indonesian music and contemporary prepared piano, Motoko composes structured improvisations intended to affect the skin, organs and minds of the listener instead of simply being heard as rhythmic and harmonic themes. Motoko Honda – prepared electro–acoustic piano, | Steuart Liebig – bass | Vinny Golia – sax, | drums

Nels Cline Quintet Plays The Music Of Jimmy Giuffre (Outdoor Stage 8:30pm)

Nels Cline is one of the most versatile, imaginative and original guitarists active today. Combining breathtaking technique with an informed musical intelligence, Cline displays a mastery of guitar expression that encompasses delicate lyricism, sonic abstractions, and skull-crunching flights of fancy, inspiring Jazz Times to call him, “The World’s Most Dangerous Guitarist.” Born in Los Angeles in 1956, his earliest musical influences included Jim “Roger” McGuinn, Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck, John Fahey and Duane Allman. Later these giants as well of those of jazz, jazz/rock, punk and the improvising avant-garde twisted his head around. Cline claims his most valuable music training came from his work with bassist/multi-instrumentalist Eric von Essen. Nels Cline – guitars | Joel Hamilton – bass | Scott Amendola – drums | Ben Goldberg – clarinet | Becca Michalek – sax

Robby Marshall Group (Outdoor Stage 7:15pm)

Robby first moved to Los Angeles in 2002 to attend the USC Thornton School of Music. While studying, he began playing saxophone for the legendary producer, David Foster. He recorded for Michael Buble (Warner Bros.) and toured with the young vocal phenom, Renee Olstead (Reprise). Since then he has continued to work with many noteworthy musicians along the way, including Terri Lyne Carrington, Bill Watrous, Shelly Berg, Tigran Hamasyan, Taylor Eigsti, Robi Draco Rosa, James Tormé, Hilary McRae, and Harry Belafonte. He was a participant in the Henry Mancini Institute, where he contributed to the Grammy-nominated recording, Elevation. In 2004 the USC Thornton School awarded Robby with the Bobby McFerrin Scholarship, which resulted in a memorable performance alongside the virtuosic vocal legend.

Nick Mancini Collective (Outdoor Stage 6:00pm)

In from New York City is the Nick Mancini Collective, led by an exploratory young vibraphonist with two toes dipped in tradition who splashes gentle swing, understatedly bent shoogabooga and exotic undersea layerings of filtered light. Original and good.” – Greg Burk, LA Weekly. Nick Mancini – vibes | Otmaro Ruiz – keys | Edwin Livingston – bass | Katisse Buckingham – winds | Nate Wood – drums

Leni Stern (Outdoor Stage 4:45pm)

“Ms. Stern (wife of guitarist Michael Stern, who’s nominated for a Grammy for the fourth time this year) continues to tilt her singing/songwriting in an African direction with her new EP Alu Maye, out next month on her own label. Those who dug her fusioneering axwomanship in the ‘80s and ‘90s will find she can still comb a tarantula’s hair with her sixstring subtlety. Those like me who had their ears opened by the heart and depth of her post-millennial vocal balladry should know that facet continues to shine. Now Stern builds on the light grooves, open spaces and desert melancholy that emerged on last year’s Love Comes Quietly, and somehow or other, she’s stopping time.” Greg Burk Leni Stern – guitar & vocals | Makane Kouyate – talking drums | Yacouba Sissoko – kora & vocals | Mamadou Ba – bass Brahim Frigbane – oud, doumbek

Nick Rosen Group (Outdoor Stage 3:30pm)

Nick Rosen is a freelance bassist/composer/improviser that resides in Sherman Oaks, CA. In 2002, Nick played a role in helping jazz legend Henry Grimes back onto the jazz scene after a 35 year break; he was a student of Mr. Grimes and also played in a band with him that featured Nels Cline (of Wilco), Vinny Golia, and Bobby Bradford. Nick has been featured in many major publications, including: the LA Times front page, The Hollywood Reporter, Jazz Times, the LA Weekly, and Vanity Fair Nick Rosen – bass | Miguel Ateood-Ferguson – keys | Katisse Buckingham – winds | Dave Wood – guitar Dexter Story – drums+ special guests

Both Sides Now (Outdoor Stage 2:15pm)

Kneebody members and friends get together for a festival specific project. Effortlessly blending the improvisational skill of jazz with the swagger of hip hop and the conviction of rock, Kneebody has created a cohesive voice at once singular and familiar. The result is an organic instrumental music that imparts “an epic, trans-generational gravity,” as one L.A. critic wrote. These musicians have worked with important figures from an astonishing range of artistic sensibilities including Ani DiFranco, Snoop Dogg, Nels Cline, Daedelus, Phil Woods, Steve Coleman, Chaka Kahn, Ralph Alessi, David Murray, Jimmy Chamberlin, and Ravi Coltrane. Shane Endlsey – trumpet | Garrett Smith – trombone | Adam Benjamin – Fender Rhodes | Kaveh Rastegar – bass | Nate Wood – drums

Option 3 (Outdoor Stage 1:00pm)

Option 3 breathes new life into the familiar setting of the traditional jazz organ trio. Based in Los Angeles, organist Joe Bagg and guitarist Jamie Rosenn have united with Brooklyn drummer Mark Ferber to form a trio that specializes in original based, interactive, modern jazz. The three musicians developed their intuitive rapport over the past 10 years, performing and recording with the quintet, Us and Them, the Alan Ferber Septet and eventually became Option 3. Joe Bagg – organ | Jamie Rosenn – guitar | Mark Ferber – drums

Ian Rapien (Outdoor Stage 1:45am)

Ian Rapien is a talented, highly-stylized tenor and soprano saxophonist with a progressive, exuberant sound. He, along with his unpredictable and free-flowing quartet composed of New York City jazz luminaries, have shared the stage with jazz world notables such as John Scofield, Hiromi, and Kenwood Dennard. Together they have a sound Jazziz magazine described as “a blur between jazz, electronica, progressive rock and jam-band styles, a cross between Miles Davis, Bela Fleck and the Dave Matthews Band.” Ian Rapien – tenor/soprano sax with effects | Romain Collin – keyboards | Thomas White – electric bass | Nick Anderson – drums

Unification Theory (Outdoor Stage 1 2:00pm To 9:30pm)

Unification Theory is an improvisational live painting group that paints live to music; it has painted live at various nightclubs, art galleries, museums and concert events around the world. The concept of Unification Theory is street futurism: visualizing the possibilities of the future through the prisms of Graffiti/Street Art, Hip Hop, Digital Artwork, Funk, Techno and Jazz. The unification of these diverse creative minds builds new visual and sonic structures. This collaborative improvisational live painting style is an innovative new form of performance. For the Angel City Jazz Festival, Unification Theory will do live paintings directly inspired by the improvisational music of the various Jazz musicians performing throughout the Festival. These improvisational live paintings will include large-sized paintings and smaller works. All of these live paintings will be available for purchase at the Angel City Jazz Festival. Man One – graffiti painting, Overtone Loyd – p-funk painting, Gustavo Alberto Garcia Vaca – Abstract digital artwork/painting + special guest Artists Fumiko Amano & Ritzy Periwinkle

Coming Soon