The Jazzcat

LeRoy Downs Hosts CD Release Party for Karin Carson Saturday January 23rd in San Diego

by on Jan.22, 2010, under News

“The Time Is Now”


The Debut Album Release By San Diego Jazz Vocalist

Karin Carson 

SAN DIEGO, CA – DECEMBER 01, 2009 – Chameleon Industries is proud to present Karin Carson.

Saturday, January 23rd, 2010 San Diego Jazz Vocalist and President of the San Diego Jazz Musicians Guild introduces “The Time Is Now” a much anticipated release featuring some of the best Jazz Musicians on today's scene. The line up includes Christian McBride on Bass, Gregory Hutchinson on Drums, Joshua White on Piano, Derek Cannon on Trumpet & Tom Catanzaro on Saxophone. Hosted by the one and only Jazz Cat, LeRoy Downs.

Hosted at the exquisite Tango Del Rey and sponsored in part by Chameleon Industries, The San Diego Jazz Musicians Guild, Michael Klayman Photography, Kin Agency for the Arts, Pacific Coast Jazz & That Other Label. A portion of all ticket sales will go to benefit the San Diego Jazz Musicians Guild.

6:00PM – 7:00PM: Doors Open – Artist Reception Photography Presentation: Michael Klayman.
7:30PM & 9:30PM:

“The Time Is Now” Album Release Concert. Students – One Set $20/ Both

$30; General – One Set $25/ Both $35. Tango Del Rey – 3567 Del Rey

Street – San Diego, CA 92109 / RSVP: 619.977.4074 / Click here for a map to the location. / Click here to purchase tickets.


Karin Carson – Shyne – Vocals
Karin Carson is a talented and highly appealing jazz singer

as can be heard on her recent recording debut, The Time Is Now. However Miss

Carson is more than just a vocalist for she is an organizer, a spokeswoman, and

an activist for the jazz music that she loves. She makes things happen, whether

it is gigs for her fellow musicians, publicity for jazz, or new musical



The granddaughter of a trumpeter Peter Sirna, who played jazz in the San Diego area in the

1950s and '60s, Karin Carson grew up around music and, even very early in life,

she was organizing musical events. “I sang every chance I could get. I sang in

choruses and put together my own shows when there wasn't anything going on. In

classes I was always very eager to organize groups, even as a child.” She put

together kid productions that had dancing, gymnastics and puppet shows. In high

school Karin sang jazz-inspired arrangements with a gospel choir, became

involved in musical theater, and organized a group that performed at festivals.

“We paid our own way and choreographed moves to all of the music ourselves.”

While attending Grossmont

College where at first

she took classes that trained her in classical music, Karin became drawn to

jazz while taking a big band course. “I started singing with a jazz band but I

did not quite understand the music. Kristin Korb, one of my teachers, suggested

I see her perform at an IAJE conference in Los Angeles. While there, one day I walked

into a room where Patrice Rushen and Ndugu Chancler were playing passionate

music before an enthusiastic and large audience. The vibe was so sympathetic

that I got a rush of joy. I looked around the room and I knew that this was

home. This was what I was supposed to be doing and, if I could make people feel

the way I felt at that moment, that is what I should do with my life.”


Never one to sit by passively and wait around for

opportunities that might not come, Karin quickly became an advocate for jazz.

When budget cuts in 2004 threatened the music department, she started a music

club called Melodia and organized a talent show that raised money for the

department. She became successful at writing grant applications, resulting in

new instruments being acquired for the Afro-Cuban ensemble and the

refurbishment of instruments for the college.


Karin picked up important experience working as the

promotions assistant at Jazz 88.3-FM in San

Diego and behind the scenes at the Monterey Jazz

Festival. She has interacted closely with the administration and the artists at

Monterey to see how the festival really works so

she could bring her knowledge back to San



Back home, she formed The San Diego Jazz Musicians Guild in

April 2009. The idea had originally come to her back in 2000. “I wanted

to do a

documentary on the history of jazz in San Diego, and it morphed into

something much bigger. Our goal is to build bridges across the global

liberal arts community through jazz. We

help young people to get involved in doing what they love by holding


sessions, giving people of all ages opportunities to see the music and


and also building up the jazz community. We had our grand opening in

April and

brought together jazz musicians from San Diego who had never actually

met before. Since our inception, we have presented over 200 musicians

and artists alike and continue to grow.”


In her own singing career, Karin sings regularly in the San Diego area (including at the Enchanted

Village), hosts the Live Jazz Jam at

the South Park Bar & Grill and the Jazz Collective at Tango Del Rey, Jack & Giulio's and

occasionally performs out of town for the City Nights Jazz series presented by the Mike Raynor Quartet at the Inn at Morro Bay.


Her debut recording, The Time Is Now, teams Karin with a

brilliant rhythm section. “Pianist-keyboardist Joshua White was one of the

first people that I asked because we have played together for many years. I

knew the great Christian McBride and he offered to play on the album. Gregory

Hutchinson is a friend of his, and one of Christian's top picks for drummer, so he was a natural choice.” Some

selections also have guests including trumpeter Derek Cannon and saxophonist

Tom Cantanzaro, background singers Leanne Wright Yip and Bridget Allen, and percussionists. The music is a

mixture of favorite jazz standards and a few surprises. Among the many

highlights are an unusual uptempo version of Duke Ellington's “Prelude To A

Kiss” (which is otherwise always taken as a ballad), a rendition of “Lush Life”

that has Karin accompanied by Christian McBride on piano, and a vocal-bass duet

on “Save Your Love For Me.” All of the music was recorded during a single

studio session and a concert that took place the following day. Karin wrote the

title track of “The Time Is Now” when she was starting college. The collection

as a whole, forms a soundtrack for her purposeful life since that time and

throughout, Karin sounds at her best, interpreting the lyrics with plenty of



Karin Carson, who was recently nominated by the San Diego

Music Awards for “Best Jazz,” looks forward to the future with enthusiasm. “My

life is an ongoing process and I can't say for sure what the future holds for

me. I would really love to tour, see the world and make a lot of music.

Whatever my future is, I want to make a difference.” She already has and it is

a sure bet that plenty of important accomplishments are in her future. – Written by Scott Yanow


Christian McBride

Christian McBride – The Boss – Bass

The finest

musicians to spring from the world of jazz have clearly had an

advantage when it comes to branching into other genres of music. Their

mastery of composition, arranging and sight reading coupled with their

flair for improvisation and spontaneous creation make them possibly the

most seasoned and adaptable musicians in the art. Grammy Award winner

Christian McBride, chameleonic virtuoso of the acoustic and electric

bass, stands tall at the top of this clique. Beginning in 1989 – the

beginning of an amazing career in which he still has wider-reaching

goals to attain – the Philadelphian has thus far been

first-call-requested to accompany literally hundreds of fine artists,

ranging in an impressive array from McCoy Tyner and Sting to Kathleen Battle and Diana Krall.

However, it is his own recordings – albums that encompass a diverse

canon of original compositions and imaginatively arranged covers – that

reveal the totality of his musicianship. He currently leads one of the

hottest bands in music – the propulsive Christian McBride Band (saxophonist Ron Blake,
keyboardist Geoffrey Keezer and drummer Terreon Gully). Click here for complete Bio.

Gregory HutchinsonGregory Hutchinson – The Great – Drums

Magazine describes him as “the drummer of his generation” and indeed,

Gregory Hutchinson is one of the most highly respected musicians of our

time. His mastery of timing and expression of rhythms is at the core of

his personal style. He is a musician's drummer, soundly rooted in the

jazz tradition he is able to approach all styles of music with supreme

accuracy and imagination, decorating compositions with his natural feel

and mind blowing innovation. His professional career began right out of

high school, when he was introduced to Red Rodney after playing in a

Big Band for a year. He quickly became known as a young phenom in the

jazz community sharing the stage with the likes of not only Rodney, but

Betty Carter, and Ray Brown while still in his early twenties. He is

one of the few musicians today who had the opportunity to collaborate

with some of the great orginators of jazz music. Since then he has

worked with a virtual who's who of the jazz world including: Dianne

Reeves, Wynton Marsalis, Roy Hargrove, Charles Lloyd, Diana Krall,

Harry Connick Jr, Joshua Redman, Christian McBride and Maria Schneider.

His time signatures and beat compositions have won him praise from the

hip hop community as well leading him to work with powerhouses Common,

Madlib and Questlove of the Roots.. Click here for complete Bio.

Joshua WhiteJoshua White – The Original – Piano
Pianist Joshua White is a remarkably gifted young jazz

performer, classical pianist, and composer. He began formal piano

training at the age of seven and became the organist and pianist for

the Encanto Southern Baptist Church by age 10.

After competing in several classical music

competitions, Joshua chose to focus his work on jazz, drawing

inspiration from its many innovators. In the past year he has performed

at many of San Diego's top venues including Anthology, Dizzy's, and the

Athenaeum Music and Arts Library. He was also a featured guest at the

2007 Ensenada Jazz Festival.

He recently founded The Joshua White Modern

Music Project with Nick Venditti – Tenor Sax, Tommy Holladay – Guitar,

Jeff Denson – Bass, and Jens Kuross – Drums, a Southern

California-based group focused on performing original music. Joshua's

enthusiasm and dedication to music is phenomenal and he is sure to

become one of jazz's major talents. He

also recently recorded with internationally recognized bassist

Christian McBride and looks forward to a promising career in music. Click here for more information.

Derek CannonDerek Cannon – Mr. D.C. – Trumpet
According to my mother, as a toddler I would stop whatever I was doing

if music was playing and put my head against the stereo speaker in

total amazement of what I was hearing.

So, music was indeed my first love.
I started playing trumpet in the

fourth grade. I heard it on a record when I was eight or nine, and it

was love at first sound. My parents wanted me to play the saxophone but

I was determined to play the trumpet. My father also plays the trumpet,

so I'm sure without even realizing it I was being influenced by him. My

good friend and brother Walter Beasley and I used to drive around in my

car in high school and listen to George Duke, Ronnie Laws, Earth, Wind,

and Fire, the Stylistics, Motown, Charlie Parker, Grover Washington,

Clifford Brown, Miles Davis, Tower of Power, and anything else we could

get our hands on. By

the time I reached High School the band program had been long

established as the place to be. We had a Concert Band, Jazz Band,

Orchestra, Pep Band, and a Rock Combo. I played in them all. My father is my musical mentor, and quite frankly the greatest man

known to me.

After graduating from Central High, I attended Imperial Valley College

and then transferred to San Diego State University where I earned a

Bachelors Degree in Music Education, and a Masters Degree in Jazz

Studies. I have served as Director of Jazz Studies at Chicago State University,

and I'm currently employed in the same capacity at Grossmont College. Click here for more information.

Tom CatanzaroTom Catanazaro – Tom Cat – Saxophone
Tom Catanzaro grew up in the high desert town of Hemet, Ca where he

picked up the saxophone at the age of 11. He was drawn to jazz music

very early and began performing at age 13 with several traditional jazz

bands and big bands, and gospel groups. By age 15, he won first place

high school jazz instrumentalist at the 2000 Spotlight Awards

competition in Los Angeles. He immediately began working many casual

and performance gigs for the LA Music Center, which included an opening

set at the 2001 Playboy Jazz Festival at the Hollywood Bowl. That

summer, he also recieved a scholarship to the Vail Jazz Foundation

Workshop in Colorado, a pivital experience that influenced him to seek

study in New York City. At age 17, Tom graduated from Hemet High School

and began his dream of going to school in New York City, where he

attended Manhattan School of Music on a full scholarship. In New York

City, he attained invaluable playing experience on a nightly basis,

playing with and learning from local musicians such as Roy Hargrove and

Eric Lewis, as well as studying privately with Bob Mintzer. In 2004, at

age 19, Tom came home to California and went on a short east-coast tour

with the Clayton Hamilton Jazz Orchestra where they performed with

several noteable artists such as Diana Krall, Joe Lovano, Michael

Brecker, George Benson, Al Jerreau, Christian McBride, Peter Martin,

Diane Reeves, Liza Minelli, and Regina Carter to name a few. Shortly

after returning home, Tom began to branch out into San Diego where he

played regularly with Gilbert Castellanos at the Onyx Room in Downtown

San Diego, followed by a three year stretch with the Kevin Kanner

Quintet at the Mint in Los Angeles. Currently, between gigs, Tom

teaches private lessons in Orange County, Long Beach, and San Diego. Click here for more information.

LeRoy DownsLeRoy Downs – The Jazz Cat
Master of Ceremonies

Downs has been an icon in the jazz industry for the past ten years. As

former overnight host of radio station 88.1 FM KKJZ, the only straight

ahead jazz radio format in Los Angeles, LeRoy has blessed the airwaves

with his love and talent for creative jazz programming! “Programming

creative jazz music was like a dream! The spirit, the mood, and all of

the great sounds in jazz are the only universal elements needed for

great jazz programming. It cannot be pre-planned. The spontaneity of

selecting the music kept the ideas fresh, hip and sounding absolutely

The salary at the station was challenging monetarily,

but the love for the music kept me richer than the richest king!With a

great baritone voice and a love for the music, LeRoy pursued a career

in radio programming. After volunteering at radio station 88.1 FM KLON

(now KKJZ), there was an opportunity to do a two hour show and LeRoy

jumped at the chance. He was the substitute and overnight host for

three months before he finally landed the Saturday night spot which

eventually lead to the 5 night a week program host spot. He has been

the Master of Ceremonies at the Monterey Jazz Festival for the past 7

years, the Big Sur Jazz Fest in Big Sur and has broadcasted from the

International Association of Jazz Educators Convention in New York

City. He has also been a well recognized host in Los Angeles at places

like the Hollywood Bowl, Catalina Bar and Grill, The Jazz Bakery, The

Museum of Contemporary Art, The Skirball Cultural Center, The Carpenter

Auditorium, The Crown Plaza Hotel and can be seen weekly as the jazz

host at the LAX Westin Hotel. ” LeRoy has developed an entertaining

jazz television show called “Hangin' with the Jazzcats” that is

currently being pitched for weekly programming. “Live with the Jazzcat”

is his weekly radio interview show that is broadcast live on 1410 AM

KRML radio in Carmel, California and online at “The”. Click here for more information.

Michael Klayman – The Lens & The Eyebrow – Photographer

Klayman fell in love with photography

the first time he saw an image appear in the developing tray during his

first photography class in high school. After graduating with

a bachelor's

degree in Imaging and Photographic Technology from RIT, he put down the

camera for several years before buying his first digital

SLR in the spring of 2008. Since that time Michael has shown his work

in several local art shows and plans to premiere his new collection in

February 2010.

For more information or press inquiries,
please contact Karin Carson
Chameleon Industries /
San Diego Jazz Musicians Guild /
# # #

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