The Jazzcat

Author Archive

Musicians Talk Race In America – New series on All Music Television

by on Oct.17, 2017, under News

Far too much for Far too long. Jazz music, the healing vibration through times of love, hope, desperation, ignorance and down right stupidity in the highest order of the land. We need to speak on it to release it and we do it from a place of love! Music is the healing source and a place where all colors and vibrations can come together, right now, over me!










Leave a Comment more...

John Clayton’s Baaad Bass Monsters Sun Nov 5th @ MCLM!!

by on Oct.15, 2017, under News

(Culver City, CA —) On Sunday, November 5th at 2 p.m., The Mayme A. Clayton
Library & Museum, located at 4130 Overland Avenue in Culver City, will present another
of the late Mimi Melnick’s Double M Jazz Salons. The much-anticipated concert will
feature, John Clayton’s Baaad Bass Monsters. The string ensemble, directed by John
Clayton, will feature Edwin Livingston, Lyuman Medeiros, Gabe Noel, Johnathan
Richards and Katie Thiroux, as well as students of David Young and special guest,
Nashir Janmohamed.

Bassist, arranger, composer, educator and clinician, John Clayton has garnered the
admiration and respect of his peers, colleagues and fans, alike. There was plenty of
music at home. John’s mother played the piano and organ in church. The family’s proud
tradition continues today with his brother Jeff, an accomplished alto saxophonist. John’s
son Gerald, has emerged as a gifted pianist in his own right. In 1985, John co-founded
the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra with Jeff Clayton and drummer Jeff Hamilton.
John started playing bass at age 16. He attended Indiana University and majored in
music. A pivotal point in John’s early career, occurred when he studied privately with his
mentor, the legendary Ray Brown.

Mr. Clayton served with distinction as the principal bassist for the Amsterdam Philharmonic Orchestra. In addition, John has taught at USC’s Thornton School of Music. In 1991, the Grammy Award-winning virtuoso, served as the Artistic Director for the Hollywood Bowl. Always in demand, John produced the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival and taught at the prestigious Vail Jazz Workshop in Colorado.

Throughout his prolific career, John has composed and arranged for Monty Alexander, Hank Jones, Bill Cunliffe, Count Basie, Whitney Houston, Diana Krall, Quincy Jones, Carmen McRae, Nancy Wilson, Ernestine Anderson, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Tyrell Stafford and Paul McCartney.


November 5th, also marks the third Mimi Melnick Double M Award for Young Jazz Talent, given to an extraordinary artist. Mimi’s brother, Richard Clar and the Clar Family, have established an annual fund for emerging musicians. Each year, other donors have also come forward to enhance the award, totaling $2,000. Eligible candidates are those who have made early contributions to the art form and continue to display great promise. Our format remains the same. We will present this coveted award at 3:00 p.m., at the end of the first set.

Sunday, November 5th at 1 p.m

John Clayton’s Baaad Bass Monsters!

The Mayme A. Clayton Library & Museum

4130 Overland Avenue

Doors open at 12:30 p.m. At 1:00 p.m., John will briefly reflect on his life and career,
in an informal discussion with jazz historian Jeffrey Winston. The first of two sets, will
begin at 2:00 p.m.

In 1996, Jazz Baroness Mimi Melnick launched her first salon at her Encino home on Strawberry Drive. Mimi loved jazz. She organized the intimate salons to support L.A.’sjazz community. Producer Steve Isoardi notes, “November will bring to an end, the 21st year of Mimi’s unique series!”

“We are very proud and extremely honored to carry the torch”, said Executive Director Lloyd Clayton. The MCLM, collects, preserves, exhibits and celebrates, the vast history and cultural heritage of Americans of African descent. Performance Portraits, a poignant exhibit by photographer Bob Barry, includes stunning images of iconic, world-class, artists. It may be viewed before the concert and during intermission. The exhibit is free. Seating is limited. Salon tickets are $20.00 and may be purchased


or call, (310) 202-1647.

Leave a Comment more...

Angel City Jazz Festival: Celebrating the Monk Centennial Oct 1st – 15th

by on Oct.13, 2017, under News

10 Years for Angel City Jazz Festival, a BUCK for Monk, what could be better!

The Onlyous 100 Years

The Angel City Jazz Festival presenting the BEST in open mind Jazz experiences! Yes, it has been a DECADE of outstanding music presented by Angel City Arts and the only answer to the equation of Angel City + Superb Music = YES! This is one of the premier jazz festivals here in Los Angles and if you have been, you know this to be true. If you have not been, well you have your opportunity and we greet you with open arms!

The Angel City Jazz Festival takes place over several weeks at a variety of venues here in Los Angeles. You have so many options to check out the most outstanding music!




Come on out and enjoy all of this SUPER Fantastic Music! 2 weeks of Dynamic Sound!
To kick things off  “The Jazzcat” LeRoy Downs will be hosting at the John Ansen Ford Theater on October 1st with  The Monk Centennial Celebration featuring  the phenomenal Dee Dee Bridgewater, Brian Lynch, Conrad Herwig, Manuel Valera, Reuben Rodriguez, Richie Flores and Robby Ameen with Monk’s Afro Cuban Dream!




Followed by the great composer, arranger, pianist and leader of the Monkestra, John Beasley who will be cutting’ it up with DJ Logic, Mark De Clive Lowe, Dentoni Parks and Steve Lehman sampling along with John’s arrangements!


And at LACMA: the Los Angeles County Museum of Art on  Friday October 6th with the Jeff Parker Quartet and Angel City Young Artists Competition Winners !

Come and get this MUSIC!

Leave a Comment more...

LeRoy Downs hosts the 60th Anniversary of the Monterey Jazz Festival Sept 15 – 17th!

by on Sep.01, 2017, under News

60th Annual Monterey Jazz Festival


Screen Shot 2014-09-14 at 8.59.03 PM


This can be the best experience of your life! Celebrating 60 years of the Monterey Jazz Festival! An impeccable line-up to commemorate one of the worlds Greatest Jazz Festivals! The Place to be here in the West where it all comes together like “Effortless Mastery”. Several stages of the world’s masterful jazz musicians all together in one location, the stunning Monterey Peninsula where the beauty of location meets the brilliance of 60 years of jazz! From those you know to those you will come to know, expand your mind and experience a magical weekend of sound! By an means necessary, this is your life so live it. Moments in life you will always remember!

Come by Dizzy’s Den,  let’s hang out and do the music right!!!!


LD on Stage in Monterey

It has been such a pleasure to be your host for the last 15 years at Monterey so, let’s do it again and continue for a lifetime!!!!


 Clip from years past stream with Lou Donaldson

P1020376 P1020530

See you here!!!!!

Leave a Comment more...

The Jazzcat Brunch Jam was as Smashing Success!!!!!!!

by on Aug.27, 2017, under News

As you all know by now, I love my Jazz Musicians!! So, I decided to create an environment JUST FOR THE CATS to hang, eat, relax and enjoy! It’s always extremely hard to catch everyone in town and available but, I would say that we had a splendid time! Please enjoy a few photos by Bob Barry and Kristina Dixon of 11One Visuals.

All made possible by The Jazzcat, All Music Television, Tone Mesa, Anne Keeler and Samuel Pace!

If you are wondering about this event, here is an article by Paula Edelstein

Good times certainly had by all. And in the midst of these good times, our little bubble of celestial, sonic heaven, we can’t help but be cognicent of our world at large and the constant peril that persists with the fools whose rose color glasses only see white. This music, this world is a prism of brilliant color and true love sees them all! With that, we took the opportunity to create a new digital series on All Music Television called….

Here are the first two episodes featuring Ryan Porter, Jamael Dean, John Beasley and Billy Childs…

Enjoy your life, Enjoy the music and stay WOKE and stay tuned!!

Leave a Comment more...

Kamasi Washington and Herbie Hancock at the Hollywood Bowl!

by on Aug.27, 2017, under News

Talk about a sky rocket! Light the fuse and the sky is not even the limit. I can’t tell you how proud and honored we are to be a part of the jazz life that changed the world! When I say “we”, I’m talking about the entire city of Los Angeles and beyond. This is one of ours and an exemplary example of hard work, dedication and belief in the power of self. Music, the healer and the elixir that soothes our souls and Kamasi is at the forefront of the thing we call jazz.

Forever, when you hear the global masses mention the word jazz, a few names are brought up in conversations. These names are basically brought up to show the other people in the conversation that, “I’m hip, I’m cool or I know jazz too; sort of a basic platform to start a conversation about the music. And when mentioned, only the first names or one syllable nick names are used to emphasize the personal relationship that the individual has with the music. It takes a lifetime in the music before you can be relegated to worldwide, one name recognition. You know who I’m talkin’ about; “Miles”, “Trane”, “Lee”, “Freddie”, “Buhina” and now “KAMASI”.

Craig T. Mathew/Mathew Imaging


For years Kamasi had been honing his sound and writing music that fits the sounds of his life long friends. Kamasi didn’t have to go looking for a band, they all grew up in the backyard, and together they encompass The Next Step! Tonight Kamasi is here with two drummers Tony Austin and Ronald Brunner, Dontae Winslow on Trumpet, Ryan Porter on Trombone and Ricky “Papa” Washington on soprano, Cameron Graves and Brandon Coleman on piano, Miles Mosley on bass, Patrice Quinn on vocals and DJ Battlecat on the wheels along with a full string section and nine piece choir, lead by the great composer and arranger Double Gee; Epic indeed! This is the biggest sound you are going to get here at the Bowl. Pure unadulterated POWER, plain and simple!

Craig T. Mathew/Mathew Imaging


I know there is always lots of music in this town but tonight, this is the ticket! The World is the stage. Father Time and Mother Earth have been patiently waiting; clearing the pallet for this phenomenal sound. In 2015 they fired up the ship, squeezed onto the stage at the Regent Theater, launched the expedition around the world and made a perfect landing right here at the Bowl! Professor Boogie, Hot Sauce Brandon Coleman on the tune “Giant Feelings”. Strings and voice make the absolute sweetest sound, all based in love! Patrice reaches the heavens with her sultriness! Brother Brandon breaks out the vocoder and shortly followed by DJ Battlecat mixin’ James Brown in the mix. This is undoubtedly the best recipe to be fed by the music! “The Magnificent 7”, Kamasi is letting the fire loose on this one which features our man in arms Miles Mosley, Dontae Winslow, Bruner and Austin, all the torches and definite burners!

Kamasi premiered music from a 6 part suite from a video entitled, “Truth”, played live for the first time tonight. All in all power, truth, life long friendships, dedication to self and a sound embraced by the planet is not just his-story, it’s our story too!

Craig T. Mathew/Mathew Imaging

Herbie is up and it is so good to see the other brother from Mother Crenshaw, Terrace Martin as the newest member of the Herbie Hancock band! Like Miles, Herbie has a way of recognizing genius and making sure to acquire said assets for music dividends; a shrewd futures investor. My man Lionel Loueke, super exquisite and rare gem on guitar, along with James Genus and long time drummer and friend Vinnie Colaiuta start the set off with a never been heard original. Terrace is doing double duty on keyboards and alto, just a small sample of his many talents. Young in age yes, but Terrace has lived life and persists on keeping it all super real. With the music yes, but with life as well. It was only a few years ago that we were watching these cats grow up and carve out their sounds over in Leimert Park at Billy Higgins stage. Terrace know the fruits of what life can offer through the music but, he has not at all over looked the struggles and sacrifices that family and extended family have made in order for him to be the guy that he is. He continues to be an advocate for the kids, those without opportunities and a strong vocal point for community in a large, “give back” kind of way. Through the vail of Valerian armor, fame and fortune play second fiddle to truth, justice, creative sound and a golden heart!

In the studio as of late with Herbie, I’m sure it has been mutually beneficial; inspiration coming and flowing in all directions. The result is new music on the planet infused by the genius of young and old. Terrace will be producing Herbie’s next album; fresh ideas right from your neighborhood hero planting “Pollyseeds” throughout the world and growing new millennial conscious fruit that will feed the minds of tomorrow!

Herbie has always been fascinated with technology and Lionel, a wonder all to himself, comes with a once in a lifetime bag of remedies; nutrients for musical longings you didn’t even know you had until you heard the sound. Unique West African polyrhythmic approaches to 2050 revelations in sound and thought united with a global jazz consciousness brings about dynamic change.

One original sound with funky beats and grooves taking splashes of Hancock standards and blending personal mixes of everyone’s spirit. Quite a departure from four four and certainly a convergence of multi-genres at the crossroads of captivating music. “Actual Proof” originally done by Herbie’s, “Head Hunters” is getting lit up and twisted 2017 style! “Come Running to Me” has Herbie throwing down on the vocorder sparking new flavors inside old deliciousness.

Craig T. Mathew/Mathew Imaging

Herbie Hancock has always been a seeker, a true musician and entertainer. An integral part of the original think tank of the music. Jazz music, unencumbered and relentless on getting sonic ideas expressed on paper, shared with a group of creative minds, recorded, then broadcast to the globe to hear the message. An emoting love and happiness in the sound, activism and struggle, and the beauty of personal and world travels continue to contribute to his mastery.

This is it! A crucial pinnacle moment in the music, not a torch passed on but, shared in this jazz life of music and inspiration. We are witnessing a shift in the paradigm, the music as our savior, our elixir against the evil orange foes that plague the minds of the not knowing. Beautiful conscious spirits and truth tellers are leaving this planet for peace in the heaven’s at an extremely rapid rate. I hope you have been listening and learning because now, as in always it’s us against them. Jazz offers love through music and folks like Herbie and now Kamasi as well as so many others are the power. Stand with the music, stand with the love. Let’s bring the world back to the loving and free consciousness of a pure, inquisitive, unfettered openness of a child. Come out and get your live dose and buy the recording for your refill.

LeRoy Downs

Leave a Comment more...

The Jazzcat Hosting Jazz in the Park!

by on Aug.04, 2017, under News

with host LeRoy Downs

Leave a Comment more...

Robert Glasper and Jill Scott at the Hollywood Bowl!

by on Jul.30, 2017, under News

Driving up Highland Ave and what do you see when you reach the  Bowl, SOLD OUT! That lets you know the music is in full swing and at the center of the sound, Jazz with a touch of soul!
Robert Glasper has been and continues to be one of those monumental pivotal figures in the music. In love with jazz and influenced by the music of his generation, he possesses the power to bridge gaps by relaxing the jazz audience with some groove and giving rhythm and blues a shot of JA double Z!

Robert is part of the smash box generation. Yes, of course tradition, check it out, learn it, study it, master it, then smash it! The self imposed box that people proudly put on and wear proudly. These genres are blending and crossing boarders at every check point. The cerebral walls are still there for many but, it is the sound that creates unity!

Robert walks on stage with jokes, always truth behind the mask. I guess this music and any music is all about you and your core perspective. I come from a jazz perspective so I hear the jazz in it all. Tonight there are many who are hear to see Jill and may have never heard of the name Glasper. Whatever the case, let the vibrations determine your destiny. Experiment, you can’t go wrong, you can only go right!!

Casey Benjamin has a voice that is at home in any setting. Cool, funky, folky, kickback vibrations. This is the way humans become one with the music, trust and openness! And undeniable thunderous groove as the bed for Glasper’s wizardry!

DJ xxx providing the continuity, the rue that mixes messages on mantras. Original music, the key to progress! The search is to “Find You” which means there is love at the end of the rainbow!
Hello Ledisi! A heavenly splendid surprise and an audience pleaser for sure followed by the rapper Lupe Fiasco with the super flow!
Up next, the big sis Ms. Jill Scott!!
Jill Scott is on with the full on band and light show! Heavy soulicious with the horn section, two drummers and the brother backup singers! In total command of audience and yes, they know the songs but, most of all you feel the admiration of a lyrical truth teller. Relating to you on a real level of soul, truth and humor is infectious. Good feelings mixed with good vibrations and getting to the core of the emoting human is essential for connecting. Not to mention sealing the deal with an incredible voice. Of course some sexual imagery and imaginary song play always helps!

The combination of EU’s go-go beat “The Butt” with Prince’s “Sexy Motherfucker” got the crowd on their feet! “My Petition” pictures of murdered African Americans by the police, expressed as a love song to the Government. Oh say can you see?  Not the land of the free but the home of the slave. All in all political soul, body image love and messages eminating responsibility while spreading a war of love throughout the land! Jill Scott, still hot, rocking’ the Bowl with all she got!

LeRoy Downs

Leave a Comment more...

The Jazzcat Hosting Hollywood and Highland with Josh Johnson!! Tues Aug 5th @ 7pm

by on Jul.30, 2017, under News

KJazz in Association with Hollywood and Highland present

Josh Johnson

Tuesday August 3rd @ 7pm at Hollywood and Highland

Hosted By LeRoy Downs

Leave a Comment more...

Looking for something?

Use the form below to search the site:

Still not finding what you're looking for? Drop a comment on a post or contact us so we can take care of it!

Visit our friends!

A few highly recommended friends...