The Jazzcat


The Jazzcat hosts The CREATE Festival West TONIGHT!! Presented by Legendary Composer and Trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith December 15 & 16, 2017  at The Lab in San Francisco

by on Dec.11, 2017, under Events, Festivals, News

© Michael Jackson
Legendary composer and trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith 
presents the CREATE Festival West, December 15 & 16, 2017 
at The Lab in San FranciscoThe festival, which debuted in New Haven in April 2017, goes west to showcase Smith’s visionary compositions   “A trumpeter and composer of penetrating insight.”– Nate Chinen, The New York Times

Iconic composer and trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith presents the CREATE Festival West, a two-day celebration and exploration of his inventive and unclassifiable music that will feature classic works alongside world premiere performances. Taking place Friday, December 15 and Saturday, December 16, 2017 

at The Lab, 2948 16th Street, San Francisco, CA, the festival will include performances by seven separate ensembles over two evenings. In addition, Smith will host a workshop, open only to musicians, on his Ankhrasmation Symbolic Language Scores.  A full schedule of events is below. Concerts on Friday and Saturday at 8 pm; workshop on Saturday from 1-3 pm. Tickets are $35 per concert; $60 for both concerts.  Workshop is $50. For information, please go to

The festival debuted in April 2017 in New Haven, CT where it will continue each year. “This idea had been in a dream state for many, many years,” Smith says. That long-cherished dream is being realized with support from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, which awarded Smith the Doris Duke Artist Award in 2016.

CREATE offers a thrilling, rare opportunity to delve deeply into the full scope of Smith’s sui generis compositional voice and approach, which – in their category-defying range and breadth – can only be classified using Smith’s preferred term, “Creative Music.”

The weekend opens with the premiere of South Central L.A by guitarist Lamar Smith (Wadada’s 22-year-old grandson) leading a trio featuring Hardedge and Pheeroan akLaff.  Friday’s program continues with Wadada Leo Smith’s Silence featuring Smith with David Leikam on Moog synthesizer and Davis on piano; and RedKoral Quartet, a string quartet specially assembled to perform Smith’s music, comprising longtime collaborators Shalini Vijayan and Mona Tian (violins), Andrew McIntosh (viola) and Ashley Walters (cello), joined by Smith and Hardedge.

Both evenings will culminate with a performance of music from “America’s National Parks,” a six-movement suite inspired by the scenic splendor, historic legacy, and political controversies of the country’s public landscapes, performed by Smith’s newly-expanded Golden Quintet: Smith, pianist Anthony Davis, bassist John Lindberg, drummer akLaff, and cellist Walters along with video artist Jesse Gilbert. Cuneiform’s 2016 2-CD recording of the work was widely acclaimed, taking its place at or near the top of most annual lists of the year’s best releases. JazzTimes wrote that the album “unites political engagement with a soul-deep connection to nature… rich with ineffable majesty, [the suite] fully engages with tensions at the heart of the American experience.” DownBeatnamed America’s National Parks as the Jazz Album of the Year in its 65thAnnual Critics Poll.

Saturday’s line-up includes a performance by the Bay Area’s Rova, a saxophone quartet featuring Larry Ochs, Bruce Ackley, Jon Raskin and Steve Adams.  Also on the program is Earth featuring Smith, pianist Motoko Honda, haegeum player Soo Yeon Lyuh, and percussionist William Winant; and Pacifica featuring Smith, guitarist Henry Kaiser and bassist Lindberg.

Several of the works will be supplemented by images provided by video artist Gilbert, who Smith says adds integral visual context to the aural elements. “The music and imagery don’t move in separate streams,” he says. “They’re actually intimately connected and responsible for each other, allowing us to create a narrative that transcends space and time. It’s twofold: there’s a technical and musical connection, and then there’s a psychological and historical connection that helps to provide for comprehension of the work.”

In order to further that comprehension, Smith (aided again by Gilbert’s images) will offer an afternoon workshop for musicians on his Ankhrasmation Symbolic Language Scores.

In the end, Smith hopes that audiences who attend the festival will come away “with a deeper understanding of how I make my art. I expect that they’ll be more informed about what my music is and therefore they can create a deeper level of appreciation for what I do. Ultimately I wish to create a dialogue about issues of liberty, democracy, art and the connection between human beings.”

About Wadada Leo Smith

Trumpeter, multi-instrumentalist, composer, and improviser Wadada Leo Smithis one of the most boldly original and influential artists of his time. Transcending the bounds of genre or idiom, he distinctly defines his music, tirelessly inventive in both sound and approach, as “Creative Music.”

For the last five decades, Smith has been a member of the legendary AACM collective, pivotal in its wide-open perspectives on music and art in general. He has carried those all-embracing concepts into his own work, expanding upon them in myriad ways.

Throughout his career, Smith has been recognized for his groundbreaking work.  A finalist for the 2013 Pulitzer Prize in Music, he received the 2016 Doris Duke Artist Award and earned an honorary doctorate from CalArts, where he was also celebrated as Faculty Emeritus. In addition, he received the Hammer Museum’s 2016 Mohn Award for Career Achievement “honoring brilliance and resilience.”

In 2017 Smith topped three categories in DownBeat Magazine’s 65th Annual Critics Poll: Best Jazz Artist, Trumpeter of the Year and Jazz Album of the Year, and was featured as the subject of a cover story in August 2017. The Jazz Journalists Association also honored Smith as their 2017 Musician of the Year as well as 2017 Duo of the Year for his work with Vijay Iyer. The JJA named him their 2016 Trumpeter of the Year, 2015 Composer of the Year, and 2013 Musician of the Year, and he earned top billing in two categories in the JazzTimes 2016 Critics Poll: Artist of the Year and Composer of the Year.

In October 2015 The Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago presented the first comprehensive exhibition of Smith’s Ankhrasmation scores, which use non-standard visual directions, making them works of art in themselves as well as igniting creative sparks in the musicians who perform them. In 2016, these scores were also featured in exhibitions at the Hammer Museum, and the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts and Kadist in San Francisco.

Born December 18, 1941 in Leland, Mississippi, Smith’s early musical life began at age thirteen when he became involved with the Delta blues and jazz traditions performing with his stepfather, bluesman Alex Wallace. He received his formal musical education from the U.S. Military band program (1963), the Sherwood School of Music (1967-69), and Wesleyan University (1975-76).

Smith has released more than 50 albums as a leader on labels including ECM, Moers, Black Saint, Tzadik, Pi Recordings, TUM, Leo and Cuneiform. His diverse discography reveals a recorded history centered around important issues that have impacted his world, exploring the social, natural and political environment of his times with passion and fierce intelligence. His 2016 recording, America’s National Parks earned a place on numerous best of the year lists including the New York Times, NPR Music and many others. Smith’s landmark 2012 civil rights opus Ten Freedom Summers was called “A staggering achievement [that] merits comparison to Coltrane’s A Love Supremein sobriety and reach.”

Wadada Leo Smith

CREATE Festival West 2017

Hosted by The Jazzcat LeRoy Downs

December 15 & 16
The Lab, 2948 16th St., San Francisco

Friday, December 15: 8:00 p.m.

Lamar Smith / Hardedge / Pheeroan akLaff: 
New Piece / South Central L.A.
Lamar Smith: guitar
Hardedge: soundesign
Pheeroan akLaff: drums




Wadada Leo Smith’s Silence: 
Wadada Leo Smith: trumpet
David Leikam: Moog synthesizer 
Anthony Davis: piano



RedKoral Quartet: 
Pacifica, String Quartet No. 12B   
RedKoral Quartet:
Shalini Vijayan: violin
Mona Tian: violin
Andrew McIntosh: viola
Ashley Walters: cello
Wadada Leo Smith: trumpet
Hardedge: soundesign


Wadada Leo Smith’s Golden Quintet:
America’s National Parks   
(New Orleans The National Culture Park USA 1718; 
Eileen Jackson Southern, 1920-2002 A Literary National Park; Yellowstone The First National Park and the Spirit of America – The Mountains, Super-Volcano Caldera and Its Ecosystem 1872)

Wadada Leo Smith: trumpet
Anthony Davis: piano
Ashley Walters: cello
John Lindberg: bass
Pheeroan akLaff: drums
Jesse Gilbert – video artist

Saturday, December 16: 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.

Workshop for Musicians: Ankhrasmation Symbolic Language Scores

8:00 p.m.

Wadada Leo Smith’s Earth: 
Wadada Leo Smith: trumpet
Motoko Honda: piano
Soo Yeon Lyuh: haegeum 
William Winant: percussion


Saxophone Quartet No. 1 
Ma’d-Din, in memory of Sufi Master, Cerno Bokar Saalif Taal
Bruce Ackley: soprano & tenor saxophones
Larry Ochs: tenor & sopranino saxophones
Jon Raskin: baritone, alto & sopranino saxophones
Steve Adams: alto & sopranino saxophones

Wadada Leo Smith’s Pacifica:
Koral Reef
Wadada Leo Smith: trumpet
Henry Kaiser: guitar
John Lindberg: bass


Wadada Leo Smith’s Golden Quintet: 
America’s National Parks 
(The Mississippi River Dark and Deep Dreams Flow the River – a National Memorial Park c. 5000 BC; Sequoia Kings Canyon National Parks The Giant Forest, Great Canyon, Cliffs, Peaks, Waterfalls and Cave Systems 1890; Yosemite The Glaciers, the Falls, the Wells and the Valley of Goodwill 1890)

Wadada Leo Smith: trumpet
Anthony Davis: piano
Ashley Walters: cello
John Lindberg: bass
Pheeroan akLaff: drums
Jesse Gilbert – video artist

CREATE Festival is made possible with generous support from the Doris Duke Foundation in partnership with Creative Capital. Smith received a Doris Duke Artist Award in 2016.

© Michael Jackson


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Bennie Maupin World Premiere Performance: The Jewel in the Lotus!! Redcat Dec 8th 8:30 PM!

by on Dec.03, 2017, under Events

World Premiere Performance

Bennie Maupin’s the Jewel in the Lotus

Click Picture above for Interview

Friday Dec 8th at The Redcat

Don’t miss this spectacular arrangement of classic music!

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Music on the Road Documentary Premiering on FUSE TV Dec 9th!! DON’T MISS!!

by on Nov.27, 2017, under Events, Jazzcat Hosting, News, Television

The Jazzcat, Voice of the incredible music documentary Music on The Road! Makes it’s television premiere…

Watch Full Episode

The webseries won “Best documentary” at the Baltimore web fest, and “Best music score” at the Dublin web fest this weekend.

Producers and film makers Benoit Percent and Yoanne Le Gruiec from France traveled all across America capturing intimate encounters with musicians in the crux of the fabric of this country.

Music blossoming in our artistic communities is potent and these gentlemen jumped in the trenches with their cameras to give you a visual and an audible of the brilliance that lies in your own backyard. Don’t miss this spectacular documentary premiering on Fuse TV!!

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2018 New York City Winter JazzFest!! Jan 10-17, 2018

by on Oct.27, 2017, under Events, Festivals, News





Celebrating The 14th Annual Season
January 10-17, 2018,
Presenting The Full Spectrum of Jazz


NYC Winter Jazzfest Continues Focus on Social Justice,
Calling on Artists to Submit Projects Pertaining To 





Opening Night Wednesday January 10

Iconic DJ GILLES PETERSON To Host British Jazz Showcase,
Sponsored By PRS Foundation & BBC, 

Featuring Nubya Garcia, Oscar Jerome, Yazz Ahmed
+ The Comet is Coming

Thursday January 11
Jose James Plays Bill Withers,

Knower & My Brightest Diamond + More TBA


Friday January 12–Saturday January 13

Winter Jazziest Marathon – Festival Centerpiece Featuring Hundreds of Acts on Numerous Stages, All Over Downtown Manhattan


Sunday January 14, 2018

Ravi Coltrane Presents Universal Consciousness: Melodic Meditations of Alice Coltrane

Monday January 15, 2018

A Tribute To Geri Allen,

Music Direction by Terri Lyne Carrington

• Angela Davis

• Esperanza Spalding
• Craig Taborn
• Dee Dee Bridgewater
• Dianne Reeves
• Farah Jasmine Griffin
• Ingrid Jensen
• Jack DeJohnette
• Jaimeo Brown
• Jeff Tain Watts
• Kassa Overall
• Kris Davis
• Linda May Han Oh
• Maurice Chestnut
• Mino Cinelu
• Ravi Coltrane
• S. Epatha Merkeson
• Terri Lyne Carrington
• Tia Fuller
• Vijay Iyer
+ more


Tuesday January 16

Artist-in-Residence Nicole Mitchell’s Afrofuturist
Mandorla Awakening II: Emerging Worlds;

Opener Tyshawn Sorey Performing Solo Percussion Set

Wednesday January 17

Acclaimed Indie Rockers DEERHOOF
Meet Trumpeter/Composer WADADA LEO SMITH,

For Unprecedented Collaboration

We Resist! Jazz and Justice Educational Series to be Launched

NYC Winter Jazzfest & The Town Hall Present


with Opener Camila Meza & The Nectar Orchestra

Revive Music & New York Hot Jazz Festival Stages Return



In 2017, Winter JazzFest artists addressed various themes of social justice in their music.  Now in its 14th annual season, Winter Jazzfest 2018 will span January 10-17, 2018, presenting cutting-edge programming.

Following the 2017 incarnation of the festival, inspired by the public’s response to our social justice focus, Winter Jazzfest founder and producer Brice Rosenbloom decided to continue presenting concerts focusing on matters of social justice with a concert series entitled, WE RESIST!  So far artists addressing social justice issues in their music have included Jaimeo Brown’s Transcendence, Harriet Tubman, James Brandon Lewis, Samora Pinderhughes’ Transformations Suite, Shabaka and the Ancestors, La Frae Sci, Marc Ribot, M.A.K.U. Soundsystem and more. Each performance raises money for a charity of the musicians’ choice. This series will continue throughout the end of 2017 and beyond.

Fittingly, the 2018 Winter Jazz Fest will focus on five main themes pertaining to social justice (mass incarceration, sexual and gender equality, racial justice, immigration rights and environmental responsibility), in direct protest to the actions and legislative agenda of the current White House and Congress.  “We encourage musicians to submit projects for performance based on these themes for our 2018 festival,” says Rosenbloom.


Additionally this year, Winter Jazzfest is pleased to announce that our Artist-in-Residence is flutist, composer, bandleader and educator Nicole Mitchell. Her music celebrates African American culture while reaching across genres and integrating new ideas from gospel, experimentalism, pop and African percussion. In 2017, she relased a broadly acclaimed albumMandorla Awakening II: Emerging Worlds (FPE Records), which landed her on the cover of Wire Magazine. She is currently Professor of Music in Integrated Composition, Improvisation and Technology, (ICIT) at the University of California, Irvine. She will present Mandorla Awakening with her long-running Black Earth EnsembleMaroon Cloud, and two other ensembles.


For the first time, Winter Jazzfest will feature a UK jazz stage presented by PRS Foundation and BBC Music Introducing. Since 2015, BBC Music Introducing and PRS Foundation have been working together to support and create a platform for the UK’s most talented artists to showcase at overseas music industry events.

PRS Foundation and BBC Music Introducing have assembled a stellar lineup featuring emerging artists: tenor saxophonist Nubya Garcia, vocalist, guitarist and composer Oscar Jerome and trumpeter/composer Yazz Ahmed.  Hosting the stage will be famed BBC DJ and Brownswood Records label founder Gilles Peterson.


Additionally, headliners The Comet Is Coming, a London-based band who incorporate elements of jazz, electronica, funk and psychedelic rock will close the showcase. The bandmembers go by pseudonyms “King Shabaka,” “Danalogue the Conquerer,” and “Betamax Killer,” who are saxophonist Shabaka Hutchings, synth player Dan Leavers and drummer Max Hallett, respectively.


Night two features a triple-bill of neo-soul, funk, and art rock courtesy crooner Jose James singing the music of Bill WithersKnower, a project featuring hyper-precision drummer and showman Louis Cole andShara Worden as My Brightest Diamond.

The signature Winter Jazzfest Marathon is scheduled for Friday January 12th – Saturday January 13th. This two-night event straddles venues on the North and South ends of Greenwich Village, taking over numerous stages South, East and West of Washington Square Park.  Full lineup to be announced shortly.


As in past years, stages curated by New York concert impresarios Meghan Stabile of Revive Music GroupMichael Katsobashvili of the New York Hot Jazz Festival, while Adam Schatz adds his curatorial touch to several stages.


Following the marathon, on Sunday January 14th at (le) poisson rouge, the festival will honor Alice Coltrane in a program curated by her son Ravi Coltrane called Universal Consciousness: Melodic Meditations of Alice Coltrane.


On Martin Luther King’s Birthday, Monday January 15, the festival will honor the memory of the late pianist-composer-educator and innovator,Geri Allen, who passed in June 2017, weeks after celebrating her 60th birthday. Allen’s close collaborator and friend, Terri Lyne Carrington organized musicians in tribute to this saddening loss for the community. “The jazz community will never be the same with the loss of one of our geniuses, Geri Allen. Her virtuosity and musicality are unparalleled,” said Carrington upon learning of her passing. “I will miss my sister and friend, but I am thankful for all of the music she made and all of the incredible experiences we had together for over 35 years. She is a true original — one of a kind — never to be forgotten. My heart mourns, but my spirit is filled with the gift of having known and learned from Geri Allen.”


Thus far, confirmed participants include Angela Davis, S. Epatha Merkerson, Esperanza Spalding, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Dianne Reeves, Farah Jasmine Griffin, Jack DeJohnette, Terri Lyne Carrington, Jeff ‘Tain’ Watts, Ravi Coltrane, Vijay Iyer, Mino Cinelu, Linda May Han Oh, Jaimeo Brown, Ingrid Jensen, Tia Fuller, Kris Davis, Kassa Overall, and Maurice Chestnut.  Additional artists will be announced shortly. All proceeds from Monday’s concert will go to the Geri Allen Estate.


On Tuesday January 16, 2018 Winter Jazzfest Artist-in-Residence Nicole Mitchell, presents Mandorla Awakening II: Emerging Worlds, using a science fiction narrative she created to pose the question: “What would a truly egalitarian world look like, with advanced technology existing in harmony with nature?” Opening the night will be 2017 MacArthur Fellow, Dr. Tyshawn Sorey presenting a solo percussion and synthesizer set, in his own idiosyncratic display of sonic Zen koans, Dadaist gestures, and masterful displays of intensity and restraint that will surely captivate Winter Jazzfest audiences.


Finally on Wednesday January 17, Bay Area-based art rockers Deerhoofwill team up with the legendary AACM trumpeter, composer and 2015 Pulitzer prize finalist Wadada Leo Smith for a sure-to-be-unforgettable night of improvisation, exploration and song.


Pianist Geri Allen: Winter Jazzfest will present a tribute show
to Allen as a stand-alone event.



“”Winter Jazzfest…is now the city’s most renowned jazz festival; it includes artists from all over jazz’s spiritual spectrum, and has little time for conservatism.” – The New York Times


NYC Winter Jazzfest is a destination for avid jazz fans, industry professionals, and new listeners to come together and experience the exciting and vibrant contemporary jazz scene. Since its inaugural year in 2005, the festival has grown organically, with more artists performing and a continually increasing audience—proving the true vitality and urgency of this music. Winter Jazzfest’s programming is inclusive of a broad spectrum of musical styles under the banner of jazz. Inherent to the tradition of jazz as protest music, Winter Jazzfest strives to support and highlight artists who create music with relevant messages of social justice and positive change.


Praised by New York Times, The New Yorker, NPR and others, the festival year-on-year continues to grow at a rapid pace, from its original one-day single-location program, to a 2017 master plan that put over 150 groups comprising over 700 artists on 14 stages over five nights, in Downtown Manhattan. In 2015, the festival was voted “#1 Jazz Festival in North America” by JazzTimes Magazine, and has become a pivotal destination for arts leaders and cultural cognoscenti who visit the city early in the year.


The marathon that takes place during the festival’s Friday and Saturday nights has, in particular, become recognized as a crucial, unique New York nightlife offering, giving audiences full access to all participating venues from early evening, deep into the wee hours of the morning. Winter Jazzfest is an unparalleled experience for all consumers of jazz, experimental sound and global creative impulses – from hardcore fans to novices. In 2017, that meant welcoming over 9000 audience members. In 2018, the festival is expected to grow to an estimated 10,000 audience members in attendance.


NYC Winter Jazzfest was conceived as an event to showcase the latest and most cutting edge of jazz acts during the annual Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP) Conference. Founded by New York concert impresario Brice Rosenbloom, the festival has become the definitive jazz event of the Winter season, offering a “state of the union” for jazz and its many stylistic camps from hot jazz to Latin jazz to avant-garde to straight-ahead, post-bop, jazz-funk, fusion, hypermodern through-composed music and more. Hardcore fans, industry members, critics and novice listeners alike get a chance to sample virtually every flavor the jazz world has to offer. Attendees regularly travel from other states and countries to attend the festival. It’s truly a destination event. Many in the industry see it as jazz’s answer to SXSW.


About PRS Foundation & BBC Music Introducing


PRS Foundation is the UK’s leading funder of new music and talent development. Since 2000, PRS Foundation has given more than £26.5 million to over 5,750 new music initiatives by awarding grants and leading partnership programmes that support music sector development. Widely respected as an adventurous and proactive funding body, PRS Foundation supports an exceptional range of new music activity – from composer residencies and commissions to festivals and showcases in the UK and overseas.


With over 460,000 tracks uploaded to the BBC Music Introducing website and 170,000 artists registered since its launch in 2007, BBC Music Introducing supports unsigned, undiscovered and under the radar music, propelling emerging artists onto the national stage through BBC Radio 1, 1Xtra, Radio 2, 6 Music, Radio 3, Asian Network and World Service. BBC Music Introducing also provides up-and-coming artists with broadcast opportunities on television and online as well as the chance to perform at major festivals and showcases. Big name artists including Florence and The Machine, The 1975, Jake Bugg, James Bay and many others all received BBC Music Introducing support at the start of their careers.

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Jazzcat Spins on KCRW Starting with a Tribute to Muhal! Listen!!!!!

by on Oct.26, 2017, under Events, Jazzcat Hosting, News, Radio

Hello Beautiful Jazz People!

The Jazzcat on KCRW Friday Night/ Saturday Morning!!!

Saturday November 4th


3am – 6am


Click Picture below and listen!!!

We begin with a musical tribute to the founder of the AACM and one of the great masters of MUSIC!

Muhal Richard Abrams

89.9 FM


The one thing I love is playing and discovering new and exciting music. We live in a world of mediocracy and there is no reason to program music anything less than SPECTACULAR! I consider myself a seeker, constantly on the prowl for extraordinary sounds. Stay tuned for a special eclectic  experience as we paint mosaics with Sounds and Colors! Beauty dancing on the edge of daring and provocative with a splash of nocturnal perplexing orgasmic composition! If you are thirsty for exciting music that you may not have heard or that your certainly won’t here on your average radio station then please, tune in! Creating a new personality for your definition of JAZZ! Signatures ranging way beyond your normal 4/4 patterns and, it DON’T look like your daddy’s music! 21st Century creations mixed with the avant guard beauty of the past makes for a brilliant blend of relevant parallel musical time lines. Homage to the past, Amen to the future!


Instructions for enjoyment

  1. Come to the music openly
  2. Hear all the notes
  3. Allow yourself to feel the vibration
  4. Do NOT allow mediocre mainstream media to dictate you taste
  5. Seek, explore and settle on nothing less than extraordinary
  6. Let love and intent of the sound guide you to new destinations within yourself
  7. And most of all Enjoy!

ld-on-air-at-kcrwIt is not often that you have an opportunity to hear and enjoy pure, unadulterated JAZZ creativity coming through the airwaves here in Los Angeles.

screen-shot-2016-11-29-at-3-34-38-pmThere are but a few heroes that grace the airwaves on a consistent basis. KCRW’s Bo Leibowitz with “Strictly Jazz” and KPFK’s ld-max-on-kpfkMark Maxwell with “Rise” are but a few truly providing a great service for Los Angeles. I am honored to work with and sub for both of them whenever the occasion permits.

Friday Night / Saturday Morning

“The Wee Hours”

November 4th


3am – 6am KCRW.ORG

The Jazzcat sitting in for Bo Leibowitz spinning a menagerie of sonic brilliance and whippin’ up magic with lot of great music by the cats you know and some you don’t!


Bring your enthusiasm for sound and your blank canvas to listen to the colors of jazz unfold, blossom and enlighten! Come on you nocturnals, weather its wine or a cup of java, stay up and let’s jam together!

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NOVEMBER 4, 2017 3am


Friday Night /Saturday  Morning

3AM to 6am Pacific Standard Time

3 Hours of Progressive, Eclectic Jazz for you dome!


The Light is ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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

by on Oct.15, 2017, under Events, 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.

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

by on Sep.01, 2017, under Events, Festivals, Jazzcat Hosting, 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

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See you here!!!!!

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

by on Aug.27, 2017, under Events, Jazzcat Hosting, News, Television

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!!

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Kamasi Washington and Herbie Hancock at the Hollywood Bowl!

by on Aug.27, 2017, under Events, 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

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