Stanford Jazz Workshop just sent out a very impressive brochure about their 50th season as either a camp, a concert series or together a workshop. When I was entering my senior year at Gunn High, I strung for the summer Stanford Daily, and they sent me to talk to Jim Nadel about his 10th anniversary running a camp for children who wanted to learn jazz. He told me that the legendary Stan Getz was hanging out on campus with some of the art teachers and he was hoping to get the sax player to give a lecture, that would fly beneath the radar of his management.
Forty short years later, voila, he’s doing at least 32 hard ticket shows, plus the camps for kids and adults, plus creating teaching jobs part time for various mid-career and emerging musicians, plus some full time staff.
Here are the seven shows I will most likely see:
July 1: Ben Goldberg, Gerald Cleaver, Liberty Ellman (Campbell Recital Hall, i.e their second stage);*
July 11: Terrence Brewer, Howard Wiley (Campbell);*
July 13: Shemekia Copeland billed as Ruth Davies’ Blues Night with special guest Shemekia Copeland (Dinkelspiel);
July 17: Josh Thurston Quintet featuring Dayna Stephens (Dinkelspiel);*
July 21: Dayna Stephens Quartet featuring James Francies (Dinkelspiel);*
July 27: Lisa Fischer with Taylor Eigsti (Dinkelspiel)*
July 30: Dianne Reeves with Quintet and Orchestra (Frost Amphitheatre, which holds 7,000)
Although I am likely doing a weekly presentation at one of three venues in Palo Alto i.e. off campus, I am at least blocking out those seven dates from overlapping with Earthwise (which is in its 28th year, year 50 if you count me singing “Seasons in the Sun” sitting in front of our house in Saratoga when I was nine years old. The shows above marked with asterisk * include people I’ve worked with although giving credit where credit is due, Stanford Jazz Workshop in most cases found them first. (Although I also went to school 7th thru 12 grade with drummer Dan Adams who claims plausibly that he and not Gerald Cleaver or Larry Grenadier was in the original rhythm section that backed every kid doing his solo. Larry Grenadier to my understanding was the first jazz student at Stanford when in the 1980s the university followed Nadel’s lead and made the field an academic priority, and recruited the local legend to transfer.
Keep on swingin’, y’all.
edit to add: oops: the Shemekia Copeland show is head to head with Old Crow Medicine and Molly Tuttle at Mountain Winery in Saratoga, which I just bought my way into. July 17 have Amendola Vs Blades Duo at Mitchell Park Bowl but at 2 p.m. matinee, a great co-bill with Josh an Dayna at night back on campus. I also have the Waybacks at the Mitch Bowl 2 p.m. on Sunday July 10, which would leave me open to catch Valerie Troutt at Dink that night; I met Valerie at the Ruthie Foster show in 2019 at Stanford and then booked her into the JCC on a bill with Charlie Musselwhite and MC Lars that December. The Guild has Femi Kuti on Thursday June 30 going head to head with Diane Reeves at Frost. It’s $56 standing room, $99 seated mezzanine. I just saw Dianne Reeves at the NEA Jazz Masters Ceremony and concert at SFJazz. The Guild has Kamasi Washington July 27, head to head with the Lisa Fischer Taylor Eigsti show; for a whopping $142 per ticket. What the fuck? Two hundred for the seated mezzanine.