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Dates & Times

Bob Mintzer and
Russell Ferrante
Performance of the Month

Bob Mintzer leads several musical lives that, at times, seem humanly impossible for one person to sustain. He is a 20-year member of the Yellowjackets, leads his own Grammy-winning big band, is the recipient of the Buzz McCoy endowed chair of jazz studies at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, does workshops all over the world, writes books on jazz, writes for orchestra, concert band, and big band, travels with his own quartet, and plays with numerous other bands around the globe. He is equally active in the composing, performing and educational fields.

Bob has written over 200 big band arrangements. His big band music is played over the world and has influenced numerous big band writers. He honed his big band writing and playing skills in the bands of Tito Puente, Buddy Rich, Thad Jones-Mel Lewis. He has also written works for the National Symphony Orchestra, Metropole Orchestra of the Netherlands. WDR Big Band in Cologne, HR Big Band in Frankfurt and was commissioned to write a piece for concert band and tenor sax (“Go”) by a consortium of 50 universities.

As an instrumentalist, Bob has worked with Art Blakey, Jaco Pastorius, Sam Jones, Randy Brecker, Gil Evans, the Yellowjackets, GRP All Star Big Band, Mike Manieri, The New York Philharmonic, to name a few. He has done session work for James Taylor, Steve Winwood, Queen, Donald Fagan, Milton Nascimento, and countless others. Bob has recorded some 30 solo projects and was awarded with four Grammy nominations and a Grammy award for best large jazz ensemble recording in 2001 for Homage to Count Basie on the DMP label.

Bob currently resides in Los Angeles in the former house of composer Arnold Schoenberg (his first LA residence, 1934-1936), teaches at USC, travels 4 months out of the year, and, when at home, writes and practices constantly.

Born in San Jose, California, Russell Ferrante began studying piano at the age of 9 years old. His early musical experiences revolved around the church where his father was the choir master. His interest in jazz and improvisation was kindled in high school and shortly thereafter he began performing with various R&B and jazz groups in the San Francisco Bay Area. This exposure to seemingly every kind of music helped prepare Russell for his professional career which began in 1973. It was then that he met guitarist, Robben Ford and toured the U.S. and Europe as part of legendary blues singer, Jimmy Witherspoon’s band. Russell moved to San Francisco in 1975 where he continued to be active on the vibrant local music scene.

In 1977 Russell moved to Los Angeles in order to continue working with Robben Ford. Within a short time, he was recording and touring with a variety of musicians including Robben, Joe Farrell, Tom Scott, and Joni Mitchell. It was during this period that Russell, Robben and Jimmy Haslip co-founded the jazz group, Yellowjackets. It was also during this time that he began working as a freelance writer, arranger and producer for numerous recordings including those by Bobby McFerrin, Michael Franks, Al Jarreau and many others. Presently, Russell continues his 25-year association with Yellowjackets who concertize and conduct clinics worldwide. From their inception in 1980, Yellowjackets have recorded sixteen albums, receiving thirteen Grammy nominations, and winning two awards -- Best R&B Instrumental Performance (1986) and Best Contemporary Jazz Performance (1989). They also wrote and performed music for the motion picture Star Trek IV, The Voyage Home. Russell is currently an adjunct assistant professor at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music.

This performance was originally recorded live on July 27, 2019, at Festival of Arts in Laguna Beach, CA.

Dates & Times

Sarah McKenzie Quintet
Monterey Jazz Festival

In this performance from the 2014 Monterey Jazz Festival, Australian pianist, vocalist, and composer Sarah McKenzie leads the Sarah McKenzie Quintet.

McKenzie first gained attention with her "breezy technical style, songwriting acumen, and pronounced lyrical sense of swing" (apple.com). Soon after, she landed a spot as backing vocalist on Michael Bublé's Call Me Irresponsible tour, as well as an opening slot for Chris Botti's tour in 2011.

Hailed a once-in-a-generation talent, McKenzie has received multiple honors including a full-tuition scholarship to Berklee College of Music in 2012. Her music pedigree also includes mentorships by legends such as Graeme Lyall, Jamie Oehlers, and James Morrison.

This performance was originally broadcast live on September 20, 2014, from The Coffee House Gallery at Monterey Jazz Festival in Monterey, CA.

Dates & Times

Laura Shaffer
The Noir Nightingale Quartet

Cabaret Jazz at the Smith Center brings the soul of jazz, elegance of cabaret and talent from the multitude of performers that cross the stage into one sophisticated nightclub. This rebroadcast performance from Cabaret Jazz features sultry jazz vocalist and one-of-a-kind performer Laura Shaffer, The Noir Nightingale.

Singer/recording artist Laura Shaffer was born and raised in Las Vegas, and started performing professionally when she was still a teenager. Spending years honing her talents working on the world-famous Las Vegas Strip and being mentored by veteran singers, musicians, and choreographers, she continues to perform in all of its major hotels such as The Palazzo, Mandalay Bay, The Wynn. She has opened for such icons as Tony Bennett, Bob Newhart, Wayne Newton, and Donny and Marie, and was chosen as the single performer to represent Las Vegas in the Emmy-winning CNN show, Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown “Las Vegas” episode.

Having gathered an international, multi-generational fan base with her glamorous vintage look and her swinging and sultry take on the great jazz and swing standards, she also performs special engagements across the country, including gala events, celebrity launches, and charity benefits. From showrooms to ballrooms to nightclubs, from small combo to big band, the “Noir Nightingale” enthralls with the glamour of Golden Era Hollywood, the glitz of mid-century Las Vegas, and an engaging vocal style.

This performance was originally recorded and broadcast live from Cabaret Jazz at The Smith Center in Las Vegas, NV, on November 25, 2014.

Dates & Times

NEW! Bill Cantos
A Burt Bacharach Tribute
Performance of the Month

The music and lyrics of Bill Cantos have been recorded by artists spanning the worlds of pop, jazz, theater, gospel, and world music: Ramsey Lewis, Lea Salonga, Patti Austin, Brenda Russell, Herb Alpert, Cheryl Bentyne, The Imperials, Flora Purim, Clay Crosse, Helen Baylor, Mark Winkler, and many others.

​Bill has recorded six solo CDs; his Love Wins: New Standards for the New Millennium is a collection of original songs written in the style of classic jazz standards.

In this special event, Bill performs some of Bacharach’s classics including "Promises, Promises", "The Look of Love", "I Say A Little Prayer", "Close To You", and "What The World Needs Now". And don't miss his two piano solo/vocal renditions of "Alfie" and "This Guy’s In Love With You".

He is joined by musicians Grant Geissman (guitar), Hussain Jiffry (bass) and John Ferraro (drums), with a special guest appearance by Josie James who performs “Anyone Who Had a Heart” and a duet with Bill “In The Land Of Make Believe”.

This performance was originally recorded live on August 7, 2021, at Festival of Arts in Laguna Beach, CA.

Dates & Times

NEW! Terry Wollman
& Melanie Taylor
2021 Festival of Arts

An accomplished and versatile producer, composer, and musician, Terry Wollman has commanded such diverse projects touring, recording and performing as music director and/or guitarist for dozens of renowned artists including Billy Preston, The 5th Dimension, Wilson Phillips, Al Jarreau, Joan Baez, Joe Walsh, Keb’ Mo’, Gerald Albright and Eartha Kitt, to name just a few. Terry emerged as a skilled artist, forging an enviable career that has crossed over into every major category of music in the spectrum.

Terry’s artistry continues to evolve and inspire with integrity and a uniquely creative perspective on the music industry. Terry offers up a 25-year musical retrospective with his album Silver Collection. As he says, “it showcases the very best songs from all my records since 1988.” Not to mention some of the very best musicians, including Joe Sample, Gerald Albright, Abraham Laboriel, Keb’ Mo’, Mindi Abair, Michael McDonald, Dave Koz, Lenny Castro and the late Ricky Lawson.

Born in New Orleans to a classical pianist mother and a family of artists, Melanie Taylor’s rich, eclectic musical heritage has helped guide and define her own artistry ever since. She is inspired by such diverse and unique artists as Joni Mitchell, Billie Holiday, Stevie Wonder, Miles Davis, Donny Hathaway, and the poetry and writing of e.e. cummings, Rumi, Stephen King and Toni Morrison.

As one of Bette Midler’s infamous and legendary Harlettes for nearly a decade, Melanie has been seen twirling and singing on the Emmy Award winning HBO Special, “Diva Las Vegas”, as well as a 6-week sold-out engagement at Radio City Music Hall, and in a millennium photo essay in Rolling Stone magazine.

Melanie has been an in-demand featured vocalist on major world tours, film and television, and shared the stage with such artists as David Foster, John Mayer, Stevie Wonder, Donna Summer, Barry Manilow, Chaka Khan, Ashford and Simpson, Billy Preston, Chris Botti, Barbara Streisand, Ray Charles, Elton John, Billy Joel, Sheryl Crow, Michael McDonald, Jackson Browne, Sarah McLachlan, Tears for Fears, Michael Bolton, Patti LaBelle, Ronnie Spector, Jeffrey Osborne, Brian Wilson, Jim Belushi, Sheena Easton, Paula Abdul, Jeff Barry, Dionne Warwick, Melissa Manchester, Carole Bayer Sager, Dave Koz, Willie Nelson, Deepak Chopra, Joe Walsh, Steven Tyler, and as the first female vocalist to sing with the legendary rock band Aerosmith on their Music From Another Dimension album and tour.

This performance was originally recorded live on July 9, 2021, at Festival of Arts in Laguna Beach, CA.

Dates & Times

Scott Wilkie Trio
2021 Festival of Arts

Scott Wilkie is a contemporary jazz keyboardist and composer based in Southern California. Known worldwide for his fiery live performances, Scott has performed throughout the US, Asia, Europe and Latin America. His album StudioLIVE was recorded entirely live with Scott's longtime band — in unedited, single takes! Scott’s latest album Brasil was released in 2019 to critical acclaim receiving the Critics’ Best of 2019 award from JAZZIZ Magazine, Best Album of the Year from Gary Lowe WUNH, #2 Latin Album from NACC Top 30 Latin Radio, and #1 Hot New Release on Amazon for 17 straight weeks.

Scott explores new material and old favorites with his dynamic trio, featuring bassist Hussain Jiffry and longtime drummer Jeff Olson. From jazz and bossa standards, to modern classics from Grusin and Corea, this exciting concert showcases the band’s virtuosity with an unwavering focus on melody and groove.

This performance was originally recorded live on August 13, 2021, at Festival of Arts in Laguna Beach, CA.

Dates & Times

NEW! Dave Tull
2021 Festival of Arts
Performance of the Month

Yamaha artist Dave Tull has long been known as one of the world’s finest jazz drummers and has also built a reputation as a premiere jazz singer and songwriter. For this performance, Dave brings his Billboard chart-topping comedy for an amazingly fun night with laugh-out-loud songs like "The Texting Song", "The Minutes Pass Like Hours When You Sing", and "I Just Want to Get Paid."

When not leading his own trio, Dave is one of the busiest drummers on the scene. In 2016, Dave became the drummer for Barbra Streisand and has played five tours with Streisand including at Madison Square Garden in July 2019, and on Barbra’s Grammy-nominated live Netflix concert video “Barbra – The Music...The Mem’ries..The Magic!” Prior, Dave toured from 2000 to 2010 as drummer and lead vocalist for Chuck Mangione. Dave’s vocal on Mangione’s “The Children of Sanchez” and his bebop scat vocal on “Dizzymiles” were featured at the Playboy Jazz Festival at Hollywood Bowl and The Blue Note in New York City. Dave toured and recorded two CDs with Maynard Ferguson from 1987 to 1991. Dave plays drums on four of Michael Bublé’s CDs including Bublé’s notable version of “Moondance”.

This performance was originally recorded live on August 27, 2021, at Festival of Arts in Laguna Beach, CA.

Dates & Times

NEW! Tom Zink
& Anne Walsh
The Music of Astrud Gilberto

Astrud Gilberto may not have been the actual girl written of in “The Girl from Ipanema”, but it was her voice that propelled the song into the stratosphere, making it the most heard song of all time. This was just the beginning of a career filled with beautiful music, and the start of the explosion of the Bossa Nova movement that reached beyond the borders of its native Brazil, and into nearly every corner of the world.

Join Anne Walsh, Tom Zink, and some of Los Angeles' most talented musicians as they explore Astrud’s unique music and contributions to this art form, and some of the most fun and grooving songs of the era. And, of course, the song that started it all.

This performance was originally recorded live on August 14, 2021, at Festival of Arts in Laguna Beach, CA.

Dates & Times

NEW! Bill Cantos
2021 Festival of Arts

The music and lyrics of Bill Cantos have been recorded by artists spanning the worlds of pop, jazz, theater, gospel, and world music: Ramsey Lewis, Lea Salonga, Patti Austin, Brenda Russell, Herb Alpert, Cheryl Bentyne, The Imperials, Flora Purim, Clay Crosse, Helen Baylor, Mark Winkler, and many others.

Since 2008, Bill has collaborated live and in the recording studio with Herb Alpert & Lani Hall, contributing to six albums. He also performs regularly with Burt Bacharach as keyboardist and featured vocalist. He was a backing vocalist on three world tours with Phil Collins and has also toured with Diane Schuur, David Foster, Deniece Williams, Debby Boone, Freddie Hubbard, Vikki Carr, and Rita Coolidge; and has recorded with artists such as Elton John, Leon Russell, Josh Groban, Tony Bennett, Barry Manilow, Bob Dylan, Brian Bromberg, Jay Graydon, Andrae Crouch, Clint Black, and Kirk Whalum.

He also has a deep love for Brazilian music, and has worked extensively with some of Brazil’s best-known artists, including Dori Caymmi, Sergio Mendes, Flora Purim, Airto Moreira, and Gal Costa. In addition, he has produced albums for Lisa Ono, Steve Amerson, Tony Guerrero, Deniece Williams, and Lillias White.

​Bill has recorded six solo CDs; his Love Wins: New Standards for the New Millennium is a collection of original songs written in the style of classic jazz standards.

This performance was originally recorded live on July 29, 2021, at Festival of Arts in Laguna Beach, CA.

Photo courtesy of Dirk Bolle

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