Listen Live: “The Birth of the Cool” and Jazz in San Diego

This May, celebrate the birth of jazz legend Miles Davis (born May 26, 1926) with any number of great jazz joints and performances throughout San Diego. From the jazz purist to the jazz tourist, there is something for everyone. The key is to know what you are looking for, then finding the perfect fit.

For the Jazz Purist

They may not serve alcohol, but Dizzy’s definitely serves up an intoxicating line-up of heavy hitting jazz. On the eve of Davis’ birthday, check out a rare performance by the ESP Quintet – devoted to making music inspired by Miles’ creative, adventurous approach. Friday, May 25, 8:00 pm at McCrea Music Company.


For that Vintage/Modern Cool

There is no better place to celebrate Davis’ predilection for mixing retro cool with cutting edge modernity than Anthology. Both a throwback to the supper clubs of the 1940’s and a modern hot spot for some of the biggest jazz names, the ethos of Miles Davis permeates every inch of this unique establishment. Come celebrate the mark of Miles with the jazz fusion of bass master John Patitucci with the John Patitucci Trio. Friday, May 25, 7:30 pm and 9:30 pm.

For the Love of Latin Fusion

Speaking of fusion, here in San Diego we love our Latin Jazz and delight in the opportunity to see Grammy Award-winner Poncho Sanchez lead the most popular Latin Jazz group in the world today at the Birch North Park Theatre. May 19, 8:00 pm.

For the Sax Man

Discover a powerful story about a powerful instrument with the Sound of the Sax Exhibition Opening & Charles McPherson Concert at the Museum of Making Music. It’s the story of jazz, unleashed, free to roam and improvise like never before. May 19, Exhibition Opening Reception – 5:30 pm, Charles McPherson Concert – 7:00 pm. Sound of Sax exhibit open May 19, 2012 – January 3, 2013.

For Jazz Every Night

A tribute to the late singer-songwriter Jim Croce, Croce’s Restaurant and Jazz Bar has been a San Diego institution since it opened in the Gaslamp Quarter in 1985. The restaurant honors his life and music with great food, wine, hospitality and complimentary live jazz every night in the bar. Enjoy!

In the early 1950s Miles Davis challenged the dominance of bebop and hard bop with his album, The Birth of the Cool and helped usher in a new era of cool jazz. On the night of his induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006, Ashley Kahn (author of Kind of Blue: The Making of the Miles Davis Masterpiece, Da Capo 2000) wrote in the dinner journal: “With an ear that disregarded categories of style, he sought out new musical worlds, and generations followed in his footsteps. While the creative rush and experimental charge that come to most musicians in youth eventually run down, Davis held an exploratory edge for most of his 65 years.”


29 Reasons to Listen Live in San Diego

Take a musical leap! Famed Italian opera composer Gioachino Rossini, born February 29, 1792, turns 55-leap-years-young today! And if Google is celebrating a musical leap day, who are we to argue? In no particular order, here are 29 reasons to listen live in San Diego.

  1. The Belly Up Tavern– voted “San Diego’s Best Live Music Venue” even before it was made famous by a visit from Prince Harry of Wales
  2. Celebrating singer-songwriter Jim Croce with great food, wine and nightly live music at Croce’s Restaurant and Jazz Bar. Here, here!
  3. Bone Thugs-N-Harmony at 4th and B on March 30, 2012
  4. All-you-can-eat Southern inspired buffet and gospel performances at the House of Blue’s World Famous Sunday Gospel Brunch. Hallelujah!
  5. Donning a fedora and pretending you are a part of the Rat Pack at Anthology supper club.
  6. Emerging art and pop culture collide at The Loft: UCSD, with Jenny Owen Youngs on March 2, 2012.
  7. The Casbah’s guaranteed cool factor- whatever you decide to see.
  8. DJ Scooter “playing all the coolest s*%t you’ve never heard of” at Analog Bar every Tuesday at 9 pm.
  9. A place that takes jazz seriously, Dizzy’s: where music matters most.
  10. MIXTAPE– the Greatest Hits of the 80s, at the Horton Grand Theatre, extended through April 29, 2012.
  11. Seeing a concert at Humphrey’s by the Bay, whether you buy a ticket, or pull up a boat. 😉
  12. San Diego Symphony’s annual outdoor Summer Pops concert series performed on San Diego Bay.
  13. Flamenco fever at Café Sevilla with rumba guitarist Joef of the Gypsy kings family.
  14. Listening FREE to music ranging from folk to rockabilly at Adam’s Avenue Unplugged, April 21-22, 2012.
  15. Music worth seeing at San Diego Opera with Don Pasquale, March 10-18, 2012.
  16. Catching home grown talent with the potential for national greatness:  The Silent Comedy, Cuckoo Chaos, Hyena perform regularly around town.
  17. Treating club music as an art and a DJ as a god, at Voyeur, voted #68 of the Top 100 Clubs in the WORLD by DJ Magazine in 2011.
  18. Listening to the San Diego Symphony in the original Fox Theatre, opened in 1929.
  19. Van Halen at the Viejas Arena June 14, 2012.
  20. Celebrating the Saxophone with SAXibit at the Museum of Making Music, May 19-November 30, 2012.
  21. The VIP experience of Taylor Guitars Private Dining Room at Anthology, named after the locally based, world renowned guitar manufacturer and Anthology sponsor, Taylor Guitars.
  22. Free shows in the hippest of hoods, Bar Pink in North Park.
  23. Elvis Costello or Rufus Wainwright at Humphrey’s by the Bay. How to choose?
  24. The balance of intelligence and entertainment at ArtPower UC San Diego.
  25. Close proximity to a slew of buzz-worthy bands at Soda Bar.
  26. The highly entertaining, audience request-driven duel of two talented piano players at The Shout House.
  27. The recently renovated and restored 83 year old Balboa Theatre, hosting a diverse line up of performances.
  28. Street fairs! Whatever the fair, live music is there! Try OB Street Fair and Chili Cook-off Festival, Cinco de Mayo in Old Town, Pride Festival, holiday block parties in the Gaslamp Quarter or ArtWalk in Little Italy.
  29. And last but certainly not least, San Diego Opera celebrates birthday boy Rossini’s “55th” with The Barber of Seville, April 21-29, 2012.

What are your reasons for listening?


Listen Live in San Diego and Win Tickets to America at the Belly Up

Last Saturday night Ozomatli blew the roof off the Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach, ending their high-octane show playing out in the crowd. Leaving punch-drunk and grinning, I realized this is the specialty-du-jour of the happening-yet-intimate Belly Up Tavern. Perfectly sized and situated for optimal sight and sound, every show has a distinct block-party feel, if said party took place in a ridiculously talented neighborhood.

Here are a few upcoming shows throughout San Diego you don’t want to miss:

Belly Up Tavern

And who wouldn’t want these guys at their block party? America, the perennial classic-rock favorite, will be gracing the Belly Up on February 26, at 8:00 pm with chart-topping tunes like “A Horse with No Name” and “Sister Golden Hair.” If you can’t wait until then, head up this Friday, February 3 for An Evening with Keller Williams in his spectacular one-man (sometimes barefoot) show.


Impress your sweetheart with a super swank supper this February 14, 2012. Singer John Vincent & The John Cain Orchestra will do the crooning and wooing for you with A Valentine’s Day Tribute to Sinatra as you dine in style on 3 delicious courses.

4th & B

Come see VH1 “You Oughta Know” artists on the rise, MUTEMATH, on February 3 for a guaranteed good time. “We’re not good at being dark,” says singer/keyboardist Paul Meany about their new album, Odd Soul, “so we wanted to see how far we could go into creating something glaringly bright.” That seems like San Diego to me!

It’s your chance to experience the Belly Up Tavern with 2 free tickets to America, performing February 26, 2012 at 8:00 pm. Comment on this blog by 10:00 am on Wednesday, February 8, to enter. Please include your e-mail so we can get a hold of you! Good luck!


A New Year for Live Music in San Diego: January 5-18, 2012

Hello 2012! Maybe it’s this perfect, 75-and-sunny San Diego January, but I am feeling quite optimistic about my New Year’s resolution. I plan to sink my teeth into San Diego’s vibrant and diverse live music scene. Every two weeks I will post a handful of upcoming shows, ranging from Punk to Puccini, and I am counting on You to give me more suggestions, weigh in and tell me what shows around San Diego you are going to see. Below are my suggestions for the next two weeks. What are yours?

Anthology: Grab a booth, a drink and some nosh at San Diego’s swankiest supper club while listening to a major force in Latin music since the late ’60s, Pete Escovedo Y Familia, performing on January 13 and 14. Or break up the work week with The Milk Carton Kids, a harmonizing, minimalist indie rock duo on January 11.

San Diego Symphony at Copley Symphony Hall: Johannes Brahms wrote Symphony No. 3 in F Major, Op. 90 as a 50-year-old bachelor in 1883. The three note musical motto, F-A-F, heard throughout the work stands for Frei aber froh, “Free but Happy.” Cheeky gent. Hear it for yourself January 12.

House of Blues: There is nothing like a sudsy San Diego brew paired perfectly with local talent. And every Tuesday, HOB gives it up for San Diego with Local Brews Local Grooves. Listen local this January 10.

4th and B: In 2004, Public Enemy was ranked number forty-four by Rolling Stone Magazine on its list of Immortals: 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. But if that doesn’t tempt you to see them live on January 15, then maybe group member Flavor Flav and his infamous clock chain will, “Yeah Boy!”

Follow this link for more great live music events in San Diego…


Live Music in San Diego: Nov 26 – Dec 3

Thanksgiving is upon us. And while we’ll all indulge in the bounty of the season – with an oversized helping of turkey or that extra slice of pumpkin pie – the best way to shake off that tryptophan-induced coma is by seeing some live music.

San Diego’s robust music scene offers diverse options for concert goers. From intimate venues and expansive outdoor arenas, to iconic rock clubs and moody jazz halls, you can quench your thirst for good live music any day of the week.

So get off that couch, leave the Thanksgiving leftovers at home and indulge your senses with some lively performances.

Here are some great shows at some of my favorite local venues:

Saturday, November 26
Crooked Fingers at THE CASBAH
w/Strand of Oaks & Little White Teeth
Doors open at 8:30 p.m.
$12, 21 and up

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Led by singer Eric Bachmann, this North Carolina-based band recently released their sixth full length record, Breaks in the Armor.

November 30 & December 1
Boney James at ANTHOLOGY
Shows at 7:30 pm & 9:30 pm
$19 – $98, All ages

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A three-time Grammy Award nominee, Soul Train Award winner and a pioneer of urban jazz, Saxophonist BONEY JAMES combines traditional jazz with elements of R&B and hip-hop.

Wednesday, Nov 30th
B.B. King w/ Walter Trout at Belly Up
8:00 pm
Doors at 7:00 pm
$99.00 / $104.00 day of show, 21 and up

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Don’t miss this chance to see the reigning King of the Blues, B.B. King up close and personal at this local favorite intimate venue in Solana Beach!

Saturday, December 3
The Holiday Hootenanny! at the Jenny Craig Pavilion at USD
My Morning Jacket, Two Door Cinema Club, Matt & Kim, Delta Spirit, and the Blackout Party
7:00 pm
$40 +, All Ages

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This annual holiday concert festival has a line-up that will surely get you movin’ & groovin’ for the holidays.