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38th Season
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2009 Stanford Jazz Festival


> 2009 Festival At A Glance
June 26   James Moody Quartet featuring Benny Green
June 27   Early Bird featuring Crosspulse Duo/Crosspulse Percussion Ensemble
June 27   Gonzalo Rubalcaba
June 28   Dafnis Prieto Si o Si Quartet
July 3   Bobbe Norris with the Larry Dunlap Trio
July 5   Songs of Sinatra: An American Celebration
July 10   Wycliffe Gordon Quartet
July 11   Early Bird Jazz: Woodwinds & Strings
July 11   Regina Carter Quintet
July 12   Everything You Wanted to Know About Jazz (But Were Afraid to Ask)
July 12   Wesla Whitfield & the Mike Greensill Trio
July 17   Brazilian Guitarist Paulo Bellinati with special guests Carlos Oliveira & Harvey Wainapel
July 18   The Donald Harrison 3D Experience
July 19   Wayne Wallace Latin Jazz Quintet
July 20   Blastin’ Barriers with Frederick Harris & Friends
July 21   Julian Lage Group
July 22   Ruth Davies Blues Night with Elvin Bishop
July 23   Simply Standards with Melecio Magdaluyo
July 25   Matt Wilson’s Sonic Garden featuring Julian Lage
July 26   Taylor Eigsti & Free Agency
July 27   Horace-Scope with Jaz Sawyer
July 28   Jeb Patton Trio featuring Albert “Tootie” Heath
July 29   1959 Revisited
July 30   SJW Mentors with Matt Wilson
Aug 1   Madeline Eastman featuring Terell Stafford
Aug 2   The Heath Brothers
Aug 3   Generations Jazz Project
Aug 4   Stan@Stanford: Remembering Stan Getz
Aug 5   Mulgrew Miller Trio
Aug 7   SJW All-Star Jam Session
Aug 8   Dena DeRose Quartet featuring Steve Davis

1959 Revisited
Victor Lin, piano/violin, plus Stanford Jazz Workshop Faculty including Jeb Patton, Matt Wilson, Julian Lage, Patrick Wolff, Tootie Heath, Andrew Speight & Taylor Eigsti & more

Wednesday, July 29, 7:30 pm
Dinkelspiel Auditorium (moved from Campbell Recital Hall)
Tickets: $20 general | $10 students

Inside Jazz:
1959 – A Milestone in Jazz
Speaker:
Victor Lin
6:30 pm, free with concert ticket

Tickets on sale now!
Online
By phone: 650.725.ARTS (2787); In Person: Stanford Ticket Office
For more information, go to our Ticketing Information Page

Read "1959: Stanford Festival Revisits the Best of Jazz" by Andy Gilbert in the San Jose Mercury News

1959 was a watershed year in jazz history. Ella Fitzgerald recorded the sublime George and Ira Gershwin Songbook. John Coltrane’s Giant Steps expanded jazz’s harmonic universe into realms of unprecedented complexity, while Miles Davis’s Kind of Blue went the opposite direction, presenting each chord as a discrete entity of abstract beauty. Ornette Coleman’s The Shape of Jazz to Come revealed new frontiers of expression by subverting convention, Charles Mingus’s Mingus Ah Um put an avant-garde spin on the sanctified roots of jazz, and Dave Brubeck’s Time Out attracted a new audience with its coolly sophisticated rhythmic grooves. It was an amazingly fertile era when innovation blossomed and jazz was near the peak of its national popularity. 50 years later, the same creative energy and spirit of originality still motivate jazz musicians, and echoes of 1959 can be heard all over. With pianist/violinist Victor Lin as emcee, the outstanding faculty of the Stanford Jazz Workshop will revisit this magical era in jazz to celebrate its sounds and trace the developments of its many styles.

“One of the foremost keepers of the flame in jazz today.”

 – Highlights In Jazz

Victor Lin website

(Pictured: Charles Mingus. Photo courtesy Sue Mingus.)


Q&A with Victor Lin

WHAT INSPIRES YOU MOST?
Passion and compassion. People who have courage to overcome adversity time and time again. People with faith and the integrity to adhere to that faith or conviction in the face of negative circumstances.

WHERE DID YOU GROW UP, AND DID THAT ENVIRONMENT INFLUENCE YOU AS A PLAYER AND A PERSON?  HOW?
I’m from Seattle, Washington. My experiences with music early on were definitely more oriented towards classical music, although I did find myself playing a lot of things for fun that I’d heard from the TV and the radio. As a first generation ABT (American Born Taiwanese), I wasn’t exposed by my parents to much music other than the occasional classical record, although I did find myself playing a lot of things for fun that I’d heard from the TV and the radio. I still recall things I learned to play by ear: the theme from the “Price Is Right,” “Beverly Hills Cop,” the music from video games like “Super Mario Bros” and “Contra” and a host of other Nintendo specialties. I never wanted to play classical piano or violin, but took lessons because my parents made me - and I often wound up improvising things to fool my parents into thinking I was actually practicing!  In reality, I was making stuff up while I read comic books that I’d hidden between the pages of the piano literature. I also found that playing pop music and improvising things went over really well with my peers in high school - I distinctly remember entertaining scores of my friends with my piano renditions of songs by Guns N’ Roses, Motley Crue, and Van Halen - a skill that still comes in useful today when I’ve got to entertain scores of campers at the Stanford Jazz Workshop!

WHO ARE YOUR FAVORITE MUSICIANS OR COMPOSERS?
Bruce Molsky, Joshua Redman, Edmar Castaneda, Maurice Ravel, Oscar Peterson, Keith Jarrett, Julian Lage, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Kenny Barron, Brian Blade, and a whole host of others too numerous to name here.

DESCRIBE YOUR MOST EXCITING GIG, EVER.
It’s a tie between every concert that I’ve ever done for the Stanford Jazz Festival through the years. There’s something remarkable and special about the community that comes out to support SJW, and the privilege of performing for the community that supports you as well as the students that you’re teaching is one that is unique and invaluable. That being said, last year’s concert at SJW in which I got to play in the violin/guitar/bass trio with Jorge Roeder and Julian Lage as well as get to do a four hands comedic piano routine with the great Geoff Keezer still stands out to me as being one of the highlights of my performance career.

DESCRIBE THE MOST MEMORABLE GIG YOU’VE EVER ATTENDED WHEN YOU
WEREN’T PLAYING BUT WERE IN THE AUDIENCE.
At Jazz Port Townsend in 1992, alto saxophonist Bud Shank was leading a quartet at a little place called the Water Street Deli. As the night went on, a slew of musicians began coming through the door: saxophonists Bill Ramsay and Pete Christlieb, trombonist Jiggs Wigham, pianist George Cables, all of them seamlessly integrating into the band and raising the energy of the room to a fever pitch, climaxing when the singer Ernie Andrews (no doubt a tiny bit sloshed by then) strode through the room and began belting out “C. C. Rider” without a microphone and completely bringing down the house with a nearly full horn section behind him blasting out chorus after chorus and riff after riff of the blues. To this day that informal performance stands out as one of the most awe-inspiring musical experiences I’ve ever had.

IS THERE A PARTICULAR TEACHER OR TEACHERS WHO HAD A STRONG INFLUENCE ON YOU?
The first two jazz piano teachers I ever had - Jeff Sizer and Dehner Franks - really set the tone for so much of who I am as a musician today.  Jeff was my very first teacher, and one of the most giving, positive, and encouraging people I’ve ever met.  He made complete mix cassette tapes for me of tunes he thought I would like, always told me how much he believed I would succeed as a jazz pianist, and constantly encouraged me and pointed me to things he thought would benefit me.  And this was when I was just starting out as a beginner jazz pianist as a senior in high school!  Jeff told me one day I needed to come see this student at Shoreline Community College that would blow me away - and he was right.  The student’s name was Dehner Franks, and he was the greatest pianist I’d ever seen; when I heard him play I thought to myself, I want to sound like THAT.  Dehner turned out to be as positive and encouraging a force as Jeff was - he brought an irrepressible joy to his playing, taught me about being respectful and conscious of the audience, and had an amazing solo piano repertoire.  Whenever I would come watch him at his solo piano gig at the Sorrento hotel, he would always invite me over to play a tune with him and give me a chance to share the spotlight if even for a minute.  He encouraged me not just as a pianist, but as a person, encouraging my Christian faith and helping me to integrate my jazz piano skills with my church community as well.  It’s amazing for me to look back on Jeff and Dehner now and see how those two impacted the direction of my life almost 20 years ago!

NAME SOMETHING YOU’RE MOST PROUD OF.
One of my students, upon graduating from high school, wrote this in my copy of the school yearbook: “You’ve taught me that the measure of success of a musician is not in the number of records sold, nor number of gigs played, but in the number of lives positively affected by music. For that reason, I count you among the best of the best.”  It was one of the most memorable and humbling things I’ve ever been told in my entire career as a musician and educator.

WHAT’S YOUR PET PEEVE?
People who say “I’m starving.”

IF YOU COULD CHANGE ONE THING ABOUT YOURSELF, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
My tendency to procrastinate. And my unfortunate occasional affinity for deep fried foods. Mmmmmm…

WHAT DO YOU DO TO RELAX?
I’m a huge fan of reality cooking competition shows (Top Chef, Iron Chef, Kitchen Nightmares), and have to confess that I’m a fan of Gordon Ramsay and all of his antics and accomplishments. I love cooking, photography, and seeing Taylor Eigsti’s face as I swish shot after shot over him in our lopsided basketball games.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO YOUNG JAZZ MUSICIANS DEVELOPING THEIR CRAFT?
 Get involved with others. Share your knowledge. Realize that it’s not a race, and that sustained hard work is not an overnight achievement. Record yourself and listen to yourself constantly, looking for ways to improve. Seek out opportunities to learn from everyone else around you. Don’t buy into the idea that it’s an exclusive competition where you have to be better than the other players around you. Don’t be afraid to explore. Above all, don’t be afraid to put all of yourself into it.