KCSM Jazz 91See's Candies
MAY 2009     


Evening Summer Program Registration Now Open; New Piano Classes Added
Wayne WallaceRegistration for Stanford Jazz Workshop's Evening Summer program is now open. Evening Summer classes are offered Monday and Wednesday evenings on the Stanford campus, and are open to all students 12 years of age and older. In addition to our Camp Warm Up, Jazz Skills and Theory classes, we've just added Jazz Piano for beginning and intermediate students, taught by Frank Sumares (who also teaches Theory and Jazz Skills; Wayne Wallace is the Jazz Camp Warm Up instructor). Classes begin on July 15 (Mondays) and July 17 (Wednesdays). Check out our Evening Summer page for complete descriptions, as well as a downloadable application.

Pictured: SJW Faculty member Wayne Wallace. (Check out Wayne's Stanford Jazz Festival Latin Jazz concert on Sunday July 19 at Dinkelspiel Auditorium.)


In This Issue
> Evening Summer Program Registration Now Open; Jazz Piano Classes Added

> What Can You Get From Studying Jazz?

> Ron Stallings 1947-2009

> NOTEWORTHY - faculty/alum news and items of interest

> UPCOMING: Monday - CoHo Jams; Sunday, PAJA with Bill Henderson

> Concert Review, Stanford Jazz Orchestra


What Can You Get From Studying Jazz? by SJW Faculty Kris Strom

Kris StromSaxophonist Kristen Strom has been on the Stanford Jazz Workshop faculty since 2002. In addition to leading her own ensemble, the Kristen Strom Quintet, she has played with Manhattan Transfer, Roberta Flack, Johnny Mathis, Jimmy Heath, Steve Turre, Kevin Mahogany, Michel LeGrand, the San Jose Symphony, the Temptations, Natalie Cole, The Four Tops and many other artists. Kristen has recorded 2 CD's of her own, appeared on many others, and is an endorsing artist for Selmer saxophones. Kris has a BA in Music from San Jose State and is adjunct faculty at Santa Clara University and guest clinician at various Bay Area school music programs including those of San Jose's Valley Christian and Mountain View High.
At this time of year, many parents are looking for worthwhile summer activities for their kids. So sometimes I’m asked, “Why do you recommend Jazz Camp?” As a faculty member of Stanford Jazz Camp I can list the nuts and bolts of the classes, the many playing opportunities for students, and the chance to hear great musicians each night. But are there life lessons that can be gleaned by studying jazz? I’m a professional jazz musician who has also taught students of all levels for 25 years, and I have considered what my students learn from their studies, musically and beyond. (Read complete article here.)

Pictured: Kris Strom and students at the 2008 Stanford Jazz Camp. Photo Credit, Scott Chernis.



Ron Stallings 1947 - 2009

Ron StallingsWith the passing of saxophonist Ron Stallings on April 13, the Bay Area lost one of its most beloved and admired musicians. Originally from Houston, Texas, where he was born in 1947, Ron moved to Oakland when he was eight years old.  He became well known around the Bay Area and beyond as a versatile touring and session player, equally at home with many styles including blues, rock, funk and jazz. Dubbed “the Rev” – short for Reverend – possibly because of his Southern religious roots, Stallings’ highest-profile gig was possibly with Huey Lewis and the News, with whom he played in their horn section from 1994 onward.  He also performed with McCoy Tyner, John Santos’s Machete Ensemble, Jerry Garcia, and countless others, as well as leading his own groups, including the popular Latin Jazz ensemble Qué Calor which he co-founded after a trip to Cuba.

Soft-spoken and unassuming in person, he had a commanding voice on the tenor saxophone and believed that music could be a positive force to bring about social change.  Stallings shared this belief through his “Context for Peace” concert at the Stanford Jazz Festival in 2004 (which commented on the invasion of Iraq through a mixture of jazz and spoken word), and by starting the Rising Phoenix Brass Band in response to the devastation of New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina.  Jim Nadel, Artistic and Executive Director of Stanford Jazz Workshop, remembers Ron “as a dignified man who always had a kind word and didn’t judge people – good humored.  Just loved by everyone.”

In terms of Stallings’ connection to the Workshop, surely the apex was his role in the Stanford Jazz Festival’s 1997 West Coast premiere of Duke Ellington’s acclaimed yet often overlooked and misunderstood masterwork, Black, Brown & Beige.  Working from the original Ellington scores, with an ensemble featuring Ellington drummer Louie Bellson and singer Joe Williams and conducted by Maurice Peress, Ron played the parts written for and identified with Ellington’s legendary tenor man, Ben Webster. Says Nadel, “it was an extraordinary few weeks of rehearsal and performances…an amazing musical experience for me, and one of the highlights of my life.”

KCSM’s Chuy Varela hosted a tribute concert for Ron at La Peña in Berkeley last month. A memorial service, at the Montclair Women’s Club, took place last Wednesday May 13 and was attended by friends, family and fellow musicians, who shared remembrances of a great musician and man whose contributions to the Bay Area arts and music community will be sorely missed.  Ron is survived by his partner, Susan Marchionna, as well as his son Josh, two grandchildren, and cousins, vocalist Mary Stallings and guitarist Neil Stallings.



NOTEWORTHY - faculty/alum news and items of interest

Valley Christian Students Receive National Recognition in Downbeat MagazineLaila SmithValley Christian's Jazz Director Dave Gregoric and his student ensembles have been collecting a slew of awards lately. Valley Christian's "Room 107" Jazz Vocal Ensemble tied for first place in Downbeat Magazine's 32nd Annual Student Music Awards in the Jazz Vocal Group category (sharing the honor with Folsom high School's Jazz Choir A). Room 107 also placed 2nd in the high school vocal division at Monterey's Next Gen Festival last month.

Valley Christian's Laila Smith - also a pupil of Dave Gregoric and an SJW vocal program participant for the past three years - was named Downbeat's top Jazz Vocal Soloist in the Junior High Division. In addition, she won outstanding soloist awards at both the Monterey and Reno Jazz Festivals. Results were published in the June 2009 issue of Downbeat. Dave Gregoric will be teaching trombone during week one of Jazz Camp at SJW this year.

Pictured: Laila Smith. Photo Credit, Scott Chernis.


In other SJW alumni news, pianist Alex Loo (SJW 04-08) has been accepted to and will attend the London Centre for Contemporary Music in the fall. In addition to his piano studies, Alex has been singing with the Agape International Choir in Southern California. The Choir traveled to Washington DC for President Obama's inauguration, performing with Will.i.am and other luminaries of that ilk at the Neighborhood Ball.

Pictured: Alex with SJW's Jim Nadel at last year's Workshop.



UPCOMING: CoHo Jams this Monday and beyond, Palo Alto Jazz Alliance concert May 17

The final Spring Quarter CoHo Jam is this Monday May 18 at the Stanford Coffeehouse, from 8:00 until 10:00 pm. SJW Faculty, saxophonist Kris Strom and bassist John Shifflett, will lead what is always a lively exchange of musical points of view. Jams will then resume during the weeks prior to the start of Jazz Camp, beginning Monday June 15, continuing on June 22 and June 29 from 7:30 - 10:30 pm. Jam session times during the Workshop will be announced and posted online closer to the date.

CoHo jamOn May 25, a combo featuring players from the Stanford Music Department with the moniker "Wednesday 9 pm" will perform in the Monday time slot. Though a student combo in the literal sense that it's comprised of Stanford students, the level of musicianship is superb and would do any jazz venue proud, so come out and enjoy.

Pictured: 2008 CoHo summer jam. Photo Credit: Scott Chernis.

Palo Alto Jazz Alliance - this Sunday May 17 with singer BILL HENDERSON
3:00 - 5:00 pm Canada College Main Theatre (4200 Farm Hill Road just off US 280).
Tickets: $30 general, $25 PAJA members, and $10 students, available at the door after 2:30, cash or check only.
If you attend one concert this year, see and hear this magnificent singer; he is truly intelligent and witty and is a great entertainer who engages his audience. You will find it an unforgettable musical experience as well as one hell of a lot of fun. It is difficult to express how eagerly I anticipate this event. PAJA rarely has presented musicians of the stature and renown of Bill Henderson, and Mike Melvoin is frosting on the cake. Henderson has toured and/or recorded with Count Basie, Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, Oscar Peterson, Thelonious Monk, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Horace Silver, and Charlie Haden. Self-taught both as a singer and an actor, he has voluminous movie and television credits. To hear him and learn more, go to BillHenderson.com. Featured with Bill on piano will be his long-time musical partner Mike Melvoin, a superbly talented guy. They are joined by the local rhythm team of Seward McCain on bass and Eddie Marshall on drums. The music focuses on Ellington, Johnny Mercer and Henry Mancini. The program will present songs you know well, or will recall, or never heard, but all will please your ears.
As producer Herb Wong says, "Dig it!"


Concert Review: Stanford Jazz Orchestra with Jon Faddis
This Wednesday past the Stanford Jazz Orchestra presented their annual spring concert featuring guest artist, trumpeter Jon Faddis. Directed by Fred Berry, the Stanford Jazz Orchestra is dedicated to "keeping the big band tradition alive" at Stanford. The Palo Alto Jazz Alliance's Michael Griffin was in the audience, and what follows are his observations (note his mention of brothers Alex and Max Eckstein, who have attended Jazz Camp since 2004 and were both on staff at SJW last year).

Just to tell you that Cathy & Ted Dolton, Ned Chapin and I had a great time at the SU Jazz Orchestra gig last nite. For ten bucks, we heard world class Jon Faddis fronting the college band w/ his exhilerating (and piercing) high notes on trumpet, goosing the band to a fine performance of Cu-Bop style tunes such as Manteca, Night in Tunisia, 'Round Midnite and more. Cu-Bop being Cuban influenced bebop, a la Dizzie and Chano Pozo, et.al. Faddis is a
bit of a goof ball pesonality, but he plays a hell of a trumpet, most of it at the upper end of the register. You gotta hear this guy; he's hot. Speaking of hot, there were twin brothers....from Gunn High School, yet....who were steller attractions in the band: Max on traps and brother Alex Eckstein on lead alto, who took numerous solos including a duet w/ Faddis where the kid played flute. Impressive stuff for a high schooler. Faddis joked that young Alex Eckstein was a direct decendant of Billy Eckstine.....(get it?') This gives you an appreciation for the Faddis sense of humour, such as it is. (Yikes!) Finally, the band benefited from the guest performance of Javier Navarrette, on congas, who provided the Cuban element that put the pants on the performance, IMO. Oh, yeah.....you shouldda been there.


Thanks To Our Sponsors
Whether through cash sponsorships or in-kind donations, the support of our corporate sponsors helps to make the Stanford Jazz Festival and Workshop possible. SJW gratefully acknowledges the following sponsors for their generosity: See’s Candies, Presenting Sponsor of the 2009 Stanford Jazz Festival; Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream, Inc., KCSM FM 91.1, Official Radio Sponsor; Palo Alto Weekly, Official Print Media Sponsor, Rosewood Sand Hill Hotel; Stanford Park Hotel; Sheraton Palo Alto Hotel; Vin, Vino, Wine; Department of Music at Stanford University; Gallien Krueger; Gordon Biersch Brewing Company; Paiste Cymbals; Sonor Drums; Stanford Blood Center; Yamaha Band & Orchestral; Yamaha Percussion Division; Zildjian Cymbals.