Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021
Featuring Alex Brown (piano), Chuck Berghofer (bass), Joe LaBarbera (drums)
“Gambarini is a true successor to Ella, Sarah and Carmen” (Boston Globe)
This Italian songstress has performed at Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, The LA Philharmonic, Walt Disney Concert Hall, and Jazz festivals around the world such as Barbados, Monterey and the North Sea. Additionally, Roberta has performed with Herbie Hancock, Roy Hargrove, James Moody, Hank Jones, Christian McBride, and Toots Thielemans, among many others. We are delighted to welcome back Roberta Gambarini to Newport Beach where she dazzled our patrons at the 2013 Newport Beach Jazz Party.
BRIA SKONBERG QUINTET
Featuring NYC trumpeter & vocalist Bria Skonberg, Rickey Woodard (tenor), Jim Cox (piano), Mike Gurrola (bass), Roy McCurdy (drums)
“…poised to be one of the most versatile and imposing musicians of her generation.” (Wall Street Journal) “A millennial shaking up the jazz world” (Vanity Fair)
“Ms. Skonberg has become the shining hope of hot jazz, on the strength of a clarion trumpet style indebted to Louis Armstrong, a smooth purr of a singing voice inspired by Anita O’Day and the wholesome glow of youth” - Nate Chinen, NY Times
Tuesday, Dec.7, 2021
CAROL WELSMAN QUARTET
An Evening celebrating The Great American Songbook.
Six-time JUNO Award-nominated jazz vocalist and pianist, Carol returns to Sunset Jazz with her quintet featuring Dave “I Just Want to Get Paid” Tull, Hussain Jiffry (Herb Alpert) and Mitchell Long, extraordinary guitarist & vocalist.
“Blessed with so many musical gifts-taste, time, projection and a rhythmic sense of when to change chords- Carol’s piano playing is beyond reproach, warm yet rhythmically sharp, giving her voice a perfect hammock of support to swing in.” I’m not an easy pushover, but she’s got what it takes to take me. -Rex Reed
JOHN PROULX QUARTET
Featuring Carl Saunders (trumpet), Alex Frank (bass), Dean Koba (drums)
Grammy-winning composer and recording artist, Proulx will perform his tribute to Nat King Cole and Chet Baker, along with special guest- Carl Saunders-plus some great jazz Holiday tunes included.
John’s piano playing is hot and swinging, and his voice recalls the smooth, mellow sounds of a young Chet Baker. We are certain John and his quartet, including the mellow sounds of Carl Saunders’ trumpet, will set the perfect tone for getting everyone in the mood for the upcoming Holiday season.
A LITTLE ABOUT OUR WORLD CLASS ARTISTS:
TUESDAY, NOV. 2, 2021
ROBERTA GAMBARINI QUARTET
Born and raised in Turin, Italy, to music-loving parents (who had actually first met at a jazz concert), Roberta Gambarini grew up listening to her father's record collection constantly. Her first vocal inspiration was Louis Armstrong, but she soon discovered Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Carmen McRae, and Billie Holiday, as well as blues artists like Mahalia Jackson and Bessie Smith. At age 12 she began playing the clarinet, but realizing the versatility and talents of her clear alto, she moved to voice, singing and performing in clubs by the time she was 17. The next year she decided to move to Milan to pursue her career more seriously, and a third-place finish at a national jazz radio competition brought her enough exposure to jump-start her career, sending her around Europe performing at festivals and with other artists, including Hammond organist Emmanuel Bex in 1997.
In 1998, Roberta received a scholarship to study for two years at the New England Conservatory in Boston, and soon after arriving she competed, and eventually finished third, in the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition behind Teri Thornton and Jane Monheit. Though Gambarini did not receive a recording contract from this accomplishment (unlike Monheit), it did give her enough performing opportunities that she decided to leave Boston and move to New York, where she could focus better on her music and the scene. In 2006, after years of working and becoming a kind of cult favorite in the New York jazz world, though she was still rejected by every label she pitched her album to, Roberta started Groovin' High in order to release her American debut, Easy to Love. A collection of standards, the record impressed critics enough to garner the singer a Grammy nomination for Best Jazz Vocal Album, alongside Diana Krall and Nancy Wilson, among others.
Joining Roberta’s quartet will be Alex Brown (piano), Chuck Berghofer (bass) and Joe LaBarbera (drums).
TUESDAY, NOV. 16, 2021
BRIA SKONBERG QUINTET
“I play jazz because it's the closest I can get to flying.…spreading joy, relating the human experience, and putting good into the world to counteract the negative. I want to make music that makes people feel, and think.”
- Bria Skonberg
Described as “one of the most versatile and imposing musicians of her generation” (Wall Street Journal) Bria Skonberg recently sang the music of Aretha Franklin alongside Michelle Williams of Destiny’s Child, played with U2 at the Apollo, sat in with the Dave Matthews band, was a featured guest with Jon Batiste and performed the Star Spangled Banner at Madison Square Garden for a NY Rangers game.
A bandleader since her teens, Bria has performed festivals and stages the world over, including New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Monterey Jazz Festival, Newport Jazz
Festival, Montreal Jazz Festival, and over a hundred more. In 2016 Bria released her debut LP on Sony Masterworks which won a Canadian JUNO award and made the Top 5 on Billboard jazz charts; her music has over 10 million streams on Spotify. A 6x Downbeat Rising Star, further accolades include the Jazz at Lincoln Center Swing Award, Best Vocal and Best Trumpet from Hot House Jazz Magazine and Outstanding Jazz Artist at the Bistro Awards. The “shining hope of hot jazz” (NY Times) has been at the forefront of a revival of classic American music as both a performer and educator, programming concerts and workshops for students of all ages. She has been on faculty at the Teagarden Jazz Camp (2008- present) and Centrum Jazz Camp, performs outreach on behalf of Jazz at Lincoln Center, is currently developing educational activities for the Louis Armstrong House Museum and co-directs the New York Hot Jazz Camp she co-founded in 2015. In 2018 Lincoln Center sought out her leadership for a tribute to the first integrated all female big band, the International Sweethearts of Rhythm, which launched her acclaimed group Sisterhood of Swing. In 2019 she was a featured member of Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour for 26 dates alongside Cecile McLorin Salvant, Christian Sands, Melissa Aldana and Jamison Ross. Bria is a member of the Town Hall Ensemble, an all-star cast directed by Steven Bernstein that celebrates the cultural and musical history of New York city. She tours constantly bringing her own signature sound of fiery trumpet playing and smoky vocals together with storytelling and adventurous concoctions of classic and new.
Originally from the small town of Chilliwack, British Columbia, Bria studied jazz and performance at Capilano University in Vancouver while balancing a full road schedule with two bands. After graduating she traveled extensively, performing in China, Japan and throughout Europe as a featured artist. When she wasn’t traveling, Bria was honing her chops with Dal Richards, Vancouver’s King of Swing. Playing BC Place Stadium at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver capped off this exciting period, with Bria featured at the Paralympics opening ceremony for over 50 000 people. Seeking new challenges, Bria moved to New York city in September of 2010. Upon arrival she went to jam with friends in Washington Square Park and an hour into playing world renowned trumpeter Wynton Marsalis stopped to listen. He gave her a thumbs up.
Bria is delighted to be playing with these fine Los Angeles based jazz musicians- Jim Cox on piano, Mike Gurrola on bass, drummer Roy McCurdy and swingin’ tenor player- Rickey Woodard!
TUESDAY, DEC. 7, 2021
CAROL WELSMAN QUARTET
Carol Welsman is an internationally acclaimed singer and pianist who has captivated audiences worldwide with her expressive vocal stylings and dynamic stage presence. Fluent in English, French and Italian, Carol blends languages and rhythms with a versatile repertoire including swing, Latin, R&B, pop and jazz.
She delivers a mix of classic standards and original compositions in a style that ranges from sensuous and warm to infectiously energetic. An elegant and sophisticated performer, this six foot blond beauty exudes confidence and charm and delights fellow musicians and audiences alike.
As a six-time JUNO Award-nominated artist (the Canadian equivalent to the Grammy Awards) and having sold over 60,000 CDs in Canada alone, Carol will celebrate The Great American Songbook and its many composers.
Joining Carol’s world class quartet will be Dave “I Just Want to Get Paid” Tull on drums and vocals, Hussain Jiffry on bass and Mitchell Long, playing guitar and a vocal or two!
TUESDAY, DEC. 14, 2021
JOHN PROULX QUARTET featuring trumpeter CARL SAUNDERS
John began his formal musical education at the age of 3 in Grand Rapids, MI on Suzuki violin, but quickly switched to classical piano lessons. His late grandfather, Clyde Proulx, was a jazz guitarist who introduced him to the world of jazz. Hooked on the freedom of improvisation, his education took him to Chicago to study at Roosevelt University’s Chicago School of Performing Arts where he received his Bachelors of Music in 1999. In 2001, John moved to Los Angeles to further his musical pursuits. He emerged as a young talent on the Los Angeles jazz scene and loved the wide-range of opportunities the city had to offer. John also spent four months in 2009 at the prestigious Feinstein’s at the Loews Regency hotel in New York City playing a nightly solo piano/vocal engagement. John Proulx is also a Grammy-winning composer.
CARL SAUNDERS- From Indianapolis, Indiana, Carl’s first five years were mostly spent on the road. His uncle, trumpeter-bandleader Bobby Sherwood, was riding high with the popular Sherwood Orchestra, and Carl’s mother, Gail (Bobby’s sister), sang for that band and Stan Kenton’s, among others. When Carl was 5, he and his mother settled in Los Angeles, living with Carl’s aunt Caroline and her husband, tenor-saxophonist Dave Pell. At age 18, Carl joined and traveled extensively with the Stan Kenton Band. He moved to Las Vegas and spent 20 years playing with countless show bands and singers, including Ella Fitzgerald, Tony Bennett, and Frank Sinatra. Since moving back to L.A. in 1984, Carl has played in the bands of Bill Holman, Bob Florence, and Gerald Wilson, as well as Med Flory’s Supersax and the Phil Norman Tentet. In addition, he is often heard at the head of his own big band, sextet, and quartet
Also featured in John’s stellar quartet will be Alex Frank on bass, Dean Koba on drums.
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