Front Porch

  • Jimmy Duke, Impresario: Dark Thirty Celebrates 20 Years

    I met Jimmy Duke one Halloween probably 33 years ago. He was dressed as Count Dracula. For years I thought of him as the Count. In the intervening years I have come to think of him as someone you can always count on. On May 3rd, 1998, the Joel Rafael Band performed in Duke’s living […]

  • The Steely Damned 2: Tribute Bands Have Never Been Quite Like This

    There are plenty of tribute bands in San Diego, but nothing quite like the Steely Damned 2. Built around the music of Donald Fagen and Walter Becker, aka Steely Dan, the 12-piece band doesn’t attempt to look or dress like the real deal, instead they focus on the music, making sure that every note of […]

  • Thoughts About Leonard Cohen

    In my mind there was a decades-long debate as to who the best rock and roll poet was: Bob Dylan or Leonard Cohen. Being the kind of ersatz pundit who argued passionately for the minority opinion, my champion was Cohen. Critics and audiences and what used to be called Mass Media reached a consensus that […]

  • Gigging for a Living: Ed Kornhauser

    There are two tall drinks in front of Ed Kornhauser. One looks like a coffee drink and the other is a smoothie. He sips from one then the other. “I’m a working musician,” he says. “That’s how I make my living.” If you’ve spent any amount of time around San Diego, you’d have a hard […]

  • Notes from a (Reluctant) Music Teacher

    I never set out to become a music teacher. In fact, it all came about quite by accident, and as the result of calamity. I’d gotten to know the owner of a small family-owned music shop in my new hometown of La Mesa. I’d purchased a second-hand alto saxophone on the cheap, and I didn’t […]

  • Soaring with Enter the Blue Sky

    Some Americana bands have unusual sounds, some unusual names. Enter the Blue Sky manages to do both. The quartet is a recent product of the East County roots and open mic scene, and the musical brainchild of founder/front person Sandé Lollis. They play coffeehouses, restaurants, and community centers, presenting Lollis’ original songs in often subdued […]

  • Swing! Swing! Swing! at the San Diego Jazz Fest

    The overwhelming energy force that unites jazz, rhythm and blues, rockabilly, and swing fans will be returning to San Diego soon over the Thanksgiving weekend. It’s time once again for the San Diego Jazz Fest at the Town and Country Convention Center in Mission Valley . It’s hard to imagine that the festival is in […]

  • Danny Green Shares his Passion for Music

    As Danny Green talks about his music, the first thing to come up is Wagner. The jazz pianist waxes on about the German composer’s use of thematic devices and leitmotifs. He ticks off the Wagner operas he’s enjoyed, sometimes traveling to Los Angeles to catch a production of Lohengrin or Tristan und Isolde. He even […]

  • Nisha Catron: Songs in the Key of Truth, Part 2

    Once Nisha’s obligations to the Navy were fulfilled, she pursued the arts and became enrolled as a full-time student at San Diego State University, where she studied musical theatre. While there, she composed the background music for the play “Frontiers,” a period piece set in the 1800s. The story dealt with the challenges of women […]