Parlor Showcase

  • Archie Thompson Writes his own Ticket

    Archie Thompson, San Diego jazz musician par excellence, leans back in the chair of his office in the First Presbyterian Church on downtown San Diego’s 4th Avenue, in a small office space secreted above the chapel in the balcony, next to the pipe organ. The space is small, filled with his computers, a small drum […]

  • Tomcat Courtney: A Blues Life

    Obviously it was a woman that gave him the name Tomcat, and he’s got the scars to prove it. But the man who just celebrated his 87th birthday, surrounded by friends, fans, and some of the best musicians in Southern California, shows no signs of slowing down. His face may reflect a little more wear […]

  • The Bayou Brothers: Rollin’ with the Good Times

    The band was tossed together. Hired to play for a housewarming party, the group only planned to play once. They had a guitar, drums, and a bass. With the addition of an accordion, the musicians figured that they would play some zydeco, the fun music that had recently gained some popularity outside of its native […]

  • Nina Francis: A New Girl in the Garden

    “Right now my plan is to gig like a maniac,” says Nina Francis. She smiles, but the determined look in her eye lets me know that she is not joking in the slightest. Francis and I are sitting at one of those cozy tables at Mystic Mocha, the University Heights coffeehouse known for being unusually […]

  • Marc “Twang” Intravaia’s Dance with Time, Fate, and People

    It was 8 o’clock on Sunday. Like millions of other American households, the TV in the Intravaia household in Kearny Mesa was tuned in to the “Ed Sullivan Show,” as the awkward master of ceremonies took the black-and-white stage to few muffled screams and introduced the Beatles. The four had identical haircuts, neat suits, and […]

  • SHARIFAH MUHAMMAD: A Song from the Heart

    It’s been said you can tell a lot about a person from the company they keep. When asking friends, fans, and fellow musicians about Sharifah Muhammad it became abundantly clear in two questions or less: that she was born into this world to sing. One of her friends, San Diego vocalist Missy Andersen, says she […]

  • YALE STROM: Exploring Klezmer’s Traditions and Transformations

    “The White House?” I ask, almost incredulous. “Yes, Hanukkah at the White House,” says Yale Strom. It’s been a week since Strom was one of around 400 honored guests invited to celebrate Hanukkah with Barack and Michelle Obama at the White House, but he is clearly still excited. “It was humbling, kind of surreal, and […]

  • CREOLE FOR YOUR SOUL… AND YOUR SOLES! Cajun Spice from the Infectiously Fiery Furnace of Billy Lee & the Swamp Critters

    I don’t speak Spanish, But I understand everything when I’m dancing! —“I Don’t Speak Spanish” by Bobby Matos and John Santos Alvin Toffler’s got nothing on this, baby. Thanks to the explosion and availability of information during the 20th century, it has never been easier (or more enjoyable) to appreciate the centuries’ old tradition of […]

  • Reimagining DAN McLAIN, starring Country Dick Montana and a cast of thousands

    Human nature is an ever-evolving magic trick out of the act of contrition: bowing one’s head to the laws of physics, and discovering how to work within its unprejudiced parameters. For the sensitive and hyperaware, it’s simply a matter of constant invention, and re-invention, of Self. Because, when you get right down to it, we […]