Featured Stories

  • Jim Plank: San Diego’s Steady Jazz Pulse

    Leonard Feather, legendary jazz critic for the Los Angeles Times, was chatting with a local journalist between sets at Elario’s nightclub in La Jolla during a late 1980s engagement by trumpeter Harry “Sweets” Edison. “I come down here to Elario’s as often as I can,” Feather said. “It’s better than anything currently going on in […]

  • Peter Sprague Plays Pat Metheny

    It’s difficult to think of life without Pat Metheny. For the last 45 years the jazz guitarist has been one of the most prominent musicians to have shaped the sonic landscape of the United States and, for that matter, the rest of the world. And for San Diegans it’s difficult to think of life here […]

  • The Nontraditional Tradition of Gabriel Sundy

    Gabriel Sundy was in a quandary. The musician and composer was racking his brains trying to figure out what kind of music it was on a recent recording. “What kind of music is this? I don’t even know!” he was heard to say. With all the distortion and loudness, was it metal? Was it head-banging […]

  • Enrique Lopetegui: Snark, Slam, and Rocanrol

    In 2012, I discovered Spanish-language rock, or “rock en español,” as I drove all over San Diego County with my radio tuned to 98.9. I loved the songs I heard, but since I couldn’t stop driving to Google the lyrics, I remained ignorant about band names, release dates, and song titles. Eight years later, music […]

  • Sammy Nestico: A San Diego Appreciation

    Sammy Nestico wasn’t just a star when he moved to San Diego County in 2000—he was the very definition of a legend. His greatest fame came as staff arranger for the Count Basie Band from 1966 on, filling the shoes of predecessors like Neal Hefti, Thad Jones, and Quincy Jones. Work with Sinatra and Sarah […]

  • Adrienne Nims Keeps on Keepin’ On

    “No boundaries and no problems.” That is how Adrienne Nims sums up her life and her music. Whereas other musicians clearly and proudly define themselves as country performers, jazz artists, hip-hop creators, or musicians preserving the legacy of mediæval feminist composers, Nims confidently places herself outside the box of musical pigeonholing. “People want to categorize […]

  • The Romantic Harp Guitar: An Instrument Like No Other

    This enchanting story begins in Europe during the romantic era when western civilization was on the rise, following the age of enlightenment. However, a movement away from those norms resulted in a period of intellectual and artistic rebellion. The turn of the nineteenth century saw legitimization of the individual imagination as a critical authority that […]

  • Jive Talk Among Klezmer Musicians

    Like other workers, musicians had their own jargon. This professional argot provided a sense of camaraderie for jazz musicians. African-American jazz musicians called this jargon “jive talk” or “Harlem talk.” Some of the more famous practitioners and experts on this jargon were Cab Calloway, who published the first dictionary of jazz jargon called Cab Calloway’s […]

  • Rhea Makiaris Goes Pro

    “I always wanted to do music. I wanted to spend as much time doing music as I could.” Rhea Makiaris is sitting cross-legged in a wicker chair outside her new digs in Lakeside, excited to find a new direction and a new commitment in her life. She is now a full-time musician. “Music brings joy […]