Front Porch

  • A Passing Phaze with Scott Samuels: The Story of the Teen Rockers’ 1976 Single

    Circa 2018, Scott Samuels is a mainstay of San Diego’s music community, with combos such as Vinyl Pirates, Roxy Monoxide and Solitary Diamonds to his credit. But his entry into music came decades earlier, in his hometown of Skokie, Illinois. In 1976 Samuels and his teen rock ‘n’ roll band Phaze released what would be […]

  • Ira B. Liss’ Big Band Jazz Machine

    It is easy for Ira B. Liss to wax about his big band. “People enjoy what we do,” he says. “And it’s what I love to do, too!” Liss and his big band have been making music since 1979. And ever since its inception, the Ira B. Liss Big Band Jazz Machine has kept big […]

  • The Center for World Music Presents Songs and Stories: Refugee Artists in San Diego

    The roots of American folk music stretch deep and wide, and indisputably tap into a myriad of worldwide cultures: bluegrass’ roots in Irish dance tunes, gospel’s in African call-and-response, Tejaño’s in German polkas, and on and on. The Center for World Music (, CWM) promotes performing arts from around the world, expanding intercultural awareness and […]

  • Checking in with Navajo Live

    Tucked away in the recesses of a middle-class strip mall on the edge of San Diego’s suburbs, Navajo Live has become a go-to music venue during a time when other, longer established local hangouts have been closing down or heading in different directions than live music. If there is a formula to the locale’s success, […]

  • Doin’ the Hambone with Slapjazz Danny Barber

    The man on stage is in a crisp pair of blue jeans and t-shirt. There is the large frame and the shaved head. The baritone quality of his voice fills the hall as he addresses the audience. The smile is warm and broad. Then Slapjazz Danny sits down in an ordinary armless chair. Microphones surround […]

  • A Chance Discovery Illuminates John Coltrane’s Search for Unity

    Developing an appreciation for the music of John Coltrane is almost a requirement for all serious musicians, students, historians, and fans alike. My contention is that this practice represents the ultimate reward in and of itself. Coming to terms with ‘Trane’s enormous contribution should not feel like work; rather, it is an enduring joy and, […]

  • A Glorious Day of Blues by the Bay: The San Diego Blues Festival

    That stomp under the sun, the San Diego Blues Festival, is back with us again for its eighth consecutive year. Scheduled for Saturday, September 8, from noon to 8pm on the Marina Embarcadero North, the one-day festival has been a San Diego hallmark since 2011, having presented area audiences a virtual royalty of contemporary blues […]

  • Summergrass Welcomes Back Bluegrass Etc. and Virtual Strangers

    Summergrass San Diego celebrates 16 Years strong this year at the historic Antique Gas & Steam Engine Museum in Vista, on August 17-18-19, with three terrific days of bluegrass fun and activities for the whole family. This year’s event proudly brings these stellar bands to our mainstage: Joe Mullins and the Radio Ramblers, the Scroggins […]

  • The Sea Chantey Festival: A Lifeline to our Nautical Past

    All Hands on Deck My now-adult son has vivid memories of his fourth-grade overnight aboard the Star of India. He was assigned galley duty, which involved a special pudding, chasing rats* below decks, and standing watch at midnight looking at the stars. The Maritime Museum of San Diego has been serving up such historic memories […]