Parlor Showcase

  • PETER SPRAGUE: Life in the Wild Blue

    When I first experienced Peter Sprague back in 1977, playing an outdoor concert at Robb Field in Ocean Beach with his group Dance of the Universe, it was a game-changer for me as a young, aspiring jazz guitarist. They opened the concert by playing John McLaughlin’s “Le Danse du Bonheur” (The Dance of Bliss), a […]

  • Tori Roze: Raise Yourself Up!

    There are few sounds as satisfying as the husky laugh of Victoria Roze, always skimmed down to the more down-to-earth, “Tori” on her records. “It is about to get ugly up in here,” she trails off as she sits down to her coffee and cozies in for some probing. “I got this for Jody.” As […]

  • THE BEAT GOES ON: Larry Grano—A Life in Music

    It’s true that Larry Grano is a master musician. Over the past four decades, Grano has built a rep as a sideman of choice and is one of the busiest players in San Diego’s burgeoning music community. A brilliant drummer with a keen sense of melody, a session powerhouse, a live vocal dynamo and mentor […]

  • Lorraine Castellanos: Seeking the Light

    I’m pretty sure that the first time I witnessed Lorraine Castellanos fronting her own band was in 2012 at 98 Bottles in Little Italy. She was doing a tribute to Billie Holiday, and although I usually don’t dig those kind of affairs, this one worked, in part because both singers share a similar approach to […]

  • Playing the LP Backwards: The Golden Age of Record Stores

    My favorite “toy” from my childhood was a record player. It was kid-sized friendly, suitable for playing the Golden Records series of fairy tales and nursery rhymes. But from the very beginning, I was interested in sampling my parents’ collection of vinyl. I recently calculated that my father was already 34 when Elvis Presley made […]

  • LAURA CHAVEZ: A Force of Nature

    Laura Chavez is hard to pin down. For one thing, she’s never home. Her unrelenting tour schedule includes multiple bursts into Europe with the Nikki Hill band, followed by a variety of dates with Vanessa Collier up and down the eastern seaboard. A few more weeks back in Europe for the Blues Caravan tour then […]

  • JOHN JANUARY and LINDA BERRY: It Takes Two

    Many musicians go the solo route. Some take their place in a band. But for some, it’s when they find the right musical partner that their career really blossoms. Such is the case of the January Berry Band, based around the guitar work of John January and the vocals of Linda Berry. Though considered a […]

  • CHRISTOPHER HOLLYDAY: Playing It by Ear

    “He’s just an extraordinary musician. He’s one of those rare players whose instrument just seems like an extension of his body and he can pretty much express whatever he feels. I enjoy and admire his adaptability–he’s such a good on-the-fly player, even when a tune gets called that he’s not familiar with. He’s such an […]

  • Tenacious TARYN DONATH Rips It Up… Tears It Up!

    Taryn Donath knew early on that music would resonate in her life. Her challenge was to figure out how to express it. With a supportive family that musically came from “the opposite side of the spectrum,” she definitely had her work cut out for her. Formal training proved non-productive and after four years of piano […]

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