Karin Carson

Karin Carson

 San Francisco, California, USA
BandJazzSinger/Songwriter

A mix of Original Music, Bossa Nova's, Traditional Jazz & Rythym and Blues, to create a sweet and mellow mix to quench the musical thirst of the listener.

Band Press

Blues Community Rallies Around.... – The Pennisula Beacon

Blues Community Rallies Around Kid in Need.

Bart Mendoza

October 19, 2006

When the chips are down, San Diego’s music scene has rallied around its community. Whether because of a natural disaster or a personal tragedy, local musicians readily pitch in to help. The latest such example, A Big Blues Benefit to Help Bring AJ Home, will take place on Monday, Oct. 23, at Humphrey’s Backstage Lounge.
Music gets underway at 6:30 p.m. with a full roster of some of San Diego’s best blues artists on hand. Harmonica player Chet Cannon and The Committee will be joined by harmonica virtuoso Kellie Rucker, Karin Carson and Eric Leiberman, as well as Steve White, Hoodoo Blues and The 145th Street Deluxe Band.

The show is a fund-raiser for 13-year-old AJ Hendrick of Lakeside, who suffered a brain aneurysm following a blow to the head during a schoolyard scuffle. Now living with major brain damage, AJ cannot function without special medical equipment. His mother would like to bring him home from the hospital but the family apartment is too small to accommodate the machinery needed for AJ’s care. Recently, a larger home was found but major renovations must take place before the family can move in.

After seeing the story on the KUSI Turko Files, Cannon decided to gather the blues community for a fund-raiser to help this worthy cause. According to Cannon, there is no shortage of talent that wants to be included in an altruistic event like this, but other things will take precedence. “Band selection usually comes down to those who aren’t scheduled with other business at the time of the event,” he joked. “I’ve learned most folks want to do something to help when presented an opportunity. Artists are caring, compassionate, giving people who understand hard times. Most of us don’t have much money but know that we can make a difference by working together.”
Alongside his band, The Committee, Cannon got his start in the area’s clubs in 2001 and has since built a solid fan base. He released an album in 2006, Don’t Get Me Started, which was nominated this year for a San Diego Music Award for Best Blues Album.

In 2003, he began to put together occasional benefit concerts for causes such as The Marine Family Food Locker. A personal experience in his past proved to be the catalyst for setting up this fund-raiser and others like it.
“Years ago, I was involved in a serious car wreck – breaking my neck and back – and couldn’t find any help getting resituated,” he explained. “I decided back then if there was ever something I could do to make a difference in someone’s life, who was in a similar situation, that I would try,” he said.

According to Carson, it’s only natural for performers to want to help others. “Musicians are the storytellers of our time. There’s a natural sensitivity to the nature of the human condition that we experience, write about and share,” she remarked. “With that platform comes the responsibility to reach out to the people around us.”

Breathe In The Jazz – San Diego Reader - By Michael Hemmingson

“I would sing in church, in school choirs…although there was plenty of passion, I felt unmoved.”

Breathe In The Jazz
By Michael Hemmingson
Published November 23, 2005


'Our vocal group at school had been offered the opportunity to record an on-air spot at Jazz 88.3 for a festival at City College," says La Mesa resident and jazz vocalist Karin Carson. "I went to the station, recorded the spot, and was offered an opportunity to become an intern. For two semesters I worked as the promotions assistant at Jazz 88.3. Eventually I would like to learn the art of being a DJ, but for now I am singing and volunteer my time at events. When people have asked me what I do there, I say, 'Whatever they tell me to do. '"

On her website Karin writes: "I have always had a passion for music, but in the years I was growing up I was exposed to very little real jazz music. I would sing in church, in school choirs...although there was plenty of passion in the music, as well as expression, I felt unmoved."


TRICKIEST PROBLEM PLAYING LIVE?
"To me, jazz is a live music. It is for the people. Since there are varied impressions on what jazz is, there is a level of expectation that may or may not be met in a live setting. I have tended to play more traditional styles of jazz, but I'm moving into a more creative space.... In playing jazz, every experience is different due to constant improvisation. Dave Holland said it best: 'You have to let go of expectations and allow the magic to happen. '"

TOP FIVE END-OF-THE-WORLD CDs?
1. Ramsey Lewis, Wade in the Water. "Soulful funk with some gospel blues thrown in and a taste of ragtime. This old-school jazz makes you want to dance!"
2. Cassandra Wilson, Belly of the Sun. "Cassandra's mellow tone and experience in the industry speaks to me. You can hear the stories in her music."
3. Josephine Baker, Josephine Baker Box Set. "There is a wild side to jazz that Baker epitomized with her lifestyle. She was an entertainer that lived her music with great flamboyance."
4. Black Orpheus (Orfeu Negro) (soundtrack). "After playing Black Orpheus at Jam Session's, I finally saw the original film and have been listening to the soundtrack written by Antonio Carlos Jobim and Luiz Bonfá. The story is based on the myth of Orpheus and his love for Eurydice. A tragic story -- it brings new meaning to the bossa nova."
5. The Muppet Show: Music, Mayhem, and More -- 25th Anniversary. "I am planning a tribute to Jim Henson on his birthday. We will be performing 'The Music of the Muppets. '"

BEST GIG?
"Had to be my very first show. I played a tribute to Nina Simone at Dizzy's and sold the show out. We played two of the most frightening and exhilarating sets of my life. Dr. Carroll Waymon [Nina Simone's brother], a San Diego resident, graced us with his presence."

WORST GIG?
"One of the first bands I joined, appropriately called Mis-led, rehearsed at this place called the Pelican Pub in Lemon Grove. Led by a guitarist straight out of the Big Hair Era, the band included me doing backup vocals, a lead female vocalist, a female drummer, and my friend on bass. We would play every week for tips, and the same ten people would dance to the same set of Blondie, the Motels, 4 Non Blondes, Alanis Morissette, and No Doubt covers. The first night we made $5 in tips. I made my first musical dollar playing there."

WEIRD GIG DREAMS?
"I am a pretty vivid dreamer. I tend to have the dream similar to the dream where you want to run but are fixed in place, and everything goes in slow motion. It is like that, only I can't sing when cued and everything slows down. My mouth is still open and moving, but nothing is coming out. In one dream I am sitting at a piano talking to Chick Corea about music. Just before I wake up he tells me, 'Everything is going to work out just fine, don't worry. It's about the music -- you have to breathe it in. '"

Facing The Music – SD City Beat - Arts & Culture

Facing the Music

San Diego's jazz scene has the horses—but are the barns to follow?

by MARTIN JONES WESTLIN

Ocean Beach's Portugalia restaurant opted for familiar turf on Easter Sunday, featuring vocalist Karin Carson in a few sets of jazz and blues and pop, as it often does. A minor twist was to follow when one of Carson's ex-boyfriends showed up with a date—a girl with some musical acumen of her own. The girl sat in with the group, an utter stranger to most, never expecting the modest windfall that would blow across her palm as the gig wound down.

"It was really uncomfortable and kind of weird,"Carson explained, "but at the end of the night, I paid her, and I didn't take any money for myself. I paid 'em all. It was only 25 bucks each, and I felt stupid about paying them, because $25 is just nothing.

"But the San Diego [jazz] scene is weird that way,"Carson explained. "You get close, so close that it becomes personal. It is family.”

She's right. Over the last year and a half, I've seen a little of that bond congeal among the several jazz musicians I've met. I've come to know a couple of them—like Carson, who's been regaling local audiences with her take on jazz for a little more than eight years—fairly well. I've shaken hands with others I'll probably never see again. Both ends of that spectrum collide mid-beat in wholesale passion for this art form. Like its practitioners, jazz is a fiercely independent animal, shunning technical convention for the spirit of the moment and the caprice that colors it.

But in its most important respects, San Diego's jazz environment barely breaks a sweat, even as April—the sixth annual national Jazz Appreciation Month—draws to a close.

"Definitely, the San Diego scene needs a jump-start,"Carson said. "Right now, there are so many [potential patrons] that aren't really aware. They don't have any idea of what's available to them."Many club owners, she added, see her ilk as window dressing or a creature comfort, oblivious to the rich musical life story underneath. The local family is thus firmly ensconced on the outskirts of town, often left to celebrate its art only among itself.

Carson, 28, talks San Diego jazz like Stacy Taylor talks lefty politics. Her command of the topic is seamless and intense, thick with references to the city's old Stingaree district and the Creole Palace of the 1920s, the anchor that inspired some traveling players to call San Diego the Harlem of the West. By then, jazz had morphed into a national movement, having exploded out of turn-of-the-century New Orleans with a uniquely American mix of improvisation, 19th-century minstrelsy and top-heavy rhythms and brass. Nothing like it happened before or since, and Mark DeBoskey, manager of San Diego City College's jazz-based KSDS-FM radio, thinks the local consumer base is primed to assume its place in that roily history.

"I got here 30 years ago,"DeBoskey explained, "and the baby-boomers were in their 20s. Now, they're in their 40s and 50s. They're finding themselves disenfranchised by the [music] they grew up with, because it's become so homogenous. I believe we have an educational job ahead of us now, which is to say, ‘Try it—jazz isn't what you think it is.' It's not just smooth jazz; it's much broader than that—the Dixieland, the big band, the music that people discover and say it's great. I think San Diego has the potential to be a good jazz town."

KSDS program director Claudia Russell sees the same trend, but for her, the gravitation to jazz is more incidental, like much of this city's entertainment scene.

"Because of our geography and our climate,"Russell said, "we have so many options. San Diego isn't an anything town. We're not a theater town; we're not a dance town; we're not a jazz town. We're not even really a football town or a baseball town, despite the Padres. We are a do-what-you-feel kind of community.

"But I think what I've seen is a core jazz audience, that periphery of people… who just want good music and want a pleasant experience. From what I've seen over the last six years, I think that is starting to come back "
If that's true, then San Diego is left to address the core issue that colors its jazz—the wholesale lack of venues. Clubs have been closing in disconcerting numbers over the last several years, leaving maybe three that local players mention in the same breath: Dizzy's, Croce's Restaurant & Jazz Bar and The Onyx Room—where Carson recorded a live CD on April 3.

Holly Hofmann, San Diego-based jazz flutist and music director whose longtime acclaim finds her mostly on the road internationally, notes the shortage. She's also quick to add that San Diego isn't alone.

"There are only two legitimate jazz programs in town,"Hofmann said, "the Athenaeum Music and Arts Library in La Jolla and San Diego Museum of Art's Jazz in the Park. That's it. [Both venues] seat about 400, and they are full each and every time they do a concert."The de

Jazz Champion – San Diego Reader - By Bart Mendoza

Jazz Champion
By Bart Mendoza | Published Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2009

While San Diego seems to be weathering the decline in jazz better than most cities, with several venues spotlighting the genre, including Anthology, Croce’s, and Dizzy’s, singer Karin Carson considers the local scene too small for such a large metropolitan area.

In order to help promote jazz in San Diego, she has started the San Diego Jazz Musicians Guild. With Carson as president and executive director, the guild meets monthly and hosts events around town, including a weekly concert series started in April at Tango Del Rey. They have also sponsored “Master Classes with Jazz Legends,” featuring artists such as bassist Christian McBride and drummer Chuck McPherson.

Other guild positions include notable board members Donna Nichols (founder of the Pacific Coast Jazz label), trumpeter Derek Cannon, and vocalist Allison Adams Tucker (a 2009 SDMA nominee for her album Come with Me). Using space donated by building owners, the guild has two offices: in North Park at the Queen Bee Art and Cultural Center and in Alpine at the Enchanted Village. The guild currently has 50 members — musicians and fans.

The inspiration for the organization came, indirectly, from Carson’s grandfather, Peter Sirna, a San Diego trumpeter who taught at Ozzie’s Music Store.

“When I first got into jazz, I started asking him questions and found that San Diego had a rich cultural history presenting jazz artists. My goal was to find out more about it and present the information to others so they could find resources for their art.” In addition to work on the SDJMG, Carson has started production on a documentary highlighting the San Diego jazz scene over the past century.

Though Carson is unsure about what exactly it will take to stem the loss of interest nationwide in jazz, she is hoping the guild will make some sort of difference. “The point is that we do something, or things will remain the same.… Whether in or out of the public circle of popularity, jazz still holds the place as the one true American art form.”

Jazz Vocalist Karin Carson Worked On Every Aspect Of Her Debut CD – SD News - By Martin Jones Westlin

Jazz vocalist Karin Carson worked on every aspect of her debut CD
By Martin Jones Westlin

Even with all the history that colors it, jazz normally commands about 3 percent of the national music market share, putting it on a level with classical fare and well below that of some old-time radio formats. But there’s a positive ring to the numbers, too — the genre has always banked on its go-it-alone improvisational elements for its fame, and ratings be damned.

When local vocalist Karin Carson unveils her “The Time Is Now” CD on Saturday, Jan. 23 at Tango del Rey, she’ll be following in the footsteps of jazz’s fiercely independent pioneers. She had a hand in every single piece of the process, from the initial live downtown gig in April of 2007 to the final mix to the cover art. And the experience was as memorable as the music itself.

“I always wanted to do my own album first, on my own, before anything else,” Carson said. “I’ve spent a lot of money and time and love. But I did it myself. I produced it. I hired the musicians. I paid them. I got them a place to stay.

“There’s an honesty about the music because I was really particular about making sure that my voice was heard, not necessarily the sound of some unknown engineer. I’m really proud of that. It’s definitely from my heart.”

And to think the foundation for this effort was once thought to be lost. A friend, Carson explained, had the sessions on a hard drive in order to back up and mix them; “For about a year, I couldn’t get in touch with him, and I didn’t even know if it was still around.”

But that scare proved fortuitous. Carson, 31, noted that she’s changed substantially as an artist and human being since then — and a savvy San Francisco engineer took it from there. Worth the wait, she said, as connections with local tech people simply weren’t materializing.

As founding president of the San Diego Jazz Musicians Guild, Carson said her nonprofit is designed to help foster such alliances. “People are hesitant to call (San Diego) anything” that labels the city as an arts hub, Carson explained. “But that’s changing, too. There’s a lot of art happening in this city and a lot of creative forces.”

Indeed, on Saturday, Tango del Rey will be the venue of choice for some. The doors open at 6 p.m., with shows at 7:30 and 9:30. The musician’s roster features the acclaimed Christian McBride, Derek Cannon, Gregory Hutchinson, Tom Catanzaro and Joshua White. Tango del Rey is located at 3567 Del Rey St. in Pacific Beach. More information is available at (858) 581-1114 or www.tangodelrey.com.

Read more: San Diego Community News Group - Jazz vocalist Karin Carson worked on every aspect of her debut CD

The Great Demo Review 2010 - Part One – SD City Beat

Karin Carson
The Time is Now

Carson sings classic songs like “Pennies from Heaven” and “Over the Rainbow” set to jazz arrangements. I’d be more excited if more of the songs were originals, but only three of nine were written by Carson. Still, she hits one way out of the park with a live performance of Billy Strayhorn’s “Lush Life.”

—Jim Ruland

Singer-Promoter Is Busy Growing Jazz – SD Union Tribune - By George Varga

Singer-promoter is busy growing jazz
Love of the music leads Karin Carson to expand opportunities for young musicians
BY GEORGE VARGA / SUNDAY, JULY 19, 2009 AT 2 A.M.

Although she began singing at the age of 2 and cites her big-band vocalist mother and sax-playing grandfather as key inspirations, Karin Carson was a late-comer to jazz. Now, she's making up for lost time, both as a performer who heads two weekly jam sessions here and by helping other young musicians find gigs.

“I think it's because I'm so passionate about jazz and I want there to be a sense of community around the music for people to have the support to get to the next level,” said the San Diego native. “No matter what I do in my career, somehow I always end up back here, doing this work.”

Carson cut her teeth singing (and getting other jazz musicians gigs) at various area venues, including Ocean Beach's Portugalia and downtown's now-defunct Cafe Cerise. In March, she founded the San Diego Jazz Musicians Guild, a 501(c) nonprofit organization she and her all-volunteer board of directors hope will help nurture the scene here and provide opportunities for budding jazz artists to learn, grow and work.

A fortuitous meeting with Tom Warren, the co-owner of Tango Del Rey in Pacific Beach, led to an April 20 guild launch concert there with local jazz patriarch Daniel Jackson. Carson hasn't looked back since.

“I called Karin later that week, and said: 'We'd like to do something regular with you.' We decided to do a Sunday night jam session,” said Tom Warren, Tango Del Rey's co-owner.

“She called me a week later, and said: 'I have all the Sundays booked through September. There's a vast amount of musical talent here, do you have any other nights available?' Now we have every Wednesday night booked through September as well. Karin is a real dynamo and very well-liked in the jazz community. It's worked out great for both of us.”

Under Carson's guidance, the guild has presented concerts at Tango Del Rey by such local luminaries as guitarist Peter Sprague and drummer Chuck McPherson. It has also hosted workshops with McPherson and acclaimed Philadelphia bassist Christian McBride, who is featured on “The Time Is Now,” a nine-song album Carson made here in 2007 and hopes to release by January.

“I don't know of anyone else who tries to do what Karin does,” said piano phenom Joshua White, 23, who played at the guild's first concert at Tango Del Rey and has since participated at the Sunday and Wednesday jam sessions.

“When she has an idea, she'll just go for it. I think she'd like to be in it for the long haul, but it will take a lot of work to do everything she wants to do.”

White and Carson met at Grossmont College when he was 17. She heard him playing piano in a practice room and asked if he could accompany her on Billy Strayhorn's “Lush Life,” a jazz classic White had never heard before but now knows very well.

Carson credits her love for jazz to singer-bassist Kristin Korb, whom she befriended in the late 1990s when Korb was teaching at Grossmont.

“I sang all my life in choirs and put together puppet shows with songs as a kid,” Carson said. “But Kristin's the one who got me into jazz and encouraged me to go to the annual IAJE (International Association of Jazz Educators) conference.

“The first couple of days at IAJE, I was in a daze because I didn't have a background in the music. On the last day, I heard (keyboardist) Patrice Rushen and (drummer) Ndugu Chancler. The spirit and energy of what they were doing – the sense of freedom – gave me a sense of coming home. I realized if I could make people feel the way I did at that moment, nothing I could imagine would be more fulfilling.”

Korb, who now lives in Los Angeles, was unaware of her former student's involvement here with the jazz guild. But she isn't surprised.

“Karin's very bright and very enthusiastic,” Korb said. “When I met her she was really eager to learn. It was inspiring to see her be so on fire about the music and wanting to know more. She really wants to find her own voice in the music. I remember her doing a very interesting project at Grossmont that included a lot of Nina Simone songs, which not many people would do.”

Carson also cites Betty Carter and Dianne Reeves among her jazz vocal inspirations. Her biggest goal is to inspire others.

“I didn't know what I was doing singing as a child, but apparently I did,” she said. “I wanted to help people through music.”

Singer-Promoter Is Busy Growing Jazz – SD Union Tribune - By George Varga

Singer-promoter is busy growing jazz
Love of the music leads Karin Carson to expand opportunities for young musicians
BY GEORGE VARGA / SUNDAY, JULY 19, 2009 AT 2 A.M.

Although she began singing at the age of 2 and cites her big-band vocalist mother and sax-playing grandfather as key inspirations, Karin Carson was a late-comer to jazz. Now, she's making up for lost time, both as a performer who heads two weekly jam sessions here and by helping other young musicians find gigs.

“I think it's because I'm so passionate about jazz and I want there to be a sense of community around the music for people to have the support to get to the next level,” said the San Diego native. “No matter what I do in my career, somehow I always end up back here, doing this work.”

Carson cut her teeth singing (and getting other jazz musicians gigs) at various area venues, including Ocean Beach's Portugalia and downtown's now-defunct Cafe Cerise. In March, she founded the San Diego Jazz Musicians Guild, a 501(c) nonprofit organization she and her all-volunteer board of directors hope will help nurture the scene here and provide opportunities for budding jazz artists to learn, grow and work.

A fortuitous meeting with Tom Warren, the co-owner of Tango Del Rey in Pacific Beach, led to an April 20 guild launch concert there with local jazz patriarch Daniel Jackson. Carson hasn't looked back since.

“I called Karin later that week, and said: 'We'd like to do something regular with you.' We decided to do a Sunday night jam session,” said Tom Warren, Tango Del Rey's co-owner.

“She called me a week later, and said: 'I have all the Sundays booked through September. There's a vast amount of musical talent here, do you have any other nights available?' Now we have every Wednesday night booked through September as well. Karin is a real dynamo and very well-liked in the jazz community. It's worked out great for both of us.”

Under Carson's guidance, the guild has presented concerts at Tango Del Rey by such local luminaries as guitarist Peter Sprague and drummer Chuck McPherson. It has also hosted workshops with McPherson and acclaimed Philadelphia bassist Christian McBride, who is featured on “The Time Is Now,” a nine-song album Carson made here in 2007 and hopes to release by January.

“I don't know of anyone else who tries to do what Karin does,” said piano phenom Joshua White, 23, who played at the guild's first concert at Tango Del Rey and has since participated at the Sunday and Wednesday jam sessions.

“When she has an idea, she'll just go for it. I think she'd like to be in it for the long haul, but it will take a lot of work to do everything she wants to do.”

White and Carson met at Grossmont College when he was 17. She heard him playing piano in a practice room and asked if he could accompany her on Billy Strayhorn's “Lush Life,” a jazz classic White had never heard before but now knows very well.

Carson credits her love for jazz to singer-bassist Kristin Korb, whom she befriended in the late 1990s when Korb was teaching at Grossmont.

“I sang all my life in choirs and put together puppet shows with songs as a kid,” Carson said. “But Kristin's the one who got me into jazz and encouraged me to go to the annual IAJE (International Association of Jazz Educators) conference.

“The first couple of days at IAJE, I was in a daze because I didn't have a background in the music. On the last day, I heard (keyboardist) Patrice Rushen and (drummer) Ndugu Chancler. The spirit and energy of what they were doing – the sense of freedom – gave me a sense of coming home. I realized if I could make people feel the way I did at that moment, nothing I could imagine would be more fulfilling.”

Korb, who now lives in Los Angeles, was unaware of her former student's involvement here with the jazz guild. But she isn't surprised.

“Karin's very bright and very enthusiastic,” Korb said. “When I met her she was really eager to learn. It was inspiring to see her be so on fire about the music and wanting to know more. She really wants to find her own voice in the music. I remember her doing a very interesting project at Grossmont that included a lot of Nina Simone songs, which not many people would do.”

Carson also cites Betty Carter and Dianne Reeves among her jazz vocal inspirations. Her biggest goal is to inspire others.

“I didn't know what I was doing singing as a child, but apparently I did,” she said. “I wanted to help people through music.”

Ghosted Tablao Tangos With Jazz – The Beach & Bay Press - By Martin Jones Westlin

Ghosted Tablao tangos with jazz
by MARTIN JONES WESTLIN | Beach & Bay Press

Far away from the PB beach bar scene, the old Tablao Flemenco on Del Rey Street has stood a looming turret, unnoticed for the past 20 years since the venue was locked up after a five-year stint as a flamenco dinner spot. A silent gem, the building sports sculptures from Balboa Park’s 1915 exposition.

On March 20, Schroeder’s at Tango del Rey opened the doors to an ambitious venue for tango, salsa and jazz, where there’s even talk of installing a small black box theater.

“Yes, Pacific Beach is a beach and you end up with beach-type activities,” said co-proprietor Tom Warren. “But where we’ve gotten lucky is that we’re kind of on the outskirsts of Pacific Beach, away from the beach zone but still close enough to be considered part of the community.”

A vocalists open mic tonight, April 16 ushers in opening weekend, with tango and salsa lessons on tap on Fridays and a piano turn by L.A. arranger Todd Schroeder on Saturday, April 18.

Monday, April 20, marks the launch of a long-awaited jazz federation, the San Diego Jazz Musicians Guild, spearheaded by a tenacious local performer, who’d like to think things will take off from there. Jazz vocalist and guild president Karin Carson has been talking about the group’s inception for at least the last two years—and back then, she had words of warning on the waning local jazz scene.

“I can tell you,” Carson said in a 2007 interview, “that some places feature jazz or have it brought in, but they don’t publicize it as jazz. They bring in the same musicians every week, so they’re catering to their mailing lists. That’s just poor business, because you’re not expanding your horizons.” And in these heady financial times, “the opportunities are lessening, because the businesses don’t have money to put into paying the artists at any level.

“What’s so spectacular about the history of this music is that it’s about storytelling, tapping information from one person to the next. That’s what has been missing. We need more people involved in bringing these different cultural aspects together, so that we can ball up that hand into a mighty fist.”

The Daniel Jackson Quartet, featuring renowned saxophonist Jackson, headlines the guild kickoff.

Schroeder’s at Tango Del Rey is at 3567 Del Rey St., near the corner of Bunker Hill Street. For further information about the venue, visit www.tangodelrey.com or call (858) 581-1114.

Ghosted Tablao Tangos With Jazz – The Beach & Bay Press - By Martin Jones Westlin

Ghosted Tablao tangos with jazz
by MARTIN JONES WESTLIN | Beach & Bay Press

Far away from the PB beach bar scene, the old Tablao Flemenco on Del Rey Street has stood a looming turret, unnoticed for the past 20 years since the venue was locked up after a five-year stint as a flamenco dinner spot. A silent gem, the building sports sculptures from Balboa Park’s 1915 exposition.

On March 20, Schroeder’s at Tango del Rey opened the doors to an ambitious venue for tango, salsa and jazz, where there’s even talk of installing a small black box theater.

“Yes, Pacific Beach is a beach and you end up with beach-type activities,” said co-proprietor Tom Warren. “But where we’ve gotten lucky is that we’re kind of on the outskirsts of Pacific Beach, away from the beach zone but still close enough to be considered part of the community.”

A vocalists open mic tonight, April 16 ushers in opening weekend, with tango and salsa lessons on tap on Fridays and a piano turn by L.A. arranger Todd Schroeder on Saturday, April 18.

Monday, April 20, marks the launch of a long-awaited jazz federation, the San Diego Jazz Musicians Guild, spearheaded by a tenacious local performer, who’d like to think things will take off from there. Jazz vocalist and guild president Karin Carson has been talking about the group’s inception for at least the last two years—and back then, she had words of warning on the waning local jazz scene.

“I can tell you,” Carson said in a 2007 interview, “that some places feature jazz or have it brought in, but they don’t publicize it as jazz. They bring in the same musicians every week, so they’re catering to their mailing lists. That’s just poor business, because you’re not expanding your horizons.” And in these heady financial times, “the opportunities are lessening, because the businesses don’t have money to put into paying the artists at any level.

“What’s so spectacular about the history of this music is that it’s about storytelling, tapping information from one person to the next. That’s what has been missing. We need more people involved in bringing these different cultural aspects together, so that we can ball up that hand into a mighty fist.”

The Daniel Jackson Quartet, featuring renowned saxophonist Jackson, headlines the guild kickoff.

Schroeder’s at Tango Del Rey is at 3567 Del Rey St., near the corner of Bunker Hill Street. For further information about the venue, visit www.tangodelrey.com or call (858) 581-1114.