Sunday, October 14, 2012

Next up: Chris Lightcap

Our next show--and our last scheduled show until January--is coming up soon, and we're really excited about it.  It's bassist Chris Lightcap and his quintet Bigmouth, a tight unit of New York heavy hitters including a twin-tenor frontline that puts soaring harmonies atop Lightcap's driving rhythms.  The band's 2010 album, "Deluxe," was our clear choice for album of the year.  (And not just ours: the disc got 4-1/2 stars in DownBeat and landed on over twenty year-end "best of" lists, including the New York Times, the Village Voice, NPR, and Jazz Times.)
Please check out our web page on Lightcap and Bigmouth (that's, where you can read more about the band, listen to tracks from their album "Deluxe," and watch them in performance via YouTube.  Then come out to Fulkerson Recital Hall on October 30th at 8:00 p.m. for a rare West Coast chance to hear what New York Times jazz writer Nate Chinen calls a "righteous dispatch from the New York jazz grid, full of streamlined rhythm and stark, suggestive harmony."
(Lightcap will also offer a free public workshop on campus the morning of October 31; stay tuned for an announcement of the exact time and location.)
Tickets for the October 30 concert are $15 General Admission and $10 Student/Senior, and they're available at our website ( or at the usual outlets (The Works, People's Records, Wildwood Music, and--after Monday, October 15--Wildberries).
See you at Fulkerson on the 30th!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

A reminder, first of all, that our 2012-13 Season opens this Thursday, September 20th, at 8:00 p.m. in HSU’s Kate Buchanan Room with the John Abercrombie Organ Trio. (More information, including a video of the trio, is at This is a great group and a rare treat: it’s the first time that the legendary guitarist and longtime ECM recording artist, on his way to the Monterey Jazz Festival, has played in Humboldt County.

To mark the occasion, we’re trying something new: a “Silent Auction” to raise funds for this season’s programming. A number of local artists, craftspeople and businesses--some of whom are already sponsors of the RJA--have generously contributed items to be auctioned off (by open, silent bids). So far:

  • We have merchandise and gift certficates from Adventure’s Edge, Arcata Exchange, Caravan of Dreams, Garden Gate, Jambalaya, Libation, and Los Bagels.
  • Baroni, Holly Yashi, and Sentient Beading have donated hand-crafted jewelry.
  • Kitty Margolis has sent an autographed CD.
  • Claire Iris Schencke has contributed prints of two of her beautiful iPad Jazz Paintings (created at past RJA shows). 
And more is coming in.
The items will be on display in the Karshner lounge, just outside the Kate Buchanan Room, the same place we take tickets and set up concessions.  Bidding will open at 6:30 p.m and continue throughout the evening. Please come early and have a look--and make a bid--as you enjoy some refreshments (and, we hope, some live music provided by an HSU jazz combo).
See you Thursday!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Thursday, September 20, 8 p.m.

Kate Buchanan Room, Humboldt State University

Monday, July 30, 2012

The New RJA Season

You can read short blurbs about this season's artists and find links to their websites (and to audio and video) at the 2012-12 Season Page of our website, which just went live. (You can also download a PDF of that season poster for yourself.) Please be aware that owing to the vagaries of tour schedules, some dates and/or group personnel may change before the season is out. We'll always alert you to any changes on the website and via our e-mail list. Big thanks to our steadfast sponsors and loyal members, whose continued support makes this all possible. (You can see the ever-growing list of sponsors on our website's front page.) Think you'll come to at least five of the season's six shows? Buy a season ticket in advance--six shows for the price of five! See you September 20th.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

News from the RJA Clubhouse

First: thanks to everyone for coming out in support of another successful season. We're always gratified by the enthusiastic and appreciative reception you give to the musicians we bring to town. The musicians are, too--and they always let us know! Next: even though Season 6 is over, it ain't. We're doing another post-season show this year, again at the Morris Graves in Eureka, on June 6th at 8:00 p.m. From New York, it's baritone saxophonist Claire Daly and her quartet, playing an all-Monk program. More details in the coming weeks. For now: And as long as we've got your attention: our friends at the Arcata Playhouse are hosting some fine jazz in the coming weeks, too, starting tomorrow night, Wednesday, May 9th, at 8:00, with local luminaries Tim Randles (keyboards), Shao Way Wu (bass) and Mike LaBolle (drums), playing stylish originals and standards. Then on June 2, from San Francisco, it's the Beth Custer Ensemble, performing Beth's score to the silent film "My Grandmother." Details and tickets for both shows at You can keep track of those and other local jazz gigs--and submit your own--at our Humboldt Jazz Calendar, powered by Check it out at

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Happy Birthday, Han!

Legendary Dutch drummer Han Bennink turns 70 today, and there's a storm of celebration on the airwaves and in the jazz blogosphere:

Patrick Jarenwattananon marked the occasion over at NPR's A Blog Supreme;

Terry Gross interviewed Han today on Fresh Air; and

Columbia University's WKCR kicked off a five-day marathon of Bennink's music (you can stream the station online), which culminates with a Sunday evening concert by Bennink, joined by Richard Teitelbaum, Ray Anderson, Uri Caine, Mark Dresser, Mary Oliver, Thomas Heberer, and Humboldt County's own Michael Moore, a longtime collaborator.  (Bennink and Moore will also reunite with accordionist Will Holshouser for a separate trio concert Wednesday night on New York's Lower East Side, to mark the release of new album, Live in NYC, on Moore's "Ramboy" label.)

The Mad Scientist of the Skins has twice been a guest of the RJA, once during our inaugural 2006-07 season, with the ICP Orchestra, and again in 2009, with Holshouser & Moore.  As far as we can tell, he's showing no signs of slowing down, and we hope to see him back this way again. 

Many happy returns of the day, Han!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Up Next!

Another one (almost) gone! Our sixth season comes to a close at 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 25th in HSU's Fulkerson Recital Hall with guitarist Rez Abbasi and his "Invocation" quintet.

Like his bandmates, friends, and fellow innovators, pianist Vijay Iyer (RJA 2010-11) and alto saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa, Abbasi is known as an emblematic figure in the globalization of jazz. (Born in Pakistan, Abbasi was raised in L.A. and has lived in New York for the past two decades.) His seamless welding of South Asian sounds and vanguard jazz put Invocation's debut album, the prophetic Things to Come (2009), among DownBeat's top discs of the last decade. Last year's Suno Suno, the group's latest and Abbasi's eighth, was an Editor's Pick. You can read more about Abbasi, listen to the group's music, and see them featured in a video at

Invocation's concert is part of the HSU Music Department's "New Horizons Festival of Music and Diversity," which also features concerts and workshops with composer-in-residence Chen Yi and the Kronos Quartet. (Abbasi himself will lead a pre-concert workshop at 4:00 p.m. on the afternoon of April 25th--campus location TBA.)

Tickets for the concert are $15 General Admission and $10 for students and seniors. They're available at the usual outlets--Wildberries, Wildwood Music, People's Records, and The Works--and at our website:

Hope to see you there!

Friday, March 16, 2012


Jazz-wise, the next couple of weeks are going to be pretty busy ones in Humboldt County. As far as we're concerned, the wave crests with the next show in our own spring season: a visit from vocalist Kitty Margolis and her trio at the Morris Graves Museum of Art on Friday, March 30th. More on that in a minute.

But you should also save your dollars--and block out dates on your calendar--for:

A return visit from San Francisco-based jazz/folk singer Meklit Hadero at the Arcata Playhouse on March 21,
The 22d annual Redwood Coast Jazz Festival in Eureka, March 22-25,
The Branford Marsalis Quartet at Center Arts on March 25,
And--back at the Playhouse--the Honey Ear Trio (with special guest Jenny Scheinman) on April 1 (no foolin'!).

That last group is a co-operative trio featuring drummer Allison Miller, who wowed an RJA audience with her avant-groove-based quartet "Boom Tic Boom" last October. As it happens, Allison is also an old friend of Kitty Margolis, and she'll be holding down the drum chair in Kitty's trio when they play the Morris Graves on March 30. (On piano: Murray Low; bass: John Schifflett.) We always love putting on shows at the Graves: "live" yet intimate, it's a great space for small-group acoustic music. But it's also relatively small: we can only guarantee a seat to the first 130 arrivals (RJA members, as always, will have an opportunity to reserve a seat in advance), and after that it will be standing room only. So: buy your tickets ($15 General Admission/$10 Students & Seniors) in advance--at Wildberries, Wildwood Music, People's Records, and The Works--and plan to arrive early!

If you don't know Kitty Margolis's music, please check out the links at She's a musician's singer with a full-throated tone, a knack for phrasing, and a penchant for breathtaking scat. She's also a warm, funny, and absolutely mesmerizing performer. We haven't hosted anybody quite like Kitty before, and we think this is going to be a brilliant night. Thanks so much to our partners at the Humboldt Arts Council for co-sponsoring this show. See you Friday, March 30 at 8:00 p.m. at the Morris Graves Museum of Art, 636 "F" Street, Eureka.