This is jazz! brings awareness of music to Carlsbad


Maddie Bowman

(Photo Illustration)

Audrey Sun, Staff Writer

The City of Carlsbad’s Cultural Arts Office is known for its popular four-part lecture and performance series which covers an array of subjects on American jazz, with live demonstrations by musical guests and personal interactions between artists and the audience. This Is Jazz! explores the different styles of jazz and serves to discuss how jazz shaped musicians such as Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman, Billie Holliday, Charlie Parker, Dave Brubeck and Wynton Marsalis.

This year’s 2016 series brings on-air host and This is Jazz! curator Claudia Russell from San Diego’s award-winning radio station KSDS Jazz 88.3, along with Southern California’s finest musicians. These 90-minute sessions will allow audiences to listen, learn and talk about jazz with the performers.

Starting in 2000, this program has gone on 15 seasons, making the February event the city’s first for the 2016 season. February’s program is called “The Saucy Side of Jazz” with guitarist Robin Henkel and vocalist Whitney Shay. In the coming months, this program will focus on dance and music, jazz appreciation month, and jazz’s role in the military service.

“KSDS radio host Claudia Russell will be our MC for the event,” Community Arts Coordinator Megan Gilby said. “The performers will be talking about jazz compositions that talk about love in a humorous way and use euphemisms and satire to talk about relationships.”

This event brings high quality musicians together in an educational setting where the participants can learn and enjoy. Additionally, it is all free for the attendees thanks to the City of Carlsbad and a generous donation from the Carlsbad Library and Arts Foundation.

“The best part of the event is how much I learn from each performance and lecture,” employee of the Cultural Arts Office Sandra Riggins said. “I am always surprised at the variety of music that falls under the category of Jazz and I love to be exposed to new musicians and styles.”

This Is Jazz! not only educates its audience about jazz, it allows people to feel more connected to their community as well as attracts tourists to the area. For the city of Carlsbad, the arts are a major factor in community ownership and satisfaction among visitors and residents.

“Being able to offer this event, with our great partners at KSDS, adds to the strong arts culture of the city and serves our community by providing quality arts experiences and information about the world of jazz,” Gilby said. “It also brings new audience members, as well as artists and radio personalities to our city for the opportunity to create and enjoy music together.”

This Is Jazz! will present its 2016 program “The Saucy Side of Jazz” on Feb. 13th at the Carlsbad Senior Center from 4-5:30 p.m..