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So happy to announce that you can now stream the 2022 live album on all the usual streaming music platforms. Please add it and enjoy! Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted in Blog, Music

12/1/23, Pasadena, CA — First Fridays Jazz Night w/Jason Luckett & Friends: The Brothers Figaro Orchestra & Dorothy Pincus

The next First Fridays Jazz Night w/Jason Luckett & Friends is on December 1, 2023. It’s the Holiday Edition!

Joining me for the show are the Brothers Figaro Orchestra doing an Old Time Christmas, Dorothy Coleman Pincus bringing her love, my annual holiday revue (after a long hiatus) and hopefully more surprises.

First Fridays Jazz Night w/ Jason Luckett & Friends
Friday, December 1, 2023
8-10:30pm (doors: 7:30)
Lyd & Mo Photography Studio & Gallery
27 N Mentor Ave, Pasadena, CA 91106

The Brothers Figaro Orchestra
Dorothy Coleman Pincus
Jason Luckett
& more!

Hosted by Jason Luckett
Doors: 7:30
Showtime: 8pm

Suggested donation: $20 at the door or online 
PayPal.me/jasonluckett
Venmo: @jasonluckett 
(100% goes to the musicians).

In Playhouse Village in the heart of Pasadena
IG: @firstfridaysjazznight

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Posted in Shows Past

FFJN 11/3: The Roswell Sisters

Kristi Callan and I know each other through the indie pop music scene and Harry Nilsson fandom. I love close vocal harmonies and at the last Nilsson birthday tribute we got to talking and she told me she was part of a group called the Roswell Sisters. I thought they’d be great addition to our eclectic First Fridays Jazz Night.

Check out this résumé!

A captivating close-harmony group from Los Angeles, modeled loosely on the legendary jazzy New Orleans 30s band the Boswell Sisters, but bringing unexpected, eccentric, and occasionally even glam rock touches to that vintage vocal style. Group leader Justin Tanner has a special gift for arranging songs from the 20s and 30s straight through to originals by Roswells pianist Kristian Hoffman in classic “old tyme” tight, dense harmonies, dazzling in their complexity. Justin (tenor) is a noted Los Angeles playwright (“Zombie Attack,” “Pot Mom,” “Day Drinkers”) and a classically trained pianist. Lisa Jenio (alto), lead singer and songwriter for L.A. pop band Candypants, has also collaborated with the Negro Problem and Ronnie Spector. Kristi Callan uses her varied experience working with a wide range of artists from David Gray to Dave Davies to her own alt-country band, Dime Box and 80s girl group Wednesday Week, to inform her role as the emotive soprano in the group. 

The Roswell Sisters are backed by Kristian Hoffman (Ann Magnuson, Prince Poppycock, Rufus Wainwright, Mumps, Klaus Nomi) on piano and Pierre Smith (El Vez, Ann Magnuson, New Marines, Human Hands) on guitar. The response to this young combo has been wildly enthusiastic, and audiences have been transfixed by the gorgeous harmonies the Roswells bring to classic 30s songs like “Shuffle Off to Buffalo” and modern pop gems like the Mumps’ “Just Look, Don’t Touch.”

From their show-stopping version of “42nd Street” to their spectacular original “Imaginary Friend,” the group delivers a mesmerizing performance every time. The Roswells have played eclectic venues all over the greater Los Angeles area and are currently in the studio recording their debut.

And on 11/3 they’ll be with us!

No shows booked at the moment.

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Posted in Blog

FFJN 11/3: Jennifer Leigh Warren

Photo of Jennifer Leigh Warren

Jennifer Leigh Warren is a new friend of mine whom I met celebrating the 25th anniversary of Nana-Ama Danquah’s memoir, Willow Weep for Me. (Nana-Ama included an essay of mine in the anthology, The Black Body.) We started talking and laughing and I thought she’d be a great addition to our series. I asked her. And I’m so glad she said yes!

Her resume is rich with Broadway, touring and TV experience. For FFJN, she’s trying something new with just guitar accompaniment, from me. And we’ll duet on a couple things. It’s been so much fun seeing what we can do together.

Here’s her bio:

Jennifer Leigh Warren has been lauded for her theatrical work, from her show-stopping performance as “Alice’s Daughter” in the original Broadway cast of Big River (singing a song written for her by Roger Miller), to originating the role of “Crystal” in the Alan Menken/Howard Ashman Off-Broadway hit Little Shop of Horrors, to her performance in the original Broadway cast of Marie Christine at Lincoln Center. In the television musical event RENT: LIVE, she showcased her versatility as Mrs. Jefferson, Mrs. Cohen, Support Sue and the infamous bag lady. With the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, in the Disney Concert Hall, she performed as the narrator/vocalist in the “Rock my Soul” festival and performed her “Diamonds Are Forever: The Songs of Shirley Bassey” concert directed by Richard Jay Alexander in the Renberg Theater in Los Angeles. She starred as “The Blues Singer” in all four national tours of A Night with Janis Joplin (USA, Canada) streaming now on Broadway HD.com. For REPRISE! she was Lalume in Kismet, Cleo in The Most happy Fella and stopped the show as Shelia in Hair (with a vocal arrangement made for her by the great Peter Matz). On The Tonight Show, CONAN and Jimmy Kimmel, she performed with Broken Bells, The Kills, Trombone Shorty, Lisa Loeb and OK GO. In Japan, she re-created her Big River role (in Japanese) and in Denmark sang with Al Jarreau (televised LIVE throughout Europe). Film: Garry Marshall’s Valentine’s Day, The Other Sister and Dear God, Allison Anders & Martin Scorsese’s Grace of My Heart, Sean Penn’s The Crossing Guard, Larry David’s Sour Grapes. She is a graduate of Dartmouth College and a proud SAG-AFTRA AEA member. 

JenniferLeighWarren.com

No shows booked at the moment.

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Choosing Joy — First Anniversary

Choosing joy ….creates so much room for love, growth, and experience.

10/21/23

I didn’t want to let this day pass without acknowledging the anniversary of Document: Freedom: Spring and the life saving surgery that happened the same day, 10/21/22. It was a little bit like two births. And what’s come from it has been so life affirming. Thanks to the sweet people who wrote testimonials for the record, Todd Lawrence, Dee Madden, Imani Tolliver, Steve Hochman, and Mark Davis. Thanks to Simko for taking pictures when I realized that I didn’t have any photos from the concert! Thanks to Ray Moore for helping to make it sound like a record.

Then Anne Dixon introduced me to Raspin Stuwart who brought me to Lyd & Mo’s, where Mo tried to convince me that I was playing jazz and asked me to curate a monthly jazz night — and I’d be the featured artist. It seemed a little outrageous to me, but it pushed me to reach out to amazing musicians like Russell Ferrante, Edwin Livingston, Reggie Quinerly and Nailah Porter who joined me to do a Jazz Vespers at All Saints Church where I did my best to channel Mahalia Jackson and Sam Cooke. I felt so bolstered by that experience.

And the gift Mo gave me, I’ve been able to share with my friends, giving other artists a chance to do something different or re-energize what they’ve always done before this incredible loyal audience of deep listeners at our First Fridays Jazz Nights.

Somewhere along the way this has also re-energized my recording studio and I’m starting to record more people there, holding a safe space for creativity.

This is only a snippet of the good that’s come in the past year or so when I decided to put something positive into the world on surgery day. Choosing joy and letting go of what’s toxic in one’s life creates so much room for love, growth, and experience. I feel high and so grateful.

Thank you to my family. Thank you to the good people at Kaiser. Thanks to Bandcamp. Thanks to the Warner Grand Annex. Thanks to you for being such loving supporters of what I try to do with music and building – and supporting – community. 

You are a gift to me.

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Posted in Blog

First Fridays Jazz Night w/Jason Luckett & Friends: The Roswell Sisters, and Jennifer Leigh Warren, Friday, 11/3, Pasadena

Posted in Shows Past

All Souls Are Free

"All Souls Are Free" Video Still

I started the year by posting this on Facebook, 2 Jan 2023. It feels even more important now. This is a collaboration with Todd Lawrence. 

Here’s what I wrote then:

_____

Hey Friends! My friend, Todd Lawrence, brought a line to our first ever writing session (after knowing each other for decades!) and we came up with this. I miffed a few words in recording this draft last night, but I like what we did. I’d love to hear people singing along to this! It was Todd’s idea to ride the “we…’ll” Stack those harmonies! Most of all I hope it could be used inspirationally to free some souls.

Here are the correct lyrics:

“When All Souls Are Free”

Words & music by Todd Lawrence & Jason Luckett

In this broken world
Your get used to the thought
That our prayers go unanswered
That our dreams are for naught

And all that is now
Shall always be
And it’s only in a child’s dream
That all souls are free

For a child see the world
Through innocent eyes
No false complication
Or logic that lies

And I have no answers
When they ask me
When will the time come
When all souls are free?

Till all are free
Till all are free
Till all souls are free
We’ll never be

With this broken heart
I walk out of time
Looking for traces
Of reason and rhyme

I struggle for answers
There’s none I can see
When will the time come
When all souls are free?

Till all are free
Till all are free
Till all souls are free
We’ll never be

And we’ll never feel real
And we’ll never feel right
And we’ll never have peace
Lie with us at night
We’ll be locked in a cage that we can’t even see
Till all are unshackled
Till all souls are free…

© 2023 Todd Lawrence & Jason Luckett

_____

“This is a time for resolve, and not revenge. For purpose, and not panic. And for security, and not surrender,” said soldier Lloyd Austin (US Secretary of Defense). 

Let’s resolve to free souls, to create peace, so that we all may be free. 

Here’s a link to the chord chart.

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FFJN 10/6: Katie Ward

Katie was recommended to me by my friend, Nick Vincent, with whom I’ve done the Nilsson Tribute shows. Most recently he did the arrangement for “Nevertheless” for the 8th Annual show. (See it here.)

Katie, it turns out was part of Kenny Burrell’s 85th birthday concert, which gives us something in common, as I sang with him at the 75th and 80th!

She’ll be solo on the 6th, and here’s how she describes her music:

Katie Ward imagines a world in which jazz harmony and glittery synthesizers enmesh in a dreamy balancing act of consonance and dissonance. At times her musical world is chaotic and challenging, but it is matched with a lyrical sincerity that is unabashedly girly and whimsical. She aims to push musical boundaries as far as possible without straying from an emotional core.

I’m looking forward to hearing her live!

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Posted in Blog

FFJN 10/6: Gary Stockdale

Gary Stockdale Photo

Gary is someone I find a delight to be around! His voice is pure and his songs are witty, poignant, and effortlessly musical. I’m exited to have him join us on the 6th for a set.

Read some about him below:

GARY STOCKDALE is a 2-time Emmy-nominated composer, songwriter and singer who composed music for many TV shows and films, including Sabrina, the Teenage WitchPenn & Teller: BullshitSpongebob Squarepants, and The Aristocrats (not to be confused with the AristoCATS – this is the one about the world’s dirtiest joke told by the world’s funniest comedians). For some of these, he also wrote and was the primary vocalist on original songs. He was also the composer and Musical Director for the Emmy-nominated Penn & Teller’s Sin City Spectacular, one of the last true TV variety shows. Gary won a BMI Award for Music Composition for his work on the Penn & Teller show.

As a veteran studio singer, his voice can be heard on The Prince of EgyptStar Wars: Rogue OneStar Trek: BeyondThe Spongebob Squarepants MovieThe Simpsons, & Family Guy. He has sung with Justin Timberlake, Adele, Aaron Neville, Neil Young, David Crosby & Johnny Mathis, and backed up Mary J. Blige on the 2018 Oscars. Gary’s onscreen performances include a featured solo in the cult-classic musical TV seriesCop/Rock, a lead vocal in the film Lucy In The Sky (as a singing Shriner),  a singing retiree in the first episode of B Positiveas well as wearing a pink choir robe, backing up Camila Cabello on the Ellen show in 2019.

With Spencer Green, Gary co-wrote the irreverent adult musical BUKOWSICAL, which won Outstanding Musical at the2007 New York International Fringe Festival. Gary also composed the score for the original Off-Broadway productionof PLAYDEAD, directed and co-written by Teller. He was the original keyboard player in the Brian Setzer Orchestra.

Gary’s latest record, Keep Letting Go was released in 2018. After working with Gary, award-winning songwriters Barry Mann & Cynthia Weill (You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’, Somewhere Out There) called Gary “…one of the greatest singers on the planet.” That quote sure looks nice on a bio!

Garystockdale.com

No shows booked at the moment.

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Posted in Blog

First Fridays Jazz Night w/Jason Luckett & Friends: Gary Stockdale, Katie Ward, Friday, 10/6, Pasadena

Posted in Shows Past