PICS: 2016 San Diego Jazz Festival

The 37th annual San Diego Jazz Festival took over the Town and Country Resort & Convention Center on Nov. 23-27 with performances by the Memphis Speed Kings, Big Butter Jazz band, Sue Palmer, and many others!

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The 2016 San Diego Jazz Festival took over the Town and Country Resort & Convention Center on Nov. 23-27 (Memphis Speed Kings’ Dave Bennett pictured here).
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It was the 37th installment of the annual fest -- jazz cats were out in droves for the huge multi-day event (Sweethearts of Swing pictured)!
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San Diego’s lucky to have such a long-running celebration of incredibly diverse music (hometown jazz icon Sue Palmer pictured, left).
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Grand Dominion Jazz Band got their start in 1982.
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Many traditional jazz aficionados consider the Grand Dominion Jazz Band to be the “A-Team” of the New Orleans Revivalist style.
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Members include Bob Pelland, Gerry Green, Jim Armstrong and Clint Baker.
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Tom Rigney and the Flambeau play a high-energy mix of Cajun, zydeco and American roots music.
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Most of the band’s repertoire is composed by Rigney (pictured, middle), but they also mix in a few classic from the Cajun/zydeco/New Orleans songbook.
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They were voted Best Cajun/Zydeco Band of 2004 by the West Coast Blues Hall of Fame.
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In 2011, Rigney was crowned emperor of the great Sacramento Jazz Festival.
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The High Sierra Jazz Band play a beloved brand of traditional jazz.
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The band is comprised of Howard Miyata, Stan Huddleston, Pieter Meijers, Earl McKee, Bruce Huddleston, Charlie Castro and Marc Caparone.
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The band’s trademark is exciting, hard-driving two-beat jazz, often described as “West Coast” style.
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Their extensive repertoire consists of tunes by Lu Watters, Turk Murphy, “Jelly Roll” Morton, Lil Hardin, Sidney Bechet, Louis Armstrong, and others.
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The 37th annual San Diego Jazz Festival. (Photo by Alex Matthews)
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The Lakeshore Syncopators hail from Chicago and their members include some of the greatest, present-day jazz masters.
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Their repertoire includes vintage jazz standards, as well as hot dance tunes of the ‘20s.
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Beloved hometown jazz icon Sue Palmer and Her Motel Swing Orchestra wowed the crowd.
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Perhaps best known for her beehive-wearing stint with (incredibly missed) blues diva Candye Kane in the ‘90s, Palmer has made a name for herself with her flashy boogie woogie stylings.
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She’s widely known in town as San Diego’s Queen of Boogie Woogie.
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Palmer’s even been honored by the city of San Diego with her own day (it’s March 25, 2008).
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She won the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tennessee for Best Self-Produced CD in 2008, for “Sophisticated Ladies.”
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She’s won numerous San Diego Music Awards, including Best Blues Album in 2010 for her first solo piano album “After Hours.”
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2016 has been busy for her and her band, with the release of a live album, “The Thunderbird Sessions.”
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The Kris Tokarski Quartet is comprised of pianist Tokarski, guitarist Larry Scala, bassist Nobu Ozaki, drummer Hal Smith and Chloe Feoranzo on reeds.
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Tokarski was born and raised just outside of New York City, in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
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He attended and completed his bachelor’s degree at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts.
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In 2011, Tokarski moved to New Orleans to complete a master’s degree at the University of New Orleans
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Soon thereafter, he embraced the early piano traditions of the city, as well as those of the northeast where he grew up.
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Tokarski’s voice is a mix of his influences (“Jelly Roll” Morton, James P. Johnson, Teddy Wilson) and his bebop roots.
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The 37th annual San Diego Jazz Festival. (Photo by Alex Matthews)
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The Big Butter Jazz Band was founded in late 2013 in LA by drummer Mark San Filippo and guitarist Conrad Cayman.
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They named the group after the 1926 song, “Big Butter & Egg Man.”
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The two founding members actually met as auxiliary members of LA roots orchestra/collective the Dustbowl Revival.
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The band is dedicated to playing New Orleans traditional jazz.
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They’ve quickly become a favorite of the LA swing dance scene.
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The 37th annual San Diego Jazz Festival. (Photo by Alex Matthews)
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The 37th annual San Diego Jazz Festival. (Photo by Alex Matthews)
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The 37th annual San Diego Jazz Festival. (Photo by Alex Matthews)
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The Sweethearts of Swing are fresh, exciting trio of singers, who have captured the unique style and harmonies of the Andrew sisters.
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The 37th annual San Diego Jazz Festival. (Photo by Alex Matthews)
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The 37th annual San Diego Jazz Festival. (Photo by Alex Matthews)
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The 37th annual San Diego Jazz Festival. (Photo by Alex Matthews)
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The Memphis Speed Kings formed in 2009 by jazz pianist Dave Bennett and drummer Hal Smith.
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They bonded over the admiration of “The Killer” – Jerry Lee Lewis.
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The band is rounded out by guitarist Gino Meregillano and bassist Joe Jazdzewski (pictured).
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The 37th annual San Diego Jazz Festival. (Photo by Alex Matthews)
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The 37th annual San Diego Jazz Festival. (Photo by Alex Matthews)
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The 37th annual San Diego Jazz Festival. (Photo by Alex Matthews)
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The 37th annual San Diego Jazz Festival. (Photo by Alex Matthews)
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The 37th annual San Diego Jazz Festival. (Photo by Alex Matthews)
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Dave Stuckey & the Hot House Gang is an ad-hoc aggregation that stomps and swings standards and not-so-standards from the ‘20s and ‘30s.
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As the name suggests, the band is headed by Western swing/rockabilly icon Dave Stuckey.
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The 37th annual San Diego Jazz Festival. (Photo by Alex Matthews)
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The 37th annual San Diego Jazz Festival. (Photo by Alex Matthews)
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The 37th annual San Diego Jazz Festival. (Photo by Alex Matthews)
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The 37th annual San Diego Jazz Festival. (Photo by Alex Matthews)
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Joe Smith & the Spicy Pickles Jazz Band is a Denver-based vintage jazz band dedicated to revitalizing swing music and dance.
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The Pickles bring it all – high energy, quality musicianship, and an authentic big band sound and look that celebrate the unique American spirit of swing.
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We look forward to seeing what the 2017 San Diego Jazz Festival has in store next time!
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