Saturday, March 25, 2006

My Bro' Kurt

When I started this blog, I made reference to a dear old friend and former early '70's Seattle bandmate (oh! that hair! Ouch!), incredible drummer/keyboardist/singer/composer Kurt the-Koala-Bear Kolstad. This cat could play with our Santa Fe, no sweat. Google his name, check out his history. Dude kicks major butt, and is a great, great person.

Well, here's the text of an email announcement I got today from Joe Turner, another of our friends up in the PacNW:
A Tribute to Kurt Kolstad
It takes a small army of drummers to cover Kurt's gigs...

April 9th, 2 PM – Jazzbones
2803 6th Avenue, Tacoma
Featuring performances by:
And a silent auction:
  • art
  • food
  • vacations
  • spa treatment
  • services & more
Suggested admission: $20 donation at the door

In December 2005 Kurt Kolstad was diagnosed with lymphoma. Kurt's friends and fellow musicians have come together to produce the Kurt Kolstad Tribute to raise funds to help pay the costs of his chemotherapy treatment. With the love and support of his wife and young son, Kurt will win this fight. Soon He'll back at the drums playing in all his bands.

Kurt Kolstad - While playing trumpet in his jr. high band, Kurt Kolstad asked one of the drummers if he could try his drum sticks. When he picked them up, something came over him - "I felt like I had held those sticks all of my life," said Kolstad. Those sticks lead Kurt on a journey that would take him all over the world.

Since that time he has played with literally hundreds of bands and artists including Tower of Power, Buddy Guy, John Lee Hooker, Buddy Miles, Junior Wells, Rich Dangel and the Reputation, Alive-N-Well, Seattle All Stars, Living Proof, Space, Jazz Terrorists, Dick Powel Band, Little Bill and the Blue Notes, ButterBean, Michael Powers, Darren Motamady, Craig Lawrence Band, New Blues Brothers, to name a few.

Kurt, whose music has been played in literally every country in the world via radio, TV, film series and cinema film, is also a published song writer and an active member of the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP). Kurt has spent countless hours in the recording studio as a session player for many artists including recent noteworthy releases by Dave Lanz - Skyline/Fire Dance and Sacred Road, which have now sold into the millions, and the computer animated video, "The Minds Eye". Kurt's impressive musical accomplishments, as well as his many outstanding personal characteristics, have touched thousands of people.

Overview: The tribute will take place at Jazzbones on Sunday, April 9th - 2pm. The event will also feature a silent auction (art; food; vacations; spa treatment; services & more). Suggested admission: $20 donation at the door.

For more info:
Or contact: Michael Kinder

I don't know whether I'll be able to go, but I'll be sending stuff for the auction and making a personal donation. If any of y'all are up that way that weekend, be sure to go if you can. I'm sure the music will be awesome, and the cause is way worthy.

Some other news of note and interest

My friend and fellow Santa Fe craz-o
Steve Tuminello has hipped me to an L.A. band known as "Pretzel Logic." He gave me a nicely done promo DVD of them. They do an uncanny Steely Dan thang -- no easy task. Check out a Quicktime movie excerpt here. They are dead-on, note for note. That is too cool.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Movin' to The Palms!

The Palms! April 17th! Save the date! Can we all hang on that long, 3 and 1/2 weeks? I just got the word from Jerry via email. It is VERY important that we all spread the news and rally the troops to show the Palms brass just how much this band means to Vegas and beyond. We gotta be SRO on the 17th. I think this is about the best new venue they could have, in terms of the Maloofs' hip target crowd. YES! The venue is simply "The Lounge," just inside to the right of the front main/valet entrance on Flamingo (click here for casino floor map -- warning, PDF file).


So, Jerry tells me all these cool backstories about different players he's known or been involved with over the years. For instance, Jimmy Kimmel show Music Director Cleto Escobedo III was in Jerry's old Santa Fe band before moving on to great success in the L.A. scene. Among his many gigs was a stint in this wild-assed killer group that Kenny Loggins and Chicago drummer Tris Imboden played in, known as "Cecilia Noel and The Wild Clams." OhmyGod!

Well, after seeing the racy website, I had to, of course, order a CD, one entitled "Delivery." Man...

Here's an mp3 cut from the CD entitled "Mambo!" (another of my favs on the CD is "Pronto Salsa") "Salsoul" all right. Very reminiscent of our guys (if more Latin-flavored). Jerry tells me that the frequently rotating lineup of this band included many of the L.A. (and worldwide) scene heavyweights, including folks like Simon Phillips (Toto), Dave Weckl, Jimmy Earl, Bernie Dresel, Jeff Babko, etc, etc, etc. Here's a QuickTime movie montage clip of the act. Yep. Yep. Yep. Jerry says that their live gigs were, in his exact words, "Shock and Awe, man..." I take it that Peruvian emigre Cecilia was/is -- well, shall we say -- uninhibited! (uh, hello? "The Wild Clams"? Tunes like "Slam the Clam"? Use your imagination).

Great stuff. "The Wild Clams" regrettably, are no more, but there are a number of CDs available, and Cecilia is still performing. Got my "Delivery" CD on CD Baby (check the blog links column).

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Emergency Rx

Take 2 and pop the CD in. Turn it up LOUD!

Friday, March 10, 2006

Give it up for Vegas's Dian Diaz

We gotta give props to local performer Dian Diaz (now appearing at Bellagio in the Fontana Lounge) for the good news that showed up in our local paper this morning. We wish her all the success in the world with her new CD. Click on her name and check out her website. Listen to some clips from her CD. Then buy a copy. And, go see her perform.

Q: Who brought this beautiful and talented woman to Las Vegas?

A: None other than our own Maestro, the visionary Santa Fe and The Fat City Horns leader Jerome Lopez. Figures.

UPDATE: 2:25 a.m. - weather in Brian Head, Utah (via the Weather Channel): "Snow likely. Cold. High 26F. Winds SSW at 10 to 20 mph. 4 to 6 inches of snow expected. Tonight: Snow likely. Low around 15F. Winds SW at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of snow 80%. 5 to 8 inches of snow expected." OK, gonna be interesting trying to get up there. BobbyG is leaving in about 30 minutes (Jerry, may not see ya at Sedona unless I get back in time). 4WD, packing chains. Gonna be puttin' 'em on, I suspect. Giant Steps lift, here I come...

UPDATE2: 7 p.m. Home safely. The rides up and back were WAY stressful. Snow started at St. George (it was still dark), continuing all the way up, and it was even still snowing in the Virgin River Gorge below St. George as we returned (even the mountains and foothills south of Mesquite were painted bright white -- beautiful).

By mid-afternoon at Brian Head it was snowing so heavily visibility was down to about 200-300 feet. Blinded, I lost the edge of a trail on one run and crashed and burned so hard head-first I was completely submerged under a snowbank, and, after I dug myself out, I had to dig around frantically just to find one of my completely buried skis, LOL! (it wasn't funny at the time; it was kinda freaky)

Signature silky Utah powder. They got about 8 inches today, 36" total for the current storm the past few days. Pics below: [1] 7:45 a.m. Utah Time, about 10 minutes from Brian Head, chains and 4WD, just like I'd figured. [2] Keenan and Danielle, my Grandson and Daughter, as we were about to head back home (her first time skiing. She ROCKED!). It was snowing almost whiteout intensity by the time we left. I'm suckin' on some Australian Shiraz at the moment, tryin' to finish warming up, glad to be home safe.

UPDATE 3/15/06 - Dian Diaz's CD has hit# 28 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart. Congratulations. You GO, girl!

Thursday, March 09, 2006


My friends,


First of all I want to thank everyone for coming out last Monday night for our "guest night" appearance of St. Paul and Jason Peterson! It was a BALL!!

The band decided that because of the location of the Boulder Station, and the size of the room, it would be better if we found a new "home". It's just too hard to create that intimate feeling we all like in such a big room. Those of you that have been there know what I mean.

I am working on a couple of places that are located closer to the strip and have adequate sound and lighting facilities.

If anyone out there has a suggestion or a connection, please let me know. In the meantime, I am busy writing, and our arrangers are busy arranging, and hopefully when we start up at our new location we will have some new original music and some kick-ass arrangements of cool covers.

I will keep everyone posted, and please continue to visit the blog.

Your friend,

Jerry Lopez

Peterson Family Week in Vegas: Coda

So, last night I get home from work, and my CD Baby order of the Peterson family compilation is in my mailbox. BUY IT. If these people didn't exist, some novelist would have to invent them -- and no one would believe it. My email exchange with Jerry:

BTW- at the moment I got the Peterson Family "Best of..." CD playin' - just got here from CD Baby. YIKES!!! Beyond the funk, the cabaret jazz stuff, OhMyGod!...speaks to me (old school that I am).

- Bobby

Yes, the Petersons, they are not fooling around. They make it look that way, but they are surgeons.

- JL

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

3 a.m., well, we've now met the Petersons. Lucky us!

As advertised. Wow, Close Encounters of the Nast' Kind as Santa Fe and the Fat City Mothership lifts off again at the Railhead Saloon. And, what a great crowd tonight! Our incredible guests Paul Peterson and nephew Jason tore it UP!

More later. I gotta go crash.

OK, I'm back up. CoffeeCoffeeCoffeeCoffeeCoffeeCoffeeeeee...Mr. Lopez, you certainly hit THIS one outa the park with this guest lineup, bro'. I know the roaring crowd emphatically agreed. We are so blessed.

The problem I'm gonna have here is picking shots outa the 103 I snapped (and the blog editor will choke if I upload too many in one post). Below: I went a little tilt-crazy on Dave and Jamie. No, I was not blitzed. Dave is difficult to shoot because they never throw enough light on him.

Below: the brass half of the Fat City Horns. In the middle is renowned veteran Tom Delibero (e.g., Doc Severinson and many others) subbing for Gil Kaupp.

Below: St Paul Peterson and Jason Peterson Delaire throwin' down.

Gentlemen, we who are about to crawl off sleep-deprived to the day gig salute you! Folks, check out their respective websites (I put 'em in the links column, and they are also in the prior post), and buy their music. I bought a couple of CDs last night.

PS- Jerry introduced me to yet another cool dude last night, performer and photographer Bobby Black. (I wuz havin' a bad case of telephoto lens envy. LOL! Size does indeed matter.)

2-disk live CD set, 20 tunes. Board-Certified clinicians in Funkiatrics and Nastiology. Not covered by insurance. But, hey, no cover, no minimum.

Also available by appointment:

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Monday, March 6th. Meet the Petersons

(From their website)- "Minnesota's First Family of Jazz has been performing locally, nationally, and internationally for many years. The family consists of Matriarch, Jeanne Arland Peterson, her five children Linda, Billy, Ricky, Patty and Paul as well as members of the third generation including Jason and Isaac."

On Monday night, March 6th, at the Railhead Saloon in Boulder Station, Santa Fe fans will be blessed by the onstage sittin' in presence of two of the illustrious, internationally acclaimed Peterson family: Paul "St. Paul" Peterson,

and Jason Peterson De Laire.

I just went online to CD Baby and listened to some of the cuts from the "Peterson Family Compilation." Yikes! I ordered two copies, one for me, one for Cheryl. Check out this cut, "What you won't do for love," featuring Ricky Peterson. Ricky just finished working on John Mayer's new CD, and has had a 20 year collaborative relationship with acclaimed sax man David Sanborn.

This family is unbelievably talented and accomplished. Read all the bios (with links) here. Spread the word. Let's get a big turnout to greet our guests and experience what will without a doubt be an evening to remember.

UPDATE: Smoothgroovers has put Santa Fe and The Fat City Horns on their UK based radio webcast. Go to their site and check out Episode 13. Smoothgroovers routinely provide, in their words, "
a regular program featuring snippets, views, insight and the ignition of past experiences based on our passion for new and past Smooth Jazz, Soul and Funk." THANK YOU, blokes!!!

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Mickijay profiles Phil Wigfall

OK, Santa Fe fans, here is our March profile -- non other than Mr. Philip Wigfall, saxophonist extrordinaire. I have to say, that his improvisational interpretations, his fingering on those valves, and his armature on those reeds, well...we're left astounded and breathless! Taking us on the ride with him is perfectly blended with the other instruments yet gives contrast, depth and interest to sounds that are familiar. I could go on and on about this guy, but let's get to some personal information.

OK, he blows the alto sax, flute, clarinet, and even plays some keys. Phil attended UNLV and Berklee School of Music in Boston. Since he was 9 years old, he’s had the desire to play. At 18, he had his first professional gig with a local drummer. He's since played with Sheena Easton from 1991-1999, and Clint Holmes and Santa Fe and The Fat City Horns more recently. He tells of being influenced by Charlie Parker and Paul Desmond, and if you listen carefully, you can hear their sounds embedded in his own. Phil lives in Henderson with his wife and two young daughters, ages 4 and 6.

He's now 41 yrs old, has his own CD entitled "Cosmic Soul" and his goal has been to be a solo artist in addition to being a member of the great Santa Fe and The Fat City Horns. He mentioned to me a gig he did in 1997 with Quincy Jones that was outstanding and he remembers doing a tribute to Frank Sinatra at the MGM that was equally memorable. Earning a living for his family with his axe is of the utmost importance to him. He likes to read H.G. Wells as well as other science fiction, and enjoys photography. Phil Wigfall, a young man with a brilliant future.

- Mickijay


I was a bit of a jazz snob before I got to Berklee. That soon changed when I had the chance to see Miles Davis live. In spite of my jazz conceit, I still wanted to see Miles play. At that time, Miles was playing electric jazz funk. Not exactly bebop! I especially wanted to hear his new alto saxophonist, Kenny Garrett. I had met Kenny in New York in 1985 at the Village Vanguard jazz club. I was so impressed with his playing, I became more serious about jazz music. That's when I became a jazz snob! But when I heard Kenny Garrett playing funk and playing the HELL out of it, I realized I had been wrong! I needed to be as flexible and open-minded a musician as he was! And when I returned to Vegas, I returned with a more positive attitude toward all music."

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Love is gonna find you - every Monday night

OK, this is quick 'n dirty, I'll do better when I have more time. I'd asked for some shots of the horn charts, so Rob Mader sent me the trumpet chart for "Love is gonna find you" in a PDF file. I had to print it out, throw it on my desk, move the lamp over, pose the pages, shoot 'em real quick, throw the jpeg back into the computer off my digital camera, tweak it for a couple of minutes in PhotoDraw, then upload it to the blog. All amid my first cup of coffee.

Now, I played trumpet in grade school, and "doubled" on it early on in my road music days in the mid '60's
(poignantly -- James Brown & assorted Stax-Volt riffs, etc, what a joke my chops were), so, I look at this chart and I'm gettin' brain cramps and bloody neurons already. I'm gonna need a CAT scan.

This is the stuff -- the sheer volume of squeaky-tight, sophisticated work in these arrangements -- that sets our Santa Fe and The Fat City Horns apart. The phrase "connecting the dots" is utterly apt. OhMyGod, just 3 pages of the B-flat trumpet stuff and I need a new toner cartridge for the HP. Man!...
(BTW- click the shot for the full 1024 x 768 image)

Thanks, Rob.

UPDATE: Hmmm...well, I just figured out that you can use the "Graphics Select Tool" in the free Adobe Acrobat Reader, click & drag to encompass a subset area of a PDF document, hit "Ctrl-C" (copy) and then do a "Ctrl-V" (paste) in PhotoDraw (or, I would assume, any of a number of apps -- it worked also in MS Word), and then save it as a jpeg file (below, close-up of the beginning of the chart). Pretty cool.

BELOW: I'm waitin' around (it's Friday now) to go over to the Sedona gig tonight (Ronnie Foster et al), playin' around with graphic effects (below). I kept waiting for them to hit him with a front spot on his face. Didn't happen, but the silhouette works OK if ya "poster" it up a bit (click the image).

This cat can flat-ass sing! And, oh, those delightful cascading horn lines (mp3 links)!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006


A few weeks back, Cheryl and I were sittin' out at Sedona on a Friday night waiting for the band to start. We noticed that Jamie Hosmer wasn't there, and that instead there was this tiny young woman prepping to play. 'Whu'sup with this?'

Her name is Etsuko Mader, wife of Santa Fe and Clint Holmes tenor sax ace Rob Mader (click his name; that's Rob on the right). Anyone who can step in, step up, and throw down with Ronnie Foster (below) has gotta be The Real Deal, and Etsuko most certainly is. Great melodic sense and feel, coupled with major chops.

Major Props to Etsuko.

We spoke during the intermission. Besides bein' a serious Playah, what a beautiful person! A delight to talk with. Way, way cool.