June 28 is jazz organ Thursday with Yolanda Nickell and Joe Kennedy. Yolanda, known as queen of the alto sax, is a star from the Bay Area who has had a long career playing with musicians such as Richie Cole and Vernell Anders. She has a tremendous sense of swing. Her driving rhythmic style makes her an audience favorite. Yolanda’s husband, Joe Kennedy, is a veteran jazz pianist who teaches music in Los Angeles. He has been a sideman to Richie Cole, Andy Narrell, Chet Baker and Dizzy Gillespie. His fiery organ sound will be featured in an evening of soul jazz with Yolanda.
Outstanding tenor sax player Francis Vanek will make a return appearance with his sextet on Friday, June 29. Vanek’s refined sound was noticed by Jesse Hamlin of the San Francisco Chronicle, who called him, "...a superb saxophonist." He currently lives in Fort Bragg, California, and plays around Northern California and the Bay Area.
On Saturday, June 30, the Sam Maez Quartet will play, led by trumpet man Sam Maez. Sam has led the jazz brunch at Waterfront Café in Eureka for over a decade. He has shared the stage with artists such as Art Pepper and Hank Ballard.
Magenta featuring Chris Amberger will appear on Sunday, July 1. Magenta first got together in Southern Humboldt in the late seventies. Amberger has been a first-call bassist in the San Francisco Bay Area for over 30 years. His propulsive, swinging style and enormous creativity have brought him to perform with artists such as Freddie Hubbard, Art Pepper, and Steely Dan. He has toured and worked with Art Blakey, George Shearing, Cal Tjader, Richie Havens, and Rosemary Clooney. He currently leads a quartet every Wednesday night at Yoshi’s San Francisco.
Jazz in June is from Thursday through Sunday June 28 - July 1 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Call Benbow Hotel & Resort at 923-2124 for dinner or room reservations.
1. Yolanda Nickell
2. Francis Vanek
3. Chris Amberger