Live At Jazz, TX

Saturdays, 7 p.m.

The culture of South Texas and America's great gift to the world, jazz music, come together each week on "Live At Jazz, TX," as Nathan Cone and Doc Watkins host an hour of great music, recorded live at Jazz, TX at the historic Pearl Brewery. On-stage and backstage interviews offer insight into the music and performers.

Justin De Hoyos

Although he grew up in a bilingual household, Adrian Ruiz didn’t hear a lick of English-language music until he was 11 years old. Growing up, it was all conjunto and horn-based music on radio station KEDA, or music from his uncle, an ace on the accordion, or the beautiful voice of his great-grandmother. When he finally joined the band in school, Ruiz jokes the band director gave him three choices: trumpet, trumpet, or trumpet.

Julia Novikova

For over two decades, the Jazz Protagonists have been holding down the fort for classic straight-ahead trio jazz in San Antonio.

“This band is old enough to drink,” jokes Barry Brake, who plays piano in the group. “And boy, do we need it!”

Onstage, the Jazz Protagonists have the kind of zippy repartee that comes with the years together. They’re near telepathic when it comes to performance, and they’re almost Beatle-esque in between songs with their non-sequiturs and puns.

Nathan Cone / TPR

On this week’s episode of “Live At Jazz, TX” we’re celebrating the one-year anniversary of the titular club. It isn’t easy to startup a music venue, let alone one dedicated to primarily jazz music. But Doc Watkins, owner of the club and bandleader, seems to have noticed that details do matter.

In 2009, saxophonist Bill King rounded up some of San Antonio’s finest jazz musicians together to raise medical funds for drummer Gerry Gibbs. When they were done with the show, the King William Jazz Collective decided to stay together. King explains that the band exists today not to make a ton of money, but to commission new work. On this show (link below), the opening song, “Lunacity” was written for the band by Los Angeles-based composer Paul Baker.

Nathan Cone / TPR

“I immediately felt like this is where I was supposed to be,” says singer Meg Bodi, of the first time she sang with Doc Watkins and his Orchestra at Jazz, TX. You can find her most nights the big band is on the stand at the club, and in Austin where she lives and sings with the country outfit Finger Pistol.

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