Live At Jazz, TX | Texas Public Radio

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.

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The New West Guitar Group made their San Antonio debut at Jazz, TX last fall, bringing their shimmering sheets of sound to the intimate club at the Pearl Brewery. Even without a drummer, or bass player, these three musicians manage to create a propulsive rhythmic harmony that allows ample room for soloing.

“It’s been a unique challenge,” John Storie told the crowd from the stage. “Playing without bass and drums, you’re really exposed, and you got to really hold it down.”

Emily Gimble admits that her granddad’s name may have opened some doors for her, but once you hear her sing, you’ll recognize she has a powerful voice all her own. Still, she says she learned quite a bit from Johnny Gimble, about music and life.

Kyle Keener and Polly Harrison have been playing music in San Antonio for a long time. How long?

“Curtis Calderon, who we play with [at Jazz, TX] on every third Tuesday, says we played Santa Anna’s quinceañera—for his daughter,” Keener jokes. “We go back pretty far.”

Drummer Gerry Gibbs was born in New York, but spent several years in San Antonio in the early 2000s. “I had met a girl,” he explained onstage at a recent gig in San Antonio at Jazz, TX. But it was another relationship that would prove to be professionally fortuitous for both Gibbs and jazz fans alike.

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When Rotem Sivan moved from Israel to New York, he says that all he wanted to do was play straight-ahead jazz like Clifford Brown, Bill Evans, or one of his guitar heroes, Wes Montgomery. Somewhere along the way, he discovered that with the aid of technology, he could expand his musical palette.

Hilmy

You might find Collin Shook at the bass, behind the drums, or even behind a desk at his home base in Austin, Texas, where he runs the pop-up performance space Monks Jazz. But for this set at Jazz, TX, Collin is at the piano, playing some original material, and classics from the likes of Horace Silver and Clifford Brown.

Mary Bruton

Marcia Ball was born in East Texas, reared in Louisiana, and since the early 1970s has been mixing those region’s sounds to create a musical signature that is part boogie-woogie, part Texas blues, with a touch of the Caribbean influence that defines New Orleans masters like Dr. John and Allen Toussaint.

She got her start in Austin, and points to the late Doug Sahm as a key figure in her own musical exploration.

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How have The Four Freshmen managed to sound so young all these years? The voices come and go, but that beautiful four-part harmony remains the same.

“Well, we always like to use the analogy… it’s more like a sports team. The organization is the same, it’s just the players and the faces have changed throughout the years,” explains Bob Ferreira, the low (or 4th) voice in the group.

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Drummer Herlin Riley has been playing the drums since he was a toddler. The sound and feel of his native New Orleans is in his soul, and on the bandstand. “The rhythm of a particular area identifies the culture of the city, you know, whether it be [in] Cuba whether it be Jamaica, whether it be Africa. When you hear certain rhythms you can identify a certain culture. And so New Orleans is very, very strong in its culture.”

A decade ago, Hurricane Katrina threatened to wash away much of Riley’s native city.

Hilmy

Pianist Chris Villanueva’s quartet is joined by vocalist Jacqueline Sotelo for this week’s set on “Live At Jazz, TX.” Sotelo says of the hundreds of standards in the jazz repertoire, she chooses her favorites based on “how a song makes you feel and how it speaks to your soul.”

Sotelo continues, “After working through it, after listening to it over and over, [a song] eventually becomes your own.”

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