GF3 @ CAP Studio Theater

Gary Fukushima, piano
Miles Senzaki, drums
JP Maramba, bass

Jazz at the CAP
Tuesday, November 19
8:30pm and 10:30pm

CAP Studio Theater
13527 Ventura Blvd
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423

$10 ($5 w/ student ID)
tickets

I recall a conversation I had years ago with a veteran bass player over the future of jazz.  He was amused at ongoing various attempts by well-intentioned patrons and writers to issue a cause célèbre to “Save Jazz” like it was an endangered rare bird on the verge of extinction.  Jazz music, he postulated, was strong enough on its own to continue to compel musicians to devote their lives to playing it, therby ensuring its survival.  I think he went on to compare it (and us jazz musicians) to cockroaches that couldn’t be killed.  You might not see us at first glance, but turn over enough rocks and there we are, wriggling into the cracks of society at seedy bars, upscale restaruants and hotel lobbies, wedding receptions, art galleries, and even the occasional concert, playing and singing the same undead tunes as our musical ancestors did so many decades ago.  Maybe we are not thriving but we are surely surviving, like zombies carrening recklessly from gig to gig, devouring any spare food we can find in between sets and consuming the token alcoholic beverage from bartenders who take pity on our pathetic existence.  We do this for love, the love of an beautifully elusive music and performance art.  We love it like a drug when at its most potent renders our hardship as easy as apple pie on a summer’s afternoon.  Even cockroaches love pie.  I know this because I just looked it up and saw pictures of it.  I did this so you don’t have to, and please don’t, for your sake.  That was so gross.

Sinclair Lott might not be trying to single-handedly Save Jazz, but he sure is doing a great job of turning over some rocks so people can see us wriggle.  As a drummer and fellow Jazz-Roach (don’t call him Max bad pun sorry), Sinclair has an empathy and sympathy for those of us trying to find places to play meaningful gigs, which usually involves playing our own original music at a place where there are no sports on big flat screens and managers asking us to simultaneously play less loud and more upbeat.  And Sinclair has found such a place!  The Complete Actors Place Studio Theater is a great place to take a drama class, catch a screening of an indie movie, or set up an audition with your favorite movie executive.  Unless it happens to be Tuesday evening, in which case you can do none of those things because there will be jazz musicians hogging the entire stage.  So far, Sinclair has had players like Jeff Hamilton, Larry Goldings, Joe La Barbera, Josh Nelson, Tamir Hendleman, Sara Gazarek, Chuck Manning, Cathy Segal-Garcia, and other amazing artists do what they do in a well-lit, well-presented and great sounding space.

This Tuesday is our night, our meaning myself, Miles, and JP.  We have been getting together a bit to work on new music, and I can speak for all of us when I say we are more excited about what we are doing now than at any point in our seven years of playing together.  I think we don’t sound like anyone else but we definitely have a sound.  What is that sound?  It might take a writer better than me to describe it, because I’ll just start talking about bugs or something.

I don’t want to beg, because begging is so un-roach-like, but I am imploring any of you who are free on Tuesday to some our and catch one or both of our sets.  Sinclair saw us at Blue Whale a few months ago and that was enough for him to give us a shot at his place, and we are so grateful to him for the opportunity.  Hopefully you’ll give us a shot as well.

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