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Stanford Jazz Festival
June 19-Aug. 7; Dinkelspiel Auditorium, Campbell Recital Hall; Stanford University; 650.725.ARTS; www.stanfordjazz.com; www.ticketweb.com

By Yoshi Kato

AS MUCH AS a local seasonal tradition as apricots and day trips, the summer-long Stanford Jazz Festival (SJF) has cemented a decades-old reputation for hosting quality concerts in a comfortable on-campus setting. The 2004 edition kicks off Saturday night (June 19) in legendary fashion with R&B titan Ruth Brown (pictured) in concert at Dinkelspiel Auditorium. "She's a legend of music and is an innovator who revolutionized R&B," says Stanford Jazz Workshop founder and director Jim Nadel.

The musical style changes from R&B to Indian-jazz fusion a day later. Saxophonist George Brooks, tabla master Zakir Hussain, guitarist Fareed Hauque and bassist Kai Eckhardt will participate Sunday afternoon in a free "Musical Introduction: Indian Music Meets Jazz" talk at Dinkelspiel. Later that evening, the quartet (billed as the George Brooks Summit) will do a ticketed show and pre-concert talk in the same venue. The SJF finishes out the month of June in Campbell Recital Hall with young veteran bassist/bandleader Marcus Shelby's Emerging Artist Sextet at 8pm on June 25; an Afro-Cuban jam session ("Descarga: Salsa Meets Jazz") event led by trombonist Wayne Wallace 24 hours later; and three educational sessions led by Nadel himself. There will be two free "Early Bird Jazz Show" concert-and-talks on June 26 (at 10:30am for the 0-7 years old crowd and 11:30am for the 8-12-year-old set) and the all-ages "Everything You Wanted to Know About Jazz But Were Afraid to Ask" ticketed "lecture demonstration program" at 3pm on June 27.

"It's the idea that we would offer something to people that aren't familiar with jazz or want to learn more about it in a nonthreatening environment," Nadel explains. "Basically, it's a concert with conversation in between songs. I'll be pointing out a few things about how jazz works and roles of instruments and how they interact."

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From the June 16-22, 2004 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

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