Articles by Walter Atkins

ALBUM REVIEWS

Paula Harris: Speakeasy

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At first blush, SF Bay Area vocalist, music writer and band leader Paula Harris' new Speakeasy CD is a generous 16 song set (12 tracks + four bonus cuts). The album bustles with bluesy and jazz-flavored songs about bad boys and the women who find them irresistible. However, there is a lot more going on here than simply good girls going bad. Taken collectively, Harris' Speakeasy weaves a realistic episodic story of women actively making choices and accepting the ensuing ...

LIVE REVIEWS

12th Annual Redwood City Salsa Festival

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Redwood City Salsa Festival Old Court House Square Redwood City, CA September 21, 2019 Redwood City celebrated another fantastic family oriented Salsa Festival on the heavily sun drenched San Francisco Peninsula. There was a plethora of dance music, food, drink, vendors, fun and of course, the yearly Salsa Tasting Competition. The 12th annual addition of the Redwood City Salsa Festival presented another solid line up of Salsa, Reggae and Afro Cuban jazz on ...

FILM REVIEWS

Betty Davis: They Say I’m Different

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Betty Davis Betty Davis: They Say I'm Different Native Voice Films 2018 The incisive documentary Betty—They Say I'm Different chronicled the humble beginnings and explosive career of the '70s trail blazer, composer and vocalist Betty Davis. Her bold music and incendiary stage persona was light-years ahead of the existing social norms and well beyond music industry categorization. Director Phil Cox tells the compelling saga with her voice, and through interviews with family, childhood friends, ...

LIVE REVIEWS

7 Mile House Jazz Festival 2019

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7 Mile House Jazz Festival 2019 7 Mile House Brisbane CA May 4, 2019 Last year's inaugural 7 Mile House Jazz Festival started by 7 Mile House owner Vanessa Garcia, proved so successful, the second edition returned in an expanded format. The 7 Mile House Jazz Festival 2019 was figuratively and literally bigger this year, relocating to an open auto garage space conveniently located next door. The garage owner, and ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Arturo Sandoval At Yoshi's

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Arturo Sandoval Yoshi's Oakland Oakland CA November 17, 2018 Ten time Grammy winner Arturo Sandoval and his splendid band provided a memorable Saturday evening in one of the East Bay's favorite music venues, Yoshi's jny: Oakland. The Afro Cuban jazz trumpeter's sold out second show was part of a bustling three night stand coming just in time for some pre Thanksgiving Day weekend celebrations. Fortunately, the smoggy air from the massive Camp ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Hip Spanic AllStars: Old School Revolution

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The jny: San Francisco based Hip Spanic AllStars' new album Old School Revolution (Hip Spanic Records, 2018), celebrates their long history and friendships born and enriched in the City's Mission District. This is their first CD release since 2015's JazzyAfroLatinFunk (CheeseBurger Records, 2015). HSA features a robust three-piece horn section and three different vocalists bringing their individual styles and flavor to the date. Everything is firmly held down by the versatile rhythm section on full display through out ...

IN PICTURES

Long Beach Jazz Festival 2018

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It was a fantastic feast of musical talent featured at the 31st annual Long Beach Jazz Festival, held at a relaxed Southern California venue near the cool Rainbow Lagoon Park. The event was located next to the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center and the Aquarium. On Sunday night, the long running festival closed with a high-octane performance by the Stanley Clarke Band. Other performances included Randy Crawford, Kirk Whalum, Keiko Matsui, Jonathan Butler, Marcus Miller, Poncho Sanchez, Chante Moore, ...

IN PICTURES

San Francisco Fillmore Jazz Festival 2018

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The exciting 2018 edition of jny: San Francisco's long running Fillmore Jazz Festival took place over the June 30-July 1 weekend. This year's 34th edition of the SFFJF featured an extensive artist line up that included: Kim Nalley, Groove 8, Pamela Rose Presents Blues Is A Woman; Lloyd Gregory and Friends, Lavay Smith & The Red Hot Skillet Lickers, Lori Carsillo and Project Pimento, Dred Scott Trio with Kenny Brooks; Terrie Odabi, Josh Jones Latin All Stars, Claudia Villela, LehCats, ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Tiffany Austin: Unbroken

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Unbroken (Con Alma Music, 2018) is the follow- up to Tiffany Austin's vibrant debut album Nothing But Soul (Con Alma Music, 2015). Austin beautifully expresses her personal views and positive responses to the past and current atrocities committed against African American citizens in the United States. According to Austin, the title Unbroken “is a celebration of the resilience of the African American spirit and musical lineage. I want the album to be a balm for people who feel ...

CATCHING UP WITH

Tiffany Austin: Unbroken

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Rising San Francisco Bay Area jazz vocalist Tiffany Austin held an engaging album release party for her sophomore effort, Unbroken (Con Alma Music, 2018) at the comfortable Piedmont Piano Company in jny: Oakland's Uptown neighborhood. As the NBA Golden State Warriors battled the Houston Rockets in a crucial semi finals game a few miles way at Oracle Arena, Austin treated her lucky guests to passionate music along with good food & wine in a unique musical setting. It's also home ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Madeleine Peyroux At Freight & Salvage

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Madeleine Peyroux Freight & Salvage The Anthem Tour Berkeley CA May 11, 2018 Popular singer/songwriter Madeleine Peyroux came to Berkeley's long running Freight & Salvage venue to fill a four night standing room only engagement. The veteran recording artist also brought a sparkling new band and featured songs from her current album Anthem, inspired by the late Canadian songwriter/poet Leonard Cohen who passed in 2016. The opening act was the provocative jny: ...

LIVE REVIEWS

7 Mile House Jazz Festival 2018

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7 Mile House Jazz Festival 2018 7 Mile HouseBrisbane CA March 17, 2018 The inaugural 7 Mile House Jazz Festival was a jammed pack event featuring invigorating music running from noon to mid night on St. Patrick's Day. Sitting exactly seven miles south of San Francisco's Portsmouth Square, the historic (and sometimes notorious) 1858 spot had many music fans skipping the traditional St. Patrick's Festival in the City's downtown area to enjoy an extensive line ...


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