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Charlie Musselwhite News | Concerts
Charlie Musselwhite Headlines KCSM's 2016 Jazz on the Hill

Bluesman Charlie Musselwhite headlines this year's free Jazz on the Hill festival June 4, along with performances by Trinidadian jazz trumpeter Etienne Charles, and the trio of pianist Lynne Arriale, saxophonist Grace Kelly and vocalist Charenée Wade celebrating "Great Women in Music."

Serving as musical bookends to open and close this year's annual listener appreciation party on the College of San Mateo campus: the six-piece SFJAZZ High School All-Stars Combo, and the Latin Jazz Youth Ensemble of San Francisco.

Jazz On The Hill is a free community event, which means that no tickets are required. Seating is available on a first come, first served basis. There are a limited number of chairs, but there are large lawns areas, so it's recommended that you bring a blanket and/or lawn chair to enjoy the afternoon concert. Parking on the San Mateo campus is also free.

This year's daylong festival brings the 72-year-old Musselwhite, who was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2015, back for an encore appearance. Musselwhite is, and always will be, a bluesman of the highest order, who has taken blues harp from the clubs on the Southside of Chicago (where "Memphis Charlie" and Mike Bloomfield backed Big Joe Williams) to places it's never been before, both musically and physically. Except for the San Mateo college campus.

"He was such a hit that we decided to bring him back," said Bruce Labadie, the event's producer.

Added Dante Betteo, KCSM's Station Manager, the harmonica virtuoso is "living proof that great music only gets better with age."


Trinidadian trumpeter Etienne Charles

One of the most compelling and exciting young jazz artists ushering the genre into groundbreaking new territory is trumpeter/bandleader Etienne Charles, who, still in his 20s, has already recorded three impressive and well-received albums for his own Culture Shock Music imprint. His 2013 album, "Creole Soul," is a captivating journey of new jazz expression that buoyantly taps into a myriad of styles rooted in his Afro-Caribbean background and plumbs the musical depths of the islands, from calypso to Haitian voodoo music. Also in the jazz amalgam mix are rock steady, reggae, belair, kongo and rock as well as the influence of Motown and R&B music he listened to on his parents' record player when he was growing up.

Three of the most dynamic names in jazz — pianist Lynne Arriale, saxophonist Grace Kelly and vocalist Charenée Wade — come together to celebrate some of their sources of artistic inspiration: Nina Simone, Abbey Lincoln and Joni Mitchell, sharing their unique reinterpretations of popular classics with passion, soul and sensitivity in a magical showcase of empathetic collaboration. The quintet is rounded out with Evan Gregor on bass and Ross Pederson on drums.

Hitting the stage at 11 am in the day's first musical performance, the six-piece SFJAZZ High School All-Stars Combo, directed by renowned saxophonist and educator Dann Zinn, is comprised of the "best of the best" Bay Area high school students, focused on playing original compositions and arrangements, along with works by the SFJAZZ Collective.

And the Latin Jazz Youth Ensemble of San Francisco, who close the day in high style, is a performing group of talented musicians ages 10 to 18 who play Latin jazz classics and original compositions. Their mission is to preserve the traditions of Latin jazz and Afro-Cuban music by teaching it to youth and to create role models for aspiring student musicians. The group, under the musical direction of Dr. John Calloway, has won numerous performance awards since its formation in 2001.

Around 5,000 jazz lovers are expected to attend this year's event.


The Latin Jazz Youth Ensemble of San Francisco

The stage will be located on the lower mezzanine in front of the library steps on the College of San Mateo campus, with seating along side the fountain and plenty of lawn seating. Revelers are invited to bring a picnic lunch, blanket, umbrella and well-behaved dog to the festival, and to arrive early to claim a good spot; ice chests, disposable coolers, glass bottles, alcoholic beverages, and audio or video recording devices, are prohibited. There will also be food booths, along with local artisans showcasing their wares.

KCSM (91.1 FM; www.kcsm.org) is a public radio station with over 12,000 members; more than 8,000 are active contributors who generate $1.2 million in annual support income for the station. Individuals who give from $10 to $25,000 per year provide 80% of KCSM's financial support.

For more information about Jazz on the Hill 2016, please visit the Jazz on the Hill website, or call 650.524.6921.

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