Brewery Art’s Center jazzes up |

Brewery Art’s Center jazzes up

Sam Bauman
Appeal Staff Writer

The ever-loving beat of jazz reigns supreme in Carson City this weekend as the Brewery Arts Center and the Mile High Jazz Band Association fire up their “Jazz and Beyond,” billed as a festival of tastes and music.

In other words, something for the tummy with lots of tempo. And the music is free.

Once upon a time this was called the “Basie Festival,” in honor of the late Count of that name, whose big band blasted away around the world. But it was time to move on, and this weekend there will be five stages, indoors and out, filled with 20-plus acts Friday through Sunday.

Of course, this is summer time, when the beer flows easy, so opening night will be the 14th annual Beer Tasting, offering foaming brews from 20 of Northern Nevada’s best breweries. Fee is $15, which helps support the center year-round. (Call 721-7904 if you’d like to know the names of the breweries involved.)

Opening night is Lydia Pense and Cold Blood, a dynamic pairing if ever there was one. Pense is from San Francisco and has made her name by assembling some of the best musicians in the Bay area to perform with her. The new Cold Blood recently released their first album in 29 years and has a contemporary sound featuring rock as well as R&B and funk.

“What we hope for is a ‘yeah, that’s Cold Blood. That’s the sound and they can still sing.’ We have been playing long enough now that we get three generations from the grandma, the mom and now the kids,” Pense said.

On Saturday, the Bayside Jazz with Dan Hicks moves into town.

“So few truly original figures exist in pop music that Dan Hicks should be a national treasure,” wrote the San Francisco Chronicle. A little much maybe, but you get the idea this guy is something special.

Backed by a combo of seasoned pros, singer-songwriter Hicks vocalizes the great jazz standards in his uniquely hip style.

“It’s a style with plenty of room, and I’ve been wanting to do this as a separate endeavor for quite some time,” says Hicks. “And don’t be surprised if you hear some new lyrics here and there in these songs.” Consider yourself warned.

Bobby Matos and his Afro-Cuban Jazz Ensemble also will play Saturday.

Following the Hicks concert, Matos and his Ensemble will take the stage brew up some traditional jazz and contemporary rhythms and instrumentation unique to Latin jazz. Matos has been nurturing his brand of Afro-Cuban jazz for some 20 years and has established himself as one of the country’s leading authorities on the Latin jazz scene.

“If you aren’t familiar with Afro-Cuban music, here’s your chance to expose yourself to one of my personal favorite styles of jazz,” said John Procaccini, executive director of arts center. “The sound is distinctive and imaginative. It’s got an infectious, danceable rhythm.”

On Sunday, the Reno Jazz Orchestra steps up, bringing vocalist Cami Thompson along. With dizzying blasts of scat, Cami sings with skill backed by a great sense of humor and phrasing, scoring innovative jazz freedom, faith and a great lack of reality, probably stemming from her extensive background in musical theater.

And that’s just part of the weekend. Also paying will be the Mile High jazz Band itself, Carson High jazz artists, the Industrial Jazz Group and probably some harmonica players will wander by.

Food for the soul, sure, but also for the body. On hand will be food from area’s best restaurants, a retail boardwalk of art for sale, action for kids with their families, and a late-night Jamland.

All this at the Brewery’s revamped parking lot, the performance hall and the black box theater between and at 449 and 511 W. King St.

• Contact Sam Bauman at or 881-1236.

Jazz and Beyond events


Beer tasting: 5-10 p.m.

Industrial Jazz Band: 5:45-7 p.m.

Lydia Pense and Cold Blood: 8-10 p.m.

Open jam session: 10 p.m. to close


Two Plus Two (harmonica and sax): 2:30-3:30 p.m.

Swing dance with Le’s Dance band: 3-5 p.m.

Johnny Hamlin Trio: 3:30-4:30 p.m.

Bayside Jazz with Dan Hicks: 4:30-6 p.m.

Dave Fritz, guitar: 6 -7 p.m.

Vocal Art Works: 7-8 p.m.

Bobby Matos & His Afro-Cuban Jazz Ensemble: 8-10 p.m.

Open jam session: 10 p.m. to close


Brunch with “Me & Bobby McGee,” vocals & piano: 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

Peter Epstein’s “Future Trends in Jazz” lecture, 1-2 p.m.

CeCe Gable & Kenn Pettiford, vocals and piano: 2-3 p.m.

Grumpy Old Men, Squeek Steele, ragtime piano 3-4 p.m.

Reno Big Swing with Buddy Wright & Pat Esters: 4-5:30 p.m.

Craig Barton, keyboard & vocals, Reno Exchange vocal ensemble: 5:30-7 p.m.

Reno Jazz Orchestra with Cami Thompson: 7-9 p.m.

If you go:

WHAT: “Jazz and Beyond” festival of music and food

WHERE: Brewery Arts Center. 449 W. King St.

WHEN: Friday through Sunday, music most of the day and night


COST: Music is free; beer tasting is $15