Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Nebraska Mondays

I was completely blown away by the performances at last night's Nebraska Monday at Luna's Cafe in Midtown. 

I didn't even know what to expect. I heard about the weekly Monday night jazz/spoken word/experimental music series only because my boyfriend was scheduled to DJ in between sets.

This went beyond expectation. 

The caliber of musicians, the price of the event [ranging anywhere from $5 and up - basically whatever you can spare], and the spirit of the room and venue made this probably one of the best night's I've experienced since moving to Sacramento.

I'll go into the separate performances in a bit, but first I have to talk about the intimacy of the setting. Luna's Cafe and Juice Bar is by far one of the best venues for this kind of music in the area. It's small, warm, and inviting. Not to mention they have an amazing menu with simple dishes [veggie/vegan friendly] that won't break the bank. For $10 you can pay to get in, order a nice glass of wine, and enjoy music I promise you've never heard before.

Hosted by jazz musician and one-half of the talented duo ElectroPoetic Coffee, Ross Hammond booked three acts that all embodied the creative essence of musical exploration.

First up was Daryl Shawn, a solo artist and guitar player who began playing at the age of 16, and continued his musical education at the Berklee College of Music. His influences range from jazz to African and classical.

Last night, he strummed, recorded, and mixed his music live using a pedal, and an audio and mixing board. He twisted and distorted his recordings and ended up sounding like a full experimental band!

Ken Kawamura - Saxophone; Tony Passarell -
Saxophone; Gerry Pineda - bass; James Neil - drums
The Ken Kawamura Quartet followed up with some of the best saxophone solos I've heard in a really long time. Each solo explored an extensive range of notes and technique.

It was moody, exploratory, at times explosive jazz. It was Lynchian. It was Fred Madison at the Luna Lounge. *Note* Ken Kawamura hadn't named his last two pieces and decided at that moment to name them both "Revenge" - dedicated to his ex-girlfriend.

Last up was the Steuart Liebig Trio, which consisted of Ross Hammond on guitar, Tom Monson on the drums (BTW - he's the drummer for CAKE right now), and of course Steuart Liebig on bass.

Liebig was a thrilling bass player who has a full and varied musical career, and who also had quite the electronic set up for just one instrument. He had at least 8-10 pedals that he used to distort and the change of the effect of the bass sound.

What was extremely inspiring about this performance were the solos of all these musicians. Their entire set was evocative, and really showcased their individual as well as collective talent.

If you are looking for something, ANYTHING, to do on a Monday night, please check out Nebraska Mondays at Luna's Cafe. Every week there is new line up of exciting music, and poetry/spoken word performances. Trust me, you won't be disappointed!

>> For more photos from last night, go to Paduta's Facebook <<

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