MONTEREY, CA. (Top40 Charts/ National Steinbeck Center) - The Monterey Jazz Festival and the National Steinbeck Center are proud to present the fourth annual Jazz with Steinbeck concert and dinner, which takes place Wednesday, September
17, 2008 from 5:30 PM to 10:00 PM at the National Steinbeck Center at One Main Street in Salinas. This very special collaborative event offers aficionados of great food and titillating jazz an exclusive evening in support of MJF's Jazz Education Programs and the National Steinbeck Center's Youth Programs.
Jazz with Steinbeck transforms the Center into an intimate jazz club "The Bernardus Supper Club," mixing great music, gourmet cuisine and fine wines. "This is a one-of-a-kind program, reminiscent of the elegant and intimate supper clubs of the time," said Scott Scheid, Jazz With Steinbeck Chair. "We have a winning combination of a gourmet meal and jazz artists personally selected by the Monterey Jazz Festival Artistic Director in a world-class venue."
Chef Cal Stamenov of Bernardus Lodge will create an exceptional gourmet experience matched with premium wines and champagne chosen by Master Sommelier Fred Dame and Wine Director Mark Jensen. Jazz with Steinbeck will feature three sets of stellar jazz performances, hand-picked by Tim Jackson, General Manager and Artistic Director of the Monterey Jazz Festival: vocalist Mary Stallings, vocalist Masha Campagne, and singer-songwriter Spencer Day. This intimate jazz experience promises to have a magical energy all its own.
Jazz with Steinbeck is limited to 160 guests. General admission tickets are $500 per person and Premium seating tickets are $1,000 per person. Host and Sponsor packages are available. Host Packages (includes 4 tickets) or Sponsor Packages (includes 8 tickets) are available space permitting. Reservations may be made by contacting Amy Donohue at the National Steinbeck Center at 831-775-4723 or online at http://www.steinbeck.org.
Vocalist Mary Stallings grew up in San Francisco, and began her jazz career in Bay Area clubs during her teenage years, when she performed with Louis Jordan's Tympani Five and shared the stage with such greats as Wes Montgomery and Ben Webster. She made her professional recording debut on Cal Tjader's 1961 album, Cal Tjader Plays, Mary Stallings Sings. During the 1960s, Mary also performed with Dizzy Gillespie and Billy Eckstine, and first appeared at the Monterey Jazz Festival in 1965 at Dizzy's request. From 1969-1972, she performed with the Count Basie Orchestra as a featured singer. Since 1990, she has recorded nine albums as a leader for the Concord, MaxJazz and Half Note labels. Since reclaiming the spotlight, Mary has appeared at MJF/38 in 1995 and MJF/46 in 2003 to packed houses. The New York Times has called Mary Stallings "perhaps the best jazz singer alive today" and the San Francisco Chronicle said that " ... Stallings' voice is supple and timeless, encompassing the whole history of music."
Vocalist Spencer Day inspires comparisons to Harry Connick Jr., Cole Porter, Paul Simon and Rufus Wainwright, and has been called "the male counterpart to Norah Jones." Yet Spencer's musical style is all his own - fusing jazz, contemporary and folk/country genres. Day's work reveals the influences of composers from Gershwin to Lennon and McCartney; the vulnerability of Chet Baker or Jeff Buckley; and the phrasing and swing of Ella Fitzgerald. The longtime San Francisco resident first came to national attention as a semi-finalist on Star Search in 2003. Since then, he has performed at some of the finest venues in the United States. Spencer has released two recordings, 2004's Introducing Spencer Day and Movie of Your Life in 2005. The San Francisco Chronicle said, "Day's velveteen tones are as rich as ever."
Vocalist Masha Campagne was born and raised in Moscow, Russia, into a musical family. Immersed in the classical European tradition while studying cello and piano at the renowned Gnessin State Musical College, her grandfather (a multi-instrumentalist and bandleader) introduced her to live jazz. In 1991, Campagne relocated to San Francisco, and was soon immersed in the jazz scene, joining the Foothill College jazz vocal group. In 2000, she stepped into the local San Francisco Brazilian music scene by teaming up with British guitarist Simon Butler and performing at top San Francisco venues. In 2007, Masha released Caminhos Cruzados, described as "heartrending" by JazzTimes, and " ... a beautiful set of Brazilian sounds from start-to-finish" by allaboutjazz.com.
To learn more about the National Steinbeck Center, call 831-796-3833 or visit http://www.steinbeck.org. For more information on the Monterey Jazz Festival, call 831-737-3366 or visit http://www.montereyjazzfestival.org.