Up and running with Jazz in Schools!

Today the band, under the direction of trumpeter/educator Dr. Bobby Rodriguez, brings live jazz music and education to grammar school kids all over Los Angeles.

We are sponsored by the Los Angeles Jazz Society, Musicians Performance Trust Fund, Herb Alpert Foundation and Cultural Affairs of Los Angeles.  We have several more concerts coming up this month along with 2 other bands in celebration of Black History Month.

Here’s a picture from last year:

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Jazz in Schools! 2016

And the year before:

Jazz in Schools! 2015

Mark Christian Miller, Maria Martinez, Dr. Bobby Rodriguez, Leslie Baker, Oscar Hernandez

What a Year!

2016 has been a great year for growth and new beginnings.  The creativity flows.  The fun continues. How lucky am I?  I picked up 2 new basses this year, both Fenders.  So I got plenty to boom boom boom with considering the collection of instruments those 2 get added to. The Fender Precision sounds great in Bobby Hurricane Spencer’s All Star band where I feel transported to New Orleans every time because of a fantastic drummer named Albert Trepanier Jr.  This is the band with the trending video, over 112K people know “we got the blues”.  It’s been great to play music with so many very talented people.

112K +++!!!

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Blues! Mother of Rock an Roll>>>>we rocking’!

From the critics, our friends and the All Stars’ fans: “Mixing soul, funk and blues into a mighty gumbo, Bobby Hurricane Spencer Blues All Stars take you to saxophone driven blues heaven. This music will lift your spirits and move your body with deep soulful and funky blues. Easy listening putting a smile on your face, dancing in your feet and then some ice in your drink. If you like blues stirred but not shaken with jazz, doo wop, a touch of Latino and funk then you will enjoy the Hurricane’s All Stars – everyone of them a star in their own right!”— with Tom J DanielsLivewires Live-musicJazz LivingLegendBobby SpencerTadg Galleran,George Van WagnerAlbert Trepagnier Jr.Kelly ChappueLeslie Baker and West L.A. Studios.

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Leslie with Bobby “Hurricane” Spencer celebrating his birthday.

 

Upcoming show at Seabird Lounge Long Beach on Veterans Day Nov. 11, 2016.  Come on down, shake a tail feather with us.  Oh, and Happy Halloween all, may your evening be full of tricks and treats a few frights and lots of fun….

A little media buzz/exciting times

I got a good review when I least expected it. The gig was with Jimmy McConnell Quintet at the Valley Jazz Club. “Leslie Baker played a unique compact “traveling bass” with surprising full, rich sound proving it’s value to the band with her very active playing, showing off her skills as both a motivated supportive and feature player” Harvey Barkan  Los Angeles Jazz Scene newspaper September 2016.

Leslie jamming on her upright electric bass by BSX
Leslie jamming on her upright electric bass by BSX

Bobby “Hurricane” Spencer and the Blues Allstars which includes me on bass, Albert Trepangnier from New Orleans on drums, Tadj Galleran on keyboard, George Van Wagner on guitar and Tyler Combs on vibes has a couple of videos out that are breaking my personal records for worldwide views.

I Got The Blues Soulful and sensual! — with Tyler CombsLeslie BakerTadg GalleranBobby Spencer and Albert Trepagnier Jr.

Hangin’ with a dear friend and great drummer.

As of now our video “I Got the Blues” has over 112K views since it’s release September 18, 2016. Pretty exciting.  The same band with front vocalist Kelly Chappue on “Bad When I’m Good” (released Sept. 18) reached over 25K views!

I will update you as things go. Check it out! I put on my red dress baby…..I’ve been compared to a character in the Hobbit (in a red dress) in a comment at facebook.

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Things are bubbling up for Marissa Gomez and the Ghosts of Echo Park

Recent sightings at Clifton’s Cafeteria DTLA, LA Live and other spots in the works in and around Downtown and Hollywood. I’ve been floating among the ghosts with my friend pianist Chris Glik.

We have fun!

October 12, 2016  

Le Petit Paris

418 s spring street

Downtown L.A.90013

 

Marissa is a wonderful singer and songwriter. I'm glad she thinks my bass playing is sassy.
Marissa is a wonderful singer and songwriter. I’m glad she thinks my bass playing is sassy.

And now for the most exciting thing coming up soon is the debut of my Chamber Music Group.  Our performance date is Oct. 9, 2016 2:30 – 3:30 PM at the Donald Wright Auditorium in the Pasadena Central Library on Walnut

There is no charge for this performance.  We will be recording live.  Our presentation is very much a crossover of Jazz and Classical.  We will be performing Claude Bolling Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano Trio in it’s entirety (7 movements) and a few additional pieces to round out the program.  This is under the auspices of Tuesday Musicale.  The fabulous musicians who will join me for this new adventure are Flutist Ruth Kasckow, Drummer Kenny Park and pianists Chris Glik and Alan Geier .  It is a lovely place with parking and additional parking if lots fill also at no charge. It is my sincere hope to fill the room with friends, fans and interested parties on that Sunday afternoon October 9 in Pasadena!

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Leslie Baker and Friends Jazz Classical Fusion
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Leslie Baker and Friends at Pasadena Central Library 10-9-2016

My own review of the debut performance Leslie Baker and Friends…..I am very pleased with how we played together and so grateful for the wonderful audience who gave us a standing ovation. Also big thanks to the organization Tuesday Musicale who in concert with the Pasadena Public Library sponsored the concert.  We  have recordings.  More news on that later.

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Joining Tuesday Musicale in Pasadena CA

Leslie Baker and Friends, the chamber group has come up with a new name for the group.

As of 2017 we go under the name of Transcendence!

36th Annual Lotus Festival

“Lotus flowers often appear in images of the Buddha. It is a symbol of things which are pure and good. A lotus is a flower that begins its life in the mud at the bottom of a pond and then rises to the surface to flower.  It therefore reminds people that in the same way, people can rise above their problems and achieve enlightenment.”

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up from the mud the flower blooms

Purity and rebirth are attributes I came across referring to what the Lotus Flower represents.  It was a true pleasure to participate this year in a well established festival with a purpose to promote understanding. Special thanks to all who made special effort to make our band set go well and get some documentation of it. You know who you are.

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Beautiful Day in the neighborhood of Echo Park CA.
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The OK Corralers takin’ it to the streets!
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Yeah, I’m a Leo.
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Tadg Galleran is an entertainer, player, singer, writer.
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I love playing bass, singing is fun. Gotta make that music!
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as I was saying,

Introducing Drummer Vocalist Tony Jones

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What a Wonderful World
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Testifying! Tony Jones, Leslie Baker, Tadj Galleran
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Tyler Combs brings us good vibes
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fun show, fun audience, fun time
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up from the mud the flower blooms

 

Another exciting week end in July 9 & 10 , 2016

Lotus Festival this Week End! Leslie Baker and Friends perform Sunday 1:30 PM

36th Lotus Festival

If you want to see us, don’t be late….it’s a short set. We are surrounded by dancers.

Saturday from 6-9 PM I return to play in Lisa Casalino’s Jazz Band on the Westside, at the Grove near Nordstrom

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Thanks Joe Weinroth for the photo
Lisa and Leslie making music
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Jazz Singer Lisa Casalino