Ridgeway Arts Inc. Launches Ridgeway Radio in June 2016
Plus 2016 Recordings from Jeff Denson Quartet, Opaluna and Ian Faquini / Paul Santoro
Performances/Educational Workshops by Tammy Scheffer and Kari Ikonen
“The arts are fundamental to our humanity. They ennoble and inspire us, fostering creativity, goodness, and beauty. The arts help us express our values, build bridges between cultures, and bring us together regardless of ethnicity, religion, or age.” – Jeff Denson, founder & artistic director of Ridgeway Arts, Inc.
Ridgeway Arts, Inc. the multi-faceted San Francisco Bay Area-based non-profit founded by renowned bassist/composer/educator/community activist Jeff Denson and a small group of colleagues, will launch Ridgeway Radio’s On the Scene SF/O, an interview show hosted by Andrew Lion, in June 2016. The bi-monthly podcast will feature Bay Area musicians and music industry luminaries and offer listeners insight into the life and art of jazz players, the state of jazz in the Bay Area and beyond, and the importance of jazz as an art form. All episodes will be archived at www.ridgewayarts.org/ridgeway-radio/
Ridgeway Radio’s schedule includes:
- June: saxophonist/composer Dayna Stephens, bassist/composer Marcus Shelby (Part 1)
- July: bassist/composer Marcus Shelby (Part 2), pianist Vadim Neselovskyi
- August: Bay Area singer-songwriter Megan Slankford, vibraphonist Warren Wolf
- September: violinist Mads Tolling, trumpeter Cuong Vu
- October: bassist/composer Kai Eckhardt, vocalist Tammy Scheffer
Ridgeway Arts, Inc. officially kicked off in summer 2015 with the release of the highly celebrated Jeff Denson Trio + Lee Konitz recording. Drummer Alan Hall’s Arctic featuring Ratatet followed. They’ve also organized concerts and educational workshops with artists such as drummer/composer Alan Hall and renowned pianist/composer Vadim Neselovskyi. Upcoming releases and concerts include:
- Concentric Circles by the Jeff Denson Quartet (June 10)
- Ridgeway Records Rising Star Series, eponymous release by Opaluna (Aug. 26) and Metal na Madiera by Ian Faquini & Paul Santoro (Sept. 23)
- August 31 – September 3, 2016: Vocalist Tammy Scheffer presents workshops and performances in the Bay Area. tammyscheffer.com
- Aug. 31: Workshop with California Jazz Conservatory Students.
- Sept. 1: workshop with Napa Valley High School, 8 p.m. performance at Silo’s in Napa
- Sept. 2: school workshop, 7:30 p.m. performance at Art Boutiki in San Jose
- Sept. 3: afternoon public workshop at Jazzschool, 8 p.m. performance at Jazzschool
- March 30-April 2, 2017: pianist Kari Ikonen kariikonen.com
- March 30: school workshop, 7:30 p.m. performance at Art Boutiki in San Jose
- March 31: afternoon workshop with Napa Valley High School jazz combo; 8 pm concert at Silo’s, Napa
- April 1 afternoon public workshop at Jazzschool; 8 p.m. performance at Jazzschool
- April 2, 4 p.m. at Chez Hanny in San Francisco
About Ridgeway Arts:
Under Jeff Denson’s vision and leadership, Ridgeway’s collective efforts include education and community outreach, the Ridgeway Presents concert series, Ridgeway Radio, Ridgeway Records, and Denson’s own performing and composing activities, all designed to enhance and fortify the Bay Area scene, and to make a strong contribution to the national landscape of jazz.
The Educational/ Community Outreach component has been developed in conjunction with the California Jazz Conservatory (CJC) where Denson is Director of Outreach and a full-time professor. The program has a triple purpose of exposing primary and secondary students to the profound legacy of jazz; providing opportunities for young musicians to learn from and perform with top professionals of both local and national renown; and fortifying the Bay Area scene to encourage graduating students to remain in the area.
Ridgeway Presents is the organization’s curating program. Concerts and workshops feature national artists, local musicians of varying statures, and emerging student ensembles from the CJC and high school jazz programs. The program embraces the restoration of “learning on the bandstand” (young talent sharing the stage with professionals). It’s how jazz musicians used to learn but is an element of jazz which has been neglected in recent years. Ridgeway Presents fosters partnerships with venues and institutions to support live performance, and works nationally on exchange programs with members of the UNITY Arts Alliance.
Ridgeway Records was conceived with an innovative plan in a partnership mode, in which artists share revenue, team resources, marketing and distribution – all integrated within the overall plans of Ridgeway Arts. The label’s first album – the aforementioned Jeff Denson Trio plus Lee Konitz – was released in the summer of 2015. Other projects include Arctic (released in March 2016) the debut recording by Alan Hall’s six-member Ratatet. The Sgt. Pepper Project, with its fresh and innovative take on the revered album’s compositions, is slated for early 2017 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the original release. The first album by Electreo, as well as Paul Hanson’s Homecoming, a sweeping exploration of Jewish music for a sextet of bassoon, violin, guitar, cello, bass and drums, are also on Ridgeway Records. Denson, who has developed a productive ongoing relationship with the famed Fantasy Studios, serves as producer and/or executive producer on all of the label’s projects. Ridgeway Records Rising Star Series features up-and-coming young talent.
Ridgeway Radio is an interview show hosted by Andrew Lion. The bi-monthly podcast features Bay Area musicians and music industry luminaries and offers listeners insight into the life and art of jazz players, the state of jazz in the Bay Area and beyond, and the importance of jazz as an art form.
Groundwork is being laid for additional projects including Ridgeway Publishing (educational books by Denson and other extraordinary educators).
As Denson says: “Ridgeway Arts is here to lend a voice to the remarkable creativity in our communities and to work to bring it to the people who are hungry for it.”