Blog Post – Sept 19, 2020 – Scholarships and LIVE Concert!


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2020 Scholarships and live stream concert!

Tuesday, September 22, Bakersfield Jazz Workshop will host an exciting event with a live online jazz concert, and presentation of our 2020 scholarship recipients!

This event begins at 7:00 pm with a set by the Jay Smith Trio.  Called a “fixture in the Central Valley” (NPR), keyboard virtuoso Jay Smith has had a wide variety of talent flow through his band. From jazz fusion to pop, the band has channeled a wide spectrum of musical genres to stay working and relevant. He is an Alum of California State University Bakersfield and Fresno City College where he earned his Bachelor of Arts and Associate of Arts degrees. Jay has opened for such groups and musicians as Carl Saunders, Poncho Sanchez, Jeff Coffin, Allan Holdsworth, Malo, Ozomatli, Clayton Cameron, and worked with Kelulu, Mento Buru, The Fresno Philharmonic, Andre Bush, Mike Dana, Velorio, and Patrick Contreras to name a few.

His current projects include Mento Buru, which was voted best band of 2018 by Bakersfield Magazine, and The Jay Smith Trio/Group which features a variety of players including Cesareo Garasa, Paul Perez, Jay Jay Hicks, Fernando Montoya, Steve Eisen, and Patrick Contreras to name a few. For this performance, Jay will be joined by Cesareo Garasa (drums) and Fernando Montoya (bass).

Following the awards presentation, Jay Smith and his group will finish the evening with another set of live jazz.

This event will mark BJW’s first foray into live online events. As we practice social distancing to help keep us all healthy and safe, we will begin hosting our weekly Jazz Workshops online. BJW has lined up an exciting list of local talent to take us through the next few months. Please plan to join us every Tuesday!

To join the live Facebook event at 7:00 pm, Tuesday, 9/22/2020, visit our Facebook page at

Important message from our BJW Financial Officer

HEY, Bakersfield Jazz Workshop fans and supporters!!!

BJW will soon celebrate our 14th anniversary and, despite current events, we hope to bring Tuesday nights back to you very soon. BUT, we need to talk about that a bit. As you know, for many years, BJW has given out music scholarships for aspiring Jazz artists. The funds for that come almost exclusively from the Tuesday night Tip Jar. This WICKED Virus has put BJW and all of you on the sidelines. For many, it has created significant physical, emotional and fiscal hardships.

I am, however, one of the lucky ones and other than missing ya’ll and my other peeps , I’ve been relatively unscathed. SO, I have a plan to help fill the Tip Jar for all the weeks C-19 stole from us.

I will match aggregate contributions to the BJW, (up to a total of $500) that are received from May 5, 2020 thru the Monday prior to our next Tuesday Night event. You can either make the contributions thru our BJW website Paypal button (, or you can write a check to Bakersfield Jazz Workshop and mail it to my address (Mark Hall, 6901 Lassalette Drive, 93308). I am the Financial Officer of the BJW.

My $500 and your aggregate support of $500 would cover about half of what we would have expected from the Tip Jar. I think we can do better. Keep the Jazz Ball Rolling.

Mark Hall

(Remember, our motto here at BJW is “Hear it! Learn it! Play it!” Keep in touch, stay safe, and we’ll see you soon!)

(Important announcement: Because of concerns about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), Bakersfield Jazz Workshop is temporarily suspended, until further notice. We will monitor guidance from health officials week-to-week and base our decision of when to resume on their recommendations. Although this is disappointing for our musicians and jazz lovers, we are erring on the side of caution, and will keep you posted, via email, Twitter and Facebook, as this situation develops.)



6:30 pm: Beginning Jazz Combo Class
7:30 pm: Featured Artist/Ensemble Performance
8:30 pm: Open Jam Session

All ages. Free to all.

Bakersfield Jazz Workshop is divided into 3 segments:

6:30 to 7:30 pm: Beginning Jazz Combo Class


* Participants must be able to play all 12 major scales and chromatic scale, at least 2 octaves, by memory.

* Participants are expected to have basic to intermediate reading abilities. (Advanced middle school and high school students can usually meet this requirement.)

* While the emphasis is on younger players, the beginning workshop is open to all, including musicians of other genres who want to expand their jazz vocabulary and chops. Advanced players often sit in and offer advice, much like the open jam session, creating a great low-pressure learning environment.

*The focus of the class is to learn 6-8 Jazz Standards to performance readiness. When the instructor feels the class has reached this goal, the class will perform a concert as the Featured Artist in the 7:30-8:30-time slot. After this concert, the instructor will start a new setlist, thereby repeating the process.


7:30 to 8:30 pm: Featured Artist/Ensemble Performance


* Ensembles/combos of any size or configuration may request a Tuesday date through Steve Eisen.

*Must be rehearsed and prepared to perform a one-hour set (6-10 tunes average) for a listening audience.


8:30 to 9:30 pm: Open Jam Session

Requirements: Intermediate to Professional level

*Participants should be able to perform Jazz Standards by memory or be able to read out of the Real Book. (Workshop can provide Volumes 1 and 2 of these books for C, B-flat, E-flat, and Bass Clef instruments.)

*Originals and arrangements are welcome as well. The workshop is a great venue for testing out new compositions and charts.

*SPECIAL NOTE TO VOCALISTS: Many tunes in the fake books are not always in an individual vocalist’s preferred keys. While this does not usually pose a problem for experienced players, we do not wish to put unnecessary pressure on anyone who is uncomfortable transposing without prior notice. Therefore, we kindly ask that if desiring to perform a tune not printed in the Real Book or arranged in a different key, charts should be provided prior to the performance. If possible, 3-5 copies are preferred, and whenever practical, include transpositions for B-flat and E-flat instruments.

*There is a sign-up list available upon arrival. See the session host or director if you would like to perform that evening. After the conclusion of the workshop, volunteers are asked to please help break down and store all equipment.

For more questions please feel free to contact:
CEO/Founder: Steve Eisen @ 661-444-0853 or
Beginning Class Instructor: John Calo @ 858-382-3739

jazz quotes: Wynton Marsalis

So I believed in studying just because I knew that education was a privilege. And it wasn’t so much necessarily the information that you were studying, but just the discipline of study, to get into the habit of doing something that you don’t want to do, to receive the information . . .



We are often contacted by professional touring jazz artists from across the country, as more and more people become aware of BJW. Some ask about open dates, particularly when they are traveling between Los Angeles and San Francisco. We want to continue providing you with new and interesting artists but need your support to accomplish it. When you see our tip jar being circulated, please help us (or donate online, below).


BJW T-shirts are available at every workshop for $20. Come out and pick yours up to show your support for local arts and talent.


Have an upcoming gig you want to be posted here? Want some free advertising? Care to give feedback on our web page? Contact us at the link above or at and we will make our best effort to include you in our next newsletter! We know that sometimes gigs come up at the last minute, but if you can notify us at least a week in advance, we’ll fit you in.


We’ve posted lots of videos from our benefit concerts, our weekly workshops, and other jazz gigs from around town. Check them out on YouTube – search for Bakersfield Jazz Workshop.  Note that you can also access this page by clicking the YouTube icon on our website’s homepage.

We also post video links from recent workshop appearances posted on our Facebook fan page. Check it out to see what you’re missing!


The Bakersfield Jazz Workshop is a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation staffed entirely by volunteers. No one who helps run our normal, weekly workshops, including the performers, gets paid. To help us with our expenses, the purchase of equipment, to provide free clinics, pay the musicians (sometimes), and scholarships, we depend on your donations. Please make a small donation to our tip jar before you leave the workshop. (Your donation may be tax-deductible – check with your tax adviser.)

You may also make a donation online using our PayPal Donate button below. We appreciate your patronage and your support.


Check with your employer to see if they have a Corporate program to support the arts and if they might be interested in becoming a BJW sponsor. Also, many corporations have donation-matching programs for their employees. For more information please visit our BJW Friends and Supporters page or call (661) 444-0853. You can also use the contact link above or send an email to us at

We have big plans for programs and activities for the workshop, but we need funding (and people – see “Volunteers” below) to help get them off the ground!

Please help!


We are always looking for new volunteers. If you have the time, energy, and willingness, let us know – we’ll find something for you to do. Then you can tell your friends how you get to hang out with all of these cool jazz musicians! We are particularly looking for volunteers who would like to help with our weekly workshop (setup/breakdown, front desk, and jam sessions). If you are interested in volunteering, here’s a chance for you. Just check with Steve Eisen or any other BJW volunteer, reply using the contact link above, or send an email to us at

Thanks for your support!


You can find us online at the following social networks and websites:

Twitter –
Facebook –
Reverbnation –
youtube –

And, of course, the Bakersfield Jazz Workshop web page:


Want to learn more about the BJW? Watch Steve Eisen, founder/director/CEO of the BJW explain what it’s all about at this link:

Bakersfield Jazz Workshop Promo:

Or contact: Steve Eisen, CEO at (661) 444-0853

Note: The Bakersfield Jazz Workshop currently meets on Tuesdays from 6:30 – 9:30 pm at Temblor Brewing Company, 3200 Buck Owens Blvd., Bakersfield, CA  93308

author: Tim Stonelake


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