The Main Event (double bill)

2016 Sonoma-Mendocino Coast Whale and Jazz Festival

Yancie Taylor (vibist) Quintet featuring James Bailey (multi-reedist) plus the Gypsy Trio (Ian Scherer, guitar; Joel Kruzic, guitar; Michael Price, bass)

Saturday, April 16, 2016 at 7pm

Coleman Auditorium

$28 advance, $5 more day of, youth 7-17 free

Whale & Jazz Festival logoThe 2016 Main Event’s unusual double bill will be a night of spontaneous musical splendor and stylistic variety, crossing generations. Festival Musical Coordinator, Fred Adler, will emcee the concert, which will open with “The Gypsy Trio” and conclude with the “Yancie Taylor Quintet.”

Vibraphonist Yancie Taylor’s Quintet with James Bailey on saxophone and flute, plus three other superb Bay Area musicians, will be featured during the event. Glen Pearson, piano; Pierre Archain, upright bass; and Ran Zell Merritt Sr., drums will round out the group. Pianist Pearson served as the musical and band director of the world renowned Boys’ Choir of Harlem for 11 years!

Yancie Taylor
Yancie Taylor

Vibist Yancie Taylor (aka “the jazz doctor”) knows that joyous, swinging jazz can help to heal “whatever might ail you.” He was captivated by the sweet tones of the vibraphone during the Latin craze of the 1960s, attributing his deepest influence to vibe masters Milt Jackson, Cal Tjader and Bobby Hutcherson.

Taylor leads popular and heartfelt weekly Sunday sessions at Geoffrey’s Club in Oakland, showcasing outstanding Bay Area musicians, vocalists and inspired, talented youth. He has previously taken his infectious and melodic stylings on tour to Tokyo, France, Holland, and Germany, playing for enthusiastic audiences.

Taylor’s ballad interpretations are especially touching and exquisitely tender and his straight ahead “down home” up-tempo numbers are definitely one of the ways that jazz can act as a true healer.

Ian Scherer
Ian Scherer

The Gypsy Trio of Ian Scherer and Joel Kruzic, guitars, plus Michael Price, upright bass, perform the first set of this concert’s unique double bill. The increasing revered style of classic “European Gypsy Jazz” was originated by the legendary Belgian Gypsy guitarist, Django Reinhardt and French violinist Stephane Grappelli who created and led “The Hot Club of France Quintet” during the decades of the thirties and forties.

Scherer, Kruzic and Price perform regularly throughout Northern California. They are all accomplished masters of their instruments and of the beloved and atmospheric sound of “Django Gypsy Jazz.”

The 2016 “Festival Youth Discovery,” seventeen year-old Berkeley High Ensemble guitarist, Brian Hingerty, will join the group during the evening performance, demonstrating why he was chosen as this year’s honored youth.


Tickets are $28 Advance, $5 more day of performance; youth 7 – 17 admitted free.

For advance purchase, visit Brown Paper Tickets or them at call 1-800-838-3006.
To purchase in person, visit the Gualala Arts Center or Dolphin Gallery in Gualala.


Two jazz genres bring top musicians together

By J. Stephen McLaughlin
© 2016 Independent Coast Observer, Inc.
Reproduced with permission

Again, music director Fred Adler brought some of the best jazz in northern California to the annual Mendocino-Sonoma Coast Whale and Jazz Festival.

The centerpiece of the month-plus festival is the Main Event, which was presented Saturday, April 16, at the Gualala Arts Center.

This year’s Main Event was a double bill, opened by the Gypsy Trio, some of the top players in the current Renaissance of Gypsy jazz. Guitarists Ian Scherer and Joel Kruzik, with bassist Michael Price, evoked the dynamic lively style of the 1930s Quintet of the Hot Club of France, and the Whale and Jazz Festival audience enthusiastically responded.

Top of the bill was vibraphonist Yancie Taylor and his quintet of James Bailey on saxophones; Glenn Pearson, piano; Pierre Archain, bass, and Ran Zell Merritt, Sr., drums. Taylor evoked subtle sounds from vibes, then stepping back to offer plentiful opportunities for solo turns by the other members of his combo. Their set was rich, soulful and varied.

Every year, Adler searches out a “festival youth discovery,” and this year it was the amazing 17-year-old guitarist Brian Hingerty from the Berkeley High School Jazz Ensemble. When Hingerty joined with the Gypsy Trio, and later with Yancie Taylor and his quintet, his chops were on a par with anyone on the stage. Adler presented Hingerty with a certificate to commemorate his spotlight performance at the 2016 Mendocino-Sonoma Whale and Jazz Festival.

The festival continues beyond April, with its finale Saturday, June 25 at the Gualala Arts Center when jazz veteran Larry Vuckovich presents a lecture-concert on “From Swing to Bop — a Jazz History.”

Independent Coast Observer