Sunset Jazz at Newport Moves to Bistango in August

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Joe Rothman and John McClure

For the past 10 years, Newport Beach residents and jazz impresarios Joe Rothman and John McClure have presented the renowned summertime music series Sunset Jazz at Newport, normally held weekly July through September in the Rose Garden of the Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa.

However, current coronavirus mandates prevented the Sunset Jazz concerts from taking place (the Marriott’s Rose Garden holds 350 people), so Rothman and McClure have pivoted and found a new venue for an abbreviated and scaled down version of their summer jazz season.

Sunset Jazz at Bistango features four concerts presented on the lovely patio at Bistango Restaurant in Irvine. The concerts are scheduled for Monday evenings, August 10-31.

Bistango patio

The lineup features many familiar names that have performed in previous Sunset Jazz concerts.

Aug. 10: Tom Scott Quartet featuring Tom Ranier (piano), Trey Henry (bass), Ray Brinker (drums). Tom Scott is a three-time Grammy award winner, veteran arranger, producer, musical director and saxophonist.

Aug. 17: Carol Welsman Quartet in a Tribute to Miss Peggy Lee. Six-time JUNO Award-nominated jazz vocalist and pianist Carol Welsman will bring her quartet to Irvine to celebrate Peggy Lee’s 100th Birthday.

Aug. 24: John Proulx Quartet salutes Nat King Cole & Chet Baker featuring Chuck Berghofer (bass), Kevin Kanner (drums) and Carl Saunders (trumpet). Grammy – winning composer and recording artist Proulx will perform his tribute to Nat King Cole during the first set and return for the second set to honor Chet Baker.

Aug. 31: Barbara Morrison’s Early Birthday Celebration featuring The Peak Experience with Ron Kobayashi (piano), Mike Peak (bass), Kendall Kay (drums) plus special guest- Rickey Woodard (sax). Barbara will dazzle her fans with highly spirited interpretations of Jazz, Blues, Gospel & Pop songs.

Bistango cuisine

Dining on the Bistango Patio is being conducted in a very Covid-conscious environment, with tables carefully assigned to those making a reservation for the music. State required protocols are being followed. Advance reservations are required.

Doors will open at 5 p.m. The concerts are held from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $49 to $65, plus $25 minimum food or drink per person. Corkage: $18.

For tickets and information, call (949) 759-5003, or email [email protected].

Visit www.Bistango.com.

NOTE: Attendee requirements: a mask must be worn when entering, going toi and from your table, going to the rest room, socializing or leaving. All attendee’s temperatures will be taken upon entering—your temperature must be below 100 degrees for admittance. No refunds for a high temperature. Strangers will not be assigned to your table.

Concert Lineup

Tom Scott

Aug. 10: Tom Scott Quartet featuring Tom Ranier (piano), Trey Henry (bass), Ray Brinker (drums). Tom is a renowned composer, arranger, producer, music director, saxophonist and educator. His 33 solo recordings have earned him 13 Grammy nominations and 3 Grammy awards. In 2017, he received his first Emmy Award nomination for Musical Direction of the Tony Bennett 90th Birthday TV Special on NBC. Tom has also served nine times as Musical Director for the Emmy Awards.

Tom Scott’s career as a guest artist spans more than 500 recordings by such diverse artists as Barbara Streisand, Quincy Jones, Thelonius Monk, the Blues Brothers, Frank Sinatra, Aretha Franklin, Paul McCartney,Rod Stewart, and Aerosmith.

Appearing in Tom’s quartet will be highly respected musicians Tom Rainer (recently with Tony Bennett and pianist & arranger for the original “Dancing With The Stars”), bassist Trey Henry (Natalie Cole, Tierney Sutton) and drummer Ray Brinker (Gordon Goodwin, Tierney Sutton).

Carol Welsman

Aug. 17: Carol Welsman Quartet in a Tribute to Miss Peggy Lee. Carol Welsman is an internationally acclaimed singer and pianist who has captivated audiences worldwide with her expressive vocal stylings and dynamic stage presence. Fluent in English, French and Italian, Carol blends languages and rhythms with a versatile repertoire including swing, Latin, R&B, pop and jazz. She delivers a mix of classic standards and original compositions in a style that ranges from sensuous and warm to infectiously energetic. An elegant and sophisticated performer, she exudes confidence and charm and delights fellow musicians and audiences alike.

As a six-time JUNO Award-nominated artist (the Canadian equivalent to the Grammy Awards) and having sold over 60,000 CDs in Canada alone, Carol will be including a salute to Peggy Lee’s 100th Birthday. Her All-Star band includes Rene Camacho on bass, Jimmy Branly on drums and guitarist Mitchell Long.

John Proulx

Aug. 24: John Proulx Quartet salutes Nat King Cole & Chet Baker featuring Chuck Berghofer (bass), Kevin Kanner (drums) and Carl Saunders (trumpet). John began his formal musical education at the age of three in Grand Rapids, MI on Suzuki violin, but quickly switched to classical piano lessons. His late grandfather, Clyde Proulx, was a jazz guitarist who introduced him to the world of jazz. Hooked on the freedom of improvisation, his education took him to Chicago to study at Roosevelt University’s Chicago School of Performing Arts where he received his Bachelors of Music in 1999. In 2001, John moved to Los Angeles to further his musical pursuits. He emerged as a young talent on the Los Angeles jazz scene. John spent four months in 2009 at the prestigious Feinstein’s at the Loews Regency hotel in New York City playing a nightly solo piano/vocal engagement.  Prouix is also a Grammy winning composer.

Proulx will perform his tribute to Nat King Cole during the first set and return for the second set to honor Chet Baker. Featured in John’s stellar quartet will be jazz veterans Chuck Berghofer on bass, Kevin Kanner on drums and Carl Saunders on trumpet and flugelhorn.

Barbara Morrison

Aug. 31: Barbara Morrison’s Early Birthday Celebration featuring The Peak Experience with Ron Kobayashi (piano), Mike Peak (bass), Kendall Kay (drums) plus special guest- Rickey Woodard (sax). Barbara continues to be a fan favorite all over the world, having appeared with a virtual Who’s Who of jazz and Blues, including Dizzy Gillespie, James Moody, Ron Carter, Mel Torme, Joe Williams, Tony Bennett and Keb’ Mo. Born and raised in Michigan, Barbara made her debut on Detroit radio at age 10. She has gone on to be featured on TV and movie soundtracks, has been a regular guest with the Count Basie Orchestra, the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra and has three Grammy nominations.

Always an advocate for other performers, Barbara opened the Barbara Morrison Performing Arts Center in L.A.’s historic Leimert Park district in 2010 and several years ago opened the nearby California Jazz & Blues Museum. Barbara’s biggest triumph to date, however, is overcoming her battle with diabetes and never giving up her courage or determination! She is officially an L.A. Treasure!

Barbara Morrison Birthday Celebration
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