Jazz Bakery Performance Space - a nonprofit organization

Issue #5  September 24, 2015



The Newsletter for The Jazz Bakery Performance Space

Hi All,

Fully intended to get our Bridge newsletter out to you at least semi-annually. I have been remiss and I’m sorry. There are wonderfully exciting things happening, so please read on. However, I want to begin with an ongoing tribute to the early friends of The Jazz Bakery.


Two From The Heart

For this edition, I want to single out Jim Britt, a remarkable photographer, andLee Wilder, my wonderful friend and all-around jazz maven. Both Jim and Lee played important roles in the Bakery’s history.
Jim Britt approached me in a club where I was singing and suggested I really needed a new “glossy.” When I visited his studio, he spoke of his love of music (he was also a singer) and suggested we might do some weekend concerts. I bought 148 plastic lawn chairs, and after some arguing over the name (I hated the idea of anything like “Ruth’s Joint”), and since Jim’s studio was in an annex of the Helms Bakery – voila!! The Jazz Bakery was born. He had the space and the passion, I had the Rolodex, so … Jim rigged a super simple lighting system and a little soundboard which we ran, and I proceeded to book the weekends with major players like Tommy Flanagan and Michel Legrand. We didn’t even have contracts! I would simply call the players I’d worked with in New York and we’d make a handshake agreement. I never did get the glossy Jim promised me – but look what happened instead!
Lee Wilder was way ahead of the curve when it came to jazz. At 19, she took over the Tempo Music Shop on Hollywood Boulevard and made it the most reliable outlet for bop records in L.A. From Central Avenue jam sessions to Gene Norman jazz concerts, and as wife to Larry Bunker, she was in and around the music: spinning modern jazz on KFWB, mobilizing the local jazz community for Eugene McCarthy, managing Shelly’s Manne-Hole (where we met) and handling international publicity for A&M and Motown. Each night at The Jazz Bakery, she would help me slice up and serve free pound cake and coffee (caf and decaf). We did a lot of giggling. I miss her very much and wish she could be here to see what all that pound cake led to.


Fabulous Fall Programming

The Jazz Bakery kicked off its Fabulous Fall programming with brilliant performances by Jacky Terrasson's Quartet at Zipper Hall on September 11th and Joey DeFrancesco's Organ Trio at the Moss Theater on September 19th. Check out the rest of our upcoming season with concerts byYosvany Terry and Baptiste Trotignon's Ancestral Memories Quartet, a special Thelonious Monk birthday tribute by John Beasley's MONK'estra with a special performance by The Monk Institute Jazz Ensemble, a rare Southern California appearance by tenor saxophonist Charles Lloyd and his Wild Man Dance, and pianist Alan Broadbent's Trio. Click HERE for more information.


Our Campaign Committee

One of the more savory tasks of fundraising is putting together a roster of VIPs called a “Campaign Committee.” For once, it’s not about money! This is a list of well-known names from the jazz community and beyond – respected artists and jazz enthusiasts who enhance our profile by a) endorsing what we do as a nonprofit performance space, and b) recognizing us as a community institution. When I began soliciting endorsements earlier this year, I hoped to collect a few celebrity names to perk up our stationery. So far, the response has simply overwhelmed me … as well as our stationery! Our letterhead now practically requires a second page! I want to acknowledge the following friends who’ve generously aligned their names with The Jazz Bakery. Here they are, in alphabetical order (and please note, this list is growing daily): Herb Alpert,Brian Blade, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Billy Childs, John Clayton, Bobbi Elliott, Gregg Field, Dale Franzen, Jeff Garlin, Frank Gehry, Mike & Kathy Gordon, Corky Hale, Ahmad Jamal, Quincy Jones, Mike Lang, Hubert Laws, Norman Lear, Charles Lloyd, Steve LawrenceJohnny Mandell,Mark Miller, Randy Newman, Joshua Rebell, Dick Rosenzweig, Harry Shearer, Thomas Small, Mike Stoller and Judith Wilder. Thank you all! The pursuit of our permanent home is more stable with your vocal support and public advocacy.


Back To The Future Fund

The holidays are coming a little earlier this year! By now you should have received our annualFuture Fund mailing via snail mail (remember that?). Our Future Fund is one way you can help support the creative programming we do through our Movable Feast series. Normally we send this appeal in late November/early December. But this year we wanted to tip you off about the LACMA exhibit and other developments, and so we've included a beautiful flyer of upcoming events. It takes a lot of money to rent venues, transport and house artists, and pay them the respectful fees they deserve. So please be on the lookout for our Future Fund mailing, and take advantage of our nonprofit status my making a tax-deductible contribution to our future!


The Feast Keeps On Truckin'

I’d like to give a solid shout-out to two of our newest Movable Feast destinations: The Moss Theater at the Herb Alpert Educational Village andThe Wallis Annenberg Performing Arts Center in the heart of Beverly Hills. The Moss has been our home-away-from-home this year. Located on the Westside, this 344-seat, state-of-the-art theater with an acoustic design by Yasuhisa Toyota is a perfect fit for us. From their friendly staff to the free onsite parking to the pitch-perfect sound, this venue makes an ideal hitching post during our “movable” phase. Next year our roaming network will expand to include The Wallis’ Bram Goldsmith Theater. This breathtaking 500-seater designed byZoltan Pali is only a couple of years old, but it's already considered a world-class arts center. With assistance from the Annenberg Foundation, this joint venture allows to us to bring a number of jazz luminaries to town – stay tuned for some exciting announcements.


Sponsor Spotlight

The Jazz Bakery has been honored again with a prestigious National Endowment for the Arts "Art Works" grant, this year for $30,000. It will fund a special program titled "Concerts and Conversations with Southern California Jazz Legends" that includes concerts, workshops and masterclasses withHubert LawsPoncho Sanchez, The Clayton Brothers Band with Ernie Andrews, The Alan Pasqua Trio and Dwight Trible. Additional funding is generously provided by the Herb Alpert Foundation. Supplemental government funding this year comes from The Los Angeles County Arts CommissionThe Los Angeles Cultural Affairs DepartmentThe City of Culver City and others. We are so grateful to our funders! Please visit ourInstitutional Support page to see our additional supporters.

Jacky Terrasson and me, giddy about the future. (Photo © Bob Barry 2015)

That's it for now! Please help us further our goal ... "to champion the power of music to unite people and ennoble our world."




Ruth Price
President and Artistic Director

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1836 Benedict Canyon Dr.
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The Jazz Bakery, A 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Organization, Tax ID # 95-4340905