About the Series

In 2012, the Diablo Regional Arts Association introduced "Jazz at the Lesher Center," an immediate smash hit.

In 2014 the DRAA presents another stellar lineup of artists, available in a 5 pm series and an 8 pm series.

All concerts are in the 300-seat Margaret Lesher Theatre.  Single tickets are $40 each. Subscriptions are no longer available.

2014 Schedule

Karrin Allyson Sat, July 12 at 5 & 8 pm
John Pizzarelli Sat, Aug 9 at 5 & 8 pm
Clayton Brothers Sat, Aug 16 at 5 & 8 pm
Roy Hargrove Sat, Aug 23 at 5 & 8 pm

Tickets to the 5 pm series: click here
Tickets to the 8 pm series: click here

or call 925-943-7469

Karrin Allyson
Saturday, July 12 at 5 pm and 8 pm buy single tickets here

 

VIDEOS:

 

Grammy-nominated singer and pianist Karrin Allyson moves with ease and authority from the Great American Songbook of Gershwin and Porter to the Great American Jazz Songbook of Duke and Thelonius and Miles and Dizzy, with infusions of the musical essences of Rio and Paris. Legendary jazz critic Gary Giddins said in the Village Voice: "Allyson coolly stakes her claim. She brings a timbre that is part ice and part grain — incisive, original, and emotionally convincing." This is an artist who brings plenty of heart and warmth to her singing, with an emotional range from bittersweet to sassy.

Born in the Midwest, Allyson studied music in the Bay Area, receiving a degree in classical piano performance. She began her recording career with Concord Jazz in 1992, while gigging in Minneapolis and Kansas City. In 2011, Allyson released Round Midnight, her thirteenth album, which earned her fourth GRAMMY nomination, for best jazz vocal album.

Allyson lives in New York City, but spends two days out of three on tour, performing at major jazz festivals, concert venues and clubs in the U.S. as well as repeated tours overseas — to Brazil, Japan, Australia and the great cities of Europe.

"The stuff that shivers are made of: innocent, sexy and world-weary." -Washington Post

"Utter musical fearlessness - a complete artist, and one of the jazz world's finest." - NY Times

artist's website  

John Pizzarelli
Saturday, August 9 at 5 pm and 8 pm buy single tickets here

 

VIDEOS:

 

One of today's most accomplished interpreters of the great jazz standards, John Pizzarelli is known for his brilliant guitar work and smooth vocals. With eighteen albums recorded, Mr. Pizzarelli has brought classic standards and late night ballads to a new generation ready to swing and swoon. From Carnegie Hall to Melrose Place, he has gained a wide following from his numerous stage, screen and television appearances and is setting the standard for stylish, modern jazz.

Critics often compare the young John Pizzarelli to the jazz greats who inspired him. “We're as lucky to listen to Pizzarelli as Nat 'King' Cole fans were in the year before he became a legend,” raved The Village Voice. Fans agree; in 1999 Pizzarelli was “Jazz Vocalist of the Year” in a Swing Journal Readers Poll.

Mr. Pizzarelli made his Broadway debut in Dream opposite Lesley Ann Warren and has been sought after in Hollywood. In addition to a guest spot on Melrose Place, he has appeared on The Tonight Show, David Letterman, Conan O'Brien, Rosie O'Donnell, CBS This Morning, The Today Show and CNN. The John Pizzarelli Trio was also featured in the Goldie Hawn/Steve Martin film The Out of Towners and has recorded tracks for such films as Ready to Wear, Forget Paris and Two Family House.

artist's website

Clayton Brothers
Saturday, August 16 at 5 pm and 8 pm buy single tickets here

 

VIDEOS:

 

Although the brothers have been playing together all their lives, the late 1970s marked the official inception of the Clayton Brothers Quintet as a working ensemble; since then the group's personnel has evolved but its performances, always swinging and entertaining, are held in high esteem by the jazz world.

Grammy-winning bass player John Clayton's credits include the Count Basie Orchestra, a stint as principal bassist with the Amsterdam Philharmonic Orchestra in the Netherlands, Diana Krall, Paul McCartney, Regina Carter, Dee Dee Bridgewater and Gladys Knight. Multi-reed virtuoso Jeff Clayton has played with such icons as Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight, Kenny Rogers, Michael Jackson, Patti Labelle, and Madonna, as well as Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Joe Cocker, B.B. King and Ray Charles. The brilliant, witty pianist Gerald Clayton (John's son) is a rising star who has already garnered three Grammy nominations and has performed with such artists as Clark Terry, Roy Hargrove, Hank Jones, Benny Green and Kenny Barron.

Terell Stafford, hailed as "one of the greats of our time, a fabulous trumpet player" by McCoy Tyner, has performed with Kenny Barron, Frank Wess, Jimmy Heath and Jon Faddis; he has recorded six albums as a leader and is heard on over 90 albums as a sideman. With the Claytons since 2008, drummer Obed Calvaire's other credits include the Village Vanguard Orchestra and the Mingus Big Band.

artist's website

Roy Hargrove      
Saturday, August 23 at 5 pm & 8 pm buy single tickets here

 

VIDEOS:

 

Born in 1969 and discovered while still in high school in Waco, Texas by Wynton Marsalis, this trumpet/flugelhorn player's incandescent talent swiftly blazed across the jazz firmament. Voted Downbeat's Soloist of the Year in 1989, by age 25 he was an established star, recording with the likes of Sonny Rollins, Johnny Griffin, Stanley Turrentine, Joe Henderson and Oscar Peterson.

Roy Hargrove has explored, and conquered, a wide variety of musical domains. Moving on from hard bop, he formed a band featuring Cuban percussionists that toured with great success; the resulting album Habana won Hargrove his first Grammy in 1998 (his second Grammy was awarded in 2002 for Directions in Music, recorded with Herbie Hancock and Michael Brecker). Other endeavours as leader include the Roy Hargrove Big Band and the RH Factor, a group that blends jazz with elements of funk, hip-hop, soul, and gospel. He is in high demand as sideman, recording with such artists as Shirley Horn, Jimmy Smith, Ray Brown, Roy Haynes and Jimmy Cobb.

With a charming, relaxed stage manner that belies his jawdropping mastery of various musical styles, Hargrove's solos can be dazzling but he can also play a ballad, as Newsweek remarked, "with a sweetness that speaks of a world of hurt."