Thursday, 8PM, December 21, 2017 and Friday, 7PM, December 22, 2017
X-Factor’s Jason Brock in 5th Annual SF Holiday Shows with Paula West!
It’s that time of year again! Jason Brock continues his annual tradition of singing Holiday songs in two SF Holiday Shows – at a new venue this year: OASIS! This is his 5th ANNUAL show.
Jason Brock (X-Factor finalist, 3-Time “Best Male Cabaret Singer” award-winner in SF) and guest, Paula West (jazz icon), sing holiday favorites with pianist Dee Spencer (SFSU Jazz Dept Founder) & trio. The shows are on Thursday, Dec 21 (8PM) and Friday, Dec 22 (7PM) at OASIS (298 11th Street, San Francisco, CA). Tickets range from $40-$55 each, but if you buy in November they are 15% off (with code EARLYBROCK). Tickets and more info at https://brockwest.eventbrite.com. We know there are many SF holiday shows to choose from, so thank you for choosing ours!
Jason Brock is very excited about performing his two SF holiday shows this year! Brock is a television, film and stage star. He was seen in homes all over the world as a finalist on X-Factor singing songs like Billy Joel’s “New York State of Mind.” Jason is in the film, “Love is not Enough,” which played at global film festivals, including the Frameline Film Festival in San Francisco. Jason is well-known as a cabaret star and performs original shows regularly in San Francisco and beyond. He is the “Best Male Cabaret Singer” in SF for the last three years based on votes from the readers of the Bay Area Reporter.
He also does a fair amount of theatre, as well. Some of his roles include: Hedwig in “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” at the Boxcar Theatre, a demented flower girl in Taylor Mac’s “The Lily’s Revenge” at Magic Theatre, and “Peachy Gale” in Peaches Christ’s “The Wizard of Odd” at Castro Theatre. Jason is currently working on an album of original music. His original songs, “Cornbread,” “You’ve got the Love” and Miguel Migs’ “Sail On” can be purchased or streamed on most music services today.
For an even more detailed bio on Jason, go here.
Paula West is performing in Jason Brock’s SF holiday shows for the first time this year! West performs nationally and internationally at well-known and respected venues. They include Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Maison de la Musique and the White House. West has four CDs. She has also won three New York Nightlife Awards for “Outstanding Female Jazz Vocalist.”
West was born and raised in the San Diego, California area, the daughter of a Marine Corps family. As a child she wasn’t exposed to very much jazz music, as her father preferred classical music. She only started to explore jazz and jazz vocal music during college; the music she explored became more serious and focussed when she moved to San Francisco after graduating from college. She explains at some pains to note that “I never sang in church”.
Arriving in San Francisco
She arrived in San Francisco around 1988-89 and worked as a waitress (actually, she held one job or another waiting tables for many years until her singing career was well established). During this time, she gradually started to appear at open mike jam sessions, during the course of which she met pianist Ken Muir, who would one day become her long-time accompanist. She also went through a program of serious vocal study while continuing to appear at local lounges.
As word spread through the Bay Area, West started to get one- and two-week residencies at San Francisco hotel lounges. These include the well-known Ritz-Carlton. During this period she started to focus on the unique elements of her approach to the expectations placed upon jazz singer/cabaret performers. She focused on a careful attention to the lyrics of the songs (“I sing the verses,” she was once quoted, “not just the chorus.”). West directed her attention on an ability to hold notes without use of vibrato. She decided not to rely too much on the overused elements of the genre. West also had a willingness to re-imagine the standards that she does perform, and an eagerness to identify worthy songs not usually found within the jazz/cabaret world.
As an example of the last point, she performs (or recorded) such unusual songs as Bob Dylan’s “Subterranean Homesick Blues” and “Mr. Tambourine Man”, “If I Only Had A Brain” from The Wizard of Oz, The Beatles’ “Fixin’ A Hole”, Ella Mae Morse’s “Cow Cow Boogie”, “Who Will Buy” from Oliver!, Bert Williams’ turn of the (20th) century classic “Nobody”, and Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues”, as well as “Danny Boy”, to name but a few.
West performs mainly in clubs in San Francisco and New York, with occasional shows in Europe. Also, For ten years she held a one-month residency at the Empire Plush Room at the York Hotel in San Francisco (since closed). Also, she also had recurring shows at the Oak Room of the Algonquin Hotel in New York. Paula is one of the contributors on BBC World News’ The Real… talking about her favorite places in San Francisco.
During her run at the Algonquin Hotel’s Oak Room in 2001, many jazz labels considered West, including Verve and Columbia. West has made a space for herself in NYC and in San Francisco.
Dianthe Dee Spencer performs with Jason Brock often – including his SF holiday shows. Dee is Professor and Chair of Music in the School of Music at San Francisco State University. There she founded the jazz studies program in 1990. She earned an Ed.D from the University of San Francisco. She also got her M.M. from Washington University in St. Louis. She earned her B.S. from Florida A&M University. Dee served on the piano faculty at Berklee College of Music in Boston. Dee also served on the governing boards of the International Association for Jazz Education (IAJE). Also on the SF Chapter of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS).Dee currently serves on the board of the Community Music Center.
Additionally, Dee is past director of the Clifford Brown/Stan Getz Fellowship Award combo for the National Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts (NFAA). She directed the GRAMMY All-Star National High School Jazz Combo. Dee also directed the SFJAZZ All-Star High School Ensemble. This group competed at the Essentially Ellington Competition for Jazz. This competition occured at Lincoln Center in 2002 and 2003. Also, Dee was musical director and conductor for the TheaterWorks show, RAISIN’. And Dee was a performer and judge at Walt Disney World’s 2010 Jazz Celebration.
On the Keys
On keyboard, Dee recorded with former Tower of Power vocalist Lenny Williams and Aretha Franklin’s favorite drummer Bernard “Pretty” Perdie. She was a featured performer at the Beijing, Cork, Tasmanian, and Dresden International Jazz Festivals. In various settings, Dee performed with many jazz greats. They include Jimmy Scott, Louis Bellson, Clark Terry and Branford Marsalis. She also performs with John Handy, Greg Osby and Jeff Tain Watts. Plus she shared the stage with Regina Carter and R&B sensation LEDISI. Dee’s first CD, Vintage School released in 2002. She recently wrote the score for the musical “Goodnight, Gorilla.” In May 2015, Dee worked with Wynton Marsalis as a judge. This was at the yearly Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Essentially Ellington Competition.