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Joe Mazzaferro, Sacramento native and jazz educator, started the idea for an open-jam session in 2007. Originally, the night was held at Capitol Garage Grill where a solid group of about fifteen students attended the session.
Many of the original group graduated and the Capitol Garage venue did not extend support when numbers decreased. Instead, the jam moved to a more inviting atmosphere at the Naked Lounge downtown. ‘”The Naked Lounge has a more intimate, club vibe. They want to support what we are trying to do,” Mazzaferro said.
The new location better supports the original purpose for the session. “It is a steady place to go play. People look forward to hanging out with the other musicians and they know they are gonna play with great people. Even if it’s not perfect, humans aren’t perfect!” Mazzafero remarked.
When asked about the goal for getting out each Monday and doing this, he stressed, “The most important part is having the younger cats hang out with the older cats. They get a chance to network and be heard by each other. We promote the jam session through social media but the main way is word of mouth.”
The jazz scene in Sacramento has struggled to bring out numbers especially since the economic downturn in 2008. At Naked Lounge, the jam session is all about collaboration. There can be alot of divideness in the scene based on style and preference but the jam is a way to bring players together.
Over the years, the session has taken on a new face. The jam now features guest artists including up and coming students and local professionals. On select nights, the house band plays tributes to jazz greats such as Wynton Marsalis and Horace Silver. The house band, which opens the night, consists of Alex Reiff (bass), Brendan Lowe (piano), Cameron Womack (drums), and guest Alicyn Yaffe (guitar).
Come out this Monday and check out the feature artist and meet local musicians. The Naked Lounge Jazz Night happens every Monday 8:30-11:30pm at 1111 H St. and 11th at the downtown Naked Lounge coffeehouse location. No cover charge and quality beer, coffee, and tea are close at hand!