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Perlene Thurston: News

PERLENE THURSTON AND KAREN HERNANDEZ AT THE LEFT COAST WINE BAR & GALLERY - May 16, 2009

This is my first appearance in this interesting venue which features a patio area, bar and upstairs studio area providing live entertainment. There is a rotating display of artwork on the walls, the acoustics and sound are very good, and the setting is attractive and comfortable. Karen Hernandez and I had a great time entertaining both old and new friends who stopped by and spent time with us.

Thanks to my friend, Suzy Williams, I was introduced to Iliana Rose, a fine Cuban musician who handles the booking at this venue. This establishment, as its name suggests, features a wide and varied array of fine wines, as well as other beverages, nibbles (cheese, fruit, sandwiches) and other delicious food is available.

This interesting venue located in Glendale features entertainment almost every night, and has wine tasting every Tuesday. Week nights, show time is from 8:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m., and on weekends generally from 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.

There has been a change of policy recently regarding bookings, so as of October 2009 there will be no entertainment on Saturdays until further notice. Prior to October, however, there will continue to be bookings on each Saturday.

web site: www.leftcoastwinebar.com

PERLENE THURSTON FEATURED AT THE JAZZ FORUM - February 15, 2009

Today as the featured vocalist with the house band, I was the Lady In Red in honor of this post-Valentine Day event in Santa Monica wearing my floor length red gown and red cape. I was feeling the Valentines Day vibe even though it was the day after. Love transcends any calendar date.

This was my second appearance at the Jazz Forum and coincidentally near a holiday where red is dominantly used in the color scheme. The first time was near Christmas a year ago. Every time I come to this venue, I have been warmly received, and Barry Anthony, the club's President and Music Director, has put together some great musicians to work with me. I really appreciate the affectionate reception extended to me each time I visit the Jazz Forum.

PERLENE AND MARV ROBINSON FEATURED AT SOHO FOR THE SANTA BARBARA JAZZ SOCIETY - November 3, 2008

The Santa Barbara Jazz Society once again invited Perlene and Marv Robinson to perform with the Santa Barbara Jazz Society All Star Ensemble -- consisting of Hank Allen on bass, Jim Calire on keyboards and sax, Stephen Geyer on guitar, and Tom Lackner on drums -- at their first Sunday of the month event. IT WAS FABULOUS. The musicians were in fine form, and Marv and I had a swinging good time!

Everything seemed to fall in place. The weather was clear and beautiful, there was a full house, and Perlene and Marv entertained those attending both separately and together with blues, pop, latin, ballads, wonderfully familiar standards presented with our personal stamp, and Marv did his impersonations of Lou Rawl, Sammy Davis and a few others.

Great spirits and good humor, plus exceptionally beautiful music made for a extraordinary afternoon of pleasure.

The event was videotaped by Bob Taylor. Copies may be obtained by contacting him at roberttaylor5@mac.com for $15.00 each.

PERLENE AND PURE PLEASURE (Ventura Edition) AT THE CHANNEL CITIES JAZZ CLUB - October 19, 2008

Both the day and drive were beautiful along the coast as I made my way to my first featured appearance for the Channel Cities Jazz Club at the Pacific Corinthian Yacht Club in Oxnard. I experienced a sense of bitter-sweetness along the way as this was the first time I was coming to this venue without my friend Teddy Yamada who had driven me there recently on two occasions to introduce me to the club members as a performer while he jammed with the players there. Teddy, who was the engineer on my CD "It's About Love" had passed away rather suddenly a few weeks ago and his absence was felt on this very special day he was instrumental in setting up for me.

Ironically, another wonderful friend and supporter and member of Channel Cities Jazz Club, Bob Agnew, former jazz critic for the L.A. Jazz Scene, who passed away about a year or so ago, had also referred me to this jazz club some four years ago, but Teddy was instrumental in physically getting me there, so I felt a debt of gratitude and appreciation to both of these very special men and decided to dedicate my performance to in remembrance of them.

Today was also very special to me because I had the honor of performing for the first time with what I called the Ventura edition of my group “Pure Pleasure” comprised of Woody DeMarco on piano, Hank Allen on bass, Rex Harte on drums, Stephen Geyer on guitar and a guest appearance of Jon Crosse on reeds. What a dynamic congregation of extraordinarily gifted musicians I was blessed to make music with!!

It was clear word had spread about my debut here, and there was a wonderfully appreciative crowd awaiting us. The music flowed easily, effortlessly and beautifully and the feeling was shared by all. The energy was high and palpable in the room as we moved from number to number, switching genres as we moved along. Those who were not dancing were sitting transfixed and attentive to our offerings, and the mood, the solo performances and group channeled a spirit of celebration in a most wonderful way.

What a truly great way to spend an afternoon, and in such a beautiful and comfortable setting. Thank you Channel Cities Jazz Club for making this such a special event. Needless to say, the group and I had a wonderful time and look forward to returning.

PERLENE AND PURE PLEASURE AT THE VALLEY JAZZ CLUB - April 6, 2008

What a wonderful reception we got at today's performance which was recorded live. It was a great turnout and anticipation was in the air. Spirits were lifted, memories were generated and pleasurable enjoyment was indeed the tone of the event. My backup group - Pure Pleasure - consisted of Karen Hernandez on piano, Lou Shoch on bass, Jack LeCompte on drums and Doug MacDonald on guitar. These are truly awesome players and it was both a blessing and an honor to perform familiar favorites with a fresh twist with them. The set ran about 70 minutes and flowed like honey. John Ryan, the club's newsletter editor and web master said a promotional kit would be prepared for me of the finished recording including photos taken at the event. Depending on the quality, we may have generated another CD for sale or something to put on You Tube. I'm looking forward to hearing it. More on this later.

NEW CD NOW AVAILABLE THROUGH CD BABY - January 6, 2008

Finally!!! My new CD - "IT'S ABOUT LOVE" - is now available for purchase through the following web site:

cdbaby.com/cd/perlenethurston

The easy pleasure expressed through each of these familiar selections evoke a mood, a feel, a power that only a genuine love of music and the ability to tap into the sensitive nuances can provide.

This project is a work of love that is nothing short of a blessing in the way it came together. Karen Hernandez, one of the finest piano players and arrangers I've had the great honor and pleasure to perform with in the Los Angeles area is featured on keyboards and left-hand bass, with Michel Rosen (who collaborated with Teddy Yamada in mixing and mastering) on drums. A great big thank you goes out from my heart to these wonderful artists.

Working with Karen has always been an uplifting experience for me, and this project was no exception. She laid the piano and left hand bass tracks down on the 8 numbers one day, and 4 days later I came in and laid down the vocal tracks. We completed our part of the project in 10 hours over a two-day period.

Teddy Yamada and Michael Rosen mixed and mastered this CD in record time, and what you hear is the final product. Originally, a drum machine was used for percussion, but while working on the mixing, Michael was inspired to lift the drum machine tracks and generously filled in with his live drum performance. Thanks Mike.

Thus far, the feedback on this product has been great, and I appreciate the encouragement and support I've received all along the way.

This is just the beginning of this musical adventure, in more ways than one.

Stay tuned in; there's more to come.

JAMMIN' AT THE JAZZ FORUM - December 17, 2007

WOW!!! What a great time we had Sunday, December 16th in Santa Monica at the Jazz Forum. This was the Christmas event for this jazz club which meets every 3rd Sunday of the month at the Moose Lodge on the corner of 16th Street and Ocean Park Blvd.

The club's president, Barry Anthony, a great trumpet play, band leader and vocalist, put together a truly wonderful group to back me up for this event: Tom Owens on piano, Bill Ryan on guitar, Ron Javorsky on bass and Don Hooker on drums. We had the added treat of the legendary John Setar sitting on clarinet. What a sound! I mean, these cats could lay it down, and lay it down they did.

A plateful of jazz and standards, a handful of ballads, a pinch of latin, a saucer full of swing, a cup full blues, a few Christmas songs and a splash of funk here and there and you have the recipe for a great afternoon of music.

There were a lot of new faces, young and older, but they all had the look and feel of pleasure as the afternoon unfolded. I tell you, between the caliber of the music, the great vibes in the room, the spirit of those both listening and dancing, the tasty meal prepared by Gail Doner and dessert by Mary Ann Sereth, a good time was had by all.

Pat Kerry, the Jazz Forum's treasurer, came over to me a couple of times after my set to comment on the great turnout, and that several people had come her way to express their appreciation of my performance.

John Ryan, my new friend and Webmaster and Editor of the Valley Jazz Club newsletter, had invited his friend John Setar to hear me. Mr. Ryan has taken an interest in promoting my music, and is the reason I was hired for this gig, and I just want to express my gratitude and appreciation for his friendship and generous support since we met in October 2007 at the Valley Jazz Club.

This was the month another new friend and fine pianist, Teddy Yamada, who engineered and mastered my new CD, was introducing me to the world of local jazz social clubs. The Valley Jazz Club was the first he took me to, and that's when I met John Ryan. After sitting in on their jam session, John approached me, introducing himself, expressing his appreciation of my performance, wanting to know a bit more about me and what I'd been doing. During the course of conversation, he strongly suggested I check out the Jazz Forum, that he could hear me performing with big bands, and that he wanted to introduce me to Barry Anthony, who, in fact is a big band leader and the current President of the Jazz Forum.

On the 3rd Sunday of October I went to the Jazz Forum and met up with John Ryan.

An added bonus for me that day was that my sister, Lecia and her husband Bobby Allman, were meeting me there, it would be the first time meeting my new brother-in-law and it would be the first time he would hear and see me perform. Lecia heard me for the first time about 6 or 7 years ago when she took an impulsive trip to California with my youngest sister Kristie, via Las Vegas, stopped over in San Bernardino to pick up my brother, Orlando Chandler and drove to the Smoke House in Burbank to have dinner where, at the time, I was performing regularly on Saturdays. Ironically, on this trip Lecia and Bobby had come to town from Michigan because Orlando had passed away on October 16, 2007, and we were going to be attending his funeral in San Bernardino, along with other relatives who were flying in later that week from Michigan.

Back to the Jazz Forum, John introduced me to Barry Anthony like a proud papa just before the Jam Session began. Marty Harris was sitting on piano and didn't see me until the break after the first set. It was nice to see the look of surprise backed with pleasure when my presence registered with him. I hadn't seen Marty for a couple of years, so it was a pleasant surprise for me to see him there. He was among those sitting in behind me when Barry called me up to sing, along with Ron Javorsky on bass, Bill Ryan on Guitar and Burr Middleton on drums. We started out with two songs, and over the course of the afternoon, they called me back up a couple more times and I wound up singing six numbers. What a day! What a reception! They hired me to do the December gig on the spot! December 16th, 2007.

I feel like this is the beginning of a new cycle.

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