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Jazz Fusion Band Pays Tribute to "Bird" in Santa Monica Next Month

Bob Kronovetrealty
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Santa Monica Convention and Visitors

By Jorge Casuso

July 29, 2019 -- "Fusion lives!" one reviewer extolled upon hearing the LA jazz quintet Continuum, which will bring its hybrid seventies-inspired sounds to the Santa Monica Public Library next month.

Part of the Soundwaves concert series, the performance on Thursday, August 29 at 7:30 p.m. in the Martin Luther King Jr. Auditorium, is a mostly-acoustic performance honoring the 99th birthday of bebop legend Charlie "Bird" Parker.

Charlie Parker

A saxophonist and composer, Parker revolutionized jazz in the 1940s with his virtuosic technique, blazing tempos and advanced harmonies, creating a music that countered the smooth Big Band sounds of the World War II era.

Formed in East LA in 1987, Continuum draws its inspiration from electric fusion bands like Weather Report and the Mahavishnu Orchestra, blending them with the mellower sounds popularized on the ECM Records label.

Charlie Parker (Courtesy Library of Congress)

"Continuum have developed a body of original work combining complex compositions, exciting grooves, and creative improvisations," concert organizers said.

The band is composed of Pablo Calgero (reeds), Daniel Weidlein (saxophones), Craig Ochibuko (keyboards), Al Garcia (bass) and Chris Garcia (percussion), all successful bandleaders and sidemen.

Drummer Chris Garcia is known for his work with the Frank Zappa alumni band The Grandmothers of Invention and reviewers have noted the impact of the fusion master's sound on the band.

"Once again I am astonished to hear something so unlike the same old, tired, post-progressive fusak," wrote Beyond Coltrane. "Elements of Frank Zappa abound."

The Soundwaves concert series emphasizes artists who appear on the DRAM (Database of Recorded American Music) streaming service.

The Santa Monica Public Library is the first public library to offer this service to its cardholders. Listings of past and upcoming Soundwaves shows as well as sound and video recordings are at

Admission is free and all are welcome. Seating is limited and on a first-arrival basis.

The Main Library is served by Big Blue Bus routes 1, 7, R7, R10 and 18 and provides bicycle parking racks.

For more information, visit or contact the Santa Monica Public Library at (310) 458-8600.

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