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Premier Punk/Jazz Guitarist to Play in Santa Monica


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By Lookout Staff

April 22, 2024 -- Guitarist Joe Baiza -- whose punk band Saccharine Trust made one of Kurt Cobain's favorite albums -- will bring his new quartet to the Santa Monica Public Library Saturday, May 4, for a special performance.

Joe Baiza
Joe Baiza (Courtesy Soundwaves)

The free concert at 3:30 p.m. in the multipurpose room of the Main Library, 601 Santa Monica Boulevard, is part of the Library’s Soundwaves concert series, which features cutting edge music from LA.

Baiza’s first group, Saccharine Trust, was part of the Los Angeles area punk scene in the early 1980s that included San Pedro's Black Flag and the Minutemen.

Like its counterparts, the band was "based in the independent spirit of punk but defied the limits of that genre, incorporating poetry, blues, jazz, noise, and other elements," concert organizers said.

"Kurt Cobain listed their debut EP "Paganicons" as one of his 50 favorite records.

Legendary avant-garde guitarist Eugene Chadbourne, who played on some of New York composer John Zorn's adventurous early recordings called Baiza one of the most noteworthy guitarists to emerge from LA's punk rock scene.

Baiza's next venture, the largely instrumental band Universal Congress Of covered compositions by free jazz artists including Ornette Coleman and Henry Threadgill.

"Over the last four decades he has continued working at the intersections of post-punk and free jazz with players from both scenes," concert organizers said.

For his Soundwaves show Baiza’s quartet will include drummer Brian Christopherson, from the last lineup of Saccharine Trust.

The other members are vocalist Jessika Kenney, who has worked with Alvin Lucier, Sunn 0))), and Eyvind Kang, and bass guitarist David O. Jones, a member of Carnage Asada and the Alice Bag Band.

Soundwaves was created by librarian/musician Jeff Schwartz and composer Daniel Rothman in 2016 to present cutting-edge music at the Santa Monica Public Library. It has received grants from the Friends of the Santa Monica Public Library and the Amphion Foundation.

The Main Library is directly served by Big Blue routes 1, R10 and 18. Other bus routes and the Blue Line stop nearby. Bike racks are also available.

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