On August 8th me and my BFF Julie went to see jazz singer Julia Keefe at
the Caterina Winery. I'm just now getting around to posting on the event
inasmuch as I was trying to find the poster reproduced above, given that
it includes the only photo of Julia that you are likely to see on the internet
for the time being.
We had never been to the events at Caterina before. It's a relatively new
thing they are doing there and in fact the room where they have the concerts
isn't quite finished yet and the back wall remains to to be painted. Given
the fact that it is the Spokane front for a winery, I thought of my Aunt Delita's
wonderful watercolor of a vineyard in California (see below), which would make
a great mural for the wall. They also served up wine, of course; we had a glass
of 2006 Sauvignon Blanc which turned out to be top-notch — truly world class.
Actually, I had two glasses by the time the night was over.
Caterina is a small place. There were seats for about 50 people and you could
fit maybe another 20 in if they settled for standing room at the back. I just
love seeing good music in small venues like that. There is such a sense of
Now on to Julia Keefe. She is a local Spokane artist. We had never heard
of her before, all we knew going in was that she was the winner of the
2007 Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival Outstanding Vocalist award. Julia came
on with the Danny McCollin Group, a small set consisting of keyboardist,
bassist and drummer.
I don't like modern fusion jazz much. In fact my fondness for jazz cuts
off at about 1955. But as it turned out most of what Julia performed
was bebop and a few old torch songs — lots of scat and Julia did it
very well indeed. For a few brief hours I felt like I was in the world
of my private-eye fiction, Pat Maginess in 1952 at the old Alley Cat,
listening to some jazz on a weekend night.
But it wasn't until the end of the first set when the band was taking
a break that the real shocker came. As it turned out Julia had just
graduated from Gonzaga Prep High School here in Spokane and she was
only 18 years old. I was totally floored to find so much talent in someone
so young, even after being used to classical prodigies. I talked with her
father during the break and he told me that Julia was headed off to
Washington D.C. to attend college there.
I have a feeling that this was one of those concerts that people are going
to look back on several decades from now and say to themselves "I knew her
then." She certainly has tons of talent and an obvious love for old jazz.
I hope she has a great life and a great career.
And by the way, I failed to mention that admission to this thing was only
$5.00 (US). And you can't beat that with a stick.
[My thanks to my friend Julie for coming up with the poster.]
Watercolor by Delita Alvarez Piercy — my aunt.