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Jazz musicians bare all for ‘Jazzalicious’ calendar

Saturday, December 29th, 2012 | Posted by | no responses

Playboy centerfolds they’re not, but jazz musicians really do swing as calendar pin-ups – even those old enough for senior discounts.

Thirteen of the Bay Area’s best jazz musicians (three from Sonoma) are featured in semi-nude poses in a special wall calendar commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Sonoma Valley Jazz Society.

“Nobody shows anything,” warns Janice King, the society’s president, “but some of the guys show their chest.”

The “Jazzalicious” 2013 calendar is a take-off of “Calendar Girls,” the 2003 comedy based on the true story of several older British women who bared themselves to produce a calendar for leukemia research.

Like their movie counterparts, the jazz musicians took a grin-and-bare-it approach to fundraising. Each poses with a strategically-placed musical instrument, provocative yet polished.

“It’s going to be for jazz lovers but for art lovers, too,” King says.

The calendar is reminiscent of the Blue Notes Records jazz album covers of the 1960s that featured striking designs, tinted black and white photos and restricted color palettes.
Photographer Freddie Lopez and designer Shoam Thomas donated their talents to the project, as did the models.

“The only thing we paid for was the printing,” King says.

The featured musicians include Dana Land and Mad and Eddie Duran of Sonoma plus Chris Amberger, Jeff Chambers, Jamie Davis, Ruth Davies, Mike Greensill, Mary Jenson, Noel Jewkes, Jeff Massanari, Akira Tana and Larry Vuchovich.

Land, a noted vocalist, is pictured as Miss July with microphone in hand, wearing a grass skirt and several Hawaiian leis, nothing more.

The Durans, jazz legends with careers spanning several decades, are photographed in bed, two glasses of red wine nearby, grins on their faces – and covered well enough to keep the calendar family-friendly.

An octogenarian, Eddie Duran is the calendar’s oldest model.

King says the jazz society had little trouble convincing the musicians to strip down for the project. The tough part was limiting the participants.

Those chosen have all performed with the jazz society, an all-volunteer nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting and promoting jazz music. Most of its 200 members are jazz lovers rather than musicians.

The society hosts live jazz from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Fridays at the Plaza Bistro on the Sonoma Plaza. It presents the next “Jazzalicious” concert Jan. 12 at Studio 55 Marin, 1455-A E. Francisco Blvd., San Rafael. Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $25.

The group printed 500 calendars, with 100 sold at its unveiling concert in Sonoma earlier this month.

Calendars, at $20, are available at Readers’ Books in Sonoma, the Last Record Store in Santa Rosa and online at sonomavalleyjazzsociety.org. For more information, call 373-0700.

– Dianne Reber Hart

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Dianne Reber Hart is our Sonoma correspondent.

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