Sunset Salons: Jazz
Melody, harmony, rhythm and improvisation: our expert panel brings some serious chops to a hot set of all things jazz. From Louis Armstrong to Ella Fitzgerald, Miles Davis to Wynton Marsalis – even “new kids” like Roxy Coss and Theo Croker and a long list of local legends like Jimmy McGary, Steve Schmidt, Fred Hersch – this lively exchange will leave you believing “Life is a lot like jazz…best when you improvise.”
- Laura Ann Gentry, owner of LAG Productions, LLC and president of Jazz Alive, Inc.
- Jennifer Grantham, Wright State University adjunct instructor of saxophone, Jazz Area Coordinator at UC-CCM Preparatory Department
- Dan Karlsberg, UC professor and jazz pianist
- Caryn Watts, Schwartz’s Point Jazz Club
- Panel facilitated by Greg Turner, former jazz radio programmer at WVXU-FM, writer and photographer
6:00pm – Doors open for lite supper and chocolate desserts
6:15pm – Featured panel conversation
Purchase Advance Tickets
Advance ticket sales for this event have ended. Tickets will be available for purchase from the CCAC Box Office at The Monastery Studio beginning at 6pm on Wednesday, November 20.
Many thanks to our generous sponsors!
Lite Bite Sponsors:
Drs. Patricia Klein and Reid Hartmann
Featured Panelists Bios
Laura Ann Gentry
Since 1999, Laura Ann Gentry’s production company LAG Productions, LLC has produced and promoted jazz events inclusive of small club venues, performing art centers, festivals, and concert series in the greater Cincinnati, Ohio, northern Kentucky, and southeast Indiana area. She has executed project and financial management of large-scale events such as entertainment for the Major League Baseball All Star week held in Cincinnati in 2015, and jazz concert series held for entire summers in two of the largest parks in the Cincinnati Park system – Washington Park and Smale Park.
As president of non-profit organization Jazz Alive, Inc., Laura has coordinated educational outreach focused on preservation and advancement of jazz with non-profit arts organizations and educational institutions inclusive of Cincinnati Public Schools, University of Cincinnati-College, Conservatory of Music Jazz Studies department, and Northern Kentucky University Jazz Studies department. In previous and current roles with four non-profit organizations, has has completed grants with local philanthropic entities Greater Cincinnati Foundation, the Mayerson Foundation, ArtsWave, Ignite Philanthropy, Nippert Foundation, and state entities Ohio Arts Council and Kentucky Arts Council. Laura serves as Committee Chair for the Jazz Initiative for Cincinnati – Nancy France Sister City Association, creating a multi-year project for an international exchange with Nancy, France focused on jazz.
She’s also a council member for We Create Jazz, a 4-week women in jazz festival executed in April 2019 with University of Cincinnati-College, Conservatory of Music Jazz Studies department. Laura was recently nominated and accepted as a board member on the CCM Power board, serving on the Executive Committee, and will be joining the Memorial Hall Society as a trustee in November, assisting with programming for MEMO and the Longworth-Anderson Concert Series. Laura has also worked with local, regional, and national jazz artists in project management inclusive of booking agent, tour management, CD releases and media campaigns, and biography composition.
Since earning an undergraduate degree from Central Michigan University (BM) and a Master of Music degree from the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music, Jennifer Grantham has been an active teacher and musician in the Cincinnati and Dayton areas. She is currently the Adjunct Professor of Saxophone at Wright State University. Jennifer is in her seventeenth year as Saxophone Instructor at the CCM Preparatory Department, where she founded the CCM Jazz Academy, is the coordinator of Jazz Studies, and directs the Cincinnati Youth Jazz Orchestra. Outside of these positions, Jennifer instructs saxophone and clarinet at Walnut Hills High School, Oak Hills High School, Rapid Run Middle School, and St. Ignatius School.
Previously, Ms. Grantham served as the Jazz Area Coordinator and Jazz Ensemble Director at Xavier University, and Adjunct Saxophone Professor and Jazz Ensemble Director at the Mount St. Joseph University. As a classical and commercial musician, she has performed at national, regional, and international conferences of the North American Saxophone Alliance and World Saxophone Congress, and was a featured soloist at the Midwest Clinic in 2014. Locally, she has performed with the Springfield Symphony, Seven Hills Sinfonietta, Kentucky Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Contemporary Jazz Orchestra, and with international performers such as Idina Menzel and The Temptations. Additionally, Jennifer frequently performs in pit orchestras, fusion bands, and salsa bands.
Born in Cincinnati, Dan Karlsberg has been studying and playing piano since the age of 5 with an emphasis on classical music and jazz. Karlsberg is an active performer, composer, and teacher. He performs regularly with his owns groups, The Dan Karlsberg Group and The ‘Nati 6.
In July 2007, The Dan Karlsberg Group released their first album, The Adventures of the Dan Karlsberg Group, for which Marc Medwin in Cadence Magazine comments: “This is a group functioning on the highest level of communication and commitment… they tackle freedom and restraint with equal vigor, convincing on whatever musical front they choose.”
Karlsberg has since released three more albums as leader, Mission to Mars and Other Short Stories (2010), The ‘Nati 6 (2015), and Tales from the Winter Solstice (2018). The ‘Nati 6 features a group created by Karlsberg to perform his original music and to showcase the talent and traditions of the Cincinnati jazz scene. The ensemble is made up of veterans on the jazz scene today. In 2015, CityBeat magazine nominated The ‘Nati 6 for “album of the year”. Tales from the Winter Solstice, Karlsberg’s most recent release, is his first album featuring the instrumentation of piano/saxophone/drums. All music on the album is written by Karlsberg, and is a delicate mix of fully written out music and improvisation coexisting together in an unorthodox way. Tales features beautiful melodies juxtaposed with powerful, sometimes dissonant improvisations.
Karlsberg is also an in demand sideman, working with musicians including Donald Harrison, Tim Warfield, Carl Allen, Ted Nash, JD Allen, Terell Stafford, Ignacio Berroa, Roni Ben-Hur, Alex Norris, John Von Ohlen, Brad Goode, the Blue Wisp Big Band, Cohesion Jazz Ensemble, Jamey Aebersold, among many others. As a teacher, Karlsberg has been working as a private piano and composition instructor since 2001. He is currently an adjunct instructor at the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music.
Caryn Watts was introduced to jazz in the mid-60’s in Mt. Adams when it was a thriving hub of jazz and hippie/beatnik culture. She went on to work at a Jazz place on Calhoun Street, called Love’s Coffeehouse. After Love’s, she worked at New Dilly’s, a bar in Mt. Adams that featured many local jazz musicians every week.
Caryn has owned and operated a number of jazz spots around town with partner Ed Moss, a local jazz legend, and others, including The Golden Triangle, a spectacular jazz coffeehouse located in what is now the back room of the Mad Frog from 1969 to 1976 and The Emanon Jazz Club from about 1975 to 1979.
In the late 70s & early 80s, she managed Mozart’s Ristorante, which featured live jazz regularly with Cincinnati greats like Dee Felice & Jimmy McGarry. Later on in the 80’s, she worked at the original Blue Wisp Jazz Club, located on Madison Road in O’Bryonville, where she saw many local and national Jazz acts.
Caryn has been present for several decades of Cincinnati jazz and knew many of the great local jazz musicians personally. Since 2017, she has run Schwartz’s Point Jazz Club alongside daughter Zarleen, which was also founded by Ed Moss, and has become with many of the newer generations of wonderful local jazz musicians
A lifelong fan, self-proclaimed “hardcore Jazz aficionado and proud non-musician”, panel facilitator Greg Turner has always been involved with the music in some way or another. He is a CD reviewer for the Absolute Sound, a high-end audio magazine, reviews and photographs the Chicago Jazz Festival annually for Dayton’s Jazz Advocate and Cincinnati’s Loft Society, and has had several CD reviews published on Allmusic.com. He has emceed Loft Society concerts for over 20 years and also has had photos published in Down Beat and Jazz Times magazines. He has traveled to concerts and festivals in the U.S. and Europe and has been on all 3 Blue Note At Sea jazz cruises. He hosted Friday Night Jazz on WVXU-FM from 1989 to 1998 and on the X-Star Radio Network from 1998 to 2005.