jazz

Nathan Cone / TPR

Back in 1962, the Jim Cullum Jazz Band was formed in San Antonio to carry on the mantle of traditional jazz in the style of Louis Armstrong, Sidney Bechet, Bix Beiderbecke, and other early stars of the jazz era. The group’s success led to the establishment of The Landing, and the long-running public radio program “Riverwalk Jazz.” And while Jim Cullum remains a fixture on the San Antonio scene, there’s now a second band of young cats playing hot jazz in San Antonio, and with Cullum’s blessing.

Nathan Cone / TPR

On this week’s episode of “Live At Jazz, TX” we’re celebrating the one-year anniversary of the titular club. It isn’t easy to startup a music venue, let alone one dedicated to primarily jazz music. But Doc Watkins, owner of the club and bandleader, seems to have noticed that details do matter.

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In 2009, saxophonist Bill King rounded up some of San Antonio’s finest jazz musicians together to raise medical funds for drummer Gerry Gibbs. When they were done with the show, the King William Jazz Collective decided to stay together. King explains that the band exists today not to make a ton of money, but to commission new work. On this show (link below), the opening song, “Lunacity” was written for the band by Los Angeles-based composer Paul Baker.

Nathan Cone / TPR

“I immediately felt like this is where I was supposed to be,” says singer Meg Bodi, of the first time she sang with Doc Watkins and his Orchestra at Jazz, TX. You can find her most nights the big band is on the stand at the club, and in Austin where she lives and sings with the country outfit Finger Pistol.

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