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When it comes to laying down a groove, guitarist Calvin Keys is the undisputed master. He’s been entertaining Bay Area audiences consistently for decades with his Wes Montgomery-influenced hollow-body stylings, and at 68 he’s not slowing down.
For Healdsburg this year, Keys will be bringing his Organ Quartet— with Brian Ho on the Hammond, Art Maxwell on sax and Leon Joyce on drums—which means old-style funky blues in the house.
After attending soul-jazz basic training in the bands of Hammond B3 specialists Jimmy Smith, Jimmy McGriff, Jack McDuff and Richard “Groove” Holmes, the Omaha, Nebraska native graduated to the big time with a stint in Ray Charles’ band.
In Los Angeles in the early ‘70s Calvin released a few landmark records on the fondly remembered Black Jazz label, two of which, Shawn-Neeq and Proceed With Caution, have been re-issued on CD.
His latest album, Hand Made Portrait (on Silverado Records), allows Calvin to flaunt his fleet, single-note attack style on American songbook classics like “I’ll Remember April,” “I’ve Grown Accustomed to Your Face,” and jazz standards like “Naima” and “The Good Bait.”
For Healdsburg audiences, the emphasis will be on R&B, so be prepared for grooving at our newest venue, the Krug Event Center.