TR Robertson….Saturday, June 10th, a packed house enjoyed the musical sounds of modern jazz singer and songwriter, Spencer Day, at a benefit concert at the Avo Theatre in downtown historic Vista. Day has performed on numerous television shows and venues such as Music Center in Boston, Lincoln Center in New York City, The Hollywood Bowl, Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and Tanglewood – a favorite in the San Francisco Bay Area. Portions of the evening concert included the celebration of the release of his seventh CD album, “Angel City” and included performances of many of the songs from this album.
Proceeds from the event benefited the Moonlight Cultural Foundation and all of the programs this organization is involved with in the city, including the youth theatre programs and arts education programs. The concert was sponsored and underwritten by Kent Leithold, from the Vista Chamber of Commerce. Leithold said the following about the evening, “It was a spectacular, surreal, unforgettable night that I will never forget. Eight months of planning and worth every second. I am so thrilled that I was able to bring my friend Spencer and his magic to so many existing and new fans in Vista. This was a great benefit for all of my friends at the Moonlight Cultural Foundation and I am so proud I cannot begin to say what is in my heart.”
Corporate sponsors for the evening included The Belching Beaver, Crozier’s Flowers and Little Cakes Cupcake Kitchen. The evening began with a short introduction from Moonlight Managing Director Colleen Kollar Smith and representing the Moonlight Cultural Foundation, Program Coordinator, Jennifer Bradford.
Day’s performance included his longtime musical ensemble of music director/lead guitarist, John Storie; bassist, Erik Kertes and drummer, Jamey Tate. Each of these musicians have performed with many other artists and the audience was to hear from extremely talented and accomplished musicians. Along with this ensemble, Day also brought along a six piece horn section from the Southern California Budman/Levy Orchestra. Musicians for this group included Tom Luer on Alto Sax, Ken Fisher on Baritone Sax, Jason Colby on Trumpet, Dave Richards on Lead Trumpet and Kevin Hicks on Trombone. A big band sound, talented musicians and musicians who have worked together before were evident and those attending were in for a great evening of music.
Day has said much of his inspiration for his music and musical style has come from artists like Cole Porter, George Gershwin, Roy Orbison, Joni Mitchell, Paul Simon and many others as well.
Spencer Day has wowed audiences ever since he came on the scene big time in 2002. His first performance in front of the public would be at age 21.His first album was released in 2004, “Introducing Spencer Day”, a collection of jazz and contemporary standards. The album, “Daybreak” would reach #1 on iTunes Jazz Chart, showing roots in the Great American Songbook. “Vagabond” would reach #11 on Billboards Jazz Album list. Over the last few years Day has opened for Rufus Wainwright, performed at Tanglewood Jazz Festival, appeared at Birdland, Jazz Alley in Seattle, and at the Monterey Jazz Festival. He is a strong supporter of the Horizons Foundation, a community based LGBT organization, and Feeding America.
Throughout the evening Day would relate his growth as a musician as he introduced his songs and told a little about what inspired the song. He spoke of his upbringing in Utah, moving to Arizona, his experiences in New York and final move to Los Angeles and dreams of Hollywood. Most of the evening’s music would be original songs written by Day, but there would be several of his personal favorites from other performers as well. Opening numbers would be from his newest album, “Angel City”. Spencer and John Storie sang a song they wrote about Wahla Wahla, Washington, a funny song about Storie’s hometown. “The California Yes” was a funny ode to the way Californians think as compared with the rest of the country. “72 & Sunny” spoke about his love of Los Angeles. Another song, written as a result of being turned away from entering a club in Los Angeles, “The Ghost of the Chateau Marmont”, was a dig at the famous hotel and their snobbish behavior. Day did his own interpretation to Robert Palmer’s “Addicted to Love” and Burt Bacharach’s. “I Wish I Didn’t Care”. In “Somewhere There’s a City” he sang about searching for “that” place that everyone searches for.
An incredible evening would draw to a close with his final performance, “The Mystery of You” followed by an encore number, “Till You Come to Me”, and an adjournment to The Belching Beaver for those who purchased a post-concert ticket where audience members could speak with Day about his work, his experiences and meet the performer up-close and personal.
In the program provided by The Avo, Day stated his feelings about helping out the Moonlight Cultural Foundation and all of their arts programs. “In a turbulent time where things
feel so discordant and divided, the arts still have the power to bring us together to celebrate our shared humanity instead of focusing on our differences. For me, the arts are an essential part of living. I am so grateful to be collaborating with an organization that shares that same belief.”
Day’s performance clearly showed the outstanding artist he is and all of those who attended walked out of the Avo having experienced a musically magic evening. For more information about Spencer Day go to www.spencerday.com.
SFJAZZ starts this week! Find out why I see it as a turning point in my music career in my interview with The Vista Press Online!#SpencerSunday
Posted by Spencer Day on Sunday, June 4, 2017