John L Worley Jr. is a well known jazz musician, trumpeter and teacher in the San Francisco Bay Area. His love for jazz and in particular, the trumpet, permeates his work and life. Find out more about his musical contributions and upcoming shows here.
Bonjour Men Amis,
I'm back from a very releaxing and wonderful trip to the Loire Valley, Stuttgart, Germany and Paris. Susan and I spent two weeks celebrating her and our good friend Sebastien Lanson birthdays. We went to Giverny and visited Claude Monet's gardens, shopped and explored Tours, visited a castle with our good friends Yvonne and Henry, saw Madame Butterfly in Stuttgart Dorothee and Michael, and dinner with Parisian saxophonist Vincent Jourde and his lovely girl friend Vanessa Trucat at my favorite café in Paris, Café Vavin.
We also celebrated the release of "The Lives of Elves" by Sebastiens wife Muriel Barbery (author of the book "The Elegance of the Hedgehog"). It truly was a special time spent in several of the most beautiful places I've ever been to.
And now I'm back with renewed energy, a fresh take on life and the thirst to play great music. This summer is filled with many events that promise to be very memorable and musical.
Please check my calendar to peruse these musical events and I sincerely hope to see you and some if not all of them.
Man, the Billie Holiday/Sweets Edison Tribute went great. Special thanks to the musicians who made it happen and for all of our friends who came by and supported us. It was inspiring to hear Morning, Jim, Charlie, Jason and John bring that music to life.
Afterwards we heard these comments from the audience members, "tasteful, "when can we hear this again" and more.....
What a great night and I loved every minute. Thank you to all who came and supported us. We couldn't have done it without you and we thank you all very much!
I am very excited to present a "Tribute To Billie Holiday and Harry "Sweets" Edison" for you and your friends on Saturday evening, March 21.
Vocalist Morning Nichols and I pay tribute to a pair of the most recognized and revered musicians in Jazz. We've assembled an all star group featuring: guitarist Jim Nichols, saxophonist Charlie Keagle, bassist John Shiflett and drummer Jason Lewis for this not-to-be-missed performanc
Morning and I will set the mood by featuring songs such as "What A Little Moonlight Can Do", "Good Morning Heartache", "Day In, Day Out", "God Bless the Child" plus tunes from the Great American Songbook and originals penned by myself that capture the essence of 42nd St in New York City.
You'll be transported to the intersection of Swing and Be Bop, snapping your fingers on two and four and swinging all the way with us.
Billie Holiday (or as Lester Young called her - "Lady Day") had a tremendous influence on both Jazz and Pop music to this day. Her vocal interpretations were reminiscent of the phrasing of horn players rather than the vocalists of her time. She had a difficult life early on but stints with pianist Teddy Wilson that featured Lester Young ( "Prez" her nickname for him) helped bring her talents to the public as well as imitated by many singers of that period. She had a long and tumultuous career but brought to light many great songs and the politically charged atmosphere of that time.
Harry "Sweets" Edison was a great trumpet player....period! He played with the talented and famous Count Basie, Frank Sinatra's favorite trumpeter, Ben Webster, Lester Young, Oscar Peterson as well as recording on "The Jazz at Philharmonic" in the 80's with notable ex-Basie sidemen Al Grey and Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis. His distinctive and sultry trumpet styling's earned him his nickname "Sweets" by the legendary saxophonist Lester "Prez" Young.
One of my finest memories involved an SF Jazz concert I played with "Sweets" in a "Tribute to Louis Armstrong" back in 1993. Excellent trumpeters Terence Blanchard, Allen Smith, Mike Vax and TPTS
(Warren Gale, Steve Campos and myself), and vocalists Maria Muldar and George Fleming were all a part of this concert. "Sweets" style and ideas were so infectious that very soon into the concert, his influence became the dominating force behind everyone's improvisations. A very exciting moment in time for me to say the least!
Please join us on the evening of March 21st to pay tribute to two icons of the Jazz World, Billie Holiday and Harry "Sweets" Edison.
All The Best!!!
Tribute to Billie Holiday and Harry "Sweets" Edison
Saturday March 21, 2015
Doors 7:00 pm - Concert 7:30 pm
St James Church
1565 Lincoln Ave., San Jose Calif. 95125
*just south of Minnesota between Nevada Place and Laura Ville Lane.
Earlier in February, I had the pleasure of playing with Jamie Cullum and his cats from England at the Palace of Fine Arts. He added local SF players to complete his big band and it was a swinging evening of hits after hits. He has a pretty loyal fan base and the show was sold out! Trumpets were Louis Fasman, Dave Scott and moi, bones were Ryan Black, John Gove and Dave Martell and saxophones were Dan McGuy, Aaron Lington, Fil Lorenz and Steve Steinburg and Tim Devine. Great band, venue and a good time was had by all.
Happy New Years to everyone. Check out my calendar to see what's happening musically in the coming year....
2014 was filled with many good times with friends, family and all of my band mates......
December was no exception! I went on a journey to Japan to honor the memory of my Mother, Hana who passed in April 2013. My brother Rich and sister Joy took her remains back to Japan in June and I was able to visit her resting with 15 generations of her family!
afterwards I had the fortune to play with my good friend Sebastien Lanson in Kyoto, Osaka and Tokyo.
I also got to visit the Yamaha Atelier Shop in the Ginza district of Tokyo and had some work done on my trumpet and flugelhorn. I was fortunate to have Hideichi Aoyagi take care of my horns and they came back playing better than ever!!!!
So many memories and so many wonderful people.......I'm looking forward to going back someday soon....I've got my fingers crossed!
I want to thank everyone for all of your birthday wishes, Bari Bari cats blowing their butts off at the Art Boutiki gig and all of the folks who sat in, took pics and the Art Boutiki for having us. Walter Wagner took some awesome pics of my Bari Bari gig. Enjoy!!! Friends, there is a lot to grateful for....The universe has been kind to me and my heart is filled with love and gratitude. Susan and I had some friends join us the next day at Solis Winery and we shared great company, wine, food with them and after, we drove to Santa Cruz and had dinner at Hula's. What a fine weekend!!!
In 4 days I'm leaving for Japan to see my Mom's resting place for the first time. She is in Sanjo which is north of Osaka. She told me stories about her home and after 59 years, I am finally going to see it for the first time. I'm meeting my family there, some for the first time and some for the second.
I'm also playing with my good friend Sebastien Lanson in Kyoto and Osaka. He is kind enough to let me "horn in" on his gig..........Perhaps you've seen the poster of the Kyoto Composers Jazz Orchestra. It's really nice they are letting me sit in with them. It should be fun!!!!!
I'll also be going to Tokyo to see friends and the folks at Yamaha. I'm looking forward to trying some trumpets and flugelhorns (I'll be darn, I never do that!...sure...)and seeing some of my favorite trumpet players.....more to come....
November is here and is going to be a month filled with Jazz, traveling and my last year as a fifty-something! (I know it’s hard to believe but…) I’m not going to sit back on my hinder this last year of my 50’s and watch the world go by! I’m not ready for that rockin’ chair yet.
On Friday November 7th, the Mo-Chi Quartet will be playing at the Hedley Club-Hotel De Anza in downtown San Jose from 8:30pm to 12:30am. Most of you know the Hedley Clubs reputation, shared by the general public as one of the best places to hear live music in the South Bay. Come down and enjoy this beautiful room while we present some original works as well as jazz standards loved by all. It’s a great place to hear live jazz.
(cue the fanfare trumpets)
On my birthday, the 15th of November, I’m playing at the SLG Art Boutiki in San Jose with one of my premier ensembles, Bari Bari.
Bari Bari is a bottom heavy extravaganza that features not one, but 3 baritone saxophonists Aaron Lington, Geoff Roach, Oscar Pangilinan (who’s subbing for Fil Lorenz) and my Mo-Chi Quartet, Murray Low, Nils Johnson and Wally Schnalle. For this show, we’re adding one more person, Kristen Strom on the big horn just like we did at the San Jose Jazz Festival a couple of years ago.
Bari Bari is a tribute to the Hard Bop and Cool eras of JAZZ that inspired me tremendously during my early years as a young trumpeter. Bands led by Donald Byrd, Art Farmer and Chet Baker featured baritone saxophonists Gerry Mulligan and Pepper Adams that brought forth a unique doubling of sounds. The sound of four baritone saxophones in this context is unparalleled. You have to hear it to believe it! Doors open at 7:30pm and we’ll have some special guests falling by so save the date……
Later in the month, I’ll be making a pilgrimage to Japan. Some of you know that my mother, Hana passed from this world in April of 2013. This summer, my brother and sister Rich and Joy took my mother home per her wishes to Sanjo, Japan. I am going to see her final resting place and visit my family over there. Some I’ve met years ago and some for the very first time.
I’ll be going to Kyoto, Osaka and Tokyo and sitting in with some groups in Kyoto and Osaka with my good friend guitarist Sebastien Lanson. We’ll be playing at Le Jazz Club in Kyoto, Blue Note Lounge in Osaka and at Live@Always with the Kyoto Composers Jazz Orchestra directed by Tomomi Taniguchi.
While I’m in Tokyo, I hope to visit friends and also see the Yamaha Atelier Shop. I’m planning on visiting the Yamaha store in the Ginza and trying different model trumpets and flugelhorns that are only available in Japan. I’m enjoying my status as a Yamaha Performing Artist and am looking forward meeting and discovering new friends.
More info regarding my Japan trip coming soon!!!
"From the moment I laid eyes on the cover of the Readers Digest Treasury of Short Stories with Louis Armstrong on the cover, I was aware that trumpet playing was what I would do for the rest of my life. For a shy kid, the thought of going anywhere in the world and having people understand me through music was intoxicating. I’ve been playing ever since then."
John L. Worley Jr. 2003
John L. Worley Jr. 2003
"Finally the world gets a chance to experience the music of one Bay Area's best kept secrets... Whether playing lead, or soloing in the bop style or sharing his vast knowledge with his numerous students, John brings a fresh approach to it all. Worley's music is from the heart..."
Ray Vega, The Bronx, 2002