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The Dillon Baiocchi Quintet

music LYLB-DillonBaiocchiSanta Cruz native, Dillon Baiocchi, represents a new generation of musicians that’s putting a fresh spin on contemporary jazz music. Inspired by Santa Cruz’s natural beauty, his unique jazz blend cooks with the diverse bop styles of his current home base: New York City. Just three years ago Baiocchi graduated from Soquel High School, and today he is a student at the New School of Contemporary Jazz Music.

Though the styles and flavors of music in the Big Apple are constantly evolving, Baiocchi still holds his hometown roots close to his heart. Home for the holidays, he will perform along with his bandmates, and one of his all-time favorite jazz alto saxophonists, Cannonball Adderly, at The Crepe Place on Wednesday, Jan. 4. “I’m really looking forward to being back in Santa Cruz,” he says. “There just isn’t that much access to nature in New York. And also, the people here are so supportive of me and appreciate jazz music.” For that reason, Baiocchi has kept his friends close—The Dillon Baiocchi Quintet is comprised of his bandmates from high school, who met as members of the Kuumbwa Jazz Honor Band. As youth, they performed together at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium and Santa Cruz Jazz Festival, and would regularly share albums they found inspiring, including music by Roy Hargrove. In New York, Baiocchi has had the opportunity to collaborate with a number of young people with similar aspirations when it comes to creating music. “The camaraderie of the New School inspires a more laid back and less critical approach to the music we make,” he says. “At some of these gigs in the city, the crowd can be so serious and critical. That’s OK, but I want to be sure the music-making is fun too.” A. CARLO ALBANO


INFO: 9 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 4. The Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $8. 429-6994.

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Heart Me Up

In defense of Valentine’s Day

 

“be(ing) of love (a little) more careful”—e.e. cummings

Wednesday (Feb. 10) is Ash Wednesday, when Lent begins. Friday (Feb. 12) is Lincoln’s 207th birthday. Sunday is Valentine’s Day. On Ash Wednesday, with foreheads marked with a cross of ashes, we hear the words, “From dust thou art and unto dust thou shalt return.” Reminding us that our bodies, made of matter, will remain here on Earth when we are called back. It is our Soul that will take us home again. Lent offers us 40 days and nights of purification in preparation for the Resurrection (Easter) festival (an initiation) and for the Three Spring Festivals (at the time of the full moon)—Aries, Taurus, Gemini. The New Group of World Servers have been preparing since Winter Solstice. The number 40 is significant. The Christ (Pisces World Teacher) was in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights prior to His three-year ministry. The purpose of this desert exile was to prepare his Archangel (light) body to withstand the pressures of the Earth plane (form and matter). We, too, in our intentional purifications and prayers during the 40 days of Lent, prepare ourselves (physical body, emotions, lower mind) to receive and be able to withstand the irradiation of will, love/wisdom and light streaming into the Earth at spring equinox, Easter, and the Three Spiritual Festivals. What is Lent? The Anglo-Saxon word, lencten, comes from an ancient spring festival, agricultural rites marking the transition between winter and summer. The seasons reflect changes in nature (physical world) and humanity responds with social festivals of gratitude and of renewal. There is a purification process, prayerfulness in nature and in humanity in preparation for a great flow of spiritual energies during springtime. Valentine’s Day: Aquarius Sun, Taurus moon. Let us offer gifts of comfort, ease, harmony, beauty and satisfaction. Things chocolate and golden. Venus and Taurus things.

 

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