All posts tagged "music"

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April is National Jazz Month

April is National Jazz Month.   Here are some books children and their loved ones may enjoy reading together:

The Candystore Man book coverThe Candystore Man, written by Jonathan London, and illustrated by Kevin O'Malley
In the 1950's, the Candystore Man plays saxophone and sells candy and other treats to the neighborhood children and teens.  If you look closely, you will see a newspaper with the heading "Charlie 'Bird' Parker Dead at Age 35."

Jazz Baby Book CoverJazz Baby, written by Carole Boston Weatherford, and illustrated by Laura Freeman
Young children play a variety of musical instruments, dance, and have fun.

Jazzmatazz! book coverJazzmatazz!, written by Stephanie Calmenson, and illustrated by Bruce Degen
A baby notices a mouse start to play jazz music on the piano.  Dog soon starts to accompany Mouse with his dog bones and bowl.  Who else will join the jam session?

Jazzy Miz Mozetta Book CoverJazzy Miz Mozetta, written by Brenda C. Roberts, and illustrated by Frank Morrison
One evening, Miz Mozetta dresses up in a snazzy red outfit and takes a walk.   While walking, she thinks about dancing again.  What will happen next?

Lookin' For Bird in the Big City book coverLookin' for Bird in the Big City, written by Robert Burleigh, and illustrated by Marek Los
A teenage trumpet player looks for Charlie "Bird" Parker, a famous saxophonist.   This story is inspired by the famous trumpet player Miles Davis.

Rent Party JazzRent Party Jazz, written by William Miller, and illustrated by Charlotte Riley-Webb
Sonny goes to school, works part time, lives in New Orleans in the 1930's.   When Sonny's mom loses her job, Sonny learns about a special way to help out.

Rum-a-Tum-Tum, written by Angela Shelf Medearis, and illustrated by James Ransome
A girl who lives in the French Quarter of New Orleans in the early 1900's observes street vendors selling their goods with poetic and jazzy words.  Whom will she see next?

Classical Guitarist Vladimir Gorbach South Bay Guitar Society Pre-Concert Talk

Vladimir Gorbach photographVladimir Gorbach, an internationally acclaimed classical guitarist  will visit the East San Jose Carnegie Branch Library, and present a pre-concert talk and demo on Saturday February 2, 2013 at 1:00 PM.   This is a wonderful opportunity for the audience to interact with Vladimir and ask questions.


Would you like to hear a preview of Vladimir Gorbach's music?   On Friday, February 1, at 4:00 pm, Vladimir Gorbach will be a special guest on local radio station KKUP 91.5 FM, with a live on-air interview and performance.    You can also listen to a podcast of Scott Wolf interviewing Vladimir Gorbach.  


You are welcome to visit Vladimir Gorbach's website and the South Bay Guitar Society's website to find out about other classical guitar events.


Happy Listening!

News Release: Battle of the Bands


Elizabeth Chavarin   

Office: 1-408-808-2175


Rock the Library – Enter San José Public Library’s "Battle of the Bands"

Celebrate Teen Tech Week 2013, “Check In @ your library”


SAN JOSE, Calif. — Are you a teen (age 12 – 18) that performs with your own band? Ready to move out of the garage and onto a wider stage? Enter San José Public Library’s online "Battle of the Bands," in celebration of Teen Tech Week 2013 (March 10-16).


To enter, have your parents or a friend grab that camcorder and record your best performance. Post the video online (e.g., Facebook, YouTube, etc.). Submit your entry by sending an email to that contains a link to your music online. Be sure to include the following information:


  • The name of the band/performer, and names and ages of all members
  • A brief description of the band, to be used on the contest webpage
  • A name, phone number, and email where the contestants can be reached

Submit entry by February 9. Please note: No personal information will be posted online.

This contest is open to all musical genres, but no obscene or offensive lyrics are allowed. Inappropriate lyrics or behavior will result in disqualification. Participants may enter together as a group, or as a solo performer. Solo performers must play an accompanying instrument. No karaoke permitted.


What’s next? Your entry will be posted on the official "SJPL Battle of the Bands" site Music lovers will be invited to visit the page between February 25 and March 16 to listen in and cast their votes for their favorites. The top five finalists who receive the most online votes will be announced March 19.


The top five finalists from the online voting contest must be available to play at the live final concert on Saturday, March 23 at the new Bascom Library and Community Center (1000 S. Bascom Ave, San Jose). Each band will have up to 20 minutes to perform their set.  A panel of judges will evaluate the performers on their musical ability and stage presence. The decision of the judges will be final.


First, second and third place winners will receive the following prizes:

  • First Place: $250
  • Second Place: $150
  • Third Place: $50

The library gratefully acknowledges the generous support of all its community sponsors, including Pin Up Productions, Live 105.3, Streetlight Records and San Jose Pro Drum. 


For more information, including full contest rules, stop by your neighborhood branch of the San José Public Library, or go online to   For additional Teen Tech Week activities, such as video game days, contests, and crafts, go online to


About Teen Tech Week:

Teen Tech Week is a national initiative sponsored by the Young Adult Library Services Association and is aimed at teens, their parents, educators and other concerned adults. The purpose of the initiative is to ensure that teens are competent and ethical users of technologies, especially those that are offered through libraries such as DVDs, databases, audio books, and videogames. Teen Tech Week encourages teens to use libraries' non-print resources for education and recreation, and to recognize that librarians are qualified, trusted professionals in the field of information technology.


Russian Folk and Pop Songs

Come to the King Library on Thursday, January 31, 2013 at 6:30 PM to hear some great music!  


Jonnie Pekelny (voice) and Toku Woo (guitar) are a local duo who play and sing Russian folk songs and Russian pop songs. Jonnie is a native of St. Petersburg, Russia, and has been singing Russian songs since her early childhood.   In addition to performing at a variety of Bay Area venues, Jonnie has also taught and performed at the annual San Francisco Free Folk Festival.    

Everyone is invited to this fun event, which will take place on the 2nd floor of the King Library.   Bring your family and friends!

You can hear a sneak preview of Jonnie and Toku's music on YouTube: 

"Aliosha" / "Алёша"
"Clean Fields" / "Над полями"
"Фонари-фонарики" / "Streetlights"
"Белым снегом" / "Under White Snow"
"Mother I'm Bored!" / "Mатушка скучно мне!"

Congratulations BOTB 2013 Winners

Congratulations BOTB 2013 Winners!


1st Place

Lizard Kingdom Progressive Rock


Lizard Kingdom is heavily influenced by bands such as the Fall of Troy, Ricky Martin, Sha Na Na, Nickelback, Milli Vanilli, and Brian Wilson. In our spare time, we enjoy making balloon animals. Collectively our favorite food is pickles. Our pre-show ritual is we gather around, and run with scissors to display bravery.




2nd Place


Cactus  Experimental/Fusion


"Cactus is a group that plays for the sheer love of all different kinds of music, whether it be jazz, blues, alternative, classic rock, or Motown. Each practice is always different consisting of spontaneous new ideas every time. We enjoy the simple things in life, humor, and acting weird and crazy!"



3rd Place


Half N Half   Indie Rock


“We have been together since Fall 2011, and started out playing covers. But with HALF of us wanting to play this, n Half of us wanting to play that, we finally decided to collaborate to write our own music! “






The library gratefully acknowledges the generous contributions of its community sponsors:


  • Live 105.3 FM
  • PinUp Productions
  • San Jose Pro Drum
  • Steetlight Records
  • San Jose Rock Shop
  • Music Village
  • Music Go Round







Ravi Shankar

Ravi ShankarIndian sitarist and composer Ravi Shankar passed away on December 11 at the age of 92.  Known as the "Godfather of World Music," he is widely credited with popularlizing Indian music in the Western world. He was a mentor to British Beatle George Harrison, American contemporary classical composer Philip Glass and jazz artist Johnny Coltrane, who named his son Ravi in Shankar's honor. 


The San Jose Public Library has a number of Ravi Shankar's musical recordings available on CD. You can browse the catalog for them.