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Ellen Rowe Quartet, and guitarists Mimi Fox and Jackie King
At the San Jose Jazz Festival

Ellen Rowe  

We're at the San Jose Jazz Festival in California on a Saturday afternoon, August, 2003. Although this festival is known for being outdoorsy, with half a dozen stages scattered downtown, there's also a stage in the San Jose Repertory Theater. "The Rep" is where you go when you're sunned out and need air conditioning, low lights, and more sweet music.

Our two artists are very accomplished women who work happily and productively outside major cities. Guitarist Mimi Fox drove over from Vallejo. Mimi grew up in Queens and she's hung onto some of that East Coast attitude, even though she mellowed out when she moved to California. She heads the guitar department at Jazzschool in Berkeley.

One of Mimi's favorite musical partners is Jackie King, whose "day job" is with Willie Nelson's band. When Mimi and Jackie find time to play together, they have so much fun that the music sounds like laughter itself! With Rich Girard on the bass and David Rokeach at the drums, their fingers fly on a samba and a ballad.

Pianist/Professor Ellen Rowe (pictured above) comes from the University of Michigan, and a theme in her compositions is her love of the wilderness. Ellen climbed Mount Washington on her way to San Jose. Her compositions are graceful and thoughtful. "Sylvan Way" commemorates her first cat; it reminds her of light filtering through the trees. "For That Which Was Living Lost" is a lament for endangered species. Andrew Bishop plays soprano and tenor saxophones, with Kurt Krahnke on bass and Pete Siers on drums.

View the lead sheet for "Sylvan Way"

Mimi Fox
"Angel Eyes" (Brent/Dennis, Music Sales, ASCAP)
"Samba for Charlie" (King)
"Raquel Mi Amor" (Fox, (Total Mensch Music, BMI)

Ellen Rowe
"Sylvan Way" (Rowe, ASCAP)
"For That Which Was Living Lost" (Rowe, ASCAP)
"The Phoenix" (Rowe, ASCAP)


  • Mimi Fox on the Web
  • Ellen Rowe on the Web
  • San Jose Jazz Society

    Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation
    National Endowment for the Arts
    Doris Duke Charitable Foundation
    Sony Professional Media
    JazzTimes magazine

    JazzSet thanks San Jose Festival Artist in Residence Dennis Wilson, Technical Director Dennis Broughton and his crew, and Festival Director Steve Saperstein -- who also makes guitars. Steve made a guitar for Mimi Fox.

    Our recording engineer is Duke Markos, with Stage Manager Jesai Bancroft, Steve Schonbeck, and Iain Campbell, manager of the San Jose Repertory Theater.

    Producer is Becca Pulliam, with writing and production assistance from Katie Simon and Mark Schramm. Ginger Bruner records Dee Dee Bridgewater at KUNV in Las Vegas. Thanks to KUNV Program Director Gig Brown and Operations Manager Ben Wilson. Executive Producer is Thurston Briscoe III at WBGO Jazz 88 in Newark, NJ.

    Copyright 2007 NPR