Dynamic Night of Jazz: A Recap of the August 11th, 2023 Spectacle at Catalina Jazz Club

Published August 24, 2023

Southern California's music enthusiasts were treated to an exhilarating evening on Friday, August 11th, 2023, as the Catalina Jazz Club in Hollywood, CA transformed into a haven of musical brilliance. The night saw a lineup of high-profile performances that left concertgoers awestruck, making it a standout start to a music-filled weekend.

Bunny Brunel performs at Kaylene Peoples: "A Journey Through Jazz" at the Catalina Jazz Club, August 11, 2023
Bassist Bunny Brunel (Center) and the All-Star Trio (L-R) Pianist Mahesh Balasooriya, Drummer Land Richards, & Guitarist Joe Calderon (Photo: Karim Saafir)

Titled "A Journey Through Jazz," the event featured a constellation of talents spanning various musical genres, each taking the stage to deliver performances that would leave an indelible mark on the audience. Here's a detailed account of the captivating performances and the highlights that set this night apart:

Gwyn Foxx 2.0 Live: A Tribute to James Brown and Al Green 

The energy was electric as Gwyn Foxx 2.0 Live, a powerhouse vocalist, took center stage. Backed by an ensemble comprising an all-star rhythm section, background singers, and a spirited five-piece horn section, Foxx embarked on a riveting tribute to two legends: James Brown and Al Green. The atmosphere ignited as Foxx belted out a medley of James Brown's hits, including "Get Up Off of that Thing," "Gonna Have a Funky Good Time," and the timeless "Please, Please, Please." The audience was on its feet, grooving along to the infectious beats of classics like "I Feel Good" and "Papa Got a Brand New Bag." With seamless transitions, Foxx smoothly wove in Al Green's soulful magic, notably with "Let's Stay Together" and her own single "Never Gonna Leave Me." Her bold vocals and dynamic stage presence had the crowd dancing in their seats, capturing the essence of a night dedicated to legendary musical icons.

Gwyn Foxx performs at Catalina Jazz Club for Kaylene Peoples: "A Journey Through Jazz"
Gwyn Foxx 2.0 Live performs her debut of "James Brown & Al Green" Tribute. (Photo: Karim Saafir) 

Bunny Brunel Unplugged: Rekindling Jazz Standards: 

Renowned bassist and composer Bunny Brunel took a departure from his signature fusion sound and embarked on a journey through jazz history. Armed with a vintage 1950s upright bass, Brunel commanded the stage, accompanied by a trio of exceptional musicians, including drummer Land Richards, Joe Calderon, and Mahesh Balasooriya. Together, they presented a selection of jazz standards, including the enchanting "Some Day My Prince Will Come" and the mesmerizing "Dolphin Dance." Brunel's virtuosity shone through as he treated the audience to fluid, melodic solos, reminiscing about a golden era of jazz. The quartet's harmonious interplay and masterful execution transported the audience to a realm where jazz's timeless allure took center stage.

Bunny Brunel plays his upright bass at Kaylene Peoples: "A Journey Through Jazz" at Catalina Jazz Club, August 11, 2023
Bunny Brunel does a set of straight-ahead jazz on his upright bass. (Photo: Karim Saafir)

Kaylene Peoples: An Impromptu Jazz Odyssey 

The night took an unexpected twist as Kaylene Peoples, the evening's headliner, set the stage alight with her own performance. Bucking the conventional set list, Peoples embraced the spirit of spontaneity by performing a selection of tunes that resonated with her in the moment. Her opening tribute to the late Astrud Gilberto with "Girl from Ipanema," sung in both English and Portuguese, set the tone for an eclectic journey. From Bossa-nova favorites like "Once I Loved" and "How Insensitive" to the engaging "One Note Samba," Peoples's performance was a tapestry of emotions. Her flute prowess left the audience spellbound, while her comedic timing and stage presence added a touch of theatricality. Culminating with Chick Corea's enchanting "Spain" and a rousing encore of "Take Five," Peoples's performance was a testament to the depth and versatility of jazz's influences.

“Following Gywn Foxx’s highly energetic performance and Bunny Brunel’s acoustic set with his and the trio’s exquisite musicianship, my show, “A Journey Through Jazz,” took a slight detour to a journey through my soul that evening. I had taken a hiatus, rather a soul-searching sabbatical as an artist, pondering the meaning of it all as not only a musician, but as an entertainer. Coming back fresh to Catalina’s stage, I found my sweet spot. And that evening, I let loose, enjoyed myself and the audience! I was able to engage, and it felt wonderful. It was a true celebration of the spontaneity of jazz!” —Kaylene Peoples

Kaylene Peoples: "A Journey Through Jazz" at the Catalina Jazz Club on August 11, 2023
Vocal artist and musician Kaylene Peoples performs her show "A Journey Through Jazz" (Photo: Karim Saafir)

Guiding the audience through this musical odyssey was Kevin Foster, a TV writer and comedian, who set the stage for the captivating performances with his interactions and banter.

Kevin Foster at Kaylene Peoples: "A Journey Through Jazz" at Catalina Jazz Club on August 11, 2023
Comedian host & TV writer Kevin Foster does standup at the Catalina Jazz Club. (Photo: Karim Saafir)

In sum, the evening of August 11th, 2023 at the Catalina Jazz Club in Hollywood was a celebration of the rich tapestry of jazz music. From tributes to iconic figures to rekindling the allure of jazz's golden age, the performances captured the essence of the genre's spontaneity and vibrancy. The artists left an indelible mark on the audience, turning this night into an unforgettable experience that will be cherished for years to come.


KAYLENE PEOPLES: Award-winning artist Kaylene Peoples delivers a captivating musical experience with "A Journey Through Jazz." Her mesmerizing vocal range paints vibrant soundscapes as she scats, croons, and engages. A multi-instrumentalist and arranger, her flute solos add a unique layer. Collaborating with esteemed artists like Bunny Brunel, Hubert Laws, Larry Dunn, and Bobby Lyle, she weaves elegance and spontaneity. As an LA Music Awards-winning producer, Kaylene's recent accolades include "Album of the Week for Smooth FM Portugal (Canada & Brazil)" for her latest album ROMANTIC BOSSA-NOVA. This journey through music unveils her extraordinary artistry as Kaylene stunningly performed audience favorites from her albums ALL JAZZED UP!, MY MAN, and ROMANTIC BOSSA-NOVA! (kaylenepeoples.com)

BUNNY BRUNEL: Two-time Grammy-nominated bassist Bunny Brunel's illustrious career includes his being the founder of the jazz-rock fusion band CAB and his associations with jazz luminaries like Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Tony Williams, and Wayne Shorter. A pioneer of Jazz Bass Fusion, he's released over 18 CDs, showcasing his mind-blowing musical chops. Notably, he's designed basses for Gibson, Carvin, and ESP, and his prowess on both fretless and upright bass continues to captivate audiences globally. (bunnybrunel.com)

GWYN FOXX 2.0 LIVE: Soulful vocalist Gwyn Foxx 2.0 Live delivers audaciously sophisticated performances and has been mesmerizing audiences for years. Known for her sensual and refreshing takes on iconic hits, she's shared the stage with legends like Stevie Wonder, Quincy Jones, and Chaka Khan. Foxx's dynamic vocal presence and extensive collaborations underscore her status as a versatile recording artist and performer.

KEVIN FOSTER: Screenwriter and comedian Kevin Foster's unique comedy style draws from his diverse background as a firefighter, athlete, and martial artist. Renowned for his work in romantic comedy and sitcoms, Foster has lent his creative touch to various projects. From writing sitcom pilots to adding insightful humor to existing scenes, his contributions have made him a sought-after talent in the industry. Foster is the writer for TV series, including "Monogamy (three seasons)," "My Sister's World," and "Matador Principal." (Kevin Foster's IMBD)

Release ID: 714123

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