As live entertainment came to a complete halt in spring of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the staff at Trinity University’s community radio station KRTU 91.7 FM put on their thinking caps to come up with ways to continue to provide listeners with a live music experience in a safe environment.
That is when KRTU General Manager JJ Lopez had the idea to partner with San Antonio’s Eastside arts organization, the Carver Community Cultural Center. A meeting was set with Executive Director Cassandra Parker-Nowicki, and plans were set in motion to bring the music community together for the South Texas Jazz Project Live Streaming Concert Series.
“We’re extremely honored to partner with the Carver Community Cultural Center for a virtual production of the South Texas Jazz Project Live series. The Carver has been a fixture of jazz programming in San Antonio for decades. Legendary artists like Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald, Dianne Reeves, and Gregory Porter have performed there. It is truly a special opportunity to be hosting live, virtual performances with some of our local luminaries at the Carver. We’re grateful,” said Lopez.
Parker-Nowicki added, “These days as I step onto our darkened stage I find myself reflecting on how the arts, especially music, have always provided a path for community, connection and healing in challenging times. For myself, listening to KRTU on my morning commute has become a vital part of my self-care practice during these last few months. So, while the Carver’s stage may currently be dark, our commitment to building community through the arts is stronger than ever. We will gather together soon, but in the interim, we are sustained by the innovative and inspired work being produced by the artists in our community and beyond.”
The concert series kicked off on Sept. 24 from Little Carver Theatre with the longstanding Regency Jazz Band, featuring George Prado on bass, Aaron Prado on piano, Chuck Glave on drums, and Al Gomez on trumpet.
The second performance in the series was on Oct. 29 by The Joe Caploe Group and featured Joe Caploe on drums, Toro Flores on vibraphone, Chris Villaneuva on piano, Brandon Rivas on bass, Dan Carillo on guitar, and Rene Gonzalez on percussion.
The series concludes on Thursday, Nov. 12, at 7 p.m. with a streaming concert for San Antonio by Grammy award-nominated and Texas native vocalist Jazzmeia Horn. The performance was pre-recorded from a theater in New York. The concert is free and will be available for viewing via the KRTU and Carver Facebook and YouTube pages.
The South Texas Jazz Project, in existence since 2007, is KRTU’s flagship documentary-style program that explores the roots as well as the current South Texas jazz scene, with interviews from regional recording artists past and present. You can find all styles represented on the program along with in-depth storytelling and interviews. The South Texas Jazz Project airs Thursdays at 7 p.m. and rebroadcasts Saturdays at 5 p.m.
KRTU is a leader in a nonprofit commercial-free, listener-supported radio specializing in diverse music programming that is locally-curated and showcases regional musicians, with a focus on community outreach, live music, and education.
KRTU is able to provide live music experiences for the community through donations. Donations to KRTU can be made here.
The mission of the Carver Community Cultural Center is to celebrate the diverse cultures of our world, nation and community, with emphasis on its African and African American heritage, by providing premier artistic presentations, community outreach activities and educational programs.
The Carver’s 2021 performance season kicks off in January 2021. Information on tickets and the complete schedule are available here.