- ABOUT THE CONCERTS -
THE JAZZ AT INKLINGS STORY
First Published May 28, 2018 | Article Presented by the "Jazz at Inklings" Concert Productions
When the "Jazz at Inklings" concerts began on a Saturday morning in a medium-sized concert hall behind a coffee shop in downtown, it was never realized what musical heights they would reach.
One Saturday morning in early July, the James Hall Trio performed at Inklings Coffee to an audience small compared to the packed crowds at later concerts. But we can be sure that many of those listening could tell that this band had promise - one of those listening became a co-founder of the Pleasanton Jazz Society. Experienced adult bassist Matt Finders (former trombonist for the Tonight Show and Benny Goodman Band), at the time 12-year-old pianist James Hall, and young drummer Ren Whitney produced some music that was the introduction to the still-functioning Jazz at Inklings concert series.
As a result of this July concert, another Jazz at Inklings concert was scheduled, this time on the evening of Friday, September 8th, at Inklings, with a new musical group called the "Tri-Valley Jazz Trio" and guest San Jose jazz trumpeter Modesto Briseno. The Trio still included Matt Finders and James Hall, but now included local music teacher Kelly Fasman on the drums. The band was ready to perform on the evening of September 8th.
In the meantime, the Pleasanton Jazz Society, which had been formed in late July, had put important effort into promoting the September concert at Inklings, and prior to the concert a news article was published about the approach of this Pleasanton Jazz Society "Jazz at Inklings" concert. Two sponsors joined the bandwagon, one of them being the hosts of the concert, Inklings Coffee, and the other being the Pleasanton Jazz Society.
After the July concert, it was not expected that the September 8th performance would be a full house. However, by the time the music was at full swing, people were running back and forth between the storage room and the concert hall, bring out chairs by the scores for all the crowds who had journeyed to the Inklings concert hall to listen to the music. The concert hall was packed with music fans from around the area.