As you probably know, Kurt Vonnegut died last night. Needless to say, his dark humor and strong moral vision impacted countless readers, including this blog’s editor. What you might not know is that Vonnegut was a big jazz fan. In fact, in a Rolling Stone interview, he proposed that jazz, along with Alcoholics Anonymous, is the only American invention that has made the world a better place. With that in mind, we’ve decided to dedicate this edition of The Promo Department to the jazzy offerings around the city this weekend, because well, so it goes: “I will say too, that lovemaking, if sincere, is one of the best ideas Satan put in the apple she gave to the serpent to give to Eve. The best idea in that apple, though, is making jazz.” (Vonnegut, “Timequake”)
• Kim Nalley, “a swinging and sassy vocalist,” will spend the weekend at Jazz at Pearl’s. Don’t miss Nalley; her blues style has been described as a cross between Louis Armstrong and Jessica Rabbit. Seems like must-see jazz to us. More info is available on the official website or by calling 415-291-8255.
• One of our favorite haunts, Rasselas, is the scene of tonight’s YMCA community support campaign. For $50, you get a drink, Ethiopian hors d’oeuvres and performances by Swoop Unit and Oriente, not to mention the satisfaction of helping the Y. RSVP is necessary.
• West African Mission standby Bissap Baobab will host a Senegalese independence party on Friday the 13th, with lots of African-jazz fusion fun. On Saturday, its sister East Bay restaurant Taxi Brousse will host Geah, an African harp-double bass-percussion trio.