Blue Note Records 80th Birthday Celebration Comes to the Harris Center

The iconic record label has sent not one, but three stellar bands on the road to honor the history of the venerable jazz label.

October 29, 2019

Folsom, CA — Celebrating eight decades of a historic jazz record label, the Harris Center welcomes Blue Note Records 80th Birthday Celebration--The State of Jazz 2019, featuring three jazz stars, each with a stellar band ready to sizzle Stage One. Performing with her trio, “Kandace Springs has a voice that would melt snow” (Prince). James Francies has worked with jazz royalty from Christian McBride to Pat Metheny; performing with his trio, he’s “a pianist with liquid dynamism in his touch” (New York Times). Finally, saxophonist James Carter has 18 recordings under his own name; he “can be sumptuously romantic or exhilaratingly funky… He’s at his earthiest and most accessible with this classic Hammond organ trio lineup” (Guardian) which he’ll have in tow with him for the tour.

Blue Note Records 80th Birthday Celebration--The State of Jazz 2019 comes to the Harris Center on Tuesday, November 19, 2019, at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $28–$48; Premium $52; Students with ID $14-$21. Tickets are available online at www.harriscenter.net or from the Harris Center Ticket Office at 916-608-6888 from 12 noon to 6 pm, Monday through Saturday, and two hours before show time. Parking is included in the price of the ticket. The Harris Center is located on the west side of Folsom Lake College campus in Folsom, CA, facing East Bidwell Street.

Blue Note Records was founded in 1939, and the label’s legendary catalog traces the entirety of jazz history from hot jazz, boogie woogie, and swing, through bebop, hard bop, post-bop, soul jazz, avant-garde, and fusion, and into the diverse and vibrant sounds of today. The artists Blue Note has recorded represent the pillars of jazz: Thelonious Monk, Bud Powell, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Cannonball Adderley, Horace Silver, Art Blakey, Jimmy Smith, Dexter Gordon, Grant Green, Lou Donaldson, Donald Byrd, Lee Morgan, Freddie Hubbard, Joe Henderson, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, McCoy Tyner, Andrew Hill, Ornette Coleman, Cecil Taylor, and many more.

It’s fitting that three of Blue Note’s current artists have struck out across the country on a tour celebrating their label’s rich history. Kandace Springs, James Francies, and the James Carter Organ Trio will perform a set of their own music followed by a finale with all the musicians coming together to perform a classic Blue Note tune.

Kandace Springs – Vocalist and keyboards / Trio 

Considered the rising star of soul/jazz, Kandace Springs burst upon the scene in 2016 with her debut album Soul Eyes, serving notice that there was a new torch bearer in the great tradition of jazz singers who draw upon the roots of blues, gospel and soul. Kandace’s Nashville church upbringing infuses everything she touches, and with it she has captivated audiences worldwide with her unique approach to a dizzying array of jazz standards, R&B classics, and pop tunes. Chief among her earliest supporters was legendary icon Prince (see above), who became a mentor to the young singer.

Kandace’s upcoming album, entitled The Women Who Raised Me, is a tribute to all the great female artists who inspired her to pursue her dream, and features songs by legends ranging from Billie Holiday and Carmen McRae and contemporary greats Sade and Lauryn Hill. The album features collaborations with such luminaries as Norah Jones, Christian McBride, David Sanborn, and Chris Potter, and will surely further establish, as The Times of London once remarked, that “Kandace Springs is not just a star, she’s a entire galaxy.” Her all-female trio includes Taylor Moore on drums and Aneesa Faatin on bass. 

James Francies – Piano / Trio 

24-year-old James Francies is next in the long line of jazz pianists who have characterized the music of Blue Note. He has recorded and or performed with Christian McBride, Pat Metheny, Chris Potter, Robert Glasper and Lauryn Hill, among many others. He also performed on Chance The Rapper’s hit single “No Problem” which went on to win two Grammy Awards. In addition, he frequently fills in with The Roots on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. He released his album Flight through Blue Note Records on 2018. His trio includes Burniss Travis on bass.

James Carter Organ Trio, James Carter – Saxophone / Trio 

Detroit-born James Carter, a saxophonist extraordinaire, turned 50 in this year. He has recorded 18 albums under his own name while appearing on many more, with artists including The Art Ensemble of Chicago, Ginger Baker (Cream), Kathleen Battle, Herbie Hancock, Wynton Marsalis, Madeleine Peyroux and Marcus Miller, among others. The organ combo reigned for several decades as jazz’s meat-and-potatoes mainstay, a populist vehicle for blues-drenched blowing; in the hands of James Carter — one of jazz’s most sophisticated improvisers — the organ trio is no less meaty and satisfying: his virtuosic saxophone chops elevate the organ combo to a rarefied realm defined by a gourmet repertoire, delectable soul, and consistently inspired group interplay. Featuring the lithe and muscular keyboard work of Detroit’s rising B3 star Gerard Gibbs and the propulsive drum support of Motor City trap master Alex White, the multigenerational James Carter Organ Trio is now in its seventeenth year - together they released Live from Newport in August of 2019 through Blue Note Records.

November at the Harris Center

Folsom Lake College, the Greater Folsom Partnership and News 93.1 KFBK present the former editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan magazine Kate White in a special lecture on November 14. On November 15, Mexico Beyond Mariachi presents Sugar Skull! A Día de Los Muertos musical adventure. Blue Note Records 80th Birthday Celebration brings three jazz stars (Kandace Springs, James Francies, James Carter), each with a stellar band for The State of Jazz 2019 on November 19. Keyboard Conversations With Jeffrey Siegel continues on November 20 with Warm Romantic Music from The Cold Far North, with works from Grieg, Tchaikovsky, Brahms and Sibelius. Celebrating the diverse language of contemporary dance developed over 56 seasons of performance, Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company makes its Folsom debut November 21. The Four Italian Tenors salute Caruso, Lanza, Pavarotti, and Bocelli for two shows November 22-23. What, you ask, is STOMP? “Bashing, crashing, smashing, swishing, banging and kicking — a joyous invention!” (Chicago Tribune). The eight-member troupe returns to the Harris Center November 24-29 for seven shows on Thanksgiving week. And the holiday season begins November 30 with Folsom favorite An Irish Christmas (“Genuinely astonishing … electric!” The Village News). And Folsom Lake College’s own Falcon’s Eye Theatre presents Lanford Wilson’s melancholic tragi-comedy The Hot L Baltimore for multiple performances November 8-10, 15-17 and 21-24.

This Year Marks Nine Seasons of Great Shows. Up Close. In Folsom!

The Harris Center for the Arts at Folsom Lake College brings the community together to share in cultural experiences, presenting the work of artists from throughout the region and around the world. Built and operated by the Los Rios Community College District, the $50 million, state-of-the-art regional performing arts center boasts three intimate venues with outstanding acoustics, an art gallery, a recording studio, elegant teaching spaces, plenty of safe parking and all the other amenities of a world-class performing arts venue. Each year the Center hosts over 400 events attracting 150,000 annually.

Event Summary


  • Tuesday, November 19, 2019 at 7:30 pm
  • Harris Center for the Arts at Folsom Lake College
    10 College Parkway, Folsom, CA 95630
  • $28–$48; Premium $52; Students with ID $14-$21
  • Ticket Office 916-608-6888
  • Mon - Sat 12 PM - 6 PM and 2 hours before show times
  • www.HarrisCenter.net

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Related Links

Press Release (PDF)