7 Mile Goes Up the Jazz Hill
At Jazz On the Hill: Musicians Don Alberts (left) and Andrew Speight (right) flank yours truly and KCSM's Chris Cortez. Behind my head is the College of San Mateo Library, site of the KCSM studios.
For its first-ever booth at KCSM-FM’s annual Jazz On the Hill Festival, the 7 Mile House found itself positioned on the campus of the College of San Mateo within earshot of the music, down a pathway from the Dog Scouts of America and right across from the Boy Scouts of America Troop 44. Outfitted in our 7 Mile “I Got Jazzed” t-shirts, I guess you could say were functioning as Jazz Scouts of America. We were recruiting swarms of music lovers to hear more good sounds every day of the year at a venue where they also get great food, a full and friendly bar, and smart service, represented at our booth by bar manager Liz Rivas. Our troop also included 7 Mile owner Vanessa Garcia, her mom and sometime hostess Cleo Garcia, webmaster & publicist Paloma Concordia, photographer & author par excellence Jessica Levant, and yours truly. Against the changing acoustic background of artists performing on stage, we showcased our own luminaries close up, where they could make chat with their fans and autograph their albums: Dave Bendigkeit, Vince Lateano, Melissa Morgan, Andrew Speight, and Don Alberts, several of whom were shepherded by KCSM deejay Chris Cortez over to the station’s backstage remote, where they were interviewed on-the-air. Other KCSM personalities paying a visit to our booth included announcer and blues doyenne Kathleen Lawton and Soul Kitchen chef and longtime impresario Harry Duncan. There were hugs and smiles galore from jazz poetess Kalamu Chaché and Bird & Beckett bookstore owner and music presenter Eric Whittington. What a day! What a warm and wonderful way to be reassured that jazz is alive, well, and --- like the 7 Mile Jazz Scouts --- persisting in the pursuit of happiness.