Celebrating Jazz Appreciation Month with Performances by Celebrated Musicians Bobby Bradford and Friends, the trio of Sam Gendel/ Blake Mills/Benny Bock, and De Leon Division Featuring Vocalist Maiya Sykes 

In celebration of Jazz Appreciation Month, Metro Art Presents and KJAZZ reunite for “Jazz Tracks at Union Station,” a one-day series of performances at the historic downtown destination, Sunday, April 24, from 2:00 pm – 5:30 pm.  

Hosted by KJAZZ DJs José Rizo and Rhonda Hamilton, the free event will feature Bobby Bradford and Friends in a special performance of the trumpeter and bandleader’s original work “Stealin’ Home – A Jackie Robinson Suite.” Additionally, acclaimed Los Angeles-based musicians and producers Sam Gendel, Blake Mills and Benny Bock will play their first show together as a trio and percussionist Joey De Leon’s De Leon Division featuring vocalist Maiya Sykes will bring dynamic Latin jazz to the stage.  The concerts will take place on Union Station’s North and South Patios and will include a live pop-up performance in the Station’s Waiting Room. 

Bobby Lee Bradford is a legendary jazz trumpeter, cornetist, bandleader and composer. In addition to his solo music, Bradford is noted for his work with John Carter, Vinny Golia and Ornette Coleman. In October 2009, Bradford became the second recipient of the Festival of New Trumpet Music’s Award of Recognition.  In his performance of  “Stealin’ Home – A Jackie Robinson Suite,”  originally commissioned by the Baseball Reliquary in 2018, Bradford will be accompanied by noted musicians Henry Franklin (Bass), Christopher Garcia (Drums, Percussion), Vinny Golia(Alto Saxophone, Bass Clarinet, Baritone Saxophone), Chuck Manning (Tenor Saxophone) William Roper (Tuba, Euphonium, Spoken Word, Vocals, Lyrics) and Don Preston (Piano, Gong). Notably, this April also marks the 75th Anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s first season breaking the baseball color barrier as a Brooklyn Dodger in April 1947.

Sam Gendel, Blake Mills and Benny Bock are Los Angeles-based musicians and producers. Multi-instrumentalist Sam Gendel, who will perform on saxophone, has an unorthodox approach to composition and performance and has produced a variety of experimental projects both individually and in collaboration with his contemporaries.  Guitarist and producer Blake Mills (Alabama Shakes, John Legend, and Jim James) recently worked with Gendel on Notes With Attachments, the much-lauded 2021 release by Blake Mills and Pino Palladino. Gendel and Mills will perform with sought-after keyboardist, composer, producer and sound designer Benny Bock.  This is their first show together.

Joey De Leon has worked as a percussionist with jazz and Latin jazz legends for over 20 years, performing and recording with artists including Poncho Sanchez, Arturo Sandoval, Jimmy Smith, Joey DeFrancesco, and Queen Latifah.  He will perform at Jazz Tracks with his newly-christened De Leon Division featuring Maiya Sykes, (vocals)  Rene Camacho (Bass), Quinn Johnson (Piano), Tom Luer (Saxophone), Alfred Ortiz (Conga), Aaron Serfaty (Drums) and Melena Frances Valdes (Percussion).

Concert Schedule:

2:00pm – 2:45pm: De Leon Division (South Patio)

2:45pm – 3:30pm: Sam Gendel/ Blake Mills/ Benny Bock (North Patio)

3:30pm – 3:45pm: De Leon Division (Waiting Room Rumba pop-up)

3:45pm – 4:30pm: Sam Gendel/ Blake Mills/ Benny Bock (North Patio)

4:30pm – 5:30pm: Bobby Bradford and Friends (South Patio)

For additional information, visit https://www.unionstationla.com/happenings/metro-art-x-kjazz-present-jazz-tracks-at-union-station

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Go Metro by taking the B Line (Red), D Line (Purple), J Line (Silver) and L Line (Gold) directly to Union Station L.A.

Metro Art Presents showcases an exciting array of arts and cultural programs at historic Union Station. All events are free and open to the public. For more information visit: metro.net/art

KJAZZ 88.1, a service of Cal State Long Beach,  is the #1 straight-ahead, non-commercial jazz station in the country.  In addition to producing free events in the community, KJAZZ provides four jazz scholarships and paid student internships each year. For more information, visit: jazzandblues.org.

Bobby Bradford