Upcoming Specials and Announcements
This space highlights upcoming special jazz-related events that are sponsored by the Idaho Jazz Society, as well as other events of special interest to the IJS. More details about these and many other events are available on the Calendar page.

CAMDEN HUGHES "McCALL" CD RELEASE PARTY, Sapphire Room, Riverside Hotel, THURSDAY,  November 2 , 7:30PM 

Tickets $20 Preferred Seats, $15 GA Seats


Direct Ticket Link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/camden-hughes-cd-release-party-featuring-guitarist-dan-balmer-tickets-37741800742

Camden Hughes is a jazz pianist, multi-instrumentalist, and songwriter active in the Boise music scene.

The Sapphire Room will host Hughes’ CD Release Party featuring the music from the album and collaborations with other local jazz artists.

Hughes has worked with many local bands and artists, including Steve Eaton, Ellie Shaw, Nicole Christiansen, Sandon Mayhew, Clay Moore, Amy Rose, Jon Klein, Smooth Avenue, the Jazz Angels, and the Frim Fram Four. He also teaches band and class piano at the Idaho Arts Charter School in Nampa, Idaho, and serves as an adjunct jazz instructor at Northwest Nazarene University. 

This album was the result of a recording contest Hughes won in 2015. In 2015, he submitted three cuts from his first album, “IntroSpective,” to a contest held by Blissman Studios in Tacoma, WA. “IntroSpective” is a collaboration with New York saxophonist and Idaho-native Thomas Hutchings. Hughes ended up winning the contest in the Winter of 2015, receiving 10 hours of free studio time at Blissman Studios.

Hughes drove up to Tacoma in June of 2015 to meet up with drummer David Gluck and bassist Eddie Wheeler, two frequent collaborators back in Boise. The trio of Boise musicians was joined by guitarist Dan Balmer from Portland, a musical hero from Hughes’ high school years.

“Dave (Gluck) said I “willed” this recording session into happening,” says Hughes. “It looked like the record date was going to fall through the day before the session. We had two other guitar players lined up who both had to cancel in the week leading up to the session. I went out on a limb and called up Dan Balmer because I knew that Portland isn’t too far from Tacoma, and I used to listen to Dan’s records back when I was in high school. Dan agreed to do the session! I didn’t even know him. I just explained the project to him, and he cancelled everything he was doing the next day to drive to Tacoma for the record date. He was so professional, just truly an inspiration to work with. Dan is absolutely a world-class guitar player.

The L.A. Times said that out of the top 5 guitar players in Portland, Dan Balmer is THREE of them! He was great to work with on the project. The L.A. Times is right! Dan Balmer is the best. I’m excited to have him in Boise for our CD release party.”

“McCall” was recorded by Wayne Bliss of Blissman studios, and mixed and mastered at The Tonic Room in Boise.

The title track of the new album, “McCall,” is an original tune that Camden started on his honeymoon with his wife in March of 2015. “We were up in McCall, walking out of Toll Station Pizza after lunch, and I started hearing this melody in my head. Cara was very understanding, and knew that I needed to write my tune down before I lost it forever. We found some staff paper at McCall Drug, and I took a few minutes to sketch out what I had been hearing in my head.”

“McCall” is not the album track with a connection to Camden’s wife, Cara. “I was playing solo piano on Valentine’s Day a couple years ago at the Grove Hotel downtown, and this new tune just came to me. I started hearing this beautiful melody and lush harmonies. I worked it out on the piano right then and it became my “Song for Cara Ann.”

“You’ve got to be ready when a new tune comes to you,” Hughes explains. “Sometimes you’ll starting hearing a melody at an inopportune time, when you’re doing something else, and if you don’t try to preserve it right then, your new song might be gone forever.”

The oldest original tune on the album, written in 2010, was originally called “Spring in November,” but Hughes' nephew, Isaiah, thought it sounded like a Christmas song. "He renamed it “Christmas in July,” laughs Hughes. The new name stuck. “You can definitely hear a little quote of from a well-known Christmas song in the middle of the tune.”

For the Sapphire Room CD Release Party, Camden Hughes is joined by the album personnel, Dan Balmer, David Gluck, and Eddie Wheeler. The 2nd set features a number of musical guest artists, including Nicole Christiansen on vocals, Sandon Mayhew on saxophone, Jay Multanen on bass, and Dr. Derek Ganong, professor of jazz at Boise State, on trumpet.

Reflecting on the set lists for the album release party, Hughes explains “Our first set features the music from the album. I’m calling the 2nd set “Future Projects” because it represents three musical projects I’ve been working on, "Blue Hues," "Opus de Jazz," and my jazz duo with Nicole Christiansen.

“The first band of the 2nd set is called “Blue Hues,” which plays my original songwriter material, including a couple of older songs, plus a new song for my daughter who is now in Heaven, Penelope.”

Hughes and his wife Cara were devastated by the stillborn loss of their firstborn daughter in March of this year. Songwriting has been an outlet for Hughes, who’s started work on a new album with the “Blue Hues” band to honor his daughter.

The 2nd set will also feature Boise vocalist Nicole Christiansen and by another project, “Opus de Jazz.” “Nicole will join us for some funky new tunes we’ve been working on together.

“We’ll finish the evening with a new jazz quintet that covers the music of Horace Silver, with Sandon Mayhew on sax, Dr. Derek Ganong on trumpet, Jay Multanen on bass, plus myself on keys and David Gluck on drums. We call that group “Opus de Jazz,” since we are paying tribute to Horace Silver’s music, and playing off the title of one of his most famous songs.”

The opening set includes music from some of Hughes’ students, the “Phoenix Vibe” jazz band and NNU’s “Jazz Revival” and “Jazz Renaissance.”

SIDE STREET STRUTTERS Sapphire Room, Riverside Hotel, Tuesday, 11/14 
The Side Street Strutters music spans over 50 years of jazz. They have played concerts in all 50 states and 9 foreign countries. Their superb musicianship and award winning orchestrations have earned them national and international acclaim, as well as a guest presidential performance. The band, who entertained guests at Disneyland Resort for 22 years, will be making a visit to Boise after 20 years away.
Two Shows:
     Early Show:  6:00 p.m. (Doors open at 5:00)
     Late Show:  8:30 p.m. (Doors open at 8:00)
Special Early Bird Discount for our IJS Subscribers. $3 off any show, any on-line ticket purchase, for a limited time only. Tickets available at eventbrite.com.