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Spyro Gyra

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ENTERTAINMENT
August 16, 1986 | ZAN STEWART
For leader Jay Beckenstein, playing in Spyro Gyra is "a cake-and-eat-it situation." "We're getting away with murder," he said in a phone conversation from a tour stop in Chicago. "We're incredibly successful doing just what we want to do, and it's not one of the current pop formulas." A lot of listeners would call the band's multi-musical blend of jazz, R&B, Latin, pop and classical jazz fusion, but Beckenstein doesn't like that phrase. "Fusion is a word that confuses me," Beckenstein said.
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NEWS
June 21, 2012 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
The Hyatt Regency Newport Beach hosts outdoor summer concerts on Friday nights with big-name acts such as Wilson Phillips and Hiroshima. But there's no need to bring a blanket or sit in the grass. Travelzoo is offering discount tickets on reserved seating to four concerts in the series.  The deal: Reserved seating tickets usually cost $55 per person, but Travelzoo has a special deal for $35 each for Spyro Gyra & Lee Ritenour (Friday), Wilson Phillips (June 29)
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ENTERTAINMENT
August 25, 1988 | DON HECKMAN
The musicians in jazz-oriented pop groups like Spyro Gyra, the Yellowjackets and Chicago are the big band sidemen of this era. Like the Roy Eldridges, Johnny Hodges and Gene Krupas of the '30s and '40s, they glean the benefits of steady work with successful musical organizations. But they must also endure the inevitable creative restrictions of playing the same music, night in and night out.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 25, 1997 | Don Heckman, Don Heckman is The Times' jazz writer
The music that is grouped under categories with names such as "smooth jazz," "contemporary jazz" and "new adult contemporary" is generally viewed with skepticism by fans of mainstream jazz. Considered little more than pop-oriented, instrumental wallpaper by most jazz critics, it nonetheless sells records in very large numbers. The skepticism about the creative quality, despite the music's commercial popularity, is understandable.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 8, 1990 | DON HECKMAN
This new installment in Sypro Gyra's continuing collection of bright, frothy contemporary music has one or two unexpected twists. Most noticeable is saxophonist Jay Beckenstein's extensive use of tenor and soprano saxophones--an appealing change from his past strong reliance on alto.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 14, 1991 | ZAN STEWART, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
The Jazz Futures--one of several spark-plug groups likely to cause a stir at this weekend's 13th annual Playboy Jazz Festival at the Hollywood Bowl--isn't your typical all-star jazz ensemble put together for summer festivals. These eight musicians--including some of the most high-profile young players in jazz--have worked together in a variety of contexts.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 6, 1990 | DON HECKMAN
Spyro Gyra is virtually jumping out of the recording studio onto the concert stage for performances tonight and Saturday at the Coach House in San Juan Capistrano. And that brings good and maybe some not-so-good news for the jazz fusion band's fans. "We're actually a little rough, right now," said group leader and saxophonist Jay Beckenstein. "These'll be the very first concerts in which we'll be playing all the new material. So the programs promise to be adventurous."
ENTERTAINMENT
August 24, 1988 | DON HECKMAN
The musicians in such jazz-oriented pop groups as Spyro Gyra, the Yellowjackets and Chicago are the big band sidemen of this era. Like the Roy Eldridges, Johnny Hodges and Gene Krupas of the '30s and '40s, they glean the benefits of steady work with successful musical organizations. But they also must endure the inevitable creative restrictions of playing the same music night in and night out.
NEWS
June 21, 2012 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
The Hyatt Regency Newport Beach hosts outdoor summer concerts on Friday nights with big-name acts such as Wilson Phillips and Hiroshima. But there's no need to bring a blanket or sit in the grass. Travelzoo is offering discount tickets on reserved seating to four concerts in the series.  The deal: Reserved seating tickets usually cost $55 per person, but Travelzoo has a special deal for $35 each for Spyro Gyra & Lee Ritenour (Friday), Wilson Phillips (June 29)
ENTERTAINMENT
June 20, 1989 | ZAN STEWART
As Playboy Jazz Festival associate producer Darlene Chan so prophetically put it near the beginning of Sunday's program at the Hollywood Bowl, "Yesterday was 'Party Day,' today is 'Jazz Day.' " She was right. Whether they were wiped out from too much fun on Saturday, or simply inspired by the designed-for-listening lineup, the sold-out cast of 17,901 fans kept pretty much to their seats, seeming to enjoy the efforts produced by such mainstream-oriented artists as Art Blakey, McCoy Tyner, Dave Brubeck and Diane Schuur.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 14, 1991 | ZAN STEWART, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
The Jazz Futures--one of several spark-plug groups likely to cause a stir at this weekend's 13th annual Playboy Jazz Festival at the Hollywood Bowl--isn't your typical all-star jazz ensemble put together for summer festivals. These eight musicians--including some of the most high-profile young players in jazz--have worked together in a variety of contexts.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 8, 1990 | DON HECKMAN
This new installment in Sypro Gyra's continuing collection of bright, frothy contemporary music has one or two unexpected twists. Most noticeable is saxophonist Jay Beckenstein's extensive use of tenor and soprano saxophones--an appealing change from his past strong reliance on alto.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 6, 1990 | DON HECKMAN
Spyro Gyra is virtually jumping out of the recording studio onto the concert stage for performances tonight and Saturday at the Coach House in San Juan Capistrano. And that brings good and maybe some not-so-good news for the jazz fusion band's fans. "We're actually a little rough, right now," said group leader and saxophonist Jay Beckenstein. "These'll be the very first concerts in which we'll be playing all the new material. So the programs promise to be adventurous."
ENTERTAINMENT
June 20, 1989 | ZAN STEWART
As Playboy Jazz Festival associate producer Darlene Chan so prophetically put it near the beginning of Sunday's program at the Hollywood Bowl, "Yesterday was 'Party Day,' today is 'Jazz Day.' " She was right. Whether they were wiped out from too much fun on Saturday, or simply inspired by the designed-for-listening lineup, the sold-out cast of 17,901 fans kept pretty much to their seats, seeming to enjoy the efforts produced by such mainstream-oriented artists as Art Blakey, McCoy Tyner, Dave Brubeck and Diane Schuur.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 25, 1988 | DON HECKMAN
The musicians in jazz-oriented pop groups like Spyro Gyra, the Yellowjackets and Chicago are the big band sidemen of this era. Like the Roy Eldridges, Johnny Hodges and Gene Krupas of the '30s and '40s, they glean the benefits of steady work with successful musical organizations. But they must also endure the inevitable creative restrictions of playing the same music, night in and night out.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 24, 1988 | DON HECKMAN
The musicians in such jazz-oriented pop groups as Spyro Gyra, the Yellowjackets and Chicago are the big band sidemen of this era. Like the Roy Eldridges, Johnny Hodges and Gene Krupas of the '30s and '40s, they glean the benefits of steady work with successful musical organizations. But they also must endure the inevitable creative restrictions of playing the same music night in and night out.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 15, 1988
Recently, I came across an Outtakes item that seemed at first glance to be about a pit bull who had really made it big on local radio (by Patrick Goldstein, May 1). I read these eagerly; however, I soon discovered that they were not about a dog, but about a horrible human whom Patrick Goldstein had inexplicably dubbed "The Pit Bull" of radio station KMPC. Being a gentle pit bull, I see very little physical resemblance between Guy Kemp and myself; in fact, as you can see from the photo below, I am much better looking than he is. There is the other disturbing possibility, of course, that Kemp has earned that title because he is vicious; but even that is not totally accurate, despite the sentiments of all the Goldsteins who think that "gentle pit bull" is an oxymoron.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 19, 1986 | LEONARD FEATHER
Let us now praise Miles Davis. Had it not been for his strength in pulling Sunday's Hollywood Bowl concert out of the doldrums, the disastrous events of the first two hours could never have been counteracted. Tommy Hawkins, the host, announced this at the JVC Jazz Festival, thus trivializing a word that is now applied to a single, non-festive concert.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 15, 1988
Recently, I came across an Outtakes item that seemed at first glance to be about a pit bull who had really made it big on local radio (by Patrick Goldstein, May 1). I read these eagerly; however, I soon discovered that they were not about a dog, but about a horrible human whom Patrick Goldstein had inexplicably dubbed "The Pit Bull" of radio station KMPC. Being a gentle pit bull, I see very little physical resemblance between Guy Kemp and myself; in fact, as you can see from the photo below, I am much better looking than he is. There is the other disturbing possibility, of course, that Kemp has earned that title because he is vicious; but even that is not totally accurate, despite the sentiments of all the Goldsteins who think that "gentle pit bull" is an oxymoron.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 26, 1987
For a guy who's considered to be one of the brightest stars on the local jazz scene, saxophonist Mark Lessman has taken more than his share of musical detours in the 13 years since his nightclub debut.
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