Jazmin’s 40th Anniversary Reunion Concert
Nov. 18, 2017 at the Havurah Synagogue
Photo Caption: Steve Sacks and David Zaslow, 1977 from an article about Jazmin’s in the Ashland Daily Tidings
On November 18, 1977, Jazmin’s, a premier jazz club and cabaret in southern Oregon, opened its doors. The opening concert featured Patti Moran McCoy on piano, Mel Brown on drums, Dave Friesen on bass, and Mike Vannice on saxophone. Now, exactly forty years later, November 18, 2017, Jazmin’s founders Stephen Sacks and David Zaslow will host a 40th year reunion concert at the Havurah Synagogue in Ashland, where Zaslow has been the spiritual leader since 1996.
The concert will feature pianist Patti Moran McCoy with an ensemble of musicians and vocalists assembled specially for the evening. Brother and sister musical comedy duo David & Lisa Koch, who were regular performers at Jazmin’s, will also perform a set of their beautiful harmonies, and hilarious skits.
Doors open at 6:30 PM, and seating is limited. A sellout is expected so David Zaslow recommends “old timers and music-lovers, make your reservations early.” The evening will feature ample hors d’oeuvres for a light meal, local wines, and an open bar. Tickets are available at brownpapertickets.com and by phone at 541-488-7716.
Zaslow and Sacks ran Jazmin’s from 1977 until the early 1980’s. It was the first venue to bring quality jazz and blues to Southern Oregon. Over the years the club featured such great artists as Earl Fatha Hines, John Lee Hooker, Taj Mahal, Les McCann, The Edwin Hawkins Singers, Cal Tjader, Charlie Byrd, Art Pepper, Josh White Jr., Jon Hendricks, Elizabeth Cotton, Bill Monroe, along with hundreds of other concerts, bands, and cultural events. David and Lisa Koch, Irene Fararra, and bands such as PJQ and In-Flight were regular performers at Jazmin’s.
Zaslow and Sacks didn’t limit their concerts to the Jazmin’s venue. They produced concerts featuring Woody Herman and his Thundering Herd, Doc and Merle Watson, B.B. King, and Maria Muldaur at the Ashland Hills Hotel, and Dizzy Gillespie at the Medford High School auditorium.
The most lasting contribution Sacks and Zaslow made to Rogue Valley culture was catalyzing the transformation of the solely classical Britt music festival to the wide-ranging Britt Music and Arts Festival of today. In 1979, when Britt featured classical music only, Zaslow and Sacks, with the leadership of late Medford attorney and jazz lover Eugene Piazza, and the support of the Britt board, produced the first non-classical concert ever held at the Jacksonville pavilion. On August 25, 1979, Dave Brubeck played to a sell-out crowd of 2,000 people, the largest crowed that had ever attended Britt. Dave Marston wrote a review of this breakthrough concert for the Daily Tidings the following Monday where he said, “The southern Oregon entertainment scene reached a new pinnacle Saturday night as the Dave Brubeck Quartet thrilled a packed audience at the Britt Pavillion in Jacksonville.” The following year the success was repeated with Count Basie and his orchestra. With the guidance of Sacks and Zaslow, Britt then hired a concert coordinator to launch the non-classical concert productions that have become a cultural centerpiece in our region today.
Zaslow says, “The idea for a Jazmin’s reunion came from two of my congregants, Jacque Notrica and Dick Wandersheid, who were regulars at the club. They organized the first reunion concert 15 years ago, which was filled with Jazmin’s lovers and friends. Zaslow says, “Now as we are all aging, and the fortieth anniversary approaches, there is something very special and nostalgic about welcoming back Patti McCoy and the Kochs for an evening of great food, great music, and great memories.” In anticipation of a sellout crowd for this Havurah fundraiser, we invite you to purchase your tickets early at brownpapertickets.com or by phone at 541-488-7716.