Long Beach music studio adds live jazz performances – Press Telegram

There’s always room for another concert hall in Long Beach.

f/8 Studios (pronounce spell) and Cal Heights Music have teamed up to present the Billy Mohler Trio on the third Thursday of each month this summer in the studio’s back lot, 3754 Orange Ave. The performances started last week and the next one is August 19.

“Cal Heights Music brought us the idea,” said Marni Farmer, co-owner of f/8 Studios, with her husband, Michael Farmer. “Billy was looking for a space in Long Beach that felt like an intimate jazz club because he and his band played all the time in LA and never felt like they had a place in Long Beach to do so. ”

Farmer said the companies put the details together in just two weeks. And just as quickly, the first two dates sold out all 30 seats. There are still a few places available for the performances on September 16. The trio performs two sets, at 7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

Mohler, it turns out, is a fair and straight bassist.

That’s because the Laguna Beach native is godson to Bill Medley, one of the Righteous Brothers, along with Bobby Hatfield.

“He was my dad’s childhood friend,” Mohler said before his first set last week. “A career in music has always been normal for me. My mother had the biggest influence, musically. She’s seen Jimi Hendrix, she’s seen Jefferson Airplane, she’s seen Neil Young. She had all the vinyls. Music has always been part of my life. It was part of my DNA. »

Mohler has stated that he did not begin his musical career with the double bass; he was more of an electric bass player. But when he went to Berklee College of Music in Boston, his teacher encouraged him to try the instrument.

“I was pretty intimidated, but I picked it up and started playing it and it felt really natural,” he said. “I felt like that was what I had to do. I guess you can say this instrument chose me.

Mohler, a Grammy-nominated writer and producer, has performed with jazz greats Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter and Clark Terry, as well as pop musicians Macy Gray, Lady Gaga, Pat Benatar and country and western singer and actress Dolly Parton.

“I was in my twenties when I worked with Macy Gray and it was a dream come true to tour the world with her,” he said. “It was a life-changing experience. Then working with Dolly Parton. It was surreal to work with Dolly. She’s a genius. People don’t know the depth of her talent. They know her as a personality and an icon.

Mohler, according to Bass Magazine, released his debut record, “Focus,” in 2019, and begins work on a second album next month. He produced and played on many albums. And he and his wife, Becca Mohler, run Cal Heights Music.

Sandwiched between it all, he and his bandmates — Eric Gardner on drums, Chris Speed ​​on tenor sax — performed online. And indoor dates are booked again, with coronavirus-related gathering restrictions lifted. There’s nothing, Mohler said, like having an audience interaction.

“I talked about how we can bring live music to Cal Heights,” he said. “It just worked. I was trying to push for a set, but no, it has to be two sets, and I’m really happy to do two sets because clearly the community wants us to bring the music.

Tickets are $20 per person and can be purchased in advance on the f/8 studios website, fatestudioslongbeach.com/jazznights. Attendees may add a bottle of wine from California Heights Market and/or a box of charcuterie from Hungry Drea Creations, or bring their own food and refreshments. Only 30 seats are available for each performance. Vaccination cards are required for entry.

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