Stephen Jay and Jim West are original and continuing members of 'Weird Al' Yankovic’s band, having recorded and toured with the legendary musical satirist for over three decades. They are currently touring with Weird Al on his Ridiculously Self-Indulgent Ill-Advised Vanity Tour throughout North America. This one-time appearance at the Red Light Cafe as part of their 'parallel' tour is a rare opportunity to experience their unique musical voices and master musicianship as shape-shifting solo artists.
$15 Adv – $20 Door
Doors @ 7 PM
All ticket sales are final. No refunds. Door is Cash Only.
Stephen Jay defies categorization. As a composer, bassist, vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist, his bass-driven funk is an exotic blend of world influenced polyrhythmic grooves seasoned with elements of jazz, rock and the avant garde. His combination of ethnic and modern instruments and styles results in unique, richly textured musical images. As a composer, he's a maverick architect of groove. As a performer and recording artist his songs assault you with intricate complexity, assuage you with timeless melodies, and quietly seek to elevate your soul.
Jay’s background includes a BA and MM Graduate Fellowship in composition (University of South Florida) and studies with composers John Cage, Lucas Foss, Max Neuhaus and Charles Wuronien. His world music experience includes live performance and studies throughout West Africa. He was introduced to the Niamey Djerma Griot drum culture by master drummer Isah Hamani and as a member of his group learned the art of the dundun, aka "Talking Drum". From his field recordings, Stephen produced two highly acclaimed albums for the Nonesuch Explorer Series Drum, Chant and Instrumental Music, and Ghana, Ancient Ceremonies, Songs and Dance Music. He has also been a featured guest on NPR's All Things Considered on the subject of traditional West African music.
Stephen's bass recording credits include multiple Grammy winners. He is an original and continuing member of "Weird Al" Yankovic's band, recording and touring with the legendary musical satirist since 1982. He is the credited bassist, backing vocalist and orchestrator on Weird Al's recent Billboard #1 album, Mandatory Fun, and on nine RIAA Gold and five Platinum albums, doubling on backing vocals, and other instruments including banjo, flute, keyboards, and West African percussion. His other past work includes bass performance and recording with Wayne Shorter, Hugh Masekela, Alex Acuna, Luis Conte, Rick Derringer and Joe Higgs. Stephen's own polymetric funk duo "Ak & Zuie" has toured the US, Canada, and Australia, and has appeared on PBS. Stephen was voted one of "Today's 20 Top Bassists" by International Musician and Recording World magazine.
The songs on Stephen's solo albums range from high voltage and hard driving to exotic and delicate with endless wavelengths in between. As a film composer, Stephen has contributed scores and orchestration to various projects, and scored more than seventy nationally broadcast PBS specials and series episodes, including three George Foster Peabody Award winners.
"Stephen is easily one of the most technically skilled, innovative, and melodic bassists alive. The music of his film and TV scores and his solo albums is genuinely astonishing." -Thomas Wictor, Bass Player Magazine
Jim “Kimo” West is a multi-faceted instrumentalist, highly regarded as one of the world’s foremost “ki ho’alu” or Hawaiian “slack key” guitar artists. His music has garnered millions of streams on Spotify, Pandora and Sirius/XM. He is best known as the long-time guitarist for the world’s most successful musical comedy artist, “Weird Al” Yankovic, having appeared on all fourteen of the musical satirist’s albums since 1983 - four of them Grammy-winners, including the most recent #1 Billboard Mandatory Fun.
It was in 1985 in Hana, Maui where West first heard the magical strains and open tunings of slack key. It was there that he was introduced to the music of Gabby Pahinui, Sounds of Hawaii, Sonny Chillingworth and Atta Isaacs, all masters of the warm and engaging fingerpicked guitar style. According to oral-history account, slack key guitar originated in late 19th century Hawaii, when Mexican paniolo (“Spaniard” cowboys) first brought guitars to the Big Island of Hawaii and then left, allowing Hawaiians to develop the style on their own.
Slack key guitar was used to great effect in the Oscar-winning film, “The Descendants.”
Kimo is a 2008 winner of the Hawaiian Music awards and three-time Na Hoku Hanohano (Hawaiian “Grammy”) nominee. He is also a two-time winner of the LA Treasures Award for his efforts in keeping this important acoustic guitar tradition alive. He is a 9-year veteran of Hawaii’s famed slack key festivals and the So Cal Slack Key Festival. His numerous CD’s feature many original compositions as well as inventive arrangements of the genre’s classic repertoire. His recent release, Guitar Stories, goes beyond slack key, exploring other genres like West African guitar, Middle Eastern Music and Americana. His latest release is Moku Maluhia / Peaceful Island.
Jim “Kimo” West has also worked as a composer for film and TV for many years and maintains a sophisticated private studio at his home in Los Angeles.