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Tallman Hotel

Press Release              11-10-14


Bernie Butcher, Tallman Hotel                                                Nancy Wright
(707)275-2244 (Hotel) (707)245-0041 (cell)               (415)420-1702                                        

Nancy Wright and Tim Campbell to Kick Off Tallman Concert Series November 22

On Saturday November 22 Nancy Wright, one of the Bay Area’s foremost jazz and blues saxophone players, will open the ninth season of intimate “Concerts with Conversation” in the Meeting House next to the Tallman Hotel in Upper Lake.  Backing Nancy will be the well-known keyboard artist Tim Campbell.

“Nancy Wright is one of our great friends in the music business,” commented Tallman owner Bernie Butcher.  “She’s backed some of the best blues artists in the country and been up to the Blue Wing a number of times in that capacity.  But I’ve also heard her leading her own jazz combo and she’s really exceptional in that capacity too.”

Though she’s called the Bay Area home for 25 years, Wright’s saxophone career got its start in Dayton, Ohio. She was a classically-trained bassoon player majoring in Music, when her university theater department offered her the sax player role in a production of Cabaret.  Not having focused on the sax up to then, she decided to give it a go.

Arriving early for rehearsal one day, she found a group of musicians in the hallway jamming on the blues. They invited her to sit in. “The coin dropped that day,” says Wright, “and I discovered the world of improvisation.” Having trained on piano, violin, concert harp, flute and brass, as well as bassoon, Wright says it was also “a question of finally getting to the right instrument.”

Wright has toured with a who’s who of the blues genre, including John Lee Hooker’s Coast-To-Coast Blues Band. “That was such a gift,” she says.  “I was so young then. I just remember moments on stage, the music being so deep, really raw. With John, it was all about the feeling. I got to play Carnegie Hall with John.”

On Labor Day this year, Nancy came up to do a guest appearance at the Blue Wing Blues Festival with the great guitarist Daniel Castro.  “We’ve had a lot of wonderful nights at our Blues Festival over the years,” says Bernie Butcher, “but that musical exchange between two absolute virtuosos was a really transcendent moment for me.”

In the late 90s a new thread appeared in Nancy’s work, the opportunity to expand into jazz and front her own group.  This led to performances with Hammond B3 organ star Tony Monaco and to the release of her debut CD called Moanin’.  “I’ve got a second jazz/blues CD coming out next Spring,” says Nancy, “and I’m looking forward to playing a few of these new tunes at the Tallman Concert.”

Nancy says she’s excited to play this gig with the keyboard artist Tim Campbell.  “I’ve played quite a bit with Tim,” she says.  “He’s a jazz man and great improviser with deep roots in soul and funk.”

The Tallman Concerts with Conversation series continues monthly through next April and will feature artists including Rob Ickes, the Salcedo Sisters, Fineman & Hurd on Valentine’s Day, Jenna Mammina, Alex DeGrassi and Rita Hosking.  The full schedule can be seen at

The Wright/Campbell show on November 22 starts at 7:30 in the Meeting House next to the Tallman Hotel.  Tickets at $25 plus tax may be purchased by calling the Hotel at 707-275-2244 ext. 0.  Coffee and cookies are served prior to the show.