Forty years after its birth, Ashland’s now-vanished Jazmin’s nightclub comes back to life for one night, featuring its very first act from 1977 — widely noted jazz pianist Patti Moran McCoy with many members of her talented family and siblings David and Lisa, also a bygone favorite in the valley.
The Saturday, Nov. 18, show will be produced at Havurah Shir Hadash, 185 N. Mountain Ave., by Rabbi David Zaslow, the founder, and Steve Sacks, of Jazmin’s. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. The show is at 7 p.m. Tickets are $100, include dinner and an open bar, and can be purchased at brownpapertickets.com/event/3091697 or by calling 541-488-7716. Because it supports Havurah, it’s tax-deductible.
The McCoy Trio will feature, for the first time, rock musicians — drummer Dennis Carmassi, who played with the famed Heart group, Adam Boyd on bass and Nick Garrett-Powell on guitar. McCoy’s daughter, Theresa, will play percussion on cajon.
They will showcase works of Miles Davis, Antonio Carlos Jobim (“The Girl From Ipanema”), Charlie Chaplin (“Smile”), with singing by McCoy's son, Gabriel McCoy. He is a therapist in Jacksonville. In addition to playing piano, Patti McCoy will sing, sometimes accompanied in song by her sons, Gabriel, Kelly and Sean.
"We have been performing all our lives, and that’s a very rare thing in the music world, a mother performing with her sons,” she says.
The McCoys will be joined by David and Lisa Koch in their 1980s favorite, “Shakin’ Loose With Mother Goose,” a series of nursery rhymes set to rap and jazz, featuring talk show great Steve Allen and actress Jayne Meadows. Zaslow was a writer in the accompanying books.
Although small and the new kid on the block of the nation’s jazz spots, Jazmin’s attracted the greats: Dave Brubeck, Count Basie, Earl Hines, Taj Mahal, Doc Watson and more.
"It’s sacred to remember Jazmin’s,” Zaslow says. “It’s part of who we are as a community. There are not many community centers left in the world today. Our historic armory is such a center because people gather there. You honor it through memory. You go back to a time when we just got here. You knew the old times. Now we are the old-timers.”
Zaslow recalls that McCoy was 43 when she opened the club and now is in her 80s. David and Lisa played at “the Mark,” now Ashland Springs Hotel, when they were in their early 20s — and now are in their late 50s. Zaslow was 30 when it all started but is turning 70 now “and I’m still upright.”
He adds, “Patti’s group are incredible musicians … It’s jazz with a funky beat. She was big potatoes in the jazz world of the '50s and '60s. She’s got quite a story herself.”
McCoy’s Wikipedia page notes, in the mid-'50s, she played New York’s famed Birdland and released her first two albums. She sang on the “Porgy and Bess” album with Duke Ellington and Mel Torme. She performed with Count Basie, was featured on Steve Allen’s “Tonight” show and was on NPR’s Piano Jazz with Marian McPartland. She recently did a concert with noted pianist Alexander Tutonov of Southern Oregon University. She now lives in Central Point.
"This gig is going to be a lot of fun,” she says.
The Kochs, now living in the Seattle area, will reprise their duo from the '70s.
"It will be a little singing and a bit of roasting of Steve and David, our former bosses,” Lisa Koch says, "including singer and songwriter material, folk-rock and funny tunes, all the stuff we still remember. We started at the Mark in the mid-'70s, when David was 15 and I was 17. We played Sunday nights. David would be in the audience, with a book he scribbled in, and we got to be friendly with him.
"Jazmin’s was so great. It not only employed local musicians but had world-class folks. It was really cool because Ashland was such a small town. We were very excited to have them wander through.”
"This event is more of a fun-raiser than a fundraiser,” Zaslow says.