Keschia Potter is a jazz saxophonist who I met when she was a teenager at Billy Higgins World Stage Jazz Gallery in Leimert Park, Los Angeles. She dedicated her life to playing jazz. Her formal introduction began at Washington High School in Los Angeles. She was awarded a scholarship to study music at UCLA with a jazz concentration. Although the saxophone is not typically a girl/female instrument, she liked it and showed an aptitude for it. She was encouraged by her mentors at the World Stage.
Keschia and her mother have a strong relationship. Her mother has always been supportive of her music. Keschia took a brief hiatus from performing approximately 16 months ago to have a 16 month old daughter, who has become her muse in this resurgence.
I love Keschia. She inspires me and represents everything I love about jazz music. When I came to Los Angeles from the Bay Area to go to grad school at USC, my friends and I put together a jazz/reggae program. A local percussionist, Buddy Clark, introduced me to a young saxophonist, Gerald Albright. Gerald remains a friend of mine. I love his music. Keschia reminds me of Gerald.
Keschia is performing at Industry Cafe and Jazz in Culver City (6039 Washington Blvd.) on Thursdays from 7:30-10:30 p.m. The cafe is a casual eatery and music room and serves house blend coffee, fresh lemonade, and a combination of American and Ethiopian dishes. Her set displays a range of styles, from standard classics to her own renditions of contemporary tunes, from Sugar and My Funny Valentine to Grover Washington’s Winelight and a crowd favorite, Mr. Magic. She also does a rendition of Stevie Wonder’s Isn’t She Lovely, no doubt inspired by her daughter. She has a quartet, which includes her husband on keyboards, a great electric bass player, and a swingin young drummer, who is outstanding!
If you love jazz music, I encourage you to give Keschia and the Industry Cafe and Jazz your support on Thursday nights.