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NIGHTLIFE: Claremont concerts and shows; Big Jay McNeely performs at Hip Kitty

R&B legend Big Jay McNeely will bring his sax stylings to Hip Kitty

Legendary rhythm and blues saxophonist Big Jay McNeely will perform at the Claremont supper club and lounge Hip Kitty Jazz and Fondue on Saturday, August 24 at 8 p.m.

Big Jay scored his first Billboard hit in 1949 with an instrumental titled “The Deacon’s Hop” and, on the strength of his flamboyant “honking” style, remained popular throughout the 1950s and early 1960s. The honkers—among whom Big Jay was considered the most colorful—were known for their raucous stage antics and expressive, exhibitionist style of playing. They overblew their saxophones and often hit on the same note over and over, much like a black Southern preacher, until their audiences were mesmerized.

Big Jay recorded countless tunes for the Aladdin, Exclusive, Federal, Imperial, Swingin’ and Vee-Jay labels. In the early to mid-50s, Big Jay added vocal groups to his act, beginning with Four Dots & Dash. Big Jay also worked extensively with The Hollywood Flames, The Penguins and The Medallions up and down the West Coast. In 1955-56, he shared the stage with the Clovers, the Harptones, Bill Haley and His Comets, the Moonglows, Little Richard and others.

He scored his biggest hit in 1959 with the R&B ballad “There is Something on Your Mind,” featuring Sonny Walker on vocals, which stayed on the R&B charts for 6 months.

Big Jay retired for 20 years, but he returned to the stage in 1983. In 1987, he played in a blues jam with R&B superstars like B.B. King, Robert Cray, Etta James, Albert King and Junior Wells on the internationally-televised Grammy Awards. Big Jay has since been inducted into The Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame. His original tenor sax is enshrined in the Experience Music Project in Seattle.

Also taking the stage for a night of music lasting to midnight is the Hollywood Combo. There is a $5 cover charge for the show. A $10/hour per person food minimum is required for booth seating. The show is for guests age 21 and older.  
Hip Kitty is located in the Claremont Packing House at 502 W. First St. For information, call 447-6700 or visit www.hipkittyjazz.com.




CASA DE SALSA: 415 W. Foothill Blvd. This is a restaurant that offers weekly live entertainment. 445-1200.

Thursday: Michael Ryan and Friends. 6 to 9 p.m.

—Friday, August 23: Los Bandidos (rock en Espanol/dance). 9 p.m. to midnight.

—Saturday and Sunday: Romantic guitarist Vicente Victoria. 5 p.m. to closing.

Sunday: Mariachi San Pedro. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

EUREKA CLAREMONT: 580 W. First St., Claremont. Open daily from 11 a.m. to midnight Sunday through Thursday and closes at 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday. “Hoppy” Hour daily from 2 to 6 p.m. 445-8875.

—Mondays: Local Mondays featuring $3 Dale Bros. Brewery pints.

—Tuesdays: 50 percent off all wines by the glass.

—Wednesdays: Steal-the-Glass craft beer of the week. Meet the brewer first Wednesday of every month.

—Thursday, August 29: All Tito’s Vodka drinks $2 off and Eureka Thursday Night Music featuring Los Whateveros.

THE FOLK MUSIC CENTER: 220 Yale Ave., Claremont Village.

—Open Mic night, the last Sunday of every month. Sign-up begins at 6 p.m.; performances run from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Admission is $1. Info: 624-2928 or www.folkmusiccenter.com.

—Sunday, September 8: Beginning ukulele. Bring a ukulele or borrow one at the workshop. 4:30 to 6 p.m. $20.

—Saturday, September 14: It’s difficult to imagine Frank Fairfield living in an apartment, let alone using email or a cell phone. It’s much easier to picture him in the back of a boxcar, plucking his battered banjo. Mr. Fairfield may have an old folk sound, but he’s just 27, and he hails from California's central valley—not Appalachia. He plays fiddle, guitar and banjo while singing and hollering. With his Brylcreem-parted hair and high-waisted pants, he brings an old-time aesthetic to his music. 7:30 p.m. $12. 

FLAPPERS COMEDY: 540 W. First St., Claremont Packing House. 18+. Show times: Friday at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. and Saturday at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online or at the door.

—Friday and Saturday, August 23 and 24: Darren Carter has been seen on the Showtime special That Ginger’s Crazy, Chelsea Lately and The Tonight Show. Listen to the Dick and Darren Show available on iTunes and www.darrencarter.com.

—Sunday, August 25: Two Milk Minimum features a rotation of outlandish and zany comedy magicians, jugglers, musicians, improv artists, puppeteers and novelty acts. $10. 4:30 p.m.

—Sunday, August 25: Al Miller Presents. 7 p.m.

— Sunday, August 25: Silly Sundays (open mic/auditions). 9 p.m.

—Thursday, August 29: First Timer Funnies at 8 p.m. and New Faces Comedy Showcase at 10 p.m.

—Friday and Saturday, August 30 and 31: Gabe Kaplan worked as a standup comic, a sitcom and film actor and a sports talk show host. He has been doing standup for 50 years and along with Richard Pryor, Rodney Dangerfield and Robert Klein, was one of the original comedians at the NYC Improv. A rare opportunity to experience one of the creators of modern standup. His experiences as a student in an under-achieving class in the early 1950s was the basis for Welcome Back, Kotter. (1975).

—Sunday, August 24: Comedy Traffic School. 8:30 p.m.

FOX THEATER POMONA: 301 S. Garey Ave., Pomona. www.foxpomona.com.

—Friday, October 25: AFI.

—Saturday, October 26: The Naked and Famous.

THE GLASS HOUSE: 200 W. Second St., Pomona. 865-3802.

—Saturday, August 17: The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus. $12 to $15. 7 p.m.

HIP KITTY JAZZ & FONDUE: 502 W. First St., Claremont Packing House. Tuesday through Sunday, 5:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. Live jazz every night. Admission: 2-drink minimum. Info: 447-6700 or www.hipkittyjazz.com.

Friday, August 23: Nutty (jazz/lounge/swing). 8 p.m. $5 cover charge.

—Saturday, August 24: Big Jay McNeely and the Hollywood Combo (blues/rhythm and blues). 8 p.m. $5 cover charge.

—Sunday, August 25: The World’s Finest Apples (jazz). 7 to 11 p.m.

—Tuesday, August 27: Beat Cinema (DJ). 10 p.m.

—Wednesday, August 28: Open Jam Night with Carl Bunch and Friends. 8 p.m.

Thursday, August 29: Coleslaw (acoustic/eclectic). 7 p.m.

Friday, August 30: The Tim Gill All-Stars (big band/swing). 8 p.m. $5 cover charge.

—Saturday, August 31: The Hard Shine Blues Band (blues). 8 p.m. $5 cover charge.

HOTEL CASA 425: 425 W. First St., Claremont. Call 624-2272 or visit www.casa425.com.

—Saturday, August 24: Brandon Bernstein (trio) performs 7 to 10 p.m.

THE PRESS RESTAURANT: 129 Harvard Ave., Claremont Village. Thursday through Saturday until 2 a.m. Live DJ every Thursday at 11 p.m. 21+ after 9 p.m. Standing room only after 9:30 p.m. No cover. 625-4808.

—Friday, August 23: The Black Tongued Bells (roots/rock/blues). 10 p.m.

—Saturday, August 24: Pete Anderson (guitarist/blues/country). 10 p.m.

—Sunday, August 25: Sunday dinner piano music from 6 to 8 p.m.

Tuesday, August 27: King Trivia Night. Answer trivia questions for a chance to win beer. 9:30 p.m.

—Wednesday, August 28: Half-off Wine Wednesday. 11 a.m. to closing.

—Thursday, August 29: Baldy Mountain Jazz Band (jazz). 10 p.m.

—Friday, August 30: The Barrelhouse Kings (singer/songwriter). 10 p.m.

—Saturday, August 31: Claremont Voodoo Society and The Squeakin’ Wheels (guitarist/blues/country). 10 p.m.

PIANO PIANO: 555 W. Foothill Blvd., Claremont. Live dueling piano show times: Wednesday and Thursday, 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday, 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. 21+. $5 cover charge on Fridays and Saturdays after 8 p.m. (no cover charge with student ID). 547-4266.

—Tuesdays: Taco Tuesday with $1 tacos, $2 Coronas and $3 margaritas. Rock the mic or jam with the band.

Wednesdays: “Rockstar Karaoke.” Rock the mic or jam with the band. $2 Bud Lights and $4 Vodka Rockstars. 9 p.m.


Jenelle Rensch covers the calendar, arts and entertainment. Deadline: Thursday at 5 p.m., one week before publication. Include date, time, address, a contact phone number and fee for admission (if applicable). Email: calendar@claremont-courier.com. Fax: 621-4072. Address: 1420 N. Claremont Blvd., Suite 205-B, Claremont, 91711. There is NO guarantee that items submitted will be published.