East County Magazine
August 27th 2009
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North County Times
Wednesday, August 27, 2003
Klich happy to be flexing jazz muscles
Like many other Americans in the '50s, jazz musician Chris Klich fell under the
spell of the Dave Brubeck Quartet.
As a child, Klich remembers his mother playing Brubeck's 1959 album "Time Out,"
a wildly successful recording that included the hit song "Take Five."
"It was a time when jazz really became high profile and my parents, just like
a lot of other people in this country, got swept up in that and went out and
bought a bunch of jazz LPs," Klich said from his home in La Mesa. "They became
jazz fans, and by osmosis I became one."
Klich's first instrument was the clarinet. Although he had a strong interest
in music throughout school, he enrolled in UC San Diego intending to study medicine.
"At that time, I just thought (music) would be something I would do for fun,"
Klich said. Then he met Jimmy Cheatham, director of jazz studies at UCSD, and
by the end of his freshman year Klich knew he was meant to be a musician.
"He saw talent in me that I didn't know I had," Klich said.
Klich has been a professional musician for 21 years. Joining him in the quintet
are pianist Dan Aakhus, drummer Pete Woods, bassist Brian Wright and guitarist
Alan Worthington. Vocalist Laura Preble, Klich's wife and leader of her own band,
frequently performs with the group.
The quintet prefers to play classic jazz standards from artists such as Duke
Ellington, Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk and Miles Davis.
"Most of the music we play is classic jazz," Klich said. "We particularly like
music from the '60s. That was a great period of jazz."
In addition, Klich likes to play music from modern jazz fusion artists, including
Chick Corea, Keith Jarret and Herbie Hancock.
Before forming the quintet, Klich played with the Fabulous Mar Dels and his wife's
group, the Laura Preble Band. His instruments of choice are sax, clarinet and
flute. An employee at Twiggs Tea & Coffee in San Diego asked Klich if he would
be interested in starting a jazz night there, and he said yes.
"I hadn't been playing much jazz in a while, which was sad. I wasn't really happy
about that because my background is in jazz," said Klich, who earned a degree
in music from UCSD in 1983.
"I wasn't really using my jazz skills playing with the Mar Dels," Klich continued. "I
was really looking forward to the opportunity to work on my jazz skills again
and refurbish them."
The gig at Twiggs was short-lived, but the band sounded so good Klich decided
to make a CD, which led to more gigs. "We recorded 'The First Take' and soon
after that we started playing a lot of other venues," he said. It wasn't difficult
for Klich to get back into playing jazz again.
"We had all played jazz for many years, (but) we just hadn't had the opportunity
to play it recently, and so it was great because we all refurbished our jazz
skills and became good jazz players again," he said. "It's basically like a set
of muscles that haven't been used that we just had to exercise again."
Besides the quintet, Klich performs regularly with the Rhythm Makers and the
Rhythm Method. When he is not busy booking private parties and other gigs for
the quintet, Klich studies for a master's degree in jazz studies from SDSU.
Klich and his wife have two children. Austin, 10, is from his previous marriage,
and Noel is 9 1/2 months old.
Chris Klich Jazz Quintet
When: 7:30 p.m. Aug. 30
Where: Outdoor Garden, Wood House, 1148 Rock Springs Road, San Marcos
Tickets: $5 picnic seating
Information: (760) 744-9000
Update, December 20th, 2001
Click image for a larger image of article
"Just Russ" Recommends
I have made yet another special discovery this season. The Chris Klich Jazz Quintet,
an accomplished local group, has just released a Christmas CD entitled Reflections
This contemporary jazz disc can serve as the perfect compliment to your holiday
entertaining. Or you could discover it alone during a late night scurry while
wrapping gifts. Either way the smooth holiday sounds will seduce you.
The 11-song [actually, 14, Russ! -Chris] disc features the graceful vocals of
Laura Preble, who is Klich's wife, on five tracks, including her self-penned
uptempo "Remember Me Home." Perhaps one of the brightest tracks here is her
mesmerizing reading of Joni Mitchell's "River."
Update readers may remember the benefit CD This House, a previously recommended
title, which also featured Preble.
A wide range of jazz sounds is represented here. From the smooth and light "Let
It Snow, Let It Snow!" to the beautifully interpreted
"A Child Is Born," the mix is easy and very cool. As mentioned in the liner notes,
Christmas was always a joyous time for the members. The collected efforts of
this talented group with their smart variety of tracks is a wonderful inspiration
for the season.
Earlier this month a special holiday concert and CD release party for this project
was held at First Unitarian Universalist Church in Hillcrest. As he did for This
House and the Go Girl concert at the Hard Rock Café, Update staff photographer
John Baldi provided the festive photos for this project.
Klich has performed professionally for nearly 20 years and is a native of San
Diego. A sax, clarinet, and flute specialist, his resume is quite impressive.
He has worked with local legends Candye Kane and Wise Monkey Orchestra among
others. An itinerary of upcoming gigs and performances throughout Southern California
can also be found online.
Be sure to check out his website at www.chrisklich.com to learn more about all
the group's members or to purchase a copy of the CD.
You will be glad you did.
Review of the "Yuletide" CD from "SLAMM", Nov 28 2001
Chris Klich Jazz Quintet: Reflections on Yuletide
8 out of 10 stars
Goes Well With: family, friends, and holiday cheer
With Reflections on Yuletide, San Diego native Chris Klich and his band of
merry music makers have perfectly captured the spirit of Christmas. Whether leading
the way on saxophone, clarinet, or flute, Klich -- along with pianist/keyboardist
Dan Aakhus, bassist Brian Wright, guitarist Alan Worthington, and drummer Pete
Woods -- brings the festive spirituality of the season to life. With special
guest Laura Preble adding sensual vocals to five of the collection's 14 tracks,
not even Scrooge could resist the warmth of this holiday celebration.
The talented and versatile Quintet taps into the essence of traditional carols
and popular holiday tunes, enriching and invigorating each selection with a remarkably
fitting jazz style. Joy and peace abound on the up-tempo jazz waltz version of
"God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen," the mellow bossa nova treatment of
"The First Noel," and the bebop and smooth-jazz variations of "Let It Snow, Let
It Snow!" Although they're not holiday songs per se, the Quintet's soothing,
sublime version of "A Child Is Born" and Preble's uplifting original composition, "Remember
Me Home," reflect that same yuletide magic.
Preble infuses the familiar "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas"
with a heartfelt tenderness; she conveys the loneliness and longing also felt
during the holidays through a faithful cover of Joni Mitchell's
And for those lucky enough to share the gift of romance this holiday season,
Klich's sultry saxophone version of Nat King Cole's "The Christmas Song"
provides all the right mistletoe moments.
Reflections on Yuletide is available at ChrisKlich.com. The Chris Klich Jazz
Quintet will perform at the CD-release party at the First Unitarian Universalist
Church in Hillcrest, Dec. 1 at 7:30pm.
Joann D. Ball
© 1994 - 2001 SLAMM Magazine, All Rights Reserved
Singin' and ringin'
in the season
San Diego Union-Tribune, November 29, 2001 Chris Klich Jazz Quintet
"Reflections on Yuletide"
San Diego's Chris Klich is equally adept on flute, clarinet and alto, tenor
and soprano saxes, as he demonstrates on this 14-song album of seasonal favorites
("God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen"), jazz classics
(Thad Jones' luminous "A Child Is Born") and an engaging original ("Remember
Me Home") by his wife, Laura Preble, who contributes strong vocals to four other
cuts. (Klich performs a CD release concert Saturday at 7:30 at the First Unitarian
Church in Hillcrest.)
Copyright 2001 Union-Tribune Publishing Co.
San Diego Union Tribune
Friday, February 9, 2001
Musician listens to his muse
By: Margie Pierce
Solana Beach - Chris Klich wanted to play the drums. His parents wanted him to
play the clarinet. Thirty-one years later, the professional jazz musician is
grateful that he listened to his parents.
"I love music that swings," Klich said. "It really feels good when you lock into
Klich, 40, began his musical career as a fourth-grader playing the clarinet at
Skyline Elementary School. His band instructor immediately recognized his talent
and encouraged his parents to get him private saxophone lessons while continuing
to play the clarinet in the band at Skyline and later at Earl Warren Junior High.
He took up the saxophone full-time, playing in the band at Torrey Pines High
Originally, Klich went to the University Of California San Diego with the hopes
of becoming a doctor. A failed calculus class and musician Jimmy Cheatham helped
him change his mind. Cheatham and his wife, Jeannie, hosted jam sessions and
introduced Klich to other musicians.
"Jimmy Cheatham is an important person in my life," Klich said. "He is the person
who encouraged me to take my music further."
Under Cheatham's guidance, Klich picked up his clarinet again and added the flute
to his instruments of expertise.
These days, Klich plays the flute, the clarinet and the saxophone (tenor, alto,
soprano and baritone) in three different bands. The Fabulous Mar Dels, which
plays 50's tunes, is the most financially successful of the bands.
"It's the band that pays the mortgage," he said.
"But it's not what I'm most interested in."
His heart is in the two other bands, which he also manages. The Laura Preble
Band is named for his wife, who is the singer, songwriter and pianist for the
pop-alternative group. The music he plays for his wife's band is challenging,
Klich said, but the Chris Klich Quintet lets him play the jazz he really loves.
Jazz allows Klich to play a traditional melody while improvising to 90 percent
of the music. "That's what makes it interesting,"
Klich said. "We never really play the same thing twice. It's one of the most
sophisticated ways of performing art."
He attributes his love of the music genre to his mother playing Dave Brubeck
and Ramsey Lewis when he was only 5 years old.
When he isn't playing music, Klich is promoting it. He teaches private lessons
out of his home in La Mesa and at Music Mart on Miramar Road. He currently has
18 students. He once did a teaching stint for four years at Skyline Elementary
School, but found that the morning schedule did not coordinate very well with
his late night performances.
Lately, most of Klich's time is spent at the computer where he promotes his own
bands and local music. Klich and Rick Heller host a local music show on www.worldmusicradio.com
every Friday from noon to 1 p.m. Most of the artists they play on the show don't
have record labels, and like Klich, have to promote themselves.
"I try to be proactive and support the community as much as I can," Klich said.
The Coast News
September 28, 2000
By: Ren Zenner
On Friday, September 29, the Chris Klich Jazz Quintet will be performing at the
Bookworks/ Pannikin located at 2670 Via de la Valle in Del Mar. The group will
feature Chris on the alto and tenor sax, clarinet and flute; Dan Aakhus on piano;
Alan Worthington on guitar, Brian Wright on bass; and Pete Woods on drums.
The quintet will be performing jazz classics and standards at this performance.
The show begins at 8 p.m. and the phone number there is (858) 755-3735. I have
known Chris Klich for a couple of years now, and am amazed at the energy that
this guy puts out for our scene. No doubt that he is not taking it for granted.
Not only does he play saxophone in three or four different bands (including the
Laura Preble Band and The Mar Dels), he is also a father and husband, as well
as a major proponent of the San Diego music scene.
His hard work and dedication to our music scene was recently brought to my attention
by his direct involvement in the resolution of the new coffee house ordinances
that were being proposed by the San Diego Police Department a few months ago.
His leadership and commitment to this cause was unmatched and we should consider
ourselves lucky to have such a cool guy in our musical midst.
I am excited to announce that we can include Operations Director of World
Music Radio (WMR) to Chris' impressive list of credentials, as Chris has
taken over the reins of this Internet music station which was previously run
by Oram Miller. Chris will be sharing the hosting duties with Rick Heller and
they will proudly continue the work that Oram started
.giving a voice to
San Diego talent, especially those who wouldn't get recognition in the mainstream
The show will "stream" over the Internet every Friday from noon to 1 p.m., beginning
on October 20 and the variety of music on the show will be broad, bringing many
different styles and ethnicities of music to computer users.
Chris and Rick will feature singer/songwriters and folk musicians, jazz, Mexican,
Persian, and Asian music, and other interesting and eclectic folkloric styles,
and they will continue to have in-studio guests as well.
If you are a musician, or know of a musician or band that needs wider exposure,
particularly if they play "off-the-beaten-path" styles, drop Chris Klich a line
via e -mail at info@ChrisKlich.com [Weditors note: or
use his online contact form]. WMR is a featured
station on many browsers, so make sure to bookmark or add the WMR site to your "favorites." The
station plays on Real Player and Windows Media Player. Check it out next month.