About

Jazzkwest is the jazz band for all occasions!

Whether it is casual or upscale, private or corporate, indoor or outdoor event, the performance will swing your inner soul and leave you wanting more!

Exceptionally large repertoire of musical styles: 

  • Jazz standards
  • Swing
  • Pop
  • Big band
  • American Songbook
  • Latin bossas
  • Romantic ballads
  • Up-tempo and danceable

Available to perform at:

  • Dining venues
  • Jazz clubs
  • Indoor and outdoor concerts
  • Festivals
  • Stage or cabaret
  • Corporate Events (can work with various themes)
  • Private Events – Weddings, etc.

 

Rebekah Victoria (vocals)

A seasoned vocalist, Rebekah Victoria grew up in a musical household in Northern California and caught the performing bug early. She studied piano and had classical voice training, but found it “way too structured.” Rebekah Victoria experimented with other types of music, including Broadway-style singing, but eventually realized, “Jazz, to me, is home. It can be what you want it to be, and I want to swing. It’s my passion.”

Among her influences, Rebekah Victoria cites Sarah Vaughan, for her huge range, classical sound, and drive to try new things; Ella Fitzgerald, “because she’s the best”; and Peggy Lee, Rosemary Clooney, Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett for their legacies and phrasing.

A natural crowd-pleaser, Rebekah Victoria loves performing, reading the audience, and thriving on the immediacy of its feedback. “I’m not out there, not in your face,” she explains. “I like to see people enjoy the music and relax—I enjoy their joy and feel my own!” However, she points out that she’s equally at home in the recording studio, where she can focus on the music, collaborate with the band, and really get into a zone on each piece, as proved by her performance on #OldFashionedTwitterTwit, her first release.

JazzKwest got its moniker from Rebekah Victoria’s quest to keep jazz alive for upcoming generations, and her quest to make the music her own. “It has to be me, it has to fit with what feels right, with the way its organically grown for me,” the vocalist points out. The spelling, “kwest,” is derived from the “k” in the singer’s own name, Rebekah; she adopted the nonstandard spelling after encountering it in the Bible as a little girl.

 

Duncan James (guitar)

Duncan James is a jazz, swing and blues guitarist and instructor. He has been teaching guitar since 1964, including four years as adjunct faculty at Lone Mountain College in San Francisco – 1972-1976 – and three years as a public school instrumental music teacher in Springfield and Miamisburg, Ohio – 1968-1971. He participated in the Bay Area Young Audience Program from 1981-1991 and has been a Jazz Instructor for Guitar Solo of San Francisco from 1986-2008. He is also a mentor for Jazzmasters Workshop having taught three guitar workshops in 2001. Mr. James holds a Bachelor of Music degree from The Ohio State University and has done post graduate work at Wright State University and Central State University in Ohio.

Performances include work with George Barnes, Howard Alden, Bruce Foreman, Mundell Lowe, Marilyn McCoo, Eartha Kitt, Michael Feinstein, Bernadette Peters, Barbara Cook, Chet Baker, Bobby McFerrin, Jimmy Witherspoon, Frankie Laine, Bob Hope, Les Brown, Eddie Sauter, the San Francisco Symphony, the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra, and the San Francisco, San Jose, Sacramento, Concord, and Russian River Jazz Festivals.

Recording credits include three recordings with George Barnes, the Concord Jazz Guitar Collection Vols. 1 and 2 CD, Madeline Eastman, Turk Murphy, Pat Yankee and Darlene Langston. He also has a self produced solo CD, Duncan James Solo Jazz Guitar, is prominently featured on Jim Rothermel’s CDs NeoClassic Swing and Memories of You, and on San Francisco blues diva Dr. Margie Baker’s CD Live at Rasselas released in 2010 and So Many Stars released in 2014. Duncan’s new CD All My Tomorrows was released in 2010.

 

Bob Steele (bass)

Bob has over 3 decades as a superb professional bassist performing for such celebrities as Eartha Kit, Jackie Ryan, Mitzie Gaynor, Rosemary Clooney, Harold Jones, Cab Calloway. He performed with the Dick Bright Orchestra at the Venetian Room and 3 years at the Top of the Mark in San Francisco.

 

Bob Belanski (drums)

Drummer Bob Belanski is a versatile performer who has played with the Glen Miller Orchestra, the El Paso Symphony, Fantasy Records as an on-call drummer, jazz pianists Vince Guaraldi and Tee Carson, as well as for the Joe Henderson Legacy Big Band, the Stardust Orchestra, Cal Tjader, Pete Escovedo, Eddie Duran, Chet Baker, Bob Hope, Steve Turre and count less others.

Bob studied music at New Mexico State University, privately with Ludwig Drum Company education director James Sewry, national rudiment drum champion Frank Arsenault, Ed Thigpen and all-star drummer Louis Bellson. Bob has recorded with Fantasy, Warner Brothers and miscellaneous private record labels. Bob leads his own small group under his own name and a Big Band, Specdrum.