Nobel Peace Prize winner and former Secretary-General of the UN, Kofi Annan, once said, “In a world of diversity where often values clash, music leaps across language barriers and unites people of quite different cultural backgrounds…Through music, all peoples can come together to make the world a more harmonious place.”


Added comedian and pianist Victor Borge, “Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.”


Jerri Price-Gaines, founder of Clazzical Notes – which will hold a fundraiser, Notes and Jokes, on Saturday, January 28 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at a private home in Altadena to benefit its 2017 inaugural season – couldn’t agree more.


“Our mission at Clazzical Notes is simple but powerful – to foster the understanding of diverse cultures and our common humanity through the unifying language of music and spoken word,” Price-Gaines explains. “We encourage those who share this commitment to join us at Notes and Jokes and help us launch our inaugural season this March on as strong footing as possible.”


Providing the notes at Notes and Jokes are musicians Billy Mitchell (jazz pianist), Nolan Shaheed (jazz trumpeter), Lesa Terry (violinist), Francisco Ruiz (Latin salsa and folk singer), and the Blair High School Jazz Band. Comedians Gayla Johnson, a veteran of such shows as Comic Unleashed, Inside Joke, and B.E.T. Comic View, and Matt Derndack, who has performed at the Comedy Store and Hollywood Improv, will also appear, along with spoken word artist Nichelle Holliday.


“Notes and Jokes is a sneak peek at the kind of programming audiences will experience at upcoming Clazzical Notes productions this year – great music and great talk that, by evening’s end, inspire all of us and promote communication and connection,” Board President Prentice Deadrick says. “We’re multi-cultural. We’re multi-generational. And while we bring history to life, we not only encourage audiences to re-discover the music of their youth but introduce them to music they have no idea exists. On so many levels, Clazzical Notes is a very exciting project to be involved in.”


Tickets for Notes and Jokes are available for $75/individual or $85/couple. To make reservations, visit notes-and-jokes-tickets- 31071909919 . For more information, call (626) 833-2750 or email


The inaugural performance of Clazzical Notes, A Little Gumbo, A Little Sopa – stirring into the pot the African American and Latino American Experience, will take place on Sunday, March 12, 2017 at the Metropolitan Baptist Church, 2283 North Fair Oaks Avenue, in Altadena.


Clazzical Notes mounts musical connections between four prominent, seemingly dissimilar ethnic groups. This unique series dares to address these differences and, through music, explores their common humanity. Clazzical Notes aims to find this “sweet spot” through a blending of pure interpretive music expression and the joy of cultural harmony. For more information about Clazzical Notes, visit


History of Clazzical Notes


In 2004, Clazzical Notes debuted at the Fuller Seminary Travis Auditorium in Pasadena, CA The program concept was the dream of Jerri Price-Gaines and publicist Jenine Baines. Jerri designed the program to showcase the talents of the Pasadena Symphony musicians. The program name was coined by Dr. Shafeeq Shamsid-Deen, MD.


The early concerts featured some of the best orchestral and classical musicians in Los Angeles along with well-known jazz performers from the Greater Pasadena jazz community.


Clazzical Notes’ first guest artist was the multi-talented, Grammy winning Jazz and Classical musician, Billy Childs. Mr. Childs is an awarded musician in jazz and classical music, with recognition for his jazz ensembles and classical compositions. On that same stage representing classical piano was internationally recognized classical pianist and video game composer Paul Romero. Mr. Romero attended the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, The Paris Conservatoire, and London’s Guildhall School of Music & Drama. Romero is known for his scores or the Heroes of Might and Magic Video Games. He won the Paris International Piano Competition.


Over the next five years, Clazzical Notes featured other phenomenal performers like jazz singers Sandra Booker and Nedra Wheeler and classical vocalists Susana Guzman and Gerald Clayton, to name a few. The final performance of the original program ended in 2009 with the outstanding performance of operatic soprano Angel Blue and jazz singer Sherry Williams.


In late 2014, Jerri Price-Gaines, the original producer of Clazzical Notes, looked through notes she received from performers and fans of the program and developed a passion anew for the program – but, this time, to feature more diverse genres and an expanded program culturally.