By Patte Purcell

One of the desert’s favorite sons won the CV Weekly Music Award for Best Jazz artist, John Stanley King. John has received 7 CV Music Awards and was also named ‘Best of the Best’ in the Desert Sun. I interviewed John along with his producer Norman Merten who is producing 2 new CDs for John that are to be released sometime this fall. One will be Jazz, the other will be Pop. John claims ‘he can’t get away from his jazz tendencies’.

John has shared the stage with Rock and Roll Hall of Famers, Alice Cooper, Country’s Vince Gill, Glen Campbell, Amy Grant, Toby Keith, Darius Rucker, and pop’s Don Felder, Michael Bolton, Robbie Krieger, Terry Reid.  He opened for the likes of KC and the Sunshine Band, Marshall Tucker, and Foghat.

He toured with Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians at 18 years old; played drums and Vocals with Desert Legends, John McCormick, Mike Costley, Jimmy Hopper, CC Grant, and Kevin Henry.


He even owned a couple of night clubs, Moonlight Grill and Kings Social Club.

He recorded “Dem Bullets” (one of his great originals) with Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Robbie Krieger in 2011. Last but not least, he wrote Lumpy’s theme song.

This musical headliner has deep roots here in the desert and plays some of the best venues here.

Vicky’s of Sante Fe has stepped up their support of live music and has given John and 4 band members the opportunity to ‘take it to the next level’ with a full band on Friday nights from 8-12. Then on Sunday nights he MCs the Jazz session with the great American song book with Barney Mc Clure on piano, with traditional organic jazz.  John’s eclectic mix of everything from standards to reggae, not to mention his unique originals like “Pizza and Salad” (which is still one of my very favorites) have the ability to delight any music lover.

John said the band comes in on Fridays and they all crash at his place afterwards. Many come in from LA. This brings that professional level of entertainment to the desert that it’s been needing.

Band members include:

John Stanley King:  Multi-Instrumentalist/Vocalist. John is a legendary musical headliner known for his unmistakable ability to read and engage any crowd; A True Entertainer and a Master of Ceremonies. His extended talents range in all styles of music from Jazz, Acoustic, R&B and Classic Rock.

His musical family dates back generations to hillbilly music on one side of the family to the depths of jazz on the others. He’s a vocalist with an easy going style that is truly unique. He’s played with some great artists on the national scene as well.

Norman Merten:  Guitarist.  Musician, Songwriter and Creator of Sonic Landscapes is this LA based guitarist who has performed and recorded with Grammy and Platinum Award Winning Artists.

Derik Organ: Drummer/Percussionist.  Derik has performed with such greats as Janet Jackson, The Miracles, Brandy and Mariah Carey.

Malcolm Turner: Bass/Vocals.  Malcolm toured with the R&B explosion group RAMA, and has worked with musicians & producers such as  Andre Fisher (Rufus & Chaka Khan), Jonathan Moffett (Drummer for Michael Jackson) and Sydney Justin (Shalamar) in his career.

John’s favorite part of playing at Vicky’s is there are no TVs blaring sports and the focus is on the music where it needs to be.

John also plays his 3 piece acoustic shows at Omni’s Rancho Las Palmas every Thursday from 6-10. The beautiful venue is outside (weather permitting) with seats around the fire pits.

He’s got an upcoming concert series in Lake Arrowhead at the Lodge and is looking forward to more travel and will be appearing at the Grand Del Mar on the 4th of July.

If you haven’t had an opportunity to see this CV Music Awards winner you owe it to yourself to take some time from your busy life and feel the music with John Stanley King. For information on his upcoming gigs visit his website