San Diego band aiming for Guinness World Record
As one of San Diego’s most talented and versatile singers, Leonard Patton had made numerous records under his own name and with other musicians. On Tuesday, he and his band hope to set a live music record by performing at 70 San Diego County locations in just 24 hours.
“We’re calling it ’70 in 24.’ It’s an intriguing project ... and a little insane!” said Patton, a longtime Lamb’s Players Theatre company member and the choir director at Southwestern College.
“The whole reason for doing this is to bring attention to - and raise funds for - the Jazz Vocal Workshop, the new nonprofit organization I’ve created to provide free music instruction at 200 San Diego schools.”
If all goes according to plan, Patton, keyboardist Ed Kornhauser, bassist Mackenzie Leighton and drummer Matt Smith will qualify for the next edition of Guinness World Records. The current record for most live music performances in a 24-hour period is held by Norwegian guitarist-singer Helge Toft and his band. They performed at 65 venues, in and around the city of Haugesund, between June 21 and 22 in 2012.
“We’re going for 70 performances. You can’t just go for 65,” said Patton, who is also an adjunct music professor at San Diego State University.
“Calling this a ‘little’ insane is an understatement,” keyboardist Kornhauser quipped.
“When Leonard told us Guinness had certified him to do this, I told him: ‘You’re ‘certified’ in more ways than one!’ He’s always pushing himself and trying new things, and he’s really fun to work with in that regard. Leonard is a force of nature, but a really fun one.”
Patton and his band mates will kick off their marathon series of performances at 10 a.m. Tuesday at the Museum of Making Music in Calrsbad. They will conclude, 24 hours later, at Off Broadway Live in Santee, where Jazz Vocal Workshop will hold daily events between May 22 and May 28.
In between will come performances at venues as varied as the Ocean Beach Playhouse, downtown’s San Diego Chinese Historical Museum, Old Town’s Grassroots Oasis, Hillcrest’s The Merrow, North Park’s Seven Grand and La Mesa’s Nainsook Framing & Art.
“I know the traffic patterns pretty well, because I grew up here,” said Patton, whose 2015 album, “A Beautiful Day,” features Grammy-winning drummer Antonio Sánchez and other jazz luminaries.
“Our goal is to work our way down Highway 101 from Carlsbad, so that we’re out of Pacific Beach by 3 p.m. We’ve mapped it out so that as many venues as possible are in close proximity.”
As per Guinness rules, each performance will last at least 10 minutes and will be confirmed by two official witnesses, who can each work for no more than four hours at a time. Each performance needs to be ticketed and documented with photographs and video footage.
Patton, his band, the witnesses, the photographer and the videographer will ride in two vehicles. While they are performing, production coordinator Michaela Stein will be making preparations at the next venue. Volunteer drivers will drop the musicians off at each venue, then park in the nearest yellow commercial loading zones, or circle around until each 10-minute performance is over.
Patton and his colleagues will eat trail mix and nutrition bars while in transit. He hopes they will have an hour or two to nap in the late night or early morning hours.
Their musical repertoire will be a mix of jazz standards and classic songs by The Beatles, Bob Marley, David Bowie and others.
“The most gigs I’ve ever done in one day before is five,” Kornhauser said. “But we’re all in this together, so it should be a fun experience.”
Tickets cost $10 each and include admission to all 70 performances. They will be available online, starting later Monday night, at: jazzvocalworkshop.org/worldrecordevent.
“Everybody will be able to get a ticket, whether they pay for it or not,” Patton noted. “We don’t want to infringe on the businesses that already have people there - like restaurants and bars - when we arrive.”
The record for most performances in San Diego in 24 hours by a solo artist was set in 2015, when Switchfoot leader Jon Foreman appeared at 25 locations here in one day.
The record for most performances in one day by a band here was set in 1990 by the San Diego punk-rock band Tom’s Drip Tank, which performed on a truck in the parking lot of every San Diego County 7/11 store - 49 at the time - in less than a day.
So far as can be determined, “70 in 24” will break that record by at least 21 venues.
Patton, 47, is the father of two teenage sons and an 11-year-old daughter. He laughed when asked what they think of his planned 70 performances in 24 hours.
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