The Vibe Summit is presented annually each summer by the Los Angeles Jazz Society, gathering vibe players from throughout Southern California and beyond. Created by Mal Sands with the Los Angeles Jazz Society, this 3-4 hour afternoon also honors a highly recognized vibe player.
A Brief History of The Vibe Summit Paraphrased from an article by Mal Sands, the creator of Vibe Summit.
“In February 1995 the Santa Barbara Jazz Society hired vibraphonist Ruben Estrada’s band to pay tribute to Estrada’s idol Cal Tjader at the Sea Cove Night Club. When I heard about this I asked Estrada if it would be OK for me to invite other vibraphonists to sit in. Estrada said that would be fine. The event ended up being a huge success, and had many people asking when it would be done again. This is what turned out to be Vibe Summit I honoring Cal Tjader. One month later, in March 1995, a much beloved and now departed Chuck Kane of the Los Angeles Jazz Society called to say that he had talked to a producer of a concert series at USC who had hired Ruben Estrada’s band to play an afternoon concert. He had heard of the Summit at the Sea Cove and asked if I would organize a similar Summit for this event. I went ahead and made the arrangements and the show went on. The audience response was tremendous, lightening had struck twice. This was Vibe Summit II honoring the Estrada Brothers and Cal Tjader. In 1996 Vibe Summit III took place at the Industry Hills Sheraton. A total of seventeen vibes players, including future honorees Terry Gibbs, Larry Bunker, Emil Richards, Dave Pike, and Tommy Vig participated playing a Tribute to Gene Estes and Cal Tjader once again. This time three-hundred people were in attendance. Loud cheers, thunderous applause, and a standing ovation greeted the mallet men at the close of the show. Cal Tjader had been honored three times in a row. It was now time to honor someone else.”
“In 1997, the Los Angeles Jazz Society (LAJS) had selected Terry Gibbs to be the Honoree at their Annual Tribute. Chuck Kane suggested that we organize a Vibe Summit honoring Terry Gibbs to coincide with his being honored at the Tribute. Santa Monica’s Ash Grove Restaurant was secured, and a steller rhythm section of Dave McKay (P), Richard Simon (B), and Paul Kreibich (D) was hired. I invited all the vibe players including the legendary Red Norvo and Terry invited his former employer, the one and only Steve Allen, who eventually joined Terry in a vibe duet that brought the house down. (This was the year that the LAJS joined forces with Mal officially). In 1998 the Summit moved to the Professional Musicians Local 47 in Hollywood. In 2010 the Summit moved again to the Remo Recreational Music Center in North Hollywood.”
Following Remo Belli’s passing, the event now takes place at various locations in the San Fernando Valley.
In 2020, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Vibe Summit was presented VIRTUALLY, with vibe artists from across the U.S. (from Hawaii to Seattle, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and New York) and Denmark – our first International Vibe Summit – which was watched from 5 countries.
The 2021 dates will be announced shortly.