Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Warmth Band and Mural at The Cooper House in Santa Cruz

The Cooper House in downtown Santa Cruz used to house shops and restaurants. In this picture, you can clearly see the Cooper House Sidewalk Cafe, with their house-band, "Warmth" playing with their mural in the background. The Mural of Warmth in the background was done by James McFarlin, which was unfortunately torn down and destroyed by later owners of the Cooper House and carted away to the dump.

The long-time leader of the iconic Santa Cruz jazz Band was Don McCaslin, always at the keyboards, and his son, Donny McCaslin sometimes sitting in as a young sax player. Donny McCaslin has continued in his career, and now has a number of Jazz music CD albums out!

The Cooper House was damaged in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, and torn down shortly thereafter.

The classic 1970s summer afternoon was spent hanging out at The Cooper House, or nearby on a bench under a tree, listening to the jazz music of Warmth drifting through the air. Band Members of Warmth included Jim Baum, Don McCaslin, Wayne Goodwin, Franco, Wesley Braxton, and many others that came and went in a hang-loose style. Don McCaslin started playing at the Cooper House on a daily basis, starting in 1972. His legendary upbeat, Latin-tinged jazz vibes filled the air of the Cooper House sidewalk café all the way up to 1989, when the Cooper House was torn down.

Warmth was the heartbeat of downtown Santa Cruz from 1972 to 1989.


  1. Yeah, I thought it'd last too -"the big one" enchanted us with it's serene ['89] earth quack weather.
    The thing is it was a reproducible landscape/architecture equation. Flat land, light traffic, central & safe, lot's of sunlight, that BIG glass roof atrium, the west facing Victorian facade and perhaps the most importantly twas the "1970's" especially before 1984 when I'd'v been 14 and restless.
    Yet beyond the dimensions and angles there is poetry and logic, and potential to bring charm and terrific back restfully with Warmth

  2. One of their signature tunes was Poinciana. I've loved the tune ever since.

  3. Corny Bumpus played with them and was picked up by the doobie brothers