November 7, 2014
World premiere! avant-NOIR is a new project by bassist and composer Lisa Mezzacappa, for her critically-acclaimed experimental jazz quartet, Bait & Switch. The music is inspired by noir genre fiction set in New York City (where Mezzacappa was born and raised) and the San Francisco Bay Area (where she has lived for the past 13 years). For this project, the quartet is joined by special guests percussionist William Winant and electronics wizard Tim Perkis. avant-NOIR is a musical companion to Paul Auster’s abstract “soft-boiled” crime stories from his New York Trilogy of the 1980s, set in conversation with the West Coast classic hard-boiled 1920s-era detective fiction of Dashiell Hammett. The music progresses like a detective’s case, using clues and imagery from the crime novels such as maps, letters, messages and relationships between characters and places, to create compositions with acoustic and electric sounds, field recordings and composed and improvised material. Featuring Aaron Bennett on tenor saxophone, John Finkbeiner on electric guitar, Lisa Mezzacappa on acoustic bass and Jordan Glenn on drums. lisamezzacappa.com
Lisa Mezzacappa’s avant-NOIR is made possible through the Musical Grant Program, which is administered by the San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music, and supported by the Heller Foundation, the Hewlett Foundation, the San Francisco Foundation and Grants for the Arts|San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund.
Photo by Martin Phillips
November 2, 2014
Take the stage and sing the blues with a killer band! Hosted by acclaimed vocalist Pamela Rose, this special Jazzschool vocal jam session is open to all singers. Please arrive by 6:30 to sign up to sing. No charts needed, but singers should be prepared to explain the form of their song in a few words (e.g. “12-bar blues in the key of F, shuffle”).
Vocalist Rhonda Benin has earned a reputation for more than just her voice — her showmanship, magnetic stage personality, humor, and great dancing have delighted audiences across the Bay Area and beyond. Rhonda’s impressive resume includes performances at SFJAZZ, Yoshi’s, MOAD, and the Healdsburg, Sonoma, Burlingame, Sausalito, Fillmore, and Calistoga Jazz Festivals. In the summer of 2012 Rhonda traveled to Hangzhou, China for a 3 month engagement at the JZ Jazz Club. In addition to singing, Rhonda is producer and founder of the Women’s History Month’s show “Just Like A Woman,” a tribute to Bay Area women in music and “Jazz Ain’t Nothing But The Blues.” Join Rhonda as she performs her new show, “Groovin, On A Sunday Afternoon,” a unique mix of jazz, blues and soul featuring John R. Burr on piano, Ron Belcher on bass Rob Rhodes on drums.
Students of all levels can benefit from this workshop on how to creatively avoid the overwhelming monotony of “head-solos-head.” By listening to and studying transcriptions of classic recordings, we look at how to employ devices like shout choruses, modulations, tempo changes, intros, codas, send-offs, backgrounds, tags, vamps, interludes, trading, breaks/stop-time and more. Students receive transcriptions of arrangements by Dizzy Gillespie, Horace Silver, Tadd Dameron, Miles Davis, Ahmad Jamal, and others. Instructor also guides students through the craft of spontaneous arranging “on-the-fly.”
Seattle-based alto saxophonist and composer Jacob Zimmerman studied at the New England Conservatory of Music, and Mills College. His teachers have included Roscoe Mitchell, Jerry Bergonzi, Joe Morris and Anthony Coleman. Jacob was recognized as the “2013 Emerging Artist of Year”
by Earshot Jazz.
November 1, 2014
The Kristen Strom Quartet presents a program of original, classic and contemporary jazz. A 20-year playing history enables these master improvisers to paint from a rich palette of musical colors. Their intuitive interplay can veer from gentle group dialogue to excitingly kinetic improvisation. Featuring Kristen Strom on saxophone and vocals, Scott Sorkin on guitar and John Shifflett on bass. kristenstrom.com
October 31, 2014
The annual Halloween concert is back, led by pianist Susan Muscarella and featuring Robb Fisher on bass and Jeff Marrs on drummer. Come for tricks AND treats!
October 26, 2014
The Jazzschool Community Music School Vocal Department presents a monthly jazz vocal jam session, hosted by Angharad Jones. All are welcome! Singers should bring three copies of their song for the band. Please arrive by 6:30 pm to sign up.
Berkeley jazz singer Audrey Martin knows all about the power of a song to provide hope and spiritual sustenance in dark times. A rapidly emerging talent, she reveals a lifetime of hard-won wisdom with her captivating debut Living Room. Possessing impeccable taste and a gloriously warm and clear voice, Martin has cultivated a highly personal repertoire encompassing American Songbook gems and singer/songwriter treasures from Laura Nyro, Joni Mitchell and Abbey Lincoln. Featuring bassist John Shifflett, drummer Jason Lewis, saxophonist/flutist Mary Fettig and pianist/arranger Larry Dunlap, whose credits include Ernestine Anderson, Joe Williams, and Cleo Lane.
“Martin says a lot in subtle ways. Her delivery is gentle and emotive, measured and meaningful, and wholly connected to the spirit of each song.”— AllAboutJazz.com
This workshop series explains how to improvise with a lead-sheet using real world examples from solos by John Coltrane and others. It departs from the often-used approach of “see this chord, play this scale” and gets into the actual vocabulary of jazz in a way that is easily understood and accessible. Visiting musicians demonstrate some of the approaches under discussion, and students listen to audio recordings. No need to bring instruments to this seminar. Discussion topics include:
- How to play on standards.
- What it means to “play in a key.”
- How to recognize the key you’re in, even if it’s not obvious.
- How playing in a key, rather than from chord-to-chord, is part of the jazz tradition.
- How to practice so all this gets more intuitive and more fun.
3 Sundays, 2 – 4pm
October 12, 19 and 26
$90 advance • $105 day of workshop
Clark Suprynowicz is a Bay Area composer and music teacher who has been faculty at the Crowden School, SF School of the Arts and the SF Conservatory (composition and musicianship). He’s had new work premiered by the Berkeley Opera, the Crucible, the Berkeley Symphony, and the Pacific Mozart Ensemble. As a bassist, he’s worked with John Zorn, Bill Frisell, Art Lande, and Tom Waits. Clark runs the Berkeley Jazz Workshops, a forum for jazz musicians developing their skills that has been a fixture in Berkeley for more than thirty years.
This workshop covers basic guitar chord shapes and progressions common in Brazilian music by examining the songs of great composers such as Antonio Carlos Jobim, Vinicius de Moraes, Baden Powell, Dorival Caymmi and others. The instructor also demonstrates essential Brazilian rhythms including bossa nova, samba, baiao, frevo, and toada. Prerequisites: Students should have some experience with basic chords and an interest in Brazilian music.
Ian Faquini is a Brazilian composer, guitarist, and singer. He has studied with many influential Brazilian musicians including Guinga, Marcus Tardelli, Lula Galvao, Chico Pinheiro and others. Ian teaches regularly at the California Brazil Camp.