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Sam First, 6171 W Century Blvd #180, Los Angeles, CA 90045

chamber ensemble

About the event

Don Byron (clarinet), Joe Berkovitz (piano), Mark Helias (bass), Dru Heller (drums)

For more than three decades, Don Byron has been a singular voice in an astounding range of musical contexts, exploring widely divergent traditions while continually striving for what he calls "a sound above genre."

As clarinetist, saxophonist, composer, arranger, and social critic, he redefines every genre of music he plays, be it classical, salsa, hip‐hop, funk, rhythm & blues, gospel, klezmer, or any jazz style from swing and bop to cutting‐edge downtown improvisation — documented on fourteen recordings as bandleader, including the Grammy-nominated and Jazz Times Record of the Year 2004, Ivey-Divey.

Since being named “Jazz Artist of the Year” by DownBeat in 1992, he has consistently garnered awards from critics and readers of leading international journals, as well as from arts organizations and professional societies. He has been a Doris Duke Performing Artist, a recipient of Guggenheim and U.S. Artists Fellowships, an awardee of the Rome Prize for musical composition, a 3-time Grammy nominee, and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for composition. Acclaimed as much for his restless creativity as for his unsurpassed virtuosity as a player, Byron has presented a multitude of projects at major music festivals and venues around the world.

“Calling Don Byron a jazz musician is like calling the Pacific wet – it just doesn’t begin to describe it... Byron has carpentered an extraordinary career precisely by obliterating the very idea of category." –TIME Magazine

The current lineup of The Don Byron Quartet reflects longstanding collaborations among its members: Pianist Joe Berkovitz was featured on Byron’s acclaimed 1992 debut album, Tuskegee Experiments (Nonesuch). Mark Helias is a renowned bassist, composer and producer who has performed throughout the world for more than four decades with some of the most important and innovative musicians in Jazz and Improvised Music. Known for his dynamic and interactive playing, drummer Dru Heller has toured and recorded with many renowned jazz musicians, and his own quartets have received accolades worldwide.

All shows at Sam First are 21+ (no one under the age of 21 will be permitted)

Show Times: 7:30pm & 9:00pm, and a separate ticket is required for each show.

Notice of Recording: Sam First live streams and records all concerts. By entering Sam First, you understand that your image and/or voice might be included in those recordings. Sam First reserves the right to use any photography, video or audio recording taken at this event, without the expressed written permission of those included within the photograph/video.


Don Byron, Joe Berkovitz, Mark Helias, Dru Heller



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Useful Info

Live Event
Sam First, 6171 W Century Blvd #180, Los Angeles, CA 90045
Small Theater
21 years old and older only

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