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A dazzling magic & mentalism show starring world class illusionist Kevin Blake inside San Francisco’s most exclusive speakeasy.
Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah announces his forthcoming album’s, Ancestral Recall, release on March 22, 2019 via the Ropeadope/Stretch Music labels. Released today, the album’s title track features poet laureate Saul Williams. Of the song, Highsnobiety proclaims “QUOTE.” Additional collaborators on the recording include Elena Pinderhughes, Weedie Braimah, Logan Richardson, Mike Larry Draw, Chris Turner, and others. Heralded by NPR as ushering in “a new era in jazz,” Adjuah continues to forge new ground. JazzTimes cites him as "The architect of a new commercially viable fusion" and "Jazz's young style God.” In 2015, Adjuah released Stretch Music - the inaugural recording of Adjuah’s vision of genre blindness in sound. The trailblazing document centered around acculturating as many musical forms, vernaculars, and cultures as possible into one fresh and resonate creative improvised concept. The recording garnered Adjuah a Downbeat Critics Poll “Rising Star Composer” win in addition to many “Rising Star Trumpet” wins from the publication. Stretch Music was accompanied by a groundbreaking app by the same name, for which Adjuah won JAZZFM’s 2015 Innovation of the Year honor. The Centennial Trilogy: Adjuah’s three-album series commemorating the 100th anniversary of the first jazz recordings was released in 2017. The recordings are a sobering re-evaluation of the world’s social and political realities and speaks to a litany of issues that continue to plague the collective human experience. The trilogy was praised by Pitchfork, NPR Music, Stereogum, The FADER, GQ, The New York Times, Interview Magazine, Paste, Noisey, Rolling Stone, Newsweek, as well as other print media. The final album of the trilogy, The Emancipation Procrastination, is nominated for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album at the 61st Grammy Awards. The recording marks Adjuah's second nomination. Ancestral Recall continues Adjuah’s mission to unify people via their musical and cultural voices by tearing down the sonic and social constructs that separate them. As a newly ascended Chieftain in the Black masking culture of New Orleans, he has been deeply committed to turning identity politics, as it is used in music, on its ear. Ancestral Recall seeks to excavate and update hidden histories in sound by displaying a sonic tapestry that illuminates the har-melodic movements found within rhythm. Adjuah explains: "In its inception, Ancestral Recall was built as a map to de-colonialize sound; to challenge previously held misconceptions about some cultures of music; to codify a new folkloric tradition and begin the work of creating a national set of rhythms; rhythms rooted in the synergy between West African, First Nation, African Diaspora/Caribbean rhythms and their marriage to rhythmic templates found in trap music, alt-rock, and other modern forms. It is time we created a sound that dispels singular narratives of entire peoples and looks to finally represent the wealth of narratives found throughout the American experience. An experience that shows all forms of expression in sound are valid, as all people are." The goal is to connect people in one understanding rather than dividing them by definition. Christian was also just featured on Boogie’s “Whose Fault” from the album Everything For Sale, which reached #1 on the iTunes hip hop charts upon release on January 24, 2019.
Esa-Pekka Salonen and the SF Symphony present a program where the friction between powerful viewpoints yields brilliant musical discoveries. Hannah Kendall’s Tuxedo: Vasco ‘de’ Gama takes inspiration from Jean-Michel Basquiat’s artwork Tuxedo while referencing the complicated legacy of Western exploration and colonialism. Then, Unsuk Chin’s Graffiti paints a musical picture that’s wild, refined, free, and mysterious. The program concludes with Ludwig van Beethoven’s triumphant Seventh Symphony whose emotional center is the second movement, the heartrending Allegretto. Program: Tuxedo ‘de’ Gama [San Francisco Symphony Premiere] by Hannah Kendall; Graffiti [San Francisco Symphony Premiere] by Unsuk Chin; Symphony No. 7 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Modern jazz’s greatest composer and a pianist with a wry, percussive, instantly recognizable touch, Thelonious Monk wrote at least two dozen tunes that are oft-played jazz standards, and several dozen more that are equally rewarding if less often attempted. A brilliantly diverse cast drawn from jazz’s top pianistic ranks comes together for a celebration of Monk’s 104th birthday, an event that’s a longstanding SFJAZZ tradition. Diving into Monk’s extraordinary oeuvre are Clark Terry protégé Justin Kauflin, a technically dazzling player with an old soul, and Gerald Clayton, scion of a great jazz family and one of his generation’s most widely heralded players. The SFJAZZ Collective’s Edward Simon, who was born in Venezuela and established as a New York City innovator by his mid-20s, has been a leading force in melding jazz with kindred Latin American idioms. And San Francisco star Tammy L. Hall is equally in demand with her own trio and as an accompanist for the region’s finest jazz vocalists. With these four inimitable players on the bill, Monk’s legacy couldn’t be in better hands.
Spanish Harlem Orchestra, the three-time Grammy® winning Salsa and Latin Jazz band, sets the gold standard for excellence in authentic, New York style, hard core salsa. Whether in a concert hall or at an outdoor jazz festival, there is no easing you in, they come at you full force, from start to finish. Their energy on stage and their rich sound and musical precision leave audiences mesmerized until the last note is played. With an unwavering respect for the music’s storied history, the ensemble’s thirteen world-class musicians and vocalists come together to create an unparalleled musical experience. Now celebrating their 15th year, SHO, as they are known to fans, is dedicated to the sounds of the barrio (Spanish Harlem NYC). Their music is characterized by the raw, organic and vintage sound defined by the genre. They are on a mission to keep the musical legacy of salsa dura (hard salsa) alive and expand its audience to those who love great music, not just Latin music. Grounded in the past, while focused on the future, they strive to keep the music relevant, creating a unique and fresh approach. With six CD’s and five Grammy nominations, this powerhouse orchestra is aware that it is crucial to continually push themselves and raise the bar. Their latest release and 6th album entitled “Anniversary” won the 2019 Grammy® Award for “Best Tropical Album”.
Experience each turn of phrase—every sigh, every look, every joy—within the intimate realm of chamber music. It’s personal—music curated and performed by small ensembles of San Francisco Symphony musicians. Program: Duo for Violin and Cello - Zoltán Kodály; Perfectly Voiceless by Devontae Hynes; Piano Quintet in G minor by Dmitri Shostakovich
JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR is an iconic musical phenomenon with a world-wide fan base. In celebration of its 50th Anniversary, a new mesmerizing production comes to North America. Originally staged by London’s Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre and helmed by the acclaimed director Timothy Sheader (Crazy for You, Into the Woods) and award winning choreographer Drew McOnie (King Kong, Strictly Ballroom), this production won the 2017 Olivier Award for Best Musical Revival garnering unprecedented reviews and accolades. Appealing to both theater audiences and concert music fans, this production pays tribute to the historic 1971 Billboard Album of the Year while creating a modern, theatrical world that is uniquely fresh and inspiring. Featuring award-winning music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice, JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR is set against the backdrop of an extraordinary series of events during the final weeks in the life of Jesus Christ as seen through the eyes of Judas. Reflecting the rock roots that defined a generation, the legendary score includes ‘I Don’t Know How to Love Him’, ‘Gethsemane’ and ‘Superstar’.
Even amidst the expansive, treasure-laden, and epically consequent discographies of Chick Corea and Gary Burton, Crystal Silence stands out as a lightning-strike encounter. Released in 1973, the album introduced a partnership that exemplified how the deepest jazz could also be guileless, wide-eyed and exuberantly playful. Juilliard-trained pianist Nate Sparks and Kyle Athayde, a gifted vibraphonist from Orinda who studied trumpet at Manhattan School of Music, bring their abundant skills and vivid imaginations to Crystal Silence’s beloved tunes by Corea and Steve Swallow. A multi-instrumentalist who also performs on piano, bass, bass clarinet, drums and sundry percussion, Athayde hails from a musical family and has thrived bicoastally as a composer, arranger, teacher, and bandleader best known for the Kyle Athayde Dance Party, his stylistically omnivorous big band. The Iowa-raised Sparks shares many affinities with Athayde, including impressive trumpet chops and leadership of the 18-piece Nate Sparks Big Band. A prolific composer, he’s received commissions from Bobby Sanabria and the Multiverse Big Band, Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks, and Arturo O’Farrill’s GRAMMY-nominated MSM Afro-Cuban Orchestra.
The violin’s potential as a vehicle for jazz expression was overlooked for decades, but a handful of intrepid musicians have made the instrument an essential part of the 21st century soundscape. In the San Francisco String Trio powerhouse East Bay violinist Mads Tolling has found equally formidable improvisers in guitar star Mimi Fox and bassist/vocalist Jeff Denson, dean of instruction as the California Jazz Conservatory. The collective can transform just about any kind of tune into a combustible situation, like on the trio’s 2017 debut album May I Introduce To You, a jazz tribute to the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s — music they revisit for this performance. Sharing the double bill is the quintet House of Faern with violinist Jenny Scheinman, who’s released nine albums of her own and collaborated extensively with Bill Frisell, Jason Moran, Nels Cline and Allison Miller. Featuring alto saxophonist Beth Schenck, guitarist Matt Wrobel, pianist John Wood, and GRAMMY-winning bassist Todd Sickafoose, House of Faern focuses on original compositions inspired by glorious outdoor settings evoked by improvisation-laced sojourns that melt distinctions between folk, jazz and classical music.
To Break Free, She Had to Break In. Disguised as a guard, one woman infiltrates a nightmarish detention center to unravel the mystery of her activist-husband’s disappearance. Enter into a modern-day reflection of incarceration with director Matthew Ozawa’s brand-new production of Beethoven’s only opera, starring Elza van den Heever and Russell Thomas. Music Director Eun Sun Kim conducts the triumphant score, a precursor to Beethoven’s later work, the Ninth symphony.
Program: Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune (Prelude to The Afternoon of a Faun) by Claude Debussy; Oiseaux exotiques by Olivier Messiaen; Aile du songe [San Francisco Symphony Premiere] by Kaija Saariaho; La Mer by Debussy
SFJAZZ Collective members Warren Wolf and Edward Simon team up for a very special vibraphone/piano duo performance in the Joe Henderson Lab. As bandmates in the Collective for nearly a decade Wolf and Simon have explored the music of Antonio Carlos Jobim and Sly and the Family Stone, Joe Henderson, Michael Jackson, and Miles Davis in both acoustic and electric incarnations. On the bandstand they’re almost always surrounded by their illustrious Collective compatriots, but on rare occasions they’ve had a chance to break away as a duo (like on Wolf’s ravishing arrangement of the bossa nova standard “Chega de Saudade”). Left to their own devices for an evening of duets, the prolific composers are covering the waterfront, playing original tunes, American Songbook gems and jazz standards. Eager to see where the music takes them, Simon and Wolf thrive in stripped down settings where hushed dynamics are possible and every note counts. With Wolf’s R&B-infused Mack Avenue album Reincarnation, released at the start of the pandemic, and Simon’s epic Ridgeway Records anthology 25 Years, celebrating a quarter century of recording as a leader, this is a partnership that draws on a vast and varied body of influences.