Sunday, January 7, 2018

Humanities West Offers Jazz++ Lecture-Performance

Jazz trumpeter Erik Jekabson (from his Web site, photograph by Scott Chernis)

Those who follow the lecture offerings from Humanities West know that the programs frequently embellish the lecture material with musical performances. However, next month’s offering will focus on a musical topic and will be presented in collaboration with the Berkeley-based California Jazz Conservatory (formerly known as the Jazzschool for those of us with longer memories). The title of the offering is Blues, Jazz, & Rock’n’Roll; and it will be presented as a single evening session lasting about two and one-half hours.

The structure will consist of a lecture by Robert Greenberg interleaved with performance examples. The performers will be the members of the Erik Jekabson Quartet (Jekabson on trumpet and rhythm provided by Grant Levin on piano, Tommy Folen on bass, and David Flores on drums), along with percussionist John Santos. Greenberg’s lecture will encompass more than half a century of music-making, beginning with “early jazz" (as Gunther Schuller called it in the title of his magisterial volume) beginning in New Orleans and progressing up the Mississippi River. He will survey different approaches to playing jazz, such as swing in the Thirties and the emergence of bebop in the Forties. In the Fifties jazz became more experimental, while popular culture turned to rock ’n’ roll, which became a harbinger of the the social unrest of the Sixties.

This presentation will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 1. The venue will be the Marines’ Memorial Theatre, located at 609 Sutter Street, just off Union Square. Tickets will be $60 in the orchestra section and $45 in the balcony. Individual teacher and student balcony tickets will be sold for $25. (Note that the Marines’ Memorial Theatre does not have an elevator to the balcony level and that the orchestra level is on the second floor of the Marines’ Memorial building.) Tickets may be purchased in advance online from a City Box Office event page or by calling City Box Office at 415-392-4400.

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