Friday, May 11, 2018

Bird & Beckett: May, 2018

Bird & Beckett Books and Records is now posting their events on Facebook. The month is busier over there than I anticipated. Furthermore, activities of interest begin tonight; so, the sooner this summary for the remainder of the month goes out, the better it will be for those involved! For those unfamiliar with the venue, it is located at 653 Chenery Street, which is a short walk from the Glen Park station for both Muni and BART. That makes it a readily accessible site … at least until the work on the Twin Peaks tunnel gets under way! Here is the summary of the events:

Friday, May 11, 9 p.m.: Locksmith Isidore is a trio led by Jason Stein on bass clarinet. Rhythm is provided by Jason Roebke on bass and Mike Pride on drums. It is probably fair to call this a jazz trio, but it practices the sort of adventurous jazz improvisation that one is likely to encounter in performances by Anthony Braxton or, closer to home, Kyle Bruckmann. Bird & Beckett will host a special show to celebrate the release of the trio’s new album After Caroline by Northern Spy Records. There will be a charge of $20 for admission to this performance, which is a departure from the usual collection of donations.

Sunday, May 13, 4 p.m.: Bird & Beckett will celebrate Mother’s Day with a family-friendly performance by jazz vocalist Gail Dobson. She will be backed by a quintet consisting of her son Smith on saxophone, Masaru Koga alternating between saxophone and flute, Luis Salcedo on guitar, Jon Wiitala on bass, and Vince Lateano on drums. The program will showcase songs by George Gershwin, Antônio Carlos Jobim, Sting, and Billie Holiday. There will also be some spoken word, possibly backed with music by Pharoah Sanders. Admission will be by donation with a suggested amount between $10 and $20.

Thursday, May 17, 7:30 p.m.: The Canyon Moonlight Series will present just Suzanne (Suzanne Kramer), who will be kicking off her Strength & Vulnerability tour. The program will have two sets. In the first she will play her original music on acoustic guitar. The second set will be devoted entirely to jazz standards. She will be joined by Greg Sankovich on piano, Doug Pohorski on bass, and Steve La Porta on drums.

Saturday, May 19, 7:30 p.m.: Jazz vocalist and composer Roberta Donnay will perform with her Prohibition Mob Band. This will be another album release concert, the new album being My Heart Belongs to Satchmo on the Blujazz label. More specifically, her numbers reflect on Louis Armstrong’s recordings of swing, blues, and roots music from the Twenties and Thirties.

Sunday, May 20, 4:30 p.m.: Kasey Knudsen will be wrapping up a series of six concerts collectively titled Alternative Acts: Seeking Truth Above #F. This series was presented by the Bird & Beckett Cultural Literacy Project and the Jazz Philanthropists Union with financial support from the Zellerbach Foundation. All the performances were devoted to improvisation and other avant-garde practices. Playing saxophone, Knudsen leads a quartet whose other members are vocalist Lorin Benedict, clarinetist Ben Goldberg, and bassist Miles Wick.

Thursday, May 24, 7:30 p.m.: As already reported, Lisa Mezzacappa will present the second of the four Work-in-Progress Salons for the development of her suite based on the stories in Italo Calvino’s Cosmicomics book; a donation of between $5 and $10 is suggested.

[added 5/21, 9:15 a.m.:

Friday, May 25, 9 p.m.: This will be a special evening of duo improvisations bringing together ROVA saxophonist Larry Ochs with drummer Donald Robinson.]

Saturday, May 26, 7:30 p.m.: Aaron Germain will play both acoustic and electric bass to lead his Chance Ensemble in a program of straight-ahead jazz seasoned with Brazilian, funk, and fusion styles. The group is a quartet, whose other members are Mary Fettig on flute, Murray Lowe on piano, and Jon Krosnick on drums. Admission will be $20 at the door.

Sunday, May 27, 7:30 p.m.: The Evangenitals was co-founded by playwright Juli Crockett and vocalist Lisa Dee, who is equally at home with opera, jazz, and gospel. When it comes to independent ensembles, this group may well have the most eclectic repertoire. While most of their touring has been in the United States, they have also appeared at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Thursday, May 31, 7:30 p.m: As already reported, this will be the penultimate San Francisco performance by Lithuanian jazz singer Viktorija Gečytė performing with the Gene Perla quartet.

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