Sunday, March 24, 2019

Joe Henderson Lab at SFJAZZ: April, 2019

Readers may recall that, if I delay too long in reporting on events at the Joe Henderson Lab on the ground floor of the SFJAZZ Center, I run into dates for which tickets are no longer available. There will be some fascinating diversity at the Lab next month. Hopefully, readers will encounter the same ticket availability that guided the preparation of this summary.

It continues to be the case that Henderson offerings are given two performances on a single evening. Times are at 7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. except for Sundays, when the events usually take place at 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Each offering has its own event page, which has separate hyperlinks for purchasing tickets to the different time slots. Each of the dates in the enumeration below will have a hyperlink to the appropriate event page. The SFJAZZ Center is located at 201 Franklin Street, on the northwest corner of Fell Street.

Thursday, April 4–Sunday, April 7: The month will begin with the annual SFJAZZ Poetry Festival. This year the festival title is American Dream States, and it will be curated by the new SFJAZZ Poet Laureate Marc Bamuthi Joseph, Founding Program Director of Youth Speaks. While the focus of this event is literature, many of the readings will be delivered with music accompaniment. Specifics have not yet been announced; but participating poets, in addition to Joseph, will be Mino Yanci, Ambrose Akinmusire, Adam Mansbach, Zoé Samudzi, Janae Johnson, Mona Webb, Jeff Chang, Ryan Peters, Tongo Eisen-Martin, Mona Webb, and RyanNicole. Separate event pages have been created for each day of the Festival: April 4, April 5, April 6, and April 7.

Thursday, April 11–Sunday, April 14: Guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel will return to the Lab with a “revised edition” of his standards trio. He will perform with Italian bass virtuoso Dario Deidda and drummer Gregory Hutchinson. He will use the program to showcase his 2009 Word of Mouth album Reflections with new settings of timeless classics added to the mix.

Thursday, April 18: The theme of the following week will be Keyed Up II, the latest series of concerts featuring keyboard repertoire and the masters of its execution. The series will begin with a Hotplate concert given by pianist Joe Gilman. He will perform his impressions of the album Sunday at the Village Vanguard, a trio recording led by pianist Bill Evans with Scott LaFaro on bass and Paul Motian on drums. The album was taken from both afternoon and evening sessions presented on June 25,. 1961. As of this writing, tickets are almost sold out for both the 7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. performances.

Friday, April 19: The second pianist in the series will be San Francisco native Adam Shulman. He will lead a sextet whose front line will include Mike Olmos on trumpet, Lyle Link on alto saxophone, and Patrick Wolff on tenor saxophone. Rhythm will be provided by John Wiitala on bass and Evan Hughes on drums. The program will feature original compositions from Shulman’s new album Full Tilt.

Saturday, April 20–Sunday, April 21: Gerald Clayton will close out the series with two nights of a program entitled Piano Trio Legacy. The other members of his trio will be Anthony Wilson on guitar and Alan Hampton on bass. The trio will perform selections from Clayton’s latest Motéma release, Tributary Tales.

Thursday, April 25: This program will be co-presented by the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (SFCM). It will provide a platform for those students currently in SFCM’s Roots, Jazz and American Music (RJAM) Program. Members of the RJAM Faculty will appear as guest artists. This concert will be given only one performance beginning at 7 p.m.

Friday, April 26: In a related vein the Lab will host an Artists On The Rise concert. The artist in question will be San Francisco native Sasha Berliner, a versatile drummer and gifted vibraphone player. She will lead a quartet, whose other members will be Chris McCarthy on piano, Kanoa Mendenhall on bass, and Jongkuk Kim on drums. They will play selections from both her debut album Gold and her “sophomore” album Azalea, which is scheduled for release this coming fall.

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