The Saxophone Congress — Three baritone sax players — Danny Bittker, Larry De La Cruz and Jim Peterson — Scott Foster, guitar and Dan Foltz, drums perform music by Charles Mingus, Ornette Coleman and Carla Bley! Your cover charge at the show helps us guarantee a fair wage to the musicians that work here. Individual donations from a great many generous members of the Bird & Beckett community are also necessary. If you can and haven’t, please join their number. Bird & Beckett will always be a work in progress… Thanks for being part of the solution with your dollars, ears, intellect and loyalty!Read More
Kahil El’Zabar percussion, kalimba, voice Corey Wilkes trumpet Alex Harding baritone saxophone THE EHE’S ANNUAL BLACK HISTORY MONTH NATIONAL TOUR WRAPPING UP AT BIRD & BECKETT & CELEBRATING FIFTY YEARS! $30 cover at the door (cash or venmo) byob reservations, call 415-586-3733 As the Ethnic Heritage Ensemble wraps up its annual Black History Month tour, the Ensemble is sporting a new release, out March 8 from Spiritmuse Records, entitled “Open Me: A Higher Consciousness of Sound and Spirit.” Open Me is a joyous honoring of potent new directions of the Ethnic Heritage Ensemble; it’s a visionary journey into deep roots and future routes, channeling traditions old and new. It mixes El’Zabar’s original compositions with timeless classics by Miles Davis, McCoy Tyner, and Eugene McDaniels. Thus, the Ethnic Heritage Ensemble continues affirming their indelible, half-century presence within the continuum of Great Black Music. February 28th marks the EHE’s sixth date at…Read More
Pat Klobas, bass Tommy Kesecker, vibes Terrence Brewer, guitar David Rokeach, drums $20 cover charge per adult; byob $10 teens and music students Kids free Reservations, call 415-586-3733 The Klobas/Kesecker Ensemble has an exquisite chemistry that makes for a special concert experience, and they arrive at Bird & Beckett with a new cd on the verge of release, their third, called “Blues Elixer.” They promise a delightful mix of original compositions new and old, and a scattering of beautifully conceived arrangements of jazz standards. Regarding their second cd, “Moment’s Notice” it was noted that “the timbre of textures seems unlimited and is applied with artistic savvy. The recording’s title cut, featuring Kesecker on vibes, is done with a new and distinct K/K Ensemble arrangement that cuts across jazz and Brazilian parameters. Kesecker’s vibes, Brewer’s guitar, Klobas’s acoustic bass and Rokeach’s drums are truly an ensemble that stands out as an…Read More
Henry Hung – trumpet Charlie Gurke – bari sax Dave Gibbons – piano Rob Woodcock – bass Evan Williams – drums $20-30 sliding scale cover charge. Help us pay a fair guaranteed wage to these musicians! Students 22 and under, $10 Watching in the live stream? Donate! Come out to the intimate concert space that is Bird & Beckett to hear an exciting combo celebrating the release of their new recording, executing the compositions of bassist and leader Rob Woodcock. http://robwoodcock.com/ Your cover charge at the show helps us guarantee a fair wage to the musicians that work here. Individual donations from a great many generous members of the Bird & Beckett community are also necessary. If you can and haven’t, please join their number. Bird & Beckett will always be a work in progress… Thanks for being part of the solution with your dollars, ears, intellect and loyalty!Read More
Larry De La Cruz, alto saxophone Jim Peterson, baritone saxophone Jeremy Steinkoler, drums $20 cover charge; byob Students 25 and under $10 Kids 12 and under free With its surprising and highly combustible line-up of two saxmen and one drummer, Mo’Fone has thrilled audiences with some of the funkiest jazz—-and jazziest funk-—being played today. Powering its way through inventive high-energy original compositions, Mo’Fone explores the sonic landscape of its unique instrumentation with a relentless adventurousness, creating a huge sound that belies its compact size.The band is celebrating the release of their 4th album, 3 Skidoo, featuring all original compositions by all 3 members. “If Mo’Fone doesn’t blow your socks off, you’re not paying attention.” “Snaps and crackles like James Brown’s Famous Flames mixed with a New Orleans second line.” Mo’Fone’s improvisations and concept have twice earned them the award for Best Jazz Group in the East Bay Express Readers’…Read More
Each year, Betty Wong calls in the talents from San Francisco’s Community Music Center to celebrate the breadth of music that catches her ear and keeps her creative juices flowing. Marking the Year of the Dragon, she’ll bring a cavalcade of musicians – students, faculty and friends — to play music from a variety of cultures and traditions around the globe, capping the afternoon as always with a trio of jazz players that are long-time colleagues and friends — saxophonist Ken Rosen, pianist Randy Craig and bassist Richard Saunders. Betty is a bona fide treasure. Read this article to get a bit of a sense of what a power she is! And here are the Wikipedia facts. Later the same afternoon, starting at 5, we’ll host a student jazz combo from CMC followed by a jam session hosted by the Akira Tana Trio, open to music students from any direction!…Read More
Two jazz combos from the Community Music Center — one coached by Scott Foster and one coached by Charlie Gurke — will perform short sets starting at 5pm, with a 2-hour jam session open to all student jazz musicians following at 6:30pm. Celebrate CMC and celebrate jazz and the talented youth drawn to it! Come hear the music and consider the brilliance of these students, and think about what it takes to pursue jazz performance as a career! The Independent Musicians Alliance has ideas and schemes to make that more realistic in the Bay Area. We’ll clue you in if you come. And if you do come, bring a twenty to help us pay the musicians!Read More
An event organized by writer Joan Gelfand. International Women’s Day is celebrated every March 8th around the globe, though its profile in the United States has generally been pretty low through the decades — we’d guess partly because of the patriarchy and partly because of the taint associated with that damned socialist impulse behind its first observance back in the spring of 1909, when the Socialist Party of America organized “Women’s Day” in New York City, that dual bastion of capitalism & revolution! Getting out ahead of the celebration by a couple of days — to get you ready to take to the streets on Friday — we’ll open the doors of Bird & Beckett to four writers and a moderator (herself a novelist, as well) to discuss the state of things for women and feminism in the here and now… discovering new narratives, as it were… Participating in this…Read More
Tim Berne, saxophone Tom Rainey, drums Gregg Belisle-Chi, guitar $20 cover charge (cash or venmo) at the door Reservations: 415-586-3733 byob For four and a half decades, Tim Berne has recorded prolifically under his own name and alongside creative innovators of the jazz avant garde including his idol and mentor Julius Hemphill as well as Nels Cline, Vinny Golia, Paul Motian, Bill Frisell, Olu Dara, Herb Robertson, Hank Roberts, Mark Dresser, Ray Anderson, Michael Formanek, John Zorn and dozens more. He operates the Empire and Screwgun record labels and has recorded for Soul Note, Black Saint, JMT, ECM, Enja, Intakt and many others. His first recording on lp with drummer Tom Rainey in the trio Big Satan with Danish guitarist Marc Ducret was issued in 1997, preceded by an lp by the trio BBC, with drummer Jim Black and guitarist Nels Cline. Many trio configurations have followed including Hardcell with…Read More
Walker Talks! A monthly exploration on a diversity of topics by Walker Brents III. Tonight, The Grail. (Basically a live stream — at show time, the talk will be live on Bird & Beckett’s Youtube channel and Facebook page, but you can also come in person if you like – call 415-586-3733.) Expressed in material analogy, the Grail is a sword or stone or spear or cup. Each of these has its own poetic history arising differently in culture after culture, in age after age. The unity shared by these analogical forms is one seen not with but through the eye, and has given rise to many forms of poetic speech, residing in one source—the faculty of human poetic vision. This is the vision which has from ancient times transformed the subject matter of the literary epic from heroic exploit to sublime character formation. This is not so remote as…Read More
Hungry to hear some of Bird & Beckett’s past live streams? On the home page you can scroll down to read the individual posts for the shows we’ve mounted in the past several months, a hint of what’s gone down since the pandemic lock-down began. In more amazing times, it would take you right back to the very first show of the current period, back on March 12, 2020, but that beautiful skein is no longer quite so easily accessed. Still, the evidence is there for those who dig. The March 12, 2020 show that signaled the shift was a Thursday evening performance by New York saxophonists Jessica and Tony Jones, both alumni of the Berkeley High jazz program, with NYC bassist Stomu Takeishi and local hero Deszon X. Claiborne on drums. The quartet’s booking for the night before at the Backroom over in Berkeley had been cancelled. A few…Read More
Bird & Beckett’s events open to the public have been back since mid-June 2021. Mask up if you’re inclined, and do come in! (Not vaxxed? Please get vaxxed and be safer!) Jazz, poetry & more live in the shop and live streamed Come to 653 Chenery if you’re in town! Doors open at 7:20 for our 7:30 shows. $20 cover for trios and quartets $25 for quintets, $30 for sextets, etc. Cash at the door please! BYOB and BYOglass, and pack out what you pack in! Please feel free to wear a mask in the shop. We trust the science and its processes, and we trust SF’s DPH to keep us up to date on best practices! Advised best practices as of early September 2021 was to wear a mask indoors around people. If that makes you a little more comfortable being inside this winter, then do feel free. Sure…Read More
The posts that follow show you what’s come and gone. Search the videos on our youtube channel or facebook page to find evidence of what you remember, or what you missed! Then, make sure you catch the next thing that catches your fancy. The live streams are great, but live music in a room with folks you know or ought to get to know, that’s irreplaceable…Read More
Jam session on the last Sunday of each month from 5 to 7pm! All jazz players welcome. Audience, please donate to help us pay the Vince Lateano Trio to host the jam — Ben Stolorow, piano; Peter Barshay bass, Vince Lateano, drums. Vince Lateano has been an invaluable part of the San Francisco scene since he came to the City in the mid-1960s. He quickly found his place in the local jazz scene, playing, recording and touring with Vince Guaraldi, subbing around town for Johnny Markham when Markham went on the road with Sinatra and other major acts, and working extensively with Cal Tjader, Eddie Duran, Chet Baker, Clare Fisher and a host of others through the years. Later, all through the 1990s ’til it closed as such in 2003, he was the house drummer at Jazz at Pearl’s in North Beach, playing with his own trio several nights a…Read More
Roy Brown brings his organ trio back to Bird & Beckett, with Bobby Cobb on guitar and Rusty Aceves on drums. For the last year and a half, Roy has had a weekly solo piano booking at the Adagio Hotel here in San Francisco, and he’s maintained a quartet since 2007 and an organ trio since 2011. Along the way, Roy has worked with singer Frankye Kellye (a three-month engagement in Shanghai in 2006, and festival engagements in Chiapas and Tabasco, Mexico in 2005), vibraphonist Yancy Taylor, saxophonists Jules Broussard and Charles Unger, and a host of other key Bay Area musicians. This year, he’ll be heard on piano on an album being recorded by the Larry Douglas/Jorge Pineda Alltet (Douglas is a long-time member of Roy’s organ trio). BYOB and a twenty to help us pay the band! Reservations, call the shop at 415-586-3733. Your cover charge at the…Read More
The New York City-based, Korea-born bassist Jeong Lim Yang revisits Bird & Beckett in the company of three of San Francisco’s finest improving musicians — Ben Goldberg on clarinets, Rob Reich on accordion and piano, and Jordan Glenn on drums. $20 cover charge / byob call for reservations: 415-586-3733 Below, you’ll find video from Lim’s recent Bird & Beckett concert, performing music from the pen of Mary Lou Williams! Your cover charge at the show helps us guarantee a fair wage to the musicians that work here. Individual donations from a great many generous members of the Bird & Beckett community are also necessary. If you can and haven’t, please join their number. Bird & Beckett will always be a work in progress… Thanks for being part of the solution with your dollars, ears, intellect and loyalty!Read More
Friday, 2/23/24 – 6-8pm: Tony Johnson’s 230 Jones Street Band – The Return of Glen Deardorff! Along with drummer Tony Johnson, guitarist Glen Deardorff has been with the 230 Jones Street Band since before its founder — the late saxophonist/flutist Chuck Peterson — began calling it the 230 Jones Street Band (or, more accurately, the 230 Jones Street, Local 6 Literary Jazz Band). The band was named for the address of the musicians union local where Chuck and his colleagues were active in the 1960s agitating for good contracts and fair wages & working conditions for the region’s professional musicians. Glen has been on hiatus since last February, so we’re more than pleased to have him back! Joining Tony and Glen tonight in the current iteration of the band are Charlie McCarthy on saxophone and flute, Chuck Bennett on bass and Max Perkoff on piano and trombone (sitting in for…Read More
Ben Stolorow, piano Peter Barshay, bass Vince Lateano, drums with guest vocalist Ernest East $20 cover charge; byob Reservations: 415-586-3733 Ernest East, a native San Franciscan, a graduate of Polytechnic High, and a long-time gem of the local jazz scene (also the founder of Miz Lynn’s Pies) is a swingin’ jazz vocalist with five decades’ experience on the local scene. If you’re a veteran of the jam sessions that Vince Lateano led at the Dogpatch Saloon back in the day, the one that became the Doghouse Jam at the Seven Mile House (and that continues to this day on the last Sunday of each month at Bird & Beckett), you’ll remember Ernest. At the end of last month, Ernest made it down to Bird & Beckett to join the trio for a tune or two at the end of each set, reconnecting with Vince after a few decades — bringing…Read More
With a crack trio comprising pianist Larry Chinn, bassist Fred Randolph and drummer Vince Lateano, David Gonzales celebrates his 80th birthday with two sets of hard swinging jazz! BYOChampagne! It’s a jazz party with some swingin’ cats who know how. 20 bucks gets you in. Reservations, call 415-586-3733. David’s first professional gig was in 1961 at a place on Polk St. in San Francisco called the Travel Agency. After combining performing and studies at City College of San Francisco and parenthetically, San Francisco State University (plus a stint with the U.S. Army), David became a fixture in a storied roster of popular nightclubs around here including Zanzibar, The Library, Lucky 13 Club, Roland’s, Milestones, Mister E’s, Jazz at Pearl’s, Bach Dynamite & Dancing Society, Shenanigans, Gullivar’s, etc., as well as performing at all the major hotels throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. He wrote lyrics for music composed by Chick…Read More
Pianist Murray Low, bassist Fred Randolph and drummer Jon Krosnick are the core tonight of Krosnick’s long-time jazz fusion outfit, Charged Particles. Having recently toured Europe with a project spotlighting the compositions of the late saxophonist Michael Brecker (with Tod Dickow magnificently handling the honors, featured on the band’s latest CD “Live at the Baked Potato”), Charged Particles is supercharged to provide a late evening of exciting music at Bird & Beckett. $20 cover charge; byob. reservations: (415) 586-3733Read More
James Mahone took up the saxophone as a youth in Monterey, soaking in the influence of the rich music scene there, and then attended Cal State Northridge to study both classical and jazz saxophone. Remaining in the Los Angeles area after graduation, he co-founded the group Black Note in 1991 with bassist Marcus Shelby and pianist Eric Reed. Black Note won the John Coltrane Young Artist Competition that year and recorded albums for Columbia and GRP/Impulse. As a member of the group, James spent several years performing up and down the West coast, eventually moving on to national and international destinations. He has performed in many major jazz festivals (Montreal, North Sea, Pori, Umbria, etc.) and has worked with many of today’s top-tier musicians. James continued his musical studies in New York City at The New School For Social Research and began teaching saxophone, clarinet and flute. He continued his…Read More
Meet one of San Francisco’s most crucial chroniclers! Chris Carlsson has been observing and promulgating the City’s progressive past, present and future for decades. Writer, historian, bicyclist, blogger, photographer and much more, he’s been a core citizen of the City since 1978. You know his work whether you realize it or not — from his books on San Francisco politics, his role in Critical Mass and bicycle culture, his immersion in FoundSF and Shaping San Francisco — he’s had an immense impact on your life, and ours as a collective soul expressed as the urban core of a variegated bioregion. He’s just one of many who have been forging the consciousness of the San Francisco Bay Area and coastal California since the days of Frank Norris, but he’s one who is here now, and he’s irreplaceable. He epitomizes what makes San Francisco uniquely alive and undefeatable. Hear him at Bird…Read More
STANDARD ISSUE Jazz standards from the depths Thursday, 2/8/24 – 7:30-9:30pm Darren Johnston / Kai Lyons / Marcus Shelby / Jeff Mars ERIC & THE IN CROWD Eric Shifrin / Ari Munkres / Mark Lee Friday, 2/9/24 – 6-8pm The songs of Harry Warren and Fats Waller! Ari Munkes on bass and Mark Lee on drums join Eric “Easifingers” Shifrin for a celebration of the tunes penned by two giants of the 1930s! ZILBER STOWELL DUO Michael Zilber / John Stowell SILVERSOUL CELEBRATION! Friday, 2/9/24 – 8:30-10pm A master saxophonist and a guitar genius continue a long-running conversation in jazz! PURPLE GUMS Bobby Bradford / William Roper / Francis Wong Saturday, 2/10/24 – 7:30-9:30pm The pocket brass band Purple Gums returns to Bird and Beckett! Here’s video for you video part two video part three video part the last Featuring the legendary cornetist Bobby Bradford, tuba virtuoso William Roper, and…Read More
Sunday, February 4th – 5-8pm, we present our monthly student combo / jam session date. This month, the Advanced Jazz Combo from RASOTA (Ruth Asawa School of the Arts) led by trumpeter Ryan Ancheta opens the evening with a 45-minute set, followed by a jam session conducted by the internationally acclaimed veteran drummer Akira Tana, with pianist Ken Cook and bassist Doug Miller. Jazz students from throughout the region to turn out to play! Tonight, we’re joined by students from the Hillsborough High jazz program. RASOTA Advanced Band Combo + Jam Session – Live Music @ B&B RASOTA Advanced Band Combo + Jam Session – Live Music @ B&BJam Session Host:The Akira Tana TrioKen Cook, pianoDoug Miller, bassAkira Tana, drumsFebruary 4, 2024Bird & Beckett BooksSan FranciscoPlease like and subscribe/follow for notifications!Presented by the nonprofit Bird and Beckett Cultural Legacy Project. We are a small independent bookstore in San Francisco with…Read More
The jazz starts Friday the 26th at 6pm, with Aussie Tony Johnson, shipwrecked on the Barbary Coast in 1959, leading his quartet with Nautical Bob Kenmotsu on saxophone, Cap’n Keith Saunders on piano and Eric the Pirate Markowitz on bass playing the revolutionary oceanic bebop of 52nd Street and its many sub-rebellions and tributaries. At 8:30pm, Friday, Rent Romus stages his own resistance against the corrupt and cynical power of commercial jazz, with a crack crew of battle hardened Vikings — Brett Carson, piano; Jacob Pek, guitar; Quinn Girard, bass; and Eli Knowles, drums. Saturday at 7:30pm, Arts for More! A kick-ass crew introduces a new organization out to change the landscape for musicians and other culture workers, the brainchild of Peter Barshay and Sarah Hughes, with a pre-launch gathering & concert by the Arts for More Pit Orchestra. Sunday, January 28th at 3pm, Dick Holdstock, a renowned singer…Read More
The Vince Lateano Trio has a long-standing monthly residency at Bird & Beckett on the third Sunday of each month. Vince has been a mainstay of the San Francisco jazz scene since the mid-1960s. No better way to spend a late Sunday afternoon! Do come, byob and a twenty for the band, or whatever you can afford. Bring kids, neighbors, friends, and introduce them to the joys of jazz at Bird & Beckett! Ben Stolorow, piano Peter Barshay, bass Vince Lateano, drums Special thanks go out this month to Jazz in the Neighborhood, a 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to raising the wages and working conditions of the region’s professional gigging musicians, for their subsidy of a guaranteed fair wage to twenty of the musicians crossing our stage this month! DONATE TO JitN AND TELL ‘EM WHY! JitN’s support allows us to go out on a limb to pay that same…Read More
Nathan Tokunaga, at the tender age of 16, has already been making waves for years with his amazing depth and maturity as a jazz clarinetist, particularly delving into the classic eras spanning the jazz of the 1920s to 1940s. In the company of a raft of jazz mentors, among them the acclaimed multi-instrumentalist and musicologist Clint Baker and drummer/pianist Jeff Hamilton, he’s been received with great enthusiasm on the concert and festival circuit. Steve Pistorius, a renowned New Orleans jazz pianist, after sharing a stage with Nathan in 2022, observed that, “I’ve been doing this for almost 50 years professionally and Nathan is playing at a level I’ve seldom heard (with a) depth of understanding of New Orleans Jazz as I’ve heard coming out that horn…” With Nathan’s contemporary, Benny Aron, on drums, this quartet is guaranteed to please, and Nathan’s talent will likely leave you breathless. Come and hear…Read More
Walk on down to Bird & Beckett this weekend! Scott Foster has just returned from New Orleans and has some deep and beautiful thoughts to convey Friday evening at 6pm, with a wonderful jazz quartet as the vehicle — Mike Rinta on trombone, Ollie Dudek on bass and groove merchant Larry Vann on drums! Bring the kids and the old folks, a date, a friend, yourself… Make an evening of it among neighbors and friends old and new in Glen Park, a wonderful hidden neighborhood in the storied city of San Francisco… Those in the know, know that Scott brings a different, wonderful aggregation of musicians and a fresh concept rooted in the jazz traditions on the third Friday of each month, and that he’s been a cornerstone of the Bird & Beckett jazz edifice since the beginning of the century, though he’s still a young man… Saturday at 7:30pm,…Read More
Mitch Polzak – lead guitar & vocals Hank Maninger – bass guitar & vocals Joe Goldmark – pedal steel guitar Kenny Owen – drums You’ll find the Seducers playing songs of lovin’ and longin’ at Bird & Beckett on the second Sunday of every other month — January, March, May, July, September & November, the odd numbered ones… Twangtastic tunes and gorgeous convergence in honky tonk heaven. There’s so much more than just jazz at Bird & Beckett. Join us! BYOB and a twenty for the band. That’ll git it!Read More
Gustavo Lorenzatti is an Argentine double bass player, composer and long standing member of the Symphony Orchestra of Córdoba. He has a background in jazz, improvised and, classical music, tango and argentinian folklore. He formally studied at the Rotterdam Conservatory of music with the soloist of the Netherlands Philharmonic, Hans Roelofsen. Gustavo will be performing a solo double bass concert which will feature a number of his own compositions characterized by the use of bowing, pizzicato, voice and percussion, all of which create a unique and stimulating experience.Read More
SUPPORT BIRD & BECKETT - DONATE TODAY!
Your tax-deductible donation to the Bird & Beckett Cultural Legacy Project helps us pay for a multitude of operating expenses necessary to present, promote and preserve local music, poetry, and more.
Help us keep the arts alive and thriving!
Click on "donate" in the navigation bar above, drop off a check at the bookshop, or drop one in the mail to:
Bird & Beckett Cultural Legacy Project
653 Chenery Street
San Francisco, CA 94131
Call us at (415) 586-3733 to find out how else you might lend your support.
Sign Up for Our Weekly Emails!
Our events are put on under the umbrella of the nonprofit Bird & Beckett Cultural Legacy Project (the "BBCLP"). That's how we fund our ambitious schedule of 300 or so concerts and literary events every year.
The BBCLP is a 501(c)(3) non-profit...
[Read More ]
Gigging musicians! You have nothing to lose but your lack of a collective voice to achieve fair wages for your work!
The IMA can be a conduit for you, if you join in to make it work.
Read more here - Andy Gilbert's Feb 25 article about the IMA from KQED's site