653 Chenery Street
in San Francisco's Glen Park neighborhood

[email protected]

Open to walk-in trade and browsing
Tuesday to Sunday
noon to six


Live Streams every weekend!
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to catch a show in progress!
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But nothing beats being in the room
with the music & the musicians!

Sunday, February 19th – 7:30-9:30pm
Brian Melvin Quartet

Wayne de Silva, saxophone
Brad Buethe, guitar
Peter Barshay, bass
Brian Melvin, drums

$20 cash cover charge at the door. BYOB.
Reservations, call the shop at 415-586-3733.

Brian Melvin remembers when he was 5 years old in San Francisco fascinated by Ringo Starr’s swing on the drum kit with the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan show, getting a drum with a cymbal attached that Christmas shortly after he turned 6,  and at age 7 meeting Buddy Rich at Bimbo’s 365 Club. Buddy genially gave Brian a pair of sticks, his album “Big Swing Face,” a picture and a friendship that lasted up until Buddy’s departure five years ago.

Not long after, he was grooving on the music exploding in the Haight Ashbury, especially the Grateful Dead and its drummers. Soon, the drumming of Jerry Granelli profoundly influenced him. “Jerry was just so different,” writes Brian, “and brought the mystical into the drum. San Francisco was blessed with so many eclectic minds. You had drummers like Jerry, George Marsh, and the late Scott Morris, who also was very creative and kind in his teachings. Then the likes of Eddie Marshall, and Eddie Moore, Richie Goldberg, and Vince Lateano who were and are just fantastic drummers.” At Keystone Korner, Brian met all the masters. He virtually lived there, and became close friends with Elvin Jones, Art Blakey, Philly Joe Jones, Max Roach and Rashied Ali. Brian and Rashid played double drums together with Jaco Pastorius and Jorma Kaukonen in a short-lived group in New York in the mid 80’s. So many others were taken in along the way. He learned brush ideas from Richie Goldberg and Billy Higgins.

Brian lived and played in New York a few different times, starting in 1987. During that period, he was the house drummer at the Blue Note jazz club after hours sessions, and played in the Mike Stern trio for two years at the famous 55 bar. In 1998-99, Brian shared living quarters with Al Foster and played all over New York, and the east coast.

Long interested in world music, master tabla players Alla Rakha and his son Zakir Hussain were Brian’s teachers, and remain the most highly regarded masters he knows and studies. They turn drums into gold, he says, and watching them together was an experience beyond words, a constant inspiration. His great friend and drummer Kwaku Daddy generously shared insights with him of African drumming and folklore.

Brian has played and recorded with many of the world’s leading musicians. Not limited by styles, he’s worked with the late Joe Henderson, Mike Stern, John Scofield, Michael Brecker, Randy Brecker, Joe Lovano, Bobo Stenson, Toots Thielemans, Richard Bona, Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead, Greg Allman of the Allman Brothers, and many more. One of his main associations was with the Hall of Fame bassist Jaco Pastorius. They were good friends and made five historic recordings together. One of their most famous was “Standards Zone” (Global Pacific Records) which was the no. 1 jazz album for 15 weeks.

For a number of years, Brian has resided in Tallinn, Estonia, and from that base he’s traveled widely, playing in numerous locales and settings, and teaching workshops and masterclasses. Among his ongoing projects are Modern Times and Drum Prana from Estonia, Beatlejazz, with Dave Kikoski, out of New York, and Fog, with Peter Barshay and Brian Buethe, from San Francisco.

Brian’s friendship and musical association with Peter has brought him to Bird & Beckett in the past and for the current quartet engagement, this time with two additional long-time associates and master musicians of San Francisco, guitarist Brad Buethe and saxophonist Wayne de Silva, who recorded with Brian in trio format for a 1984 release, and whose tunes Brian has included in other lps.


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The Bird & Beckett Cultural Legacy Project

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.

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The Independent Musicians Alliance

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

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