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duncan james portrait

Thursday, December 29 – 7:30pm
Duncan James Quartet

Duncan James, guitar
Larry Chinn, piano
Jim Kerwin, bass
Bob Blankenship, drums

Four long-time colleagues in jazz, swing & blues return to Bird & Beckett for the second year-end date in a row. Duncan himself has closed out the year for us in one combination or another for a half dozen years or more, and it’s always a pleasure.

$20 cash cover – byob – reservations, call 415-586-3733
Doors open ten minutes before the 7:30 show time.

Guitarist Duncan James has performed solo and with all the cats — here’s a photo from just one of thousands of dates, this one in the company of tenor player Harvey Robb, drummer Bobby Dominguez, bassist Dean Reilly and pianist Larry Dunlap.

He’s played bigger stages countless times, with fellow guitarists George Barnes, Howard Alden, Bruce Foreman and Mundell Lowe, with singers Marilyn McCoo, Eartha Kitt, Bernadette Peters and Bobby McFerrin, and with such diverse musicians as Chet Baker, Jimmy Witherspoon, Michael Feinstein, Frankie Laine, Les Brown and Eddie Sauter. He’s performed with the San Francisco Symphony and the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra, and has played the San Francisco, San Jose, Sacramento, Concord and Russian River Jazz Festivals.

On record, Duncan can be heard on three dates with the magnificent guitarist George Barnes, the Concord Jazz Guitar Collection Vols. 1 and 2, and with his own trio with vocalist Madeline Eastman, five recordings with Turk Murphy vocalist Pat Yankee and two with blues/jazz singer Darlene Langston, including “Street of Dreams” released in 2007. He also has a self-produced solo cd, “Duncan James: Solo Jazz Guitar,” is prominently featured on Jim Rothermel’s cds “NeoClassic Swing” and “Memories of You,” and on San Francisco blues diva Dr. Margie Baker’s cds “Live at Rasselas” released in 2010 and “So Many Stars” released in 2014. Duncan’s cd “All My Tomorrows” was released in 2010 and is available along with his trio and solo cds on the Jim Luellen Music Company web site at http://www.jimluellen.com

Pianist Larry Chinn enjoyed extended tenures working with Margie Baker and Jules Broussard since moving to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1984. He’s also worked with Frank Wess, John Handy, Pharoah Saunders, Mark Murphy, Harvie S, Richie Cole, Hal Stein, Nate Pruitt, Sylvia Cuenca and Al Molina. Larry has performed in locales ranging from neighborhood pubs, to luxury hotels and the area’s premier jazz venues like Yoshi’s, Pearl’s, Stanford Jazz Workshop and the Monterey Jazz Festival. He studied briefly at the Berklee College of Music, with Bobby Bradford at Pomona College, and with Latin jazz legend Mark Levine, and took extensive lessons with Don Haas, Dick Hindman, Peter Horvath and Charlie Shoemake. He’s a first call piano player always welcome on the Bird & Beckett stage.

Bassist Jim Kerwin has played with David Grisman for over 30 years and is featured on all of Grisman’s Jerry Garcia recordings, all of which boast a unique acoustic setting, encompassing a myriad of musical genres. A San Francisco State University graduate with a performance degree in solo double bass, he spent several years touring Europe with an avant-garde jazz trio led by vibist Larry Blackshere. He has performed with bluegrass greats Red Allen and Del McCoury and has played at Carnegie Hall with Stephane Grappelli and YoYo Ma. Kerwin is featured on numerous recordings – including six Grammy nominees – from big band and bluegrass to jazz and latin.

Drummer Bob Blankenship has been busy on the Bay Area jazz scene since 1972, playing along the way with John Handy, Eartha Kit, Red Holloway, Bill Watrous and all the local cats. A consummate time keeper with impeccable swing, he’s never without work, though it never looks like work when he’s behind his kit driving the band.

Not able to come to the shop? Donate any amount that seems fair to you, and watch it in the live stream on our YouTube channel or Facebook page. Your donations help us pay a fair guaranteed wage to the fine musicians that cross our stage.

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...
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