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Eddie Henderson

Thursday, May 26 – 7:30pm
Eddie Henderson Quartet

A jazz giant visits Bird & Beckett tonight in the company of three colleagues of considerable stature and experience themselves–if a generation or two removed. We’re pleased and deeply honored to present the eminent trumpeter Eddie Henderson in the company of his associates Peter Zak on piano, Marcos Varela on bass and Sylvia Cuenca on drums.

$25 cash cover charge at the door. BYOB and a mask. Doors open at 7:20 for the 7:30 show. Reservations, call 415-586-3733.

Eddie Henderson’s five decades-plus prominence among the great trumpet players of jazz began alongside Julian Priester, Bennie Maupin, Patrick Gleeson, Buster Williams, Chepito Areas and Billy Hart in Herbie Hancock’s Mwandishi band, which produced the lps Mwandishi (1971), Crossings (1972) and Sextant (1973). Mwandishi was hugely influential in describing and realizing possibilities opened up by Miles Davis’s revolutionary jazz rock fusion of the late ’60s, a movement that had Hancock at its core.

In 1972 and 1973, with the same musicians including Hancock, Mr. Henderson made Realization, his debut lp as a leader, and Inside Out. Taken together, those five albums document an amazing creative flowering, not just for Henderson but for his colleagues and the music itself.

Beginning with Realization, he has released 26 albums as a leader.

With the dissolution of Mwandishi, he recorded and performed with Norman Connors for several years and as a member of Azteca. And through the passing years, he’s recorded and/or performed with Pharoah Sanders, Kenny Barron, Gary Bartz, Stanley Cowell, Art Blakey, Elvin Jones, Johnny Griffin, Slide Hampton, McCoy Tyner, Benny Golson, Max Roach, Jackie McClean, Dexter Gordon, Roy Haynes, Joe Henderson and innumerable other jazz masters.

For a dozen years now, Eddie Henderson has been a member of The Cookers, an all-star ensemble that includes Billy Hart along with Billy Harper, Cecil McBee, George Cables, Donald Harrison and David Weiss, touring internationally and releasing six albums from 2010’s The Warriors to 2016’s The Call of the Wild and Peaceful Heart; their most recent SFJazz appearance was in June of 2019. The Cookers toured in Europe in November and December 2021, played in San Jose and Santa Cruz in February of this year, played five nights at Birdland in NYC in early March and played four nights at Blues Alley in Washington, D.C. in mid-March. At 81, Eddie Henderson is going strong.

There’s much more to the Eddie Henderson story (a little of it can be gleaned from this article in Jazz Times; more can be found in Robin D. G. Kelley’s biography of Thelonious Monk). Henderson was born in New York in October 1940; his mother, a dancer at the Cotton Club, introduced him to Louis Armstrong who gave him a lesson on trumpet. The family moved to San Francisco when he was 14. He studied at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music for a couple of  years; but at 17, he was taken to the Blackhawk by Miles Davis, a family friend, to hear the band that included John Coltrane, Cannonball Adderley, Wynton Kelly, Paul Chambers and Philly Joe Jones, cementing his attraction to jazz.  He received a B.A. from UC Berkley, and got his M.D. in 1968. By 1971, he was in Mwandishi while practicing at Langley Porter Psychiatric Hospital on Parnassus Street. Until 1985, he split his time in San Francisco between psychiatry and music. In 1985 he moved to New York and psychiatry fell away within a year or two as he soon devoted himself to pursuing the musical career that has brought him to his most recent album, Shuffle and Deal, in 2020 and the 2021-2022 reemergence of The Cookers on the circuit.

Don’t miss this opportunity to catch Eddie Henderson in the company of three fine New York based musicians as we kick off the Carnaval / Memorial Day Weekend with a double header! Catch Annette A. Aguilar’s Brazilian Latin Jazz Quartet at 5, and the Eddie Henderson Quartet at 7:30!

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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