Bird & Beckett presents a first-class quintet for sure, comprising seasoned players Charlie McCarthy on tenor sax and flute, Joe Cohen on alto sax, Mike Greensill on piano, John Clark on bass and Jack Dorsey on drums, all first-call musicians and long-time fixtures on the Bay Area jazz scene. Greensill provides originals as well as lovely arrangements of chestnuts from the Great American Songbook, and McCarthy, a superb arranger who has done work for everything from quartets to orchestras, also writes intricate and sophisticated charts for the group.
Greensill, born and raised in England, graduated from Leeds College of Music in 1972, then toured Europe and the Far East, settled in Hong Kong for four years, and arrived in San Francisco in 1977. A consummate accompanist as well as solo and ensemble player, he has an international reputation for his long association as accompanist and music director for his wife, the singer Wesla Whitfield. For many years, he’s been heard as house pianist for the weekly public radio show, West Coast Live.
McCarthy’s long resume includes extensive work with Ella Fitzgerald, Joe Henderson, Bobby Hutcherson, George Shearing, Stan Getz, Joe Williams and countless others, and has taught woodwind players at CCSF for years, as well as privately and at Stanford, Sonoma State and the College of San Mateo.
Cohen was born in Jacksonville, Florida and reached the Bay Area in 2006. He’s a founding member of the Jazz Mafia and ringleader of the Joe Cohen Show, toured with the Ringling Bros. circus when it still existed, has recorded with Thomas Dolby and has “shared the stage” with Booker T., Dr. Lonnie Smith and Digital Underground.
Clark studied with the great bassists Ray Brown and Buster Williams, and has worked for four or five decades in the Bay Area with the likes of vocalists Jackie Ryan and Denise Perrier, pianist/vocalist Frank Jackson, the Hot Club of San Francisco and Dan Hicks & His Hot Licks.
Dorsey arrived in San Francisco in 1968 out of New York, and has played everything from r&b to rock to blues to jazz in the company of stellar musicians including Buddy Miles, Etta Jones, Ed Kelly, Jimmy Witherspoon, Lavay Smith and Denise Perrier, as well as the Coasters, Little Anthony and the Imperials, Macy Blackman & the Mighty Fines and many more.
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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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