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John Calloway

Friday, August 3rd – 5:30-8:00 pm
The John Calloway Quartet with vocalist Angie Doctor
jazz in the bookshop every Friday since 2002

$10-20 suggested donation.
$5 suggested for students/musicians/fixed income.

John Calloway returns to Bird & Beckett with his quartet (David Flores – drums and percussion; Alex Farrell – acoustic bass; Jordan Samuels – guitar), featuring vocalist Angie Doctor.

From Flute Bay Area (

“Virtuoso jazz flutist John Calloway has earned stature among the elites of Latin jazz and Afro-Cuban music, through three decades of distinguished contributions as a multi-instrumentalist, improviser, composer, arranger, and educator. Born in San Francisco in 1959, John Calloway began performing in the city’s Mission District as a teenager. In the 1970’s, Latin Beat Magazine says, “Calloway’s flute helped to spark a Caribbean musical renaissance, as part of the neo-traditionalist band Tipica Cienfuegos” with John Santos, Greg Landau, and Anthony Blea. In the early 1980’s, Calloway moved to New York, where he performed with Manny Oquendo & Libre, Charanga 76, Oscar Hernandez, Jimmy Bosch and others, while working toward a degree at CUNY.

“Returning to the S.F. Bay Area in the mid-1980’s, Calloway joined Batachanga and then became a founding member of the influential Machete Ensemble, led by master conga player John Santos. In addition to performing with Machete, Calloway wrote and arranged much music for the group, including for the GRAMMY-nominated album, “S.F. Bay.” When, after 20 years and nine albums, The Machete Ensemble decided to sunset, a small group of the musicians went on to form the John Santos Quintet, of which Calloway is a member.

“Over the years, Calloway has performed across the U.S. and in Europe (with Cachao), Cuba and the Caribbean (with John Santos), Asia and the Philippines (with Kulintang Arts), Chile (with Quique Cruz), Colombia, and Venezuela. He has worked with many of the best known Latin and jazz artists of our era, recording or performing with Israel “Cachao” Lopez, Max Roach, Omar Sosa, John Santos, Pete Escovedo, Manny Oquendo, Jesus Diaz, Rebeca Mauleon, Patato, Orestes Vilato, Dizzy Gillespie, Orlando “Maraca” Valle, Wayne Wallace, Quique Cruz, and others. He currently works with his own ensemble, Diaspora, as well as with the John Santos Quintet (with whom he has recently recorded two albums), Quijerema (with Quique Cruz), and the Bay Area Afro-Cuban All-Stars.”

“Calloway’s recording and writing credits also include two more GRAMMY-nominated albums, ‘Ritmo y Candela’ and ‘Ritmo y Candela II,’ produced by Greg Landau and featuring Cuban percussionists Changuito, Patato, and Orestes Vilato.

“In 2003, Calloway released ‘Diaspora,’ the first album under his own name, which he recorded with friends Rebeca Mauleon, John Santos, Jesus Diaz, Omar Sosa, and Mike Spiro, among others. The album combines Afro-Cuban and Latin Jazz music with textures and concepts from other forms of World Music. As Oscar Hernandez says: ‘John Calloway’s musical talent is on full display on Diaspora. John’s flute playing on this CD is outstanding. His concept and sound on the flute although influenced by the great Latin/Latin-jazz flautists of the past is uniquely all his own and he should be included when we speak of the great Latin- jazz flautists of today. As if this were not enough, John shows how prolific he is by composing and arranging most of the songs and also by playing some piano and percussion.’

“More recently, Calloway released a second album, ‘The Code,’ which includes a brilliant, friendly ‘showdown’ with Cuba’s flute legend, Orlando Valle. Recorded with an ensemble of West Coast talents — Jesus Diaz, Murray Low, Mike Olmos, David Belove, David Flores — plus friends like John Santos, Mike Spiro, and Melecio Magdaluyo, this CD features a dizzying range of Afro-Cuban, jazz, and salsa, mostly Calloway’s own compositions.”

Calloway’s latest CD is “Asere Ko,” recorded in Havana and San Francisco with top Cuban and Bay Area musicians including pianists Oscar Hernandez and Mark Levine, percussionists Jesus Diaz and Edgardo Cambon,  vocalist Destani Wolf, and a dozen more. “Asere Ko” was released in 2016.

A renowned and dedicated arts educator (director/co-founder of the Latin Youth Ensemble; and teaching at SFSU, Jazzschool (Berkeley) and for SFUSD, as well as at the Stanford Jazz Workshop and Jazz Camp West, Calloway is also program coordinator for Plaza Cuba, an educational organization that facilitates legal travel and study for music and dance programs, in conjunction with the National School of the Arts in Havana. In this capacity, he has traveled frequently to Cuba, jamming with the island’s top flute players. In August of 2008, the mayor of San Francisco named John Calloway to the San Francisco Arts Commission.

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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