Talk about your San Francisco jazz! On the fourth Friday of each month, our weekly “jazz in the bookshop” series features the 230 Jones Street, Local 6 Literary Jazz Band â€” comprising five consummate jazz musicians whose individual histories on the local jazz scene date back to the 1950s & ’60s.
Ray Loeckle, tenor sax
Jerry Logas, baritone sax, clarinet, flute and vocals
Duncan James, guitar (subbing this evening for Glen Deardorff)
Dean Reilly, bass
Tony Johnson, drums
230 Jones Street carries on a jazz tradition at Bird & Beckett that began in 2002 when these players’ long-time friend and bandstand colleague, Chuck Peterson, inaugurated our weekly Friday-after-work jazz party. 17 years now, with never a missed Friday!
Chuck’s in retirement now up in Santa Rosa, but this is his legacy band, and it swings on mightily every fourth Friday at Bird & Beckett.Â Join us for two sets of bebop and standards from five consummate professionals. Be sure to bring some dough to help us compensate them for their lifelong work in the music.
A twenty apiece pretty much makes it work… more if you can swing it, and your annual donations to our nonprofit arm (the BBCLP) fill the gaps and pay the overhead on what’s now a 250-300 events/year schedule. If you’re broke or just getting by, come anyway and do what you can. We want everyone in earshot to enjoy this music that we love so much.
We opened Bird & Beckett in May 1999, building it up on the good bones of Jill Gasowski and Pat Cull’s sweet but struggling Glen Park Books–then located down on Diamond Street where Manzoni now stands.
Manhal Jweinat (proprietor of Higher Grounds, Manzoni and, now, Le P’tit Laurent) was our landlord there and kept us going for nine years with his cappuccino, crepes and a modest rent. A thousand square feet of used books, new books, a few bins of jazz vinyl… On a misty weekend in mid-August 2008, with the help of a legion of good-hearted neighbors, we moved the operation a half block to its current spot on Chenery, where the Tietz brothers, Torr and Forrest, have housed us on a month-to-month basis at a modest rent, unchanged since the day we moved in — 1,500 square feet, used books, new books, a few bins of jazz vinyl…
When we took over Glen Park Books back in 1999, we renamed the shop for two artists who changed the course of their disciplines in the 1940s and ’50s: Charlie Parker (“Bird”), the key figure in the creation of bebop, and the radically innovative playwright Samuel Beckett, best known for his existential masterpiece Waiting for Godot. Jazz and literature remain the cornerstones of the establishment, and the neighborhood continues its good-hearted support of our efforts.
From the early years of the Diamond Street shop, we would occasionally push the cases to the side and unfold a dozen chairs to present a jazz trio or some other little concert. Bassist John Clark brought in a trio with drummer Vince Lateano for the first concert, and from time to time we’d do it again with one trio or another. It was an expensive proposition for us. The ten or twenty people who would show up and contribute a few dollars were never really enough to cover the cost of paying the band, modest though that cost was, generally $50 apiece, the same kind of money jazz musicians were used to getting for decades for such gigs, as they somewhat ruefully would mention. We’ve worked hard through the years to increase those guarantees, and you’ve been right there with us, for which a hearty thanks!
But back then, the live music at Bird & Beckett was just an occasional thing; we saved our pennies, collected what we could during the music and paid the musicians. Patrons clamored for more, but it’s not like the book business was so profitable (it wasn’t even close to break even), so we left it at that and enjoyed it hugely. We’re still just getting by financially, but the events schedule has grown like Topsy. Jazz on Fridays… jazz on Saturdays… jazz and other music on Sundays… plus a twice-monthly poetry series, a monthly series of talks by Walker Brents, a monthly book club, and numerous one-off events every month.
The Friday after work jazz party is still the heart and soul of it. Come join us and find out what it’s all about. Just remember to bring some dough to help pay the band!
BTW, we’re planning a benefit for Leap Year Day, 2/29/19 to raise some serious money for this series and for Jazz in the Neighborhood. Stand by for details! Meanwhile, mark your calendar!
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