James Mahone took up the saxophone as a youth in Monterey, soaking in the influence of the rich music scene there, and then attended Cal State Northridge to study both classical and jazz saxophone. Remaining in the Los Angeles area after graduation, he co-founded the group Black Note in 1991 with bassist Marcus Shelby and pianist Eric Reed. Black Note won the John Coltrane Young Artist Competition that year and recorded albums for Columbia and GRP/Impulse. As a member of the group, James spent several years performing up and down the West coast, eventually moving on to national and international destinations. He has performed in many major jazz festivals (Montreal, North Sea, Pori, Umbria, etc.) and has worked with many of today’s top-tier musicians.
James continued his musical studies in New York City at The New School For Social Research and began teaching saxophone, clarinet and flute. He continued his professional career in Tokyo. In addition to being a sought after musician throughout Japan, he took on more private students and worked as a saxophone instructor at St. Maur International School. Upon finishing his sojourn in Japan, he relocated to the Bay Area where he currently performs with the region’s many talented musicians, including Marcus Shelby, Faye Carol, Mitch Butler, Mike Olmos, Erik Jekabson, Tiffany Austin, Akira Tana, Dana Salzman, Glen Pearson, Josh Milgrom, Malachi Whitson, Grant Levin, Giulio Xavier Cetto, David Ewell, Hamir Atwal, Tim Angulo, Leon Joyce and many more.
Bassist Curtis Aikens is a gifted musician with a busy gigging career in and around San Francisco that’s in full swing. He’s a versatile musician who has worked in theater pits, orchestras, folk, rock and
hip hop bands, but jazz is his passion. He began his studies of jazz in middle school with the late Mel Martin at the age of 12, and continued his education at The Idyllwild Arts Academy where, in addition to jazz, he studied classical bass and composition, with continued composition studies at The San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Curtis performs all over the Bay Area and the world as a freelance musician, and is a member of the bands Sueños and Tohkay. Curtis is also an in demand educator; he is currently a rhythm section coach at Berkeley High School and has a studio of private bass students.
Guitarist Scott Foster has had a long run on the Bird & Beckett bandstand, playing continuously here since we began presenting live jazz in late 2002, some 22 years ago, playing weekly in the early days and more recently leading a freshly conceived combo each time out the third Friday of each month. He’s also Performing Arts Chair at San Francisco’s Urban School while teaching music and directing the school’s jazz band. A Bay Area native, Scott received his Bachelor of Music degree from Berklee College of Music in Boston and pursued additional music studies at University of California Davis and in private studies with Jon Damian, Rick Peckham and Henry Robinett. In addition to leading his own ensembles, he’s an in-demand sideman with many local groups, notably including the Americano Social Club when the ASC Family Ruckus takes over the Savoy Tivoli in North Beach and charms the wine crowd at Blush on Castro Street. He characterizes his recent recordings, including the cds “Nightblooming Jazzmen,” “Go Small” and “Basement Sinfonietta,” as ranging from industrial pop to country and folk to modern jazz.
Scott Foster, guitar
James Mahone, tenor saxophone
Curtis Aikens, bass
Two sets of jazz standards and originals.
$20 contribution encouraged per adult, byob
$10 teens and students
Kids under 12 free
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