This evening at Bird & Beckett, Darren Johnston, trumpet, and Heshima Mark Williams, bass, collaborate with guitarist Scott Foster for two sets of explorations in jazz. It’s the Bird & Beckett Friday happy hour! 2-1/2 hours of jazz joy and good company.
Don’t neglect to take part in the culture that enriches San Francisco. We’ve just lost La Cochina’s Van Ness Boulevard food court and the storied Anchor Brewery! How important to you suppose it is to hold on to the tangible things that make San Francisco intangibly unique?
Jazz at Bird & Beckett represents one of those quintessential and completely tangible delights.
The jazz culture well rooted in Bird & Beckett is a collaboration of audience and musicians. You’re indispensable in that mix. We began weekly 5:30pm Friday jazz parties in late 2002 and have never flagged. Scott Foster has been on the gig since the very beginning. From the get go, he’s been our favorite of the many fabulous jazz guitarists boasted by this region. A hidden treasure, and an instigator of many, many varied and delightful bandstand expeditions.
Scott continues on the third Friday of each month to bring in a cavalcade of fantastic local players to explore the depth and the breadth of the music with him. His collaborators on the bandstand this evening are two of the greatest, most wonderfully creative musicians we know.
Trumpeter Darren Johnston hails from Canada, and has been a beloved presence in San Francisco since the late 1990s, playing “jazz, jazz adjacent, and purely improvised music” along with Balkan, Jamaican, contemporary classical and other traditions, always drawn especially, he says, to music that defies categorization. In 2019, he shifted his base to Brooklyn, managing a bi-coastal and international career. He’s recently moved back, but continues to tour and gig all over creation. We’re lucky whenever we (or one of his collaborators) can snare him for a local date!
Bassist Heshima Mark Williams studied classical bass as a youth under the tutelage of the first African-American classical bassist in the Boston Symphony, Dr. Ortiz Williams. He dug deep into jazz early on. You’ve heard him here many times with Avotcja & Modupue and with Idris Ackamoor and the Pyramids, and for a couple of years he led a monthly Saturday night series on our bandstand. Heshima characterizes his playing as a representation of the rich musical influences that have been enjoyed in the San Francisco Bay Area for the past 50 years. He’s toured with Julian Priester, Eddie Henderson, Pharoah Sanders, Bobby Hutcherson, Sonny Simmon and Lavay Smith and the Red Hot Skillet Lickers, as well as with the Pyramids on their many European tours over the past decade. And he has recorded with a raft of such legendary musicians, including many, many of the Bay Area’s finest — Calvin Keys, Muziki Roberson, Sandi Poindexter, Richard Howell, Faye Carroll, India Cook and Terrence Brewer, to name just a few.
You don’t miss your water till your well’s gone dry. Don’t wait to fetch some water from the Bird & Beckett well!
BYOB and a twenty for the band.
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