For many years, we’ve relied on Scott Foster to bring a wonderful evening of jazz to Bird & Beckett on the third Friday of each month, and he’ll be filling that role once again this month, keeping the jazz flowing at Bird & Beckett.Â This is the first time we’ve asked him to do it solo, a social distancing precaution and a requirement of the current shelter-in-place reality.
Scott has been a cornerstone of our Friday evening jazz programming since its beginnings, more than seventeen years ago. All along, he’s been our favorite jazz guitarist bar none, both for his technique and sensibilities and for his low key sincerity. Both are qualities that no doubt have stood him in good stead as a jazz educator as well.
He’s promised a casual and rich exploration of jazz standards and originals old and new. It’ll be not unlike eavesdropping on an evening of private woodshedding in his living room, though the music will take place in your living room away from home, down on Chenery Street at the Bird & Beckett.
We regret to point out that no audiences are allowed these days to gather at the bookshop due to the ongoing public health crisis. We’re asking you instead to take the music in via facebook. If you’re a facebook subscriber, you can view the live stream as it happens (see the link below), from 5:30 to 8pm.
If you’re not an fb subscriber, you’ll find that you can visit our facebook page to watch the music that’s just happened–such that you’ll be watching the first set while the second is in full live stream swing at the shop. You’ll be catching up on the 2nd set as our live stream audience disperses into the San Francisco night–wherever they might be in the world! For you non-facebook folks, figure that the 1st set will be ready for you to view about an hour into the evening, around 6:30, and that your pleasure will extend to about 9pm.
Scott thought at first that he should give tonight’s booking away, pointing out that his salary as jazz band director and performing arts chair at San Francisco’s Urban School is sustaining him and his family while a great many colleagues who rely substantially on gig income are hurting. However, we convinced him to do the date because his presence in our jazz programming is so significant that we believe the community’s spirits will be buoyed in these trying times — a quality of inestimable value.
In return, Scott & the bookshop will donate the proceeds from this evening’s jazz party to a fund being built by the Independent Musicians Alliance (the “IMA”). The IMA has been building this fund to provide one-time $500 grants to Bay Area jazz musicians in need at this stage of the COVID-19 crisis. $5,000 is in place, and the IMA is seeking a matching $5,000 from the Bay Area jazz community. This evening’s jazz party marks the start of that campaign. See the link below where you can send your donation. If you prefer, you can make out a check to the IMA and drop it off at the bookshop.
To learn more about the Independent Musicians Alliance, visit their facebook page at this link.Â The IMA is the brainchild of Jazz in the Neighborhood Founder Mario Guarneri. Eric Whittington at the Bird & Beckett Cultural Legacy Project has been collaborating with Mario to make the IMA a reality since the day Mario laid out for him the rationale and vision that formed the basis for the organization.
The IMA is a solidarity organization formed to promote the free interchange of ideas and information among the professional jazz musicians of the Bay Area, in order to aid in their ability to collectively advocate for new standards of compensation, benefits and working conditions across a regional landscape of working situations, from clubs to concertÂ halls, hotels to hovels, school rooms to zoom screens, wedding halls to convention centers, bars to assisted living centers.
Independent musicians need decent pay and a safety net, and to get that they need a comprehensive understanding of the facts on the ground and a vision of a rational and achievable future, where cooperation from private employers and local and state policymakers can reward our culture workers with a decent and reliable standard of living. The IMA seeks to help musicians collaborate and improvise to help them gain for themselves a rational and solid economic footing in an uncertain world.
$20 suggested donation tonight.
Any amount, whether smaller or larger,
is very much appreciated.
Your donations help the Independent Musicians Alliance
augment its fund for emergency grants to jazz musicians in need
during this extremely difficult time.
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