Saturday, May 25th – 7:30–10:00 pm
Glen Pearson Quartet
jazz club! when lights are low…
every Saturday night
One of the very great jazz pianists on the Bay Area scene, Glen Pearson leads a fine quartet with saxophonist Robert Stewart, bassist Heshima Mark Williams and drummer Ruthie Price.
Pianist Glen Pearson currently tours in Count Basie’s chair with the Count Basie Orchestra. He also heads the Music Department at the College of Alameda. Frank Hanny, whose Chez Hanny concert series in San Francisco boasts many of the Bay Area’s greatest musicians as well as eminent personages from New York and other scenes, writes that Glen’s “performances on stage, television, radio, and in recording studios have included his well known position as principle keyboardist for Regina Belle, as well as pianist and orchestrator with such notables as Jimmy Scott, Ernestine Anderson, Dianne Reeves, Marlena Shaw, Bobby Hutcherson, Delfeayo Marsalis, James Moody, Frank Morgan, Chico Freeman and Will Downing. Mr. Pearson also served for eleven years as the Musical/Band Director for the world renowned Boy’s Choir of Harlem.
“A native of Oakland, California, Glen…began studying piano at age six and was playing professionally by age fifteen. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree from San Francisco State University as well as a Master of Arts degree from New York University. Additionally, he has been the recipient of several honors including the prestigious Eubie Blake Memorial Scholarship Award.
“Glen’s recording credits are numerous, most notably an award-winning jazz album by percussionist Babatunde Lea. He has also appeared both on record and in videos with Will Downing and Gerald Albright. And he has worked both on and off Broadway with Savion Glover, Gregory Hines, Arthur Miller, Patrick Stewart and George Wolfe.”
Saxophonist Robert Stewart took up his instrument at the age of 17 upon hearing the music of John Contrane and Ben Webster, and was mentored, guided and shaped in that early period by two master musicians in particular — the pianist Ed Kelley and the saxophonist Pharoah Sanders. Trumpeter Robert Porter was also instrumental in his initial education, introducing him to music made by jazz legends Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, Sidney Bechet, Lucky Thompson and others. Soon thereafter, Stewart’s sensibilities and technique gained him a seat in Wynton Marsalis’ Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, where he played for four years. Theological studies accompanied his musical growth, causing Marsalis to dub Stewart “The Reverend.” Between those late 1980s/early 1990s beginnings and today, Stewart has performed, recorded and toured with Dizzy Gillespie, Max Roach, McCoy Tyner, Doc Cheatham, Benny Golson, Jimmy Smith, Eddie Harris, Freddie Hubbard, Billie Higgins, Donald Byrd, Barry Harris, George Coleman, Branford Marsalis, David Murray, Kenny Kirkland, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Bobby Hutcherson, Pony Poindexter, Big Jay McNeely, John Lee Hooker, John Handy, Donald “Duck” Bailey… the list goes on and on…
Bassist Heshima Mark Williams is a San Francisco native whose playing springs from many decades’ experience of the Bay Area’s rich musical heritage. Heshima studied under the tutelage of the first African-American classical bassist in the Boston Symphony, Dr. Ortiz Walton. He has toured with trombonist Julian Priester; trumpeter Eddie Henderson; saxophonists Pharoah Sanders, Sonny Simmons and Idris Ackamoor; vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson; and pianist Jeff Chimenti. He has recorded on albums by Julian Priester and Bobby Hutcherson, as well as Japanese pianist Saya Saitol, jazz blues vocalist Lady Memphis and jump blues vocalist Lavay Smith; The Pyramids; saxophonist Robert Stewart; and guitarist Calvin Keyes, among others. Along the way, Heshima has also performed with countless Bay Area jazz artists, including violinist India Cook, vibraphonist Yancey Taylor and harpist Destiny Mohammed.
Drummer Ruthie Price started in on her first drum kit at age 6 and now is a first-call drummer for an array of singer/songwriters, jazz ensembles, R&B combos and any number of genre-blending ensembles, making waves with Rhonda Benin’s “Just Like a Woman” revue and Fantastic Negrito’s explosion into popular consciousness in 2015. Throughout her middle and high school years, she played regularly at jam sessions led by pianist Ed Kelly and drummer Donald “Duck” Bailey, while gaining early training in the Oaktown Jazz Workshop under trumpeter Kahlil Shaheed and at Jazzschool under drummer Jeff Marrs, studying European classical music with the Oakland Symphony Youth Orchestra while also playing in church.
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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