Tonight at Bird & Beckett:
Smith Dobson V, vibes;
Jack Tone Riordan, guitar;
Justin Carney, bass;
Evan Hughes, drums.
The burnished sound of Milt Jackson & the MJQ finds its echo on the stage at Bird & Beckett when Smith Dobson rolls in the vibraphone.Â
Smith is heir to several generations of jazz talent â€” his father, Smith Dobson IV, was a hugelyÂ respected jazz pianist, and his mother, Gail Dobson, is a wonderful jazz singer while his sister Sasha is a vocalist based in NYC. And his grandmother? She’s a singer as well… And then, there was his grandfather, a jazz accordionist.
When Smith was coming up, legendary jazz drummer Albert â€œTootieâ€ Heath, said of him, â€œHe has the talent, determination and persistence as a musician, combined with the dedication necessary to succeedâ€¦ improvisational skills totally advanced, excellent sensitivity, both solo and as an accompanistâ€¦ my most talented student!â€ In his two decades+ on the jazz circuit, Smith has worked with such figures as Bobby Hutcherson, Red Rodney, John Handy, Sheila Jordan, Red Holloway, Pete and Conte Condoli, Phillip Harper, Hal Stein, Noel Jewkes, Ben Goldberg, Graham Connahsâ€™ Sour Note Seven, Darren Johnstone, Will Bernard, Kenny Brooks and many other major players.
Smith – a multiple threat on sax and drums as well as vibes – can be heard with a raft of great local jazz players Tuesday nights from 10 p.m. ’til 1 a.m. at the Club Deluxe on Haight at Ashbury — still one of the vital venues for jazz in San Francisco. Â Trumpeter Mike Olmos leads a Monday night session there, while tenor player Patrick Wolff has Wednesdays.. and the wonderful jazz & samba band Vos do Samba with vocalist Lisa Silva takes care of business Sunday nights. Meanwhile down at the 7 Mile House on Bayshore at Geneva, you can hear jazz on Monday and Tuesday nights, and they host a great session (successor to the DogpatchÂ jam) on Sunday afternoons. Â Of course, Bird & Beckett features jazz on Fridays and Saturdays as well as most Sunday afternoons. Â So between just these three venues, you can hear great jazz up close and personal seven nights a week, every week. Well, maybe not Thursdays! Time for you to look further afield. You won’t have to look far.
Who says jazz is dead in San Francisco?
Check this recent article from Air Nippon’s in-flight magazine on the San Francisco jazz scene!
There’s the Sheba Lounge hosting jazz seven nights a week on Fillmore, Madrone’s Sunday nights on Divis, Cafe Claude, Mr. Tipple’s… now there’s the Black Cat for those Pacific Heights heiresses! Tell us of jazz spots you’ve visited and what you’ve found there.
Still, with all the great jazz musicians we have in this town, they’re begging for places to play. Â Know of a place with a piano that’s not getting much use? Tell us about it and we’ll send musicians in there to agitate for a chance to let the music flow.
Oh, and keep an eye on what’s happening at Clarion Music… 35 years doing business in Chinatown on Waverly Place at Sacramento Street. Â It’ll take several month’s to get renovated and start rolling– but the time will pass before you know it. Poet Clara Hsu has resumed ownership of the business that was once her’s and her father’s and intends to make it a performing arts center — music, poetry, theatre — with teaching studio rental spaces in the basement. An exciting prospect for San Francisco!
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