Arriving in Oakland in his early teens, in the early 1960s, Chris Amberger was schooled in music by some of the great jazz and blues figures of the era, including pianist George Duke, drummer Smiley Winters and guitarist T. Bone Walker. He was a participant in the birth of Oakland’s free jazz movement in the late 1960s, and then headed for Boston’s Berklee School of Music where he studied with vibes player Gary Burton and gigged on the avant garde scene there with Rahsaan Roland Kirk as well as with solid Blue Note era players like Kenny Dorham and Donald Byrd. From there, he went on tour with the latin/funk band BombolÃ© in North Africa and Europe, with Cal Tjader and Rosemary Clooney in Latin America, with George Shearing in Canada and the U.S., and as a member of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers in Europe. Back home in the Bay Area during this period and after, he was house drummer at Keystone Korner in San Francisco’s North Beach, playing with the likes ofÂ Dexter Gordon, Art Pepper, Gabor Szabo, Red Garland, Sam Rivers, Ted Curson, Bobby Hutcherson and Eddie Henderson.
Chris met Grant Levin when the latter was still earning a degree in music at the University of Nevada at Reno and Chris would travel to judge music competitions there. Â It was Chris who facilitated Grant’s move to San Francisco and helped him find his way into the local scene, though it wasn’t hard for Grant to quickly become renowned here for his rich and vast talent, a much sought pianist by some of the regions most seasoned jazz players. Grant now plays at Bird & Beckett in this duo format two Saturday afternoons a month, as well as on frequent Saturday nights leading a quartet or quintet.
Bring $10 if you can afford it to help pay these fine musicians. Whatever you can offer is appreciated!
Hear Grant with a quartet just a few months ago at Saratoga’s Cafe Pink House:
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