Saturday, July 30
Higher Ed Jazz Double Header!
Fresh from the Stanford Jazz Workshop
Jazz with all its faculties intact!
6:30pm – Jayla Chee Quartet
8:30pm – Caroline Davis Quartet
School’s out for summer! Stanford Jazz Workshop faculty hightail it up the highway to San Francisco to Bird & Beckett for a blow out double header tonight!
Quartets at 6:30 and 8:30. Come for the early show and stay for the late show at half price ($20 cover charge for each / $30 for the pair – cash at the door, please!)
Please bring cash for the cover charge. All of the musicians comprising these two quartets are working professional musicians & must be compensated; it starts with your cover charge! Donations to the Bird & Beckett Cultural Legacy Project help as well. Click on the donate button in the navigation bar at the top of this website. As for yourselves, byob if you’re so inclined!
Alto saxophonist Caroline Davis headlines tonight at 8:30pm with a stellar group featuring Caroline and Kasey Knudsen on saxophones, Curtis Aikens on bass and Lorin Benedict, with some very hip Martian vocals. Bios follow below.
The evening kicks off at 6:30, when Jayla Chee’s guaranteed rock solid jazz quartet takes the stage, with veterans Michael Zilber on saxophone and Sylvia Cuenca on drums, plus the young phenom Zack Shubert on piano. Bios below.
Both Caroline and Jayla are emerging from several weeks teaching at the Stanford Jazz Workshop — an amazing institution that brings together high caliber students with an incredible teaching staff brought in from all across the continent.
Bird & Beckett is very happy indeed to be capping this season’s SJW summer program with this double bill!
Mobile since her birth in Singapore, musician and composer Caroline Davis covers diverse musical styles, habitually diving deep into the avant garde. Recent albums include My Tree’s Where The Grace Is and Portals: Volume 1. She won Downbeat’s Critic’s Poll Rising Star Saxophonist (2018) and was listed in Downbeat’s Readers Poll (2021). Davis has shared the stage with Lee Konitz, The Femme Jam, Matt Mitchell, Terry Riley, Sara Serpa, Miles Okazaki and Billy Kaye, to name a few. She has been in residence at MacDowell and The Jazz Gallery; and has been awarded Jerome Hill, CMA, and NYFA grants. Her compositions integrate science and music, influenced by her Ph.D. Davis is an advocate for gender equity (This Is A Movement, The New School) and abolition (Justice for Keith Lamar).
Originally from California’s Bay Area, 21 year old bass player, Jayla Chee, now resides in New York. She began studying the upright bass at age 15, and ever since has been enjoying the music and instrument. Before her move, Jayla often played in venues around the Bay such as Cafe Stritch. She also belonged to high school groups such as Carnegie hall’s national band and Monterey Jazz festivals next gen orchestra. Now in New York, Jayla has been playing with local musicians at venues around the city while studying at the Juilliard School under Gerald Cannon. On top of her biggest musical influences, like Herbie Hancock and Elis Regina, Jayla derives immense inspiration from Nature. Her passion for natural gardening, hiking, and studying plants and forests is very apparent in her music and personality.
Playing in Caroline’s quartet are saxophonist Kasey Knudsen, bassist Curtis Aikens and vocalist Loren Benedict.
Kasey Knudsen is a San Francisco-based saxophonist, composer & educator. She has been dubbed “one of the region’s most esteemed saxophonists” (Andrew Gilbert, San Francisco Classical Voice, 2018) and has “quietly become one of the essential voices in the Bay Area jazz scene” (Andrew Gilbert, East Bay Express, 2014). Knudsen was included in a list of “10 Female Instrumentalists Who Redefine Jazz” by Alexa Peters of Paste Magazine (2016) and voted “One of the Best Female Jazz Musicians in the East Bay” (CBS, SF local Bay Area, 2013). In addition to leading a number of her own projects, Knudsen collaborates frequently with many of the most unique musical voices in the Bay Area including multiple performances across the US and Europe with Tune-Yards, Fred Frith and the Gravity Band, the Charlie Hunter Quartet, Erik Jekabson, the Ian Carey Quintet + 1, Ben Goldberg, the Electric Squeezebox Orchestra, Beth Schenck, and many more.
Bassist and composer Curtis Aikens is a versatile musician who has worked in a variety of settings including theater pits, orchestras, folk, rock and hip hop bands, but jazz is his passion. He began his studies of jazz in middle school with the late Mel Martin at the age of 12, and continued his education at The Idyllwild Arts Academy where, in addition to jazz, he studied classical bass and composition, with continued composition studies at The San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Curtis performs all over the Bay Area and the world as a freelance musician, and is a member of the bands Sueños, and Tohkay. Curtis is also an in demand educator; he is currently a rhythm section coach at Berkeley high school and has a studio of private bass students.
Lorin Benedict is an improvising vocalist (scat singer, essentially) who works in the areas of jazz and related music. He co-leads several small groups dedicated to playing highly structured music in a manifestly loose and playful way. This includes the duo Bleeding Vector, the trio The Holly Martins, and duo projects with drummer Sam Ospovat and bass player Logan Kane, respectively. He has also, over the past two decades, appeared as a side-man in groups led by musicians such as Howard Wiley and Sheldon Brown, among many others.
Jayla’s quartet includes saxophonist Michael Zilber, drummer Sylvia Cuenca and pianist Zach Schubert.
Michael Zilber, described as “one of the best players and composers around anywhere. Period!” by NEA JAZZ MASTER and jazz legend David Liebman, is an SF-based saxophonist and composer. All About Jazz enthuses “Zilber is one of the true masters of the modern jazz saxophone, his prodigious talents evidenced by his recordings and live performances are truth.”
Sylvia Cuenca grew up in San Jose, and was hired by guitarist Eddie Duran for her first professional gig while still in her mid-teens. That date happened at Pearl’s Jazz Club three or four decades ago, when that club was an after-hours spot in the basement of the Great Eastern Restaurant in San Francisco’s Chinatown — before Pearl Wong and her business partner Sonny Buxton opened the iconic club opposite City Lights Bookstore. Sylvia headed for New York at a young age. She was the drummer in the Joe Henderson Quartet for four years, and traveled in trumpeter Clark Terry’s quartet for seventeen years more. She’s been based in NYC for decades, though she’s been out here since the pandemic hit, helping out her parents, playing all around the Bay, and traveling for gigs to New York and beyond when circumstances permit. http://sylviacuenca.com/biography.html#top
Zack Shubert is a young pianist who has already had a profound impact on of the New York scene. He’s a native of the Bay Area, and has played with the likes of Joshua Redman, Mark Turner, and Reggie Workman. He is currently an undergraduate studying at the New School in NYC. Hear a recent date featuring Zack with the Eric Wyatt Quartet at NYC’s Smalls Jazz Club on 5/27/22.
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