Friday, September 14th – 8:30 pm
Roni Ben-Hur / David Udolf / Harvie S / Sylvia Cuenca
with vocalist Sherri Roberts!
Traveling out of New York City, guitarist Roni Ben-Hur, bassist Harvie S. and drummer Sylvia Cuenca join forces with San Francisco pianist David Udolf and vocalist Sherri Roberts for two sets of jazz!
Guitarist Roni Ben-Hur– born in Israel in 1962 but a longtime American citizen, based in New York City—has recorded more than a dozen albums as leader or co-leader. Known for his sweet tone, infectious rhythm, lush harmonies and innovative improvisation, Ben-Hur effortlessly straddles the world of straight ahead jazz and the realm of samba jazz, evidenced by his work with masters in both fields, from pianist Barry Harris to vocalist Leny Andrade. His work has consistently earned him accolades from prestigious media outlets. The New York Times praised his “crisp, fluid style” and Time Out New York called him “a formidable and consummately lyrical guitarist.” The New York City Jazz record said, “Ben-Hur evokes the sprightliness of jazz’ contemporary guitar generation, dripping away each intricate refrain like melodic water. He harmonizes with his distinctive starry-eyed flair, setting forth a waterfall of pristine and pensive elaborations.”
His latest recording project – to be released in spring 2018 via the Jazzheads imprint—finds him in league with bassist Harvie S. and drummer Tim Horner, exploring classics by jazz composers from Billy Strayhorn and Thelonious Monk to Kenny Dorham and Joe Henderson. The album, titled “Introspection,” also includes Brazilian numbers by Baden Powell and Ary Barroso, plus a Jerome Kern standard.
Bassist Harvie S has performed and recorded with Stan Getz, Chet Baker, Dexter Gordon, Tony Bennett, Ray Baretto, Michael Brecker, Jean Pierre Rampal, Paquito D’Rivera, Gil Evans, Art Farmer, Mark Turner, Jim Hall, Stefon Harris, Billy Hart, Lee Konitz, Yusef Lateef, Dave Leibman, Joe Lovano, Pat Metheny, Paul Motion, Chico O’Farrill, Danilo Perez, Maria Schneider, Zoot Sims, Toots Thielemans, Ray Vega, James Williams, Phil Woods, Louie Bellson and countless others. He can be heard on twenty albums as a leader, fifteen as a co-leader, and over four hundred albums as a sideman. His 2012 duo album with the legendary vocalist Sheila Jordan, “Yesterdays,” is a magical live performance, and was included in Jazztimes Magazine’s best 100 recordings list for that year. In January 2013, Witchcraft was released on High Note Savant with Jazz master Kenny Barron. It was #1 on Jazz Week national radio charts. This is a follow up to the previous 2009 duo recording with Kenny Barron, Now Was the Time, also on High Note/Savant Records.
Drummer Sylvia Cuenca is a San Jose native who made her professional debut while still in her teens in a group led by the legendary guitarist Eddie Duran at Pearl’s, when it was still a basement club in Chinatown. She headed for New York not long after, and has risen to great heights there and internationally — her work has included a four-year stint in the Joe Henderson Quartet and 17 years with trumpet legend Clark Terry. The Joe Henderson quartet toured frequently in European countries Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Austria, Belgium, England, Switzerland, France, Italy and Germany and venues across the U.S. In a trio setting she performed with Joe Henderson and Charlie Haden in 1989 and with George Mraz in 1994. With the Clark Terry quintet, she performed with Red Holloway, Jimmy Heath, Frank Wess, Marian McPartland, Dianne Reeves, Joe Williams and Lou Donaldson to name a few. She has also performed with dozens of other jazz luminaries through the years — Billy Taylor, Etta Jones, Helen Merrill, John Hicks, Kenny Barron, Ray Drummond, Michael Brecker, Randy Brecker, George Cables, Hilton Ruiz, Jon Faddis, Eddie Henderson, John Handy, Kenny Drew Jr., Emily Remler, Richie Cole and many, many more. In 2015 she performed at Dizzy’s Jazz at Lincoln Center with Albert “Tootie” Heath’s 4 drumset group called “The Whole Drum Truth” which also included drummers Louis Hayes and Joe Saylor.
Tonight at Bird & Beckett, the New York-based trio of Roni, Harvie and Sylvia joins forces with San Francisco-based jazz pianist David Udolf and vocalist Sherri Roberts. Harvie has recorded with Sherri on cds under her name dating back to her first cd, Twilight World in 1994, continuing through 1997’s Dreamsville, 2006’s The Sky Could Send You and 2017’s Anybody’s Spring, the latter two with David on piano.
Pianist David Udolf moved to the Bay Area in early 1991. A sought-after sideman, he has played with Terri Bryant of the Fifth Dimension, saxophonist Herb Geller, R&B legend Bo Diddley, and toured for six years with San Francisco’s own legendary New Pickle Circus. Bay Area artists he has worked with have include: Jules Broussard, Clairdee, Kenny Washington, the Chuck Metcalf quartet, Hal Stein, Pete Yellin, the Donald Bailey trio, the Mark Stock trio, Noel Jewkes, Dmitri Matheny and a host of other rich talent. He is West Coast musical director for singer Mary Stallings and has performed at international festivals and concert venues in Switzerland, Prague, Melbourne, Australia and Tel Aviv as her accompanist. In the fall of 2013, he appeared with Mary Stallings at the esteemed Monterey Jazz Festival.
David has worked extensively through the years with Sherri, and is currently a member of the band “Keepers of the Flame,” led by trumpeter Dave Bendigkeit with Chris Amberger on bass and Akira Tana on drums.
Vocalist Sherri Roberts has established herself as a “less-is-more” singer in the gently swinging style characteristic of Chet Baker, Helen Merrill and Julie London. Her favored repertoire leans heavily towards wrongfully neglected standards, which she imbues with “flourish-free readings that are pure, strong, and potent” (Christopher Loudon, JazzTimes, 2013). The Los Angeles Times has called Sherri “a superior bop and standards vocalist.” Sherri has been performing at many of the Bay Area’s most respected venues for over 25 years, and has toured up and down the West Coast as well as in New York and London. Locally, she surrounds herself with top Bay Area musicians including David Udolf, Bliss Rodriguez, Chris Amberger, Jim Zimmerman and Akira Tana. Raul da Gama of Jazz Sensibilities said of her most recent cd, Anybody’s Spring, “By indulging the more lyrical passages with the golden tones of Harvie S in attendance, Ms. Roberts turns an all but forgotten ‘While We’re Young’ in to a near masterpiece…in fact, Sherri Roberts could not have asked for better accompanists than those in the garb of Harvie S and David Udolf.” Her recordings have also featured such luminaries as Phil Woods, Lew Soloff, Chris Potter, Mark Soskin and Danny Gottlieb.
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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