Back in 1999, the year we opened Bird & Beckett, Jerry Ferraz was on the first poetry reading we presented, alongside Justin Desmangles and Dan Richman. He’s remained at the center of our poetry presentations ever since. Until now. Jerry has been saying for years that his “compass points North” and now he’s done it, moved on from the City That Knows How, now the City At a Bit of a Loss, to Portland & environs up in Oregon. His ex, Shelley, drove him up there with his two suitcases and a box or two of art supplies and notebooks and not a whole lot else (zen detachment, you know) to cohabitate with their son Robin and infuse that troubled but city not without charms with his bohemian poet’s sensibilities. Lord knows, they need him! Born and raised in Eureka Valley, that is to say the watershed off Twin Peaks…Read More
Pay what you can, and enjoy the process whereby musicians find their way among their peers, without specific preparation and preconceptions, just years of learning their craft and learning to listen and learning to respond to the moment, to the tradition and to the next musical idea. It’s fascinating and vastly entertaining, and Bird & Beckett’s just the place to hang and take it all in. BYOB and help us pay the trio that hosts the session! Musicians, come out and enjoy the moment! Here’s an amusing article on the jam session tradition… https://nypost.com/2015/05/29/the-hot-harlem-club-making-1920s-jazz-cool-again/Read More
Max Perkoff, trombone and piano Charlie McCarthy, tenor sax and flute Chuck Metcalf, bass Tony Johnson, drums $20 suggested donation; byob In the late 1950s and 1960s, 230 Jones Street in San Francisco was the headquarters of the San Francisco Musicians Union, Local 6 of the American Federation of Musicians, covering the counties of San Francisco, Alameda, Contra Costa, Del Norte, Humboldt, Lake, Marin, Mendocino, Monterey, Napa, San Benito, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano and Sonoma, and parts of Trinity County. Local 6’s headquarters are now at 116 9th Street, and the struggle continues there to advocate for the interests of freelance, gigging musicians as well as those in the orchestras, theaters and recording studios who have more consistently enjoyed the benefits accruing to organized labor. At this juncture, it’s still more an aspiration than a reality, but the AFM is paying attention on the national level and…Read More
Indigo Joanne Hotchkiss, to whom this reading is dedicated, was a co-founder in 1979 of the Haight Ashbury Literary Journal. Co-editors Alice Elizabeth Rogoff and César Love co-host and participate in this reading, which will feature local poets who have poems in the current issue — Ed Mycue, Kitty Costello, Nellie Wong, Karen Melander-Magoon, Rafael Pineda, Antoinette Vella Payne, Cesar Love, Alice Elizabeth Rogoff, John Rowe, Ellen Frank , Eva Helene Stern, Aurelia , Lorca, Dan Richman and Phyllis Klein. Free admission; bring food and drink to share. Donations to support the Haight Ashbury Literary Journal are welcome and appreciated.Read More
Join us for a celebration of Robin Michel’s new collection of poems, Beneath a Strawberry Night Sky (Raven & Wren Press, 2023). Free. Refreshments provided. “It has taken nearly three decades to get this book ready for prime time,” says R0bin. “Earlier versions of these poems, with the exception of two, were written during the second half of my first marriage, the separation and the divorce. Compiling these poems into a collection is my way of honoring what we once had, grieving its loss and finding forgiveness. Although we considered ourselves adults, my first husband and I were children when we met, married and became parents.” Robin Michel (Pedersen) was born in Utah and moved to Fremont, California at the age of 17. After her first marriage ended, Michel returned to school to complete her undergraduate work at Saint Mary’s College, and later, a Master of Arts in Educational…Read More
Vocalist David Gonzalez has pulled in a couple worthy associates from his late ’60s & ’70s gang — drummer Vince Lateano and bassist Peter Barshay — to celebrate a piano player who was central to the hip ‘n happenin’ latin jazz funk rock world of the Bay Area in the era, with young Matt Clark doing the duties on the keys… Bring your memories or your curiosity, or just your yen for a fun little jazz date sprinkled with anecdotes about a special time, and join the fun. George DiQuattro was born on January 19, 1939 in San Francisco. He grew up in the North Beach neighborhood, went to Galileo High School, was a U.S. Marine veteran and became a professional jazz pianist. George was hired to join the band Azteca in the late 1960s, a Latin Rock collective of musicians ranging from varied backgrounds, cultures, and genres. Boasting…Read More
Four master musicians perform iconic classics and standards of the Afro Latin repertoire. Marco Díaz – piano , trumpet Julio Pérez – percussion Carlos Caro – percussion Saúl Sierra – bass $20 cover charge (cash please) reservations: 415-586-3733 byob click here to hear Saúl’s last Bird & Beckett outting https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dRB5kOu1ST4 Saúl Sierra was born and raised in Mexico City, where he started playing professionally in 1990. He moved to Boston Mass. in 1995 and attended the Berklee College of Music, graduating in 1999 with a major in Performance. His teachers at Berklee included Oscar Stagnaro, Rich Appleman, Daniel Morris, and Jim Stinnet. He received the US Scholarship tour award and the Outstanding Performer award at Berklee. As a resident of the San Francisco Bay Area since the fall of 1999, Saúl has performed, toured or recorded with Poncho Sanchez, Paquito D’ Rivera, Zakir Hussain, Arturo Sandoval, Jerry Gonzales, Jerry Medina,…Read More
Peter Zak, piano Marcos Varela, bass Sylvia Cuenca, drums $20 cover charge, byob Peter’s newly released recording, One Mind, is a close collaboration with bassist Marcos Varela, in a quartet that includes Billy Drummond on drums and acclaimed saxophonist Seamus Blake. The album features several new compositions and arrangements, and veers into some surprising musical paths. Born in 1965, in Los Angeles, he grew up in Columbus and Kent, Ohio. When he was five, his mother taught him the basics of piano playing and reading music, and after six months, he began a decade-long series of private lessons, including a period with internationally renowned concert pianist Margaret Baxtresser. After the family moved to Oakland when he was 16, Peter developed an interest in jazz when his high school band director showed him how to play the chord changes to Stella by Starlight. Studies with Susan Muscarella, now president of the…Read More
Guitar and Saxophone Explorations The evening will feature an eclectic mix of jazz, original and improvised music for guitar and saxophone in an intimate duo setting. Scott and Sheldon are reuniting after a long hiatus and say they’re looking forward to sharing work from their collaboration 25 years ago and updating their work together with developments that have sprung up in the interim. Says Sheldon, they’ll play “some tunes of his, some tunes of mine, a couple Andrew Hill tunes, a couple Choros, a Don Byas tune, some Mingus stuff…” and he promises they’ll have a few surprises by show time Friday the 20th. Bring a friend, bring the kids, bring the grandfolks… all welcome. Pay what you can — a twenty is the sweet spot if you’re here for the show and can afford it, but stay for however long suits you and pay what you like. byob,…Read More
Scott Foster & Sheldon Brown play the early show, Friday the 20th from 6-8pm, reactivating a duo project that’s long overdue! From 8:30 to 10pm, the Peter Zak Trio — with Marcos Varela on bass and Sylvia Cuenca on drums — plays the late show. Saturday evening at 7:30, it’s bassist Saúl Sierra’s Latin Jazz Quartet, with Marco Díaz – piano & trumpet and percussionists Julio Pérez and Carlos Caro. Sunday at 4pm, come out for a tribute to pianist George DiQuattro, a key player on the local latin rock (Azteca) & jazz scenes in the late 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. Vocalist David Gonzalez, drummer Vince Lateano and Peter Barshay — all bandstand colleagues of George’s in the day — are joined by Matt Clark on piano. Byob and a twenty for the band to any of these shows and enjoy the live culture. The culture is what we love…Read More
Rev. Liên Shutt is a recognized leader in the movement that breaks through the wall of American white-centered convert Buddhism to welcome people of all backgrounds into a contemporary, engaged Buddhism. As an ordained Zen priest, licensed social worker and longtime educator/teacher of Buddhism, Shutt represents new leadership at the nexus of spirituality and social justice, offering a special warm welcome to Asian Americans, all BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, immigrants, and others seeking a ‘home’ in the midst of North American society’s reckoning around racism, sexism, homophobia and xenophobia. Shutt was a co-founder of Buddhists of Color in 1998 and founder of Access to Zen in 2014. As the creator, producer, and host, she is launching a podcast series Opening Dharma Access: Listening to BIPOC Teachers with Kaira Jewel Lingo and Lama Karma Yeshe Chodron. Home is Here builds on foundational Buddhist teachings–the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path–offering an intersectional…Read More
Ben Stolorow, piano Peter Barshay, bass Vince Lateano, drums Pay what you will; $20 suggested. Byob. Reservations, call 415-586-3733 __________________ Leader & drummer Vince Lateano has been an invaluable part of the San Francisco scene since he came to the City in the mid-1960s. He quickly found his place in the local jazz scene, playing, recording and touring with Vince Guaraldi, subbing around town for John Markham when Markham went on the road with Sinatra and other major acts, and working extensively with Cal Tjader, Eddie Duran, Chet Baker, Clare Fisher and a host of others through the years. Later, all through the 1990s ’til it closed as such in 2003, he was the house drummer at Jazz at Pearl’s in North Beach, playing with his own trio several nights a week and backing up any number of musicians appearing as headliners on the weekends. He’s rolled on from…Read More
Bassist Charles Thomas has a long history on the Bird & Beckett bandstand, playing bebop, bossas and standards as well as originals with any number of combos, and often leading his own. His performing career has run the gamut from R&B to funk to hard bop and more. Tonight, it’s jazz in a straight ahead mode with Ben Ball on saxophone, Steve Carter on piano and Michael Spencer on drums. $20 cover charge, byob. Reservations, call 415-586-3733 Charles Thomas was born in San Francisco and grew up in the Fillmore District. He started playing cello in junior high school, but his music teacher needed more bass players and thus, the conversion was made. From there, he picked up the guitar, piano, and drums. He studied a variety of musical styles, formally and informally, from Fillmore blues and San Francisco acid rock/funk, to classical and jazz, graduating with degrees in music,…Read More
Jeong Lim Yang, bassist and leader | Santiago Leibson, pianist | Jon Arkin, drummer | $20 cover charge; byob | reservations, call 415-202-4870 | _____________________ Pianist Mary Lou Williams’ rise to acclaim began in earnest in 1929 at the age of 19 with Andy Kirk and His Clouds of Joy, a territory band out of Kansas City. She remained a key figure in jazz until her death in 1981. Her career encapsulates the history of the music. With the Clouds of Joy, she became known as “The Lady Who Swings the Band,” and it was said that on occasion she’d play tunes on piano with one hand while notating band arrangements with the other, an ability she developed remembering Lovie Austin at work in vaudeville shows that she attended as a young girl in Pittsburgh. Using both hands, Mary Lou Williams was legendary and well loved from the start,…Read More
Going forward, there’s a new, 6pm start time for the Friday Happy Hour Jazz in the Bookshop show! A 21-year tradition, started October 2002! Eric & the In Crowd entertain the neighborhood every second Sunday, and this time out, October 13th, bassist Simon Planting and drummer Mark Rosengarden join pianist/band leader Eric Shifrin to regale you with tunes from Jelly Roll Morton to Fats Waller to Cole Porter to Art Tatum, and a few novelty numbers thrown in for good measure. For these 6pm Friday shows, we’ll be leaving the lights up for browsing and the kids’ section accessible to make for comfortable browsing and much needed socializing (do hush on those sensitive ballads, though!). You’ll still find cushioned chairs down front for those who want to train their eyes on the musicians and their ears on the music! Bring something to sip if you care to. And though we…Read More
Starting with this Friday’s “jazz in the bookshop” happy hour show…a 21-year “end of the work week” tradition at Bird & Beckett…we’ll start the jazz at 6pm instead of 5:30, and will keep the lights up ’til the last couple of tunes, so the kids can read and the adults can see each other to socialize and blow off some steam! The “work week” isn’t such a clear cut thing as it once was, so we’ll just make it a little more comfortable in the little ways we can! Same great jazz from great Bay Area jazz musicians playing for your pleasure (and to pay their rent). If you can afford it, bring a twenty for the band and a little something to sip if you like. Something to nibble is fine, too; just respect the books, the carpet and your new friends in the seats around you! First Fridays,…Read More
Would someone tell these kids we’re having a heatwave? Kasey Knudsen, reeds Michael Coleman, piano Jon Arkin, drums Byob and a twenty for the band! It’s a belated album release. You know, the thing. Michael’s based back east. That complicates things. He’s on a redeye back tonight, so no encores! Show ends at 9:30! Get ’em while they’re hot. Get demystified: https://schimscheimerfamilytriomusic.com/ The new album: https://schimscheimerfamilytrio.bandcamp.com/album/genogramRead More
Jorge Argueta’s Caravan to the North: Misael’s Long Walk (Groundwood Books, 2024) is a novel in verse told through the eyes and heart of Misael Martínez, a Salvadoran boy whose family joins the caravan heading north to the United States. We learn all the different reasons why people feel the need to leave — the hope that lies behind their decision, but also the terrible sadness of leaving home. We learn about how far and hard the trip is, but also about the kindness of those along the way. Finally, once the caravan arrives in Tijuana, Misael and those around him are relieved. They think they have arrived at the goal of the trip — to enter the United States. But then tear gas, hateful demonstrations, force and fear descend on these vulnerable people. The border is closed. The book ends with Misael dreaming of El Salvador. With art by…Read More
James Mahone, saxophone David Udolf, piano Curtis Aikens, bass Akira Tana, drums $20 cover charge (cash, please), byob. To reserve a seat, call 415-586-3733 Charlie McCarthy had to bow out of tonight’s show, but his superb rhythm section has all the star power needed to carry the torch, especially with James Mahone and his tenor saxophone subbing in for Charlie. You’re in for a great jazz experience, when lights are low… James studied the sax at Cal State Northridge, forming Black Note in 1991 alongside bassist Marcus Shelby and pianist Eric Reed. They won the John Coltrane Young Artist Competition in that year, and his power as a saxophonist has only grown through the three-plus decades that have followed. As for Akira, leading the combo tonight, he made a huge mark with TanaReid, the combo he co-led from the same year, 1991, for the better part of a decade, releasing…Read More
Hop transit to Glen Park Saturday at noon and enjoy five hours of art and music up and down Diamond and Chenery Streets! We’ll display the art of three friends of the establishment, the troubadour poet Jerry Ferraz, surreal Michael Koch (found 3-6 Tuesday to Sunday pricing used books and ringing up sales at the shop) and Keith Ferris from over in the Portola, whose book with writer & partner Lia Smith, celebrates MUNI, with portraits & sketches of drivers and riders and bits of documentation gathered and spun into prose from conversations Lia engaged in with the folks Keith has drawn. You’ll hear a few minutes of poetry each hour on the hour as well, at 1pm, 2pm, 3pm… and at 4pm, Keith will read some bits of Lia’s prose… Then grab dinner in the neighborhood and come back for a phenomenal quartet here at 7:30!Read More
Erik Jekabson – trumpet, flugelhorn, compositions. Matt Clark – piano. Dan Feiszli – bass. Brian Fishler – drums. A program of originals by one of the great talents of Bay Area jazz, played by a top-flight quartet.Read More
Gail Mitchell is a poet living in San Francisco. Bill Vartnaw is a poet living in Petaluma. Both are long-experienced and long associated coming out of the 1970s poetic ferment that yielded a path for voices of diverse American cultures, much of it captured in print by Bill’s Taurean Horn Press — including Gail’s title, Bone Songs. Bill himself is an eloquent poet and an invaluable chronicler of the artists whose voices enrich the region’s culture. An open mic follows, hosted by Jerry Ferraz and Michael Koch, themselves products of overlapping scenes, venues and personal histories with common roots. A word about Jerry. A child of San Francisco’s Eureka Valley, hard by the Castro District, Burmese by blood and American by upbringing, he took to wandering the city at a young age, drifting on the San Francisco fog through the 1960s, through the Haight, North Beach, the Mission, traveling a…Read More
What a weekend! Thursday at 7pm – Poets Gail Mitchell and Bill Vartnaw, with an open mic to follow. Friday at 5:30pm – The Erik Jekabson Quartet. Trumpet & flugelhorn player / composer Jekabson provides originals for a crack combo, with Matt Clark, piano; Dan Feiszli, bass and Brian Fischler, drums. Friday at 8:30pm (not 9, as stated here and there) – CD Release: “House of Welcome” – Free Press Music is a project of singer Christie Aida in close association with drummer Dave Mihaly. Billy White, piano, and Annelies Zamula, saxophone. Saturday at 7:30pm – The Charlie McCarthy Quartet. NOTE: Charlie has fallen ill and can’t make the date. James Mahone, a terrific tenor player, will sub for him, under drummer Akira Tana’s leadership, with the great David Udolf, piano, and the young and talented Curtis Aikens, bass. Sunday at 2pm – Poet Jorge Argueta with Jose Cuellar (Dr.…Read More
Seven spirited and talented student jazz musicians from Lick-Wilmerding High School, put the music through its paces for a 45-minute set beginning at 5pm. After a short break, a jam session follows, expressly offered to student musicians from all directions, hosted by the Akira Tana Trio, with Keith Saunders on piano and Eric Markowitz on drums. Whether you can make it to the show or not, please donate to help us pay the professional trio a guaranteed wage for their labors, and to gather an additional $175 as a donation to the Homeless Prenatal Program on behalf of the students in the combo. They’re participants in Lick-Wilmerding’s Public Purpose Program, which is partnering with the Homeless Prenatal Program this year, and have asked that their honorarium go to that important organization. All told, we’re looking for $625 this afternoon. Help us meet that hurdle!Read More
Philosopher, theologian and Islamic scholar Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Professor of Islamic Studies at George Washington University, writes that Hafiz, “(t)his supreme poet, who is called ‘Tongue of the Invisible’ (Lisan al-ghayb), produced poems of magic beauty, poems whose imagery and music transmute the lead of the forgetful soul to the gold of the soul which lives in the longing for its Beloved and in the remembrance of that union which predates man’s terrestrial journey. Hafiz was himself aware that his was not simply a human voice. Rather, his poetry was a celestial song which brought the heavens themselves into a state of ecstasy.” Gary Gach presents poems of Hafiz crafted into English with Iranian short story writer and translator Erfan Mojib, newly published as Hafiz’s Little Book of Life (Hampton Roads, 2023).Read More
Hurry down for an 8:30 start for the late show this Friday, as singer Christie Aida leads Free Press Music in a concert celebrating the band’s new recording, “House of Welcome, Vol.1.” Check it out here. ——————————————————————– House of Welcome opened as a luxury hotel after the 1906 earthquake and lives on now as the Cadillac Hotel, operated by the nonprofit Reality House West to offer supportive services and housing to residents with few resources. House of Welcome remains the Cadillac’s signature concept in the present day. Many of the songs on Free Press Music’s new EP reflect FPM leader Christie Aida’s immersion as a volunteer for Reality House West, the nonprofit created by the late Leroy Looper and his wife Kathy Looper and other activists to make the Cadillac a refuge and a home for its residents. The stories, struggles and everyday life experiences of Tenderloin and SOMA residents…Read More
Loralee Christensen, vocals Ricc Sandoval, guitar Henry Salvia, piano Paul Olguin, bass John Hanes, drums Byob and a twenty for the band. All ages welcome! Loralee is a soul singer well known and loved on the North Bay music scene for three decades or more. She’s performed with soul legend Bettye Lavette, Clarence Clemons (The E-Street Band), Mickey Thomas (The Starship, Elvin Bishop) and Johnny Colla (Huey Lewis & the News). Ricc Sandoval on guitar has been a mainstay on the Bay Area scene, playing with Katherine Chase, and most recently Shana Morrison. Drummer John Hanes plays a very active role in the local improv music scene, playing with the likes of Pihillip Greenleif, John Schott, Myles Boisen and many others. His work with Pearl Harbor and the Explosions is the stuff of legend. He also plays with Victor Krummenacher of Camper Van Beethoven & Monks of Doom fame. Henry…Read More
Guitarist Brad Buethe leads a quartet with saxophonist Rob Sudduth, bassist Peter Barshay and drummer Jason Lewis, exploring each tune with the musical insight and freedom that comes of decades of experience traveling far beyond the boundaries of San Francisco, and the comfort of calling it home. $20; byob. Reservations, call 415-586-3733.Read More
Featuring vocalist Sandra Aran, Sondango brings you two generous sets of superbly crafted songs with deep grooves, playing salsa, samba, bolero, cumbia, ska and more. With music director Richard Nelson Hall on piano, Scott Foster on guitar, Dean Muench on bass and Dan Foltz on drums, Sondango will have you dancing in the aisles. Bring a twenty for the cover charge and something to sip. With an eye towards representing the grand diversity that is San Francisco, Richard and Sandra write their original songs in Spanish illustrating such common themes as love, loss, joy and passion. Strongly rooted in their love of jazz and Latin rhythms, Sondango brings together musicians from San Francisco, the East Bay and the Peninsula. Sondango embodies a meeting of cultures, and sensibilities with the here and now. After studying classical piano and composition at the National University of Mexico, Sandra completed her Bachelor of Arts…Read More
Thursday, September 28th, Martin Nakell travels up from SoCal with Rebecca Goodman, where both teach creative writing at Chapman University’s Wilkinson College, to present prose and poetry at 7:30pm in the company of their friend Evan Burkin, himself a writer and an MFA student of creative writing at San Francisco State. Author of the manifesto “The Way of Chaos: Literary, Art, and Music Composition,” Nakell has published 18 books of fiction and poetry. Consciousness, his most recent collection of poems, was published in 2021 by Spuyten Duyvil Press. His forthcoming Martin Nakell Reader will come out from Spuyten Duyvil in 2024. “The content of Consciousness is language,” he says.”If the reader connects with the language, I will have done well.” Goodman has written three “fictions,” her latest being the recently published Forgotten Night (Spuyten Duyvil 2023), preceded by Aftersight (Spuyten Duyvil, 2015) and The Surface of Motion (Green Integer, 2008).…Read More
Your tax-deductible donation to the Bird & Beckett Cultural Legacy Project helps us pay for a multitude of operating expenses necessary to present, promote and preserve local music, poetry, and more.
Help us keep the arts alive and thriving!
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Bird & Beckett Cultural Legacy Project
653 Chenery Street
San Francisco, CA 94131
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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