Patrick Cahill (The Machinery of Sleep), Gerald Fleming (The Choreographer), Carolyn Miller (Light, Moving), Eliot Schain (The Distant Sound) read poems from their Sixteen Rivers Press titles and new work.Read More
Vince Lateano has been a key musician in San Francisco jazz since the mid-1960s. Every third Sunday, you’ll catch his trio at Bird & Beckett– and on the last Sunday of each month, serious jazz musicians, accomplished and aspiring both, are invited to a jam session led by the trio. Either way, byob and a twenty for the band if you’re able. No one turned away for lack of funds, but check between the seat cushions and bring what you can. We’ll make sure the trio is paid, ‘though as Slim will attest, it’s even better when you help.Read More
And yes, it’s a benefit for your beleaguered tho’ resurgent ‘n re-emergent jazz ‘n literary lounge, so bring yr checkbook! Whether it’s $10 you can contribute or $100, be the icing on this particular little birthday cake… Bird & Beckett’s music programming is 21 years old this year! Peter Case lit out from Buffalo, New York in 1973, age 18, in a blizzard, on a midnight bus headed west. That spring in San Francisco, you’d find him among the brilliant street musicians of the city, day and night, wailing on his guitar, singing with a voice that ricocheted off the storefronts and across the traffic lanes. You’d see him and hear him all over town, in the Mission, in the Tenderloin, and for a good, long stretch on the southeast corner opposite the Condor and City Lights every night of the week, busking alongside scuffling players and sterling veterans like…Read More
duo B. vs. SPELUNKER enter the Bird & Beckett arena Saturday, August 19th at 5pm! $20 cover charge, byob. Reservations – 415-586-3733. New original trio music and covers by creative music heroes Threadgill, Braxton and more! The Bay Area improvising drums and bass duo of Jason Levis and Lisa Mezzacappa, as duo B., joins forces with Italian saxophonist Piero Bon Bittolo, aka SPELUNKER (boasting a new album by that name). Together, they’ll whip up a program of new compositions composed by members of the trio, plus new arrangements of music by creative jazz luminaries. As duo B., Mezzacappa and Levis have explored the farthest reaches of wide-open improvisation and gnarly composition for more than 15 years, immersing themselves in the music of Anthony Braxton, Henry Threadgill, Cecil Taylor, Wadada Leo Smith, and others, and releasing three records. They are a first-call rhythm section backing up local jazz heroes such as…Read More
Saxophonist Marcus Stephens is picking the tunes for your happy hour jazz pleasure, fronting the combo Scott Foster has assembled especially for the occasion, with Matt Montgomery on bass and Michael Mitchell on drums. You’re in for two generous sets of music for a mid-August minute before school’s back in session. BYOB and a twenty for the band! Whatever your wallet will allow! Take a quick break when they finish at 8, and then hurry back at 8:30 for Mean to Me, a Bird & Beckett favorite, with Scott joining vocalist Judy Butterfield, pianist/saxophonist Ben Slater, bassist Tom Edler and drummer Cairo McCockran performing tunes from the ’20s to the ’40s mixed with bop, soul & latin jazz. Bring a twenty for each of these fine bands, and something to sip, and kick back for a Glen Park pause before the world starts down that road back to the salt…Read More
This Friday to Sunday:
6 shows to choose from!
Friday, 8/11 from 5:30-8:00pm
~~Eric & the In Crowd~~
and from 9:00-10:30pm
~~The Brian Melvin Quartet~~
Saturday, 8/12 from 3-4:30pm
~~Avotcja + Carlos Reyes~~
and from 7:30-9:30pm
~~The Tim Lin Quartet~~
Sunday 8/13 from 5-7pm
& the Heartache~~
and from 8-10pm
~~The Sam Bevin Quintet~~
A fantastic variety of music to choose from. You’ll most always be on the mark if you byob and a twenty for the band. And you can call to reserve a seat for any of these shows – 415-586-3733. Coming off our Thursday benefit thrown by nine stellar classical musicians (if you count Yuzoh the singing dog who, truth be told, sings along only to bluegrass), we have a cavalcade of six dates over the next three days! Our Friday happy hour show this week (5:30-8pm) is Eric Shifrin’s second Fridays residency, with the In Crowd comprising a trio this time out, and what a fun & fantastic little trio it is — Eric on piano, Ari Munkres on bass and Mark Lee on drums. Guaranteed pleasure! Bring a twenty for the band and something to sip! If you’re squeezing every dollar ’til the eagle grins, then just bring what…Read More
San Francisco Opera & Ballet Orchestra Musicians & Friends Ride to the Rescue! When Bay Area woes reach operatic dimensions of impending tragedy, a batch of hardy musicians who know all about operatic dimensions grab their tools of the trade and come calling! Bird & Beckett is just the latest cause to grab their attention and garner their support. Thursday, August 10th at 7:30pm, come out to Bird & Beckett to enjoy the musicianship of ten stalwart music makers, San Francisco Opera & Ballet musicians, both active and retired, and friends, performing in various aggregations and all together on the Bird & Beckett stage. They’re planning a program of classical pieces and more, celebrating the connections between classical, pop and folk music. Bird & Beckett is honored to be just the latest beneficiaries of the largesse of these musicians and colleagues. The list includes concerts to benefit Ukraine, the Food…Read More
Hafez Modirzadeh, saxophone Tim Volpicella, guitar Stan Poplin, bass Keshav Batish, drums $20 cover charge (cash, please) BYOB For a reservation, call the shop at 415-586-3733 This quartet reaches the Bird & Beckett stage just one day after performing at the Hammer Museum at UCLA. From the Hammer Museum’s write up: Commanding saxophonist and expansive musical thinker Hafez Modirzadeh brings a new quartet of Northern California improvisers to explore his latest set of compositions. Modirzadeh has spent decades bridging jazz vocabulary with the sonorities and syntax of non-Western musics. His work is influenced as much by the tuning systems of Persian and Turkish music, Filipino kulintang, and Indonesian gamelan as it is by the harmolodic lyricism of Ornette Coleman and the gritty chromaticism of Thelonious Monk. On a mission to liberate musical expression from the homogenizing influence of equal temperament, Modirzadeh pursues a music of liberation through personal resonance discovered…Read More
Diane di Prima was a towering figure in American poetry, and is sorely missed. Her passing in 2020 at the age of 86 has had to wait ’til now to be fully memorialized. There is no admission charge for our reading on Saturday nor for the grand event at the Castro on Sunday, though donations at both events will help the di Prima family cover the considerable expenses involved. There’s precious little time before the Castro Theater as we know it is reconfigured, and it would be a great mistake to miss this gathering to celebrate an individual whose position in San Francisco’s cultural history is impossible to overstate, and whose work, practice, influence, generosity and friendship have shaped generations the world over. (note that our address is misstated in the flyer reproduced above. That’s the address where Diane first read for us, though, and where she brought her students…Read More
Mr. Lucky https://vimeo.com/261190051/3340b6b191 â€œThe dean of postmodern lounge jazz swing singersâ€¦â€ & The ‘Intimate’ Cocktail Party! â€œA veritable super-group!â€Â 20th Century Influencedâ€¦ 21st Century Influencersâ€¦ Entertaining Jazz! Ellington, Mancini, Bacharach, Withers…!? The unexpected rules…! In 1998, Mr. Lucky & The Cocktail PartyÂ grabbed manic energy and tuned up the Great American Songbook with a big +plus.Â Â J. Raoul Brody and Ralph Carney assembled an amazing set of jazz musicians to create a fresh, exciting, jazzy soundâ€¦.Â Over one hundred performances later the band continues to evolveâ€” every show is guaranteed dynamic andâ€¦entertaining!Â Â Featuring these outstanding, top Bay Area musiciansâ€¦ Joshua Raoul Brody: ‘The Maestro’ on piano, Michael Groh: humming on guitar, Joe Quigley:Â eclectic bass (Lisa Loebâ€™s â€˜Stayâ€™), Mr. Lucky: vocals, etc. Our extravagant and exceptional genius and friend, Ralph Carney remains on stage with us in spirit.Â Mr. Lucky has appeared at an amazing array of venuesâ€” from Bimboâ€™s 365…Read More
Charles Thomas, bass with Rob Zuckerman, saxophone Sam Cady, piano Michael Spencer, drums $20 suggested donation; pay what you can to support the musicians and the store! There’s no minimum on Friday evenings for these 2-1/2 hour happy hour shows. On the other hand, there’s no maximum either! BYOB Charles has a long history on the Bird & Beckett scene, 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.Â Tonight, it’s jazz in a straight ahead mode while he contemplates next steps in the music. We suspect there will be hints abounding about the directions he’ll take. His colleagues on the bandstand this evening are wonderful players, all. All are well suited to Charles’ purposes!Read More
Jerry Ferraz has been the cornerstone of Bird & Beckett’s poetry scene since its inception back in 1999. He was on the first bill of poets that we presented shortly after we opened the store. His poems contemplate the eternal mysteries and verities of the human and natural spheres, with a sensibility that’s both ironic and generous. His good friend Jane Rades writes poems of disarming simplicity. She’s the one who taught Jerry how to sing, back when they often crossed paths and sometimes performed together on the 1970s coffee house poetry scene. An open mic follows the featured poets. Michael Koch and Jerry share the honors in booking and conducting our monthly first Thursdays poetry series.Read More
Annie Orzen Trio – Thursday, July 13th, 7:30-9:30pm. Gaea Schell CD Release, “In Your Own Sweet Way” – Friday, July 14th, 9:00-10:30pm. Marlina Teich Quartet – Sunday, July 23, 5:30-7:30pm. Vocalist Kenya Moses – Friday, July 28, 9:00-10:30pm.Read More
The last Sunday of each month, veteran drummer Vince Lateano is at the center of a dynamic and easy going session at Bird & Beckett that attracts old hands and young pups alike, aided by bassist Peter Barshay and pianist Ben Stolorow. Bird & Beckettâ€™s Doggone Session is just the latest iteration of sessions Vince has been renowned for over the decades at venues including Pier 23, the Dogpatch Saloon, the Seven Mile House (which Vince dubbed the Doghouse Jam) and Sweeties. And while some talents, characters and devotees show up pretâ€™ near every time at these Bird & Beckett sessions, the churn and evolution is constant, and legendary players youâ€™ve never heard of turn up with regularity, drawn by their history and friendship with Vince, a swinging force on the San Francisco jazz scene since he hit North Beach in the mid-1960s.Read More
Dewayne Oakley, bass and vocals Ralph Nelson, guitar Anthony Peagram, drums $20 cover charge (cash, please) byob The Dewayne Oakley Blues Ensemble returns to play soul satisfying sets of blues, calypso and jazz. Dewayne has brought the pleasure and joy of the music to audiences all around the bay for five decades or more. For the better part of the 1980s, he was a fixture on the blues and jazz scene in Nagoya, Japan, and returned with his own record label, Naki-Do, and the Blues Ensemble. Dewayne has been a Bird & Beckett favorite and close collaborator since last March, when vocalist Jazzy Raja first brought his Blues Ensemble to our stage. Tonight’s trio date is his fifth Bird & Beckett engagement in as many months. Here’s video from his latest outing on July 8th. Plus a little something extra.Read More
Prepare to be mesmerized by the captivating musical stylings of Kenya Moses; an extraordinary Afro-Brazilian American vocalist who effortlessly blends cultures, genres, and languages with her enchanting voice. Kenya Moses is a true musical nomad, fearlessly traversing boundaries and embracing the diverse influences that shape her artistic identity. With every note she sings, she seamlessly fuses the rhythmic beauty of Brazilian Bossa Nova with the soulful expressions of American jazz and Classical music, creating a harmonious tapestry that resonates with audiences around the world. As a vocalist, Kenya possesses a remarkable ability to captivate listeners with her storytelling prowess. With each lyric she delivers, she weaves a narrative that touches the depths of emotion and paints vivid pictures in the minds of her audience. Her voice, warm and heartfelt, invites listeners to embark on a journey that transcends time and space. Kenya is joined by an incredible ensemble of musicians…Read More
Bob Kenmotsu, tenor sax Keith Saunders, piano Eric Markowitz, bass Tony Johnson, drums Bebop, hardbop, soul jazz and standards. Always swinging, always impeccably played, always with pleasure BYOB and a twenty for the band, or any amount large or small you can manage! A guaranteed fair wage starts with the revenue that can be gathered from those who enjoy the fruits of the musicians’ labor. That includes those who prefer to stay home to enjoy the live stream, naturally! If you’re in that number, pony up if you possibly can! We can tell you how, if you can’t quite figure it. This quartet represents the long run of jazz that spilled out the Haight Street bar called the Club Deluxe, lovingly run for decades, hands on, by the raconteur and singer Jay Johnson and then continued for another decade much to our delight, filling the night, and sometimes the noonday,…Read More
Marlina Teich, guitar and vocals; Rob Zuckerman, sax; Richard Saunders, bass; John Fisher, drums. $20 cover charge; byob. Reservations, call 415-586-3733. Marlina Teich brings an eclectic blend of bebop, swing, blues, and Latin music to Bird & Beckett this evening. She’s a San Francisco-based guitarist/vocalist specializing in swing, show tunes and jazz standards. Marlina has performed internationally at Sandals resorts in Jamaica; wineries in Sonoma County, California; and in hotels, including an engagement in Ben Swig’s Penthouse Suite at the Fairmont Hotel for the Italian Consulate. Along the way, she’s performed in countless clubs and restaurants and for private parties. She has worked a number of California prison tours with jazz bands, was a music instructor at San Quentin prison, and taught in summer sessions for the California Jazz Conservatory. She’s done studio work for radio commercials, and has played and recorded with a variety of renowned musicians including: Richie…Read More
Charlie McCarthy,Â saxophone & flute Sam Cady, piano Joe McKinley, bass Alexie Berlind, drums $20 cover charge (cash, please); byob A band of veterans, giants of Bay Area jazz. The epitome of what the music has to offer those who take the time to partake.Read More
This evening at Bird & Beckett, Darren Johnston, trumpet, and Heshima Mark Williams, bass, collaborate with guitarist Scott Foster for two sets of explorations in jazz. It’s the Bird & Beckett Friday happy hour! 2-1/2 hours of jazz joy and good company. Don’t neglect to take part in the culture that enriches San Francisco. We’ve just lost La Cochina’s Van Ness Boulevard food court and the storied Anchor Brewery! How important to you suppose it is to hold on to the tangible things that make San Francisco intangibly unique? Jazz at Bird & Beckett represents one of those quintessential and completely tangible delights. The jazz culture well rooted in Bird & Beckett is a collaboration of audience and musicians. You’re indispensable in that mix. We began weekly 5:30pm Friday jazz parties in late 2002 and have never flagged. Scott Foster has been on the gig since the very beginning. From…Read More
Ray Skjelbred, piano; Clint Baker, clarinet and trumpet; Jeff Hamilton, drums, play hot Chicago jazz and plenty of blues, something Ray’s been doing for five decades and more. Katie Cavera can’t make it up for the gig, and very sad to say, Kim Cusak passed away a few months ago. Still, Katie is still in the fold, and the Cubs play on. R.I.P., Kim. Another musician gone, but their presence will be always felt in the music. Here’s video of tonight’s performance by the trio of Cubs! And here’s 2015 video from a quintet date with the full Cubs complement, including guitarist Katie Cavera and the late clarinetist Kim Cusack, gone June 2nd at the age of 84, may he rest in peace, with Clint moving to bass: and here’s Ray’s last outing at Bird & Beckett, one year ago, July 5, 2022, also with Clint and Jeff, and joined…Read More
Every third Sunday, enjoy the simple pleasures of the Vince Lateano Trio playing two sets of great music. Vince Lateano, drums Peter Barshay, bass Ben Stolorow, piano byob and a twenty for the trio! Here’s video of the trio’s last outing, on June 18th: 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 Johnny 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 yearsâ€¦ Later, all through the 1990s â€™til it closed as such in 2003, he was the house drummer at Jazz at Pearlâ€™s in North Beach, playing with his own trio several…Read More
Join Neeli Cherkovski and friends for a reading to celebrate his 78th birthday! Hello I am the way I am because nobody could convince me to be otherwise, a simple thought to be not so easily deterred from the wreckage of bad behavior itâ€™s okay to say â€œyesâ€ when you mean â€œnoâ€ itâ€™s okay to do your best while you grow old because no one really cares not even if they want to I am the way I am out of spite, I hold the appellation â€œpoetâ€ in high regard and take a simple line or two I am as I am tending the garden, fearful of court documents, wary of tax forms, I never learned how to pry open a box of butterflies I am the way I am capable of secrets despite my mouth, I turn up the volume and listen-in to real news, angry mobs in Budapest,…Read More
Shay Salhov, saxophone Dahveed Behroozi, piano Jason Lewis, drums Dahveed Behroozi, Shay Salhov and Jason Lewis have nearly a decade of experience collaborating as a trio and as a quartet with the late bassist John Shifflett, focused on original compositions and steeped in improvisation, drawing on classical and world music elements. $20 cash cover charge. BYOB. For a reservation, call the shop at 415-586-3733. Find the Bird & Beckett live streams on our YouTube channel or Facebook page, and donate if you possibly can to support the musicians, the music and the venue! Donations to our general fund at this linkRead More
Gaea Schell, piano/flute/voice Jordan Samuels, guitar John Wiitala, bass Greg Wyser-Pratte, drums play music from her new CD, “In Your Own Sweet Way” (Saphu Records, 2023) The CD features the same musicians — Gaea Schell (flute, piano, and vocals), Jordan Samuels (guitar), John Wiitala (bass) and Greg Wyser-Pratte (drums) — along with Carlos Caro (percussion on Cava dellâ€™Isola, El Picacho, and Luna Plateada); Marco Diaz (trumpet and piano on El Pichacho). From Women in Jazz Media: While most of us stayed home during the pandemic and looked for projects to fill our time, GAEA SCHELL flew to central Mexico to play gigs with a Cuban son group, where she also swam in waterfalls in San Luis Potosi, began learning Spanish, and released sea turtles. She also went to Florence, Italy, to study opera, completed a master’s degree in composition in Vermont, won a Chamber Music America grant to work with…Read More
Always a good time when Eric attracts the In Crowd to Bird & Beckett! He’s here with a fresh band on the second Friday of every month. This time out, this is the fabulous band: Nancy Wright, saxophone Eric Shifrin, piano Bing Nathan, bass Mark Lee, drums BYOB and a twenty for the band if you can manage it! Donations are voluntary, though necessary to support our determination to pay a decent guarantee regardless of audience turnout or financial enthusiasm. Be as enthusiastic as your pocketbook can manage, and as the music excites & pleases. Thanks for supporting live jazz in San Francisco in 2023! Here’s video+audio from Eric’s last B&B outing, the second Friday of June:Read More
The Annie Orzen Trio pushes the envelope of jazz, bringing a unique repertoire of original compositions and freshly interpreted standards to the Bird & Beckett stage. Heavily inspired by their training in jazz and their collective love for modern genres of music, the group combines jazz, r&b, gospel, and funk into a contagiously exciting night of music. $20 cover charge (cash, please) $10 for students age 22 and under reservations: 415-586-3733 Pianist, composer and leader Annie Orzen, born and raised in San Francisco, is pursuing a Bachelorâ€™s of Music in jazz and contemporary media from The Eastman School of Music (Rochester, New York), where she studies under acclaimed pianist Gary Versace. Her sound is influenced by her love for bebop, gospel, r&b, and modern jazz, all of which she combines in her jazz trio conception. Annie has performed at notable San Francisco venues including Brick & Mortar Music Hall and…Read More
Two shows on Friday — Eric & the In Crowd featuring saxophonist Nancy Wright from 5:30 to 8:00pm followed by the Gaea Schell Quartet from 9:00 to 10:30pm; The Dahveed Behroozi / Shay Salhov / Jason Lewis Trio Saturday from 7:30 to 9:30pm; A Birthday Celebration Reading for Neeli Cherkovski Sunday at 2pm; and the Vince Lateano Trio Sunday from 5-7pm!Read More
Zoom links below! Join us to hear the featured poets and read one of your own in the open mic! Roopa Ramamoorthi is a scientist and poet who lives in Berkeley. Her poetry, essays and short stories have been included in 80 publications including Perspectives on NPR and various anthologies including best of 60 years of Spectrum and the Vona anthology Dismantle. Her writing also appears in India Currents, Ursa Minor, Berkeley Daily Planet and other journals. Most recently she conducted poetry workshops with people living with rare diseases and the collection Rare Sounds was published by the Ipsen Foundation. She enjoys outdoor Zumba and yoga and walking and of course reading and listening to other poets. Vincent Calvarese has been published in poetry, fiction, non-fiction and visual art. A San Francisco native, he now calls Coachella Valley his home as well as his muse. Join Zoom Meeting https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84350265713?pwd=eE84V3BYdWxiSFBHNHhmdUt1WTUzdz09 Meeting…Read More
The second Sunday of every odd month, we welcome the Seducers to take us to the sweet, beating heart of the country, where everyone suffers the same heartache and joy. Don’t miss a good thing! BYOB and a twenty for the band!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!
Click above to donate, drop off a check at the bookshop, or drop one in the mail to:
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