Three great jazz players convene under the “Billy Higgins Legacy” moniker to deliver two sets of powerful music.
When Myron Cohen was setting out as a young musician to play jazz drums, he fell into the orbit of the great drummer Billy Higgins. The lessons he learned under Higgins’ mentorship have stuck with him through the ensuing decades, particularly the value of mentorship and the direct transmission of musical knowledge within the jazz community. He still plays the kit that Higgins gave him back in the 1960s, and for many years he’s kept his Billy Higgins Legacy combo active with a mission to connect emerging talents with the ethics and swing that make jazz a universal treasure. Myron was looking forward to this date in a big way, but a touch of virus has taken him out of the equation for the evening, and Elé Howell is stepping in. More on Elé below.
Saxophonist Richard Howell leads the trio tonight. Guardian of the Groove, he’s deeply committed to transmitting the culture of jazz in his work and bringing the musicians he works with into communion with the tradition’s profound art and spirit. The short documentary at this link will give you a taste of his beautiful concept, as well as a glimpse of trio mate Ravi Abcarian. More than a bassist, Ravi is an educator of great dedication, heading up the invaluable Oaktown Jazz Workshops, training new generations of jazz musicians from its base in Oakland’s Jack London Square.
Elé Howell is behind the drum kit tonight, subbing for Myron Cohen, creator and sustainer of the Billy Higgins Legacy Band. Elé, son of saxophonist Richard and a prodigy from a young age, has forged a vital career, touring with Ravi Coltrane and others. “He’s a fabulous musician,” Coltrane says. “Just an excellent drummer who plays with a lot of heart and intensity. I love the way he rides the cymbal and plays the bass drum. You can hear a lot of the great modern drummers influencing him, and it’s important for older players to be around young players who have their own unique insights and takes on music.” Elé will be back leading a quartet on Thursday night!
Tonight, enjoy two sets of intensely focused and loosely joyous music rendered by three musicians serving the music, the legacy of one of its great proponents and the spirit of mentorship.
$20 cover charge.
Tonight’s presentation enjoys the support of Jazz in the Neighborhood, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the economics of jazz performance in the Bay Area. One of the ways in which JitN pursues its mission is to underwrite venues on individual dates to help the venues meet a “guaranteed fair wage” standard without reliance on door revenue, tips and other approaches to compensation.
Bird & Beckett is very appreciative of JitN’s support this December!
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