Saturday, October 15th – 7:30pm
Ben Davis Quartet
Ben Davis, cello
Erik Jekabson, trumpet
James Fei, soprano and alto sax
Jordan Glenn, drums
BYOB and cash for the $20 cover charge. Doors open at 7:20pm for the show.
For a reservation, call the shop at 415-586-3733
If you can’t make it into the shop, you can catch the live stream on our Facebook page or YouTube channel.
Your donations to help pay the musicians and support the stream are much appreciated!
Bird & Beckett adheres to the guaranteed fair wage standard promoted by the Independent Musicians Alliance.
Last heard at Bird & Beckett in April 2022, Ben Davis’s Bay Area group has expanded from a trio to a quartet with the addition of reed player James Fei.
Compositional structures, lines and wild loose grooves are gauged open and explored in impassioned play between instruments—gut-wrenching dissonance to sonorous deep tones. This new Bay Area group was brought together by cellist Ben Davis to probe the thin line between composition and improvisation. The improvs are open thematic, composed material embedded within solos. Each musician plays a role in both leading and accompanying.
From a February 11, 2007 review of Davis’s Basquiat Strings group’s debut cd, in the Guardian (UK):
Cellist Ben Davis and his quintet Basquiat Strings have taken their time before releasing their first album, but it’s worth the wait. Because these classically trained string players have grown up alongside non-classical musicians, their use of jazz compositional methods, rhythms and improvisation is not at all forced: they rock.
Davis’s fine tunes include the spiky Double Dares and the intense Junk. These are augmented by standards: Infant Eyes (Shorter), In A Silent Way (Zawinul) and a brilliant interpretation of Ornette Coleman’s Lonely Woman. Drummer Seb Rochford adds effective, self-effacing drum parts, and the quintet lineup means that Rochford and bassist Richard Pryce can work as a rhythm team behind the others when needed. Basquiat feels like a real, gigging band, with great solos from all players, and Davis is a star.
Ben Davis found a musical community in the F-ire Collective which came together in London in the mid-1990s; his chamber jazz group Basquiat Strings (a string quartet plus bass and drums) released its debut album in the UK in 2007, nominated for the prestigious Mercury Award. He moved to Chicago in 2016, and moved to the BayArea in late 2020. He’s toured and recorded with Ingrid Laubrock, Mary Halverson and Ellery Eskerlin, amongst many others.
Erik Jekabson has three main projects, the Erik Jekabson Sextet, the String-tet and the Electric Squeezebox Orchestra, and also runs the Young Musicians Program at the California Jazz Conservatory. Since his 2002 debut cd “Intersection,” released on Fresh Sound/New Talent, he’s put out three on his own Jekab’s Music label including 2014’s “Jekabson Quartet & John Santos: Live at the Hillside Club,” one on OA2, and three on Wide Hive including “One Note at a Time” (2020). He’s spent time on the road with Illinois Jacquet, John Mayer, Galactic,and the Howard Fishman Quartet, and has performed at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Algonquin Room, Madison Square Garden and on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Late Night with David Letterman. He’s arranged for vocalists including Madeleine Peyroux, Ani DiFranco, Jackie Ryan, Kenny Washington, Madeline Eastman, Kellye Gray, Kalil Wilson and Sandy Cressman,
James Fei works as a composer, reeds player and electronic musician. He received the Grants for Artists Award from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts in 2014 and he is president of Anthony Braxton’s Tri-Centric Foundation. Fei has taught at Mills College in Oakland since 2006, where he is Professor of Electronic Arts and Director of the Center for Contemporary Music. Fei has worked closely with Anthony Braxton, Roscoe Mitchell and Alvin Lucier. He has appeared on over twenty recordings with Braxton and collaborated on projects from small ensembles, one hundred tubas, to eight-hour Sonic Genomes. He is the president of the Braxton’s Tri-Centric Foundation.bio to follow
Jordan Glenn has led several groups, including Wiener Kids, and is a member of numerous ensembles. With the Fred Frith Trio he recently completed a tour of the Middle East and Europe. Since 2006, when he came to the Bay Area from the Pacific Northwest, he’s worked with Fred Frith, William Winant, Zeena Parkins, Roscoe Mitchell, Anantha Krishnan, Ben Goldberg, John Schott, Cory Wright, Aram Shelton, Steini Gunnarsson, Dominique Leone, Darren Johnston, Graham Connah, and the bands Jack O’ the Clock, Host Family, Efft, 20 Minute Loop, The Monolith, Beep!, tUnE-yArDs, Science Fiction, Evon, Arts & Sciences, and the Oakland Active Orchestra.
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