653 Chenery Street
in San Francisco's Glen Park neighborhood

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Tuesday to Sunday
noon to six


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But nothing beats being in the room
with the music & the musicians!

August 12th to 15th in preview
7 events in 4 days
jazz – comedy – Ameri-kinda-alt-everything – country – poetry – jazz!

Saturday, 8/13 – 4-6 pm: The Grant Levin – Charles Thomas Duo. 7:30-10 pm: The Grant Levin Quartet featuring alto sax player Jesse Levit. Grant never fails to astonish when he takes to the piano at Bird & Beckett as he does several times each month. 2nd & 4th Saturday afternoons showcase Grant in a duo format with one or another of his closest jazz collaborators. As a jazz pianist, Grant is one of the best kept secrets in the Western World!
Friday, 8/12

Don Alberts jazz quartet at 5:30;
Vasu Primlani comic at 9:00!
a double feature this Friday night!

Bird & Beckett piano marathon

photo courtesy baytaper.com

5:30-8 pm: The Don Alberts Renaissance Band plays in Bird & Beckett’s long-running jazz in the bookshop series – a jazz party in the neighborhood every Friday since 2002.

Don Alberts is a fabulous player and a prolific composer drenched in bebop, with a drive that doesn’t quit. A Bay Area native, he’s released five albums since 2002; and he’s also published countless volumes of his compositions, along with novels, poetry and an invaluable book of local jazz history. His collection of interviews with San Francisco musicians, Diary of the Underdogs: Jazz in the 1960s in San Francisco, is one of the great reference works on jazz in the Bay Area and includes wide ranging conversations with many of the musicians you’ve encountered at Bird & Beckett.

Vasu_Primlani_and_Friends9-10:30 pm: Vasu & Friends
Stand-Up Comedy!
Vasu Primlani • Sandra Risser
• Loren Kraut • Johnny Korn

Vasu Primlani
was called ‘mischievous and defiant’ by the BBC, and “Curve” magazine had this to say: “You don’t become India’s first openly gay comic if you are afraid to ruffle a few feathers.” Curve continues, “So it’s no surprise that Vasu Ritu Primlani isn’t afraid to skewer, deconstruct and find the funny in any topic, whether it be gender politics, climate change or even rape… She is a keen observer of life around her, is often baffled by meaningless events and things. She constantly questions the notion of ‘normal,’ and challenges the male-dominated and heterosexist mindset of society. She is best known for her physical humor and deadpan expressions.”

Vasu is also an award-winning environmentalist. And a triathlete, here from her home in Delhi to take part in an Iron Man competition.

She’s invited several local comics she knows well from her prior residence in San Francisco to share the stage at Bird & Beckett.

For more on Vasu, visit her website here.

Grant Levin - Charles Thomas - Omar Aran

Saturday, 8/13 – 4-6 pm: The Grant Levin – Charles Thomas Duo.  Grant never fails to astonish when he takes to the piano at Bird & Beckett as he does several times each month. 2nd & 4th Saturday afternoons showcase Grant in a duo format with one or another of his closest jazz collaborators. As a jazz pianist, Grant is one of the best kept secrets in the Western World!

This week, the versatile and deep bassist Charles Thomas shares the stage. Charles (shown here along with Grant and drummer Omar Aran in a recent quartet date) is equally comfortable in classical, funk, r&b and jazz settings – and it seems to be jazz that’s closest to his heart.

If you haven’t made one of these duo dates, you owe it to yourself to hear just how rich these afternoons can be.

jesse levit terrance tony tribute - 4-25-15 - bird and beckett books

L-R: Larry Chinn, Aaron Cohn, Jesse Levit, Vinnie Rodriguez, Danny Brown. Photo by Angela Bennett.

Saturday, 8/13 – 7:30-10 pm: Saxophonist Jesse Levit featured with the Grant Levin Quartet.  Pianist Grant Levin has lead a quartet date monthly in our 2-year old jazz club series since its inception in the summer of 2014 – and each and every month it’s been one of the most acclaimed high spots on the Bird & Beckett calendar.

Tonight, along with the fabulous drummer Hamir Atwal, Grant welcomes bassist Josh Thurston-Milgrom and saxophonist Jesse Levit to the stage. Jesse, an Oakland native, recently moved to New York to attend the Manhattan School of Music, and is back for a tour of the local jazz spots with his close associate Josh joining him on each date. Bird & Beckett is pleased to welcome Jesse back to the Bay for this brief moment to share the stage with Hamir and Grant!

He’s shown in the accompanying photo on a jazz club date from April 2015, when Vinnie Rodriguez led a quintet at Bird & Beckett in tribute to the late Houston, Texas alto player and once Jazz Messenger, Terrance Tony.

Flying SalviasSunday, 8/14 – 4:30-6:30 pm: The Flying Salvias. Last glimpsed at Bird & Beckett in a Merle Haggard tribute with the Seducers a few months back, we’re beyond happy to bring Henry & Kathleen Salvia to the stage in our which way west? series for two sets of their own particular brand of mischief. 

The Flying Salvias have been called “Ameri-kinda Alt Everything” and “Alt Cabaret” — Henry is well known for his expressive piano style and impressive chops, and Kathleen’s voice can go from a whisper to a roar and back again with heartfelt emotional appeal. It’s said that their musical palette is large and many-colored. Their lyrics might seem whimsical, but don’t be fooled — there’s always an under-painting of deeper meaning. They take great pleasure in blurring all musical boundaries, giving any given song whatever touch of blues, country, jazz, tango, or rock ‘n roll strikes them as the thing to do. She’s a musical gadabout. He’s a musical sponge. They’re the Flying Salvias. Here’s a video of The Flying Salvias doing their sublime and charming roadkill tribute, “Sleepy Armadillo”

Joe Goldmark, pedal steel guitar; Kenny Owen, drums; Eddie Kendrick, bass and vocals; Mitch Polzak, lead guitar and vocals. Photo by Angela Lilley Bennett, 2016

Joe Goldmark, pedal steel guitar; Kenny Owen, drums; Eddie Kendrick, bass and vocals; Mitch Polzak, lead guitar and vocals. Photo by Angela Lilley Bennett, 2016

Sunday 8/14 – 7:30-10 pm: The Seducers. This classic/outlaw country band, featuring pedal steel ace Joe Goldmark, long, tall, loquacious guitarist/vocalist Mitch Polzak, and solid rocking drummer Kenny Owen have just bid “so long” to long-time Seducer Eddie Kendrick, who got himself seduced into marriage. Silver wings have taken Eddie to bliss in Colorado. We’ll all miss him a whole lot, more than we can express! But the Seducers will work their magic in new and sweetly familiar ways. If Waylon Jennings, Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson are your cup of tea, this is your music. 

This weekly Sunday night series that we’ve been calling canyon moonlight music was inaugurated in September of 2015 when The Riptide, the hallowed Sunset District bar out on Taraval by the beach, was badly damaged by a two-alarm fire. We’ve been pleased to be able to offer monthly bookings to many musicians who lost a valued gig when that bar had to shut down for the arduous task of repair. And we’ve been amply rewarded with a year of Sundays of wonderful music.

With the imminent return of the Riptide, expected to reopen any day now, we’re moving the canyon moonlight series to Thursday nights starting in September, and will be carrying on the new tradition of country, blues and rockabilly bookings we’ve come to enjoy at Bird & Beckett in that 7:30-10 pm time slot. The Seducers will continue to be a big part of that tradition!

Gene Berson in the pages of the poetry anthology., Honeydew.

Gene Berson in the pages of the poetry anthology, Honeydew (1974) edited by Bill Vartnaw.

Monday, 8/15: 7-9 pm: POETS! a twice-monthly series hosted by troubadour Jerry Ferraz. Tonight’s featured poets are Eugene Berson and Vince Storti. They’ll be followed by one of the best open mic sessions in San Francisco – a city of poets! 

Gene Berson says, “I’ve been writing seriously for many years, and live in the northern California foothills. I grew up in the bay area. I’ve published in American Poetry Review, Bastard Angel, Beatitude, Vanishing Cab, the online magazines Abalone Moon and Referential Magazine and the anthology Honeydew. American Academy of Poets prize, SFSU, BA,MA in English Literature. I have two manuscripts of poems I hope to publish this year, one entitled Yuba Grooves — poems written the last ten years and focusing on the Sierra Foothills; the other, Relative Orbits, includes more family-inspired biographical work. I co-ordinated Poetry in the Schools in the early seventies for several years which included teaching poetry workshops throughout the Northwest in a variety of schools –one room school houses in the Wyoming Prairie, reform schools, Indian reservations schools and urban schools — elementary grades through high school. I taught high school in Oakland in the early nineties and have worked for many years in the tradeshow industry as a member of Sign Display Union, local 510.

Vince StortiAs for Vince Storti, he’s “living somewhere on a palm-tree studded island, surrounded by Victorian houses and rumors of a revolution against all forms of sailboats. He is a current recipient of a first prize for poetry by Bay Area Poets Coalition. He is the author of two chapbooks and is the editor and publisher of North Coast Literary Review. He thinks you should all have a nice time beyond the world’s end in 2012. He closes his closet door nightly, just so the beatnik ghosts won’t get him. He works to create visual and literary pieces which investigate conscious and unconscious realms. He believes in what we all believe in.” Nicole Savage says in her invaluable blog sfheart.com that she “blatantly copied (this bio) from the Sparring With Beatnik Ghosts Anthology.” 

Be sure to visit sfheart.com for a rich tour through the landscape of San Francisco art and culture.

It includes this great take on our POETS! host and m.c. Jerry Ferraz.

Jerry Ferraz, peripatetic bard and troubadour, and host of Bird and Becketts

Jerry Ferraz, peripatetic bard and troubadour, native of San Francisco’s Eureka Valley and host of Bird and Beckett’s twice-monthly poetry series (1st & 3rd Mondays, 7-9 pm).



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The Bird & Beckett Cultural Legacy Project

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.

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The Independent Musicians Alliance

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

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