Friday, August 26 – 7:30pm
Tony Johnson’s 230 Jones Street Band
Drummer Tony Johnson brings a fine quartet into Bird & Beckett on the fourth Friday of each month. He’s a 63-year veteran of the local jazz scene, still a supercharged, swinging dynamo behind the kit belying his 80+ years of age. Tony left his native Australia and arrived in San Francisco in 1959, and was immediately working the City’s fertile club scene in an era when crowds were jamming the the Hungry i, the Jazz Workshop, the Black Cat, El Matador and the Cellar in North Beach, the Black Hawk at Hyde & Turk in the Tenderloin, the Tradewinds out in the Richmond District, the Say When on Bush.
Tony played locally in those years with the likes of guitarist Eddie Duran, bassist Ron Crotty, pianist Flip Nunez, sax player Pony Poindexter, vocalist Bev Kelly (and can be heard driving the quartet with Nunez and Poindexter on Kelly’s great lp recorded live at the Coffee Gallery in 1960). He toured with Earl “Fatha” Hines, George Shearing and Peggy Lee, and played the Sullivan show with the Vagabonds (house band for the Las Vegas Tropicana Hotel) on a bill that included Sammy Davis, Jr. To this day, he’s in high demand and gigs constantly around Northern California, rides his bike daily through the hills of Marin County. No wonder the young saxophonist Smith Dobson V calls him Tony the Tiger…
Tony plays Bird & Beckett on the fourth Friday of every month, alternating his two quartets — one, dubbed simply the Tony Johnson Quartet, includes Bob Kenmotsu on tenor sax, Keith Saunders on piano and Eric Markowitz on bass — musicians he’s long worked with at the never-say-die Club Deluxe on Haight Street, at the Comstock in North Beach and in numerous other venues.
Tonight, Tony heads the 230 Jones Street Quartet, with Charlie McCarthy, saxophone & flute; Glen Deardorff, guitar; and Al Obidinski, bass. 230 Jones Street is, in effect, the legacy band of the late saxophonist Chuck Peterson, who started the jazz tradition at Bird & Beckett as a weekly Friday evening occurrence back in October of 2002, twenty years ago — a tradition that’s never flagged. Tony’s colleagues in the 230 Jones Street Quartet have all been active jazz players for 60 years or more, each with stories to tell — especially in the music they play.
Neither of Tony’s outfits is to be missed! Come out tonight.
Jazz has been a key element of San Francisco culture since the Barbary Coast days. We’re proud to carry the tradition forward, and pleased with the audiences that make that possible.
$20 cover charge, to help us pay a “Guaranteed Fair Wage” to the musicians.
Also streamed live on Bird & Beckett’s Facebook page and YouTube channel.
If you like what you hear in the stream, and stick around for more, donate to help us pay the musicians!
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