Trevor Watts, saxophone
Karl Evangelista, guitar
Lisa Mezzacappa, bass
Jamie Watts, percussion
$20 cover charge (cash or venmo at the door, please). BYOB
Reservations, call 415-586-3733
Legendary English saxophonist Trevor Watts (Spontaneous Music Ensemble, Amalgam, Moiré Music) and his frequent collaborator, percussionist Jamie Harris, visit the Bay Area for a special evening of free improvisation and avant-garde jazz. Joining them at Bird & Beckett are local firebrand Karl Evangelista (guitar) and multitalented bassist Lisa Mezzacappa.
In the 1960s, the English saxophonist Trevor Watts permanently expanded the parameters of jazz, co-founding Spontaneous Music Ensemble and leading the equally groundbreaking Amalgam. In the early 1980s, Watts formed the first of several ensembles under the Moire Music banner, blending rhythms from Africa and Asia with jazz-steeped virtuosity, and performing on six continents. With a quarter century of collaboration under their belts, Watts’ duo with percussionist Jamie Harris distills 60 years of Watts’ immersion in diverse music traditions, with ear-grabbing themes, infectious grooves, and an uplifting vibe.
Bay Area guitarist Karl Evangelista performed and recorded with Watts in October 2018 in Evangelista’s project Apura, which centered on South African drummer Louis Moholo Moholo, a member of the Blue Notes and Brotherhood of Breath, South African jazz aggregations whose members were at the core of London’s community of South African expatriates in the 1960s. Lisa Mezzacappa was enlisted in Apura on the occasion of a May 2023 recording/performing project with drummer Andrew Cyrille.
The only founder member of The Spontaneous Music Ensemble still alive. He also founded Amalgam (which included Keith Rowe) and his 1980s Moire Music Group which included Veryan Weston & Peter Knight as well as Phil Minton/Pinise Saul/Lol Coxhill many more and The Drum Orchestra (1980-1997), which involved musicians mainly from Ghana (ECM 1449 CD “A Wider Embrace”). He instigated the 35 piece collaboration with the Drum Orchestra and Teatro Negro de Barlovento (Venezuela) which toured here and also in Venezuela in the 1990’s and around the World on every continent. Other prominent musicians he’s played with include Don Cherry, Archie Shepp, Steve Lacy, Kent Carter, Rashied Ali, Steve Swallow, Bobby Bradford, Cyro Baptista ,Stan Tracey and Veryan Weston. Watts is featured in “Jazz Brittanica” (a BBC4 film on British jazz and improvised music, 2005. He is featured in many other films on jazz/improv music, some for ARTE TV including filming of two visits to the Roaring Hooves Festival. Major Jazz Festival appearances include Womad, Glastonbury, San Francisco Jazz Festival, Monterey Jazz Festival, Freedom of the Plaza Festival July 4th in Washington DC, Singapore Arts Festival, Beijing & Shanghai Jazz Festivals, Berlin Jazz Fest, London Jazz Fest, Cervantino Festival, Mexico, New Zealand Festival of Arts, Wangaratta and Darling Harbour Festivals in Australia Watts is listed in the Who’s Who in the World of Music dictionary.
In 1999 JAMIE HARRIS organised a group made up of young musicians for a concert where Trevor Watts was musical director.This group continued to rehearse after that concert and it was during that first rehearsal with no drummer in attendance that Watts handed Harris a drum and asked him to bang it.The group eventually became “Trevor Watts and the Celebration Band”, where Harris served as percussionist. The Celebration Band toured USA / Canada as well as playing several concerts in the UK and Europe.In 2003 Watts and Harris began performing as a duo, taking this project to Mongolia, USA/Canada, Mexico, The Dominican Republic and Brazil among other locations. Since July 2021, Watts /Veryan Weston and Harris formed the group “Eternal Triangle”. Who have since played concerts all over the Uk and EU performing Trevor’s compositions In October 2022 he began improvising danceable funk jazz with Trevor Watts and Mark Hewins in the group JaMaTre “Jamie vibrates, at the same time as our eardrums, with a virtuosity to make the most experienced Cuban congeros pale! “ Alain Fleche , French journalist
Karl Evangelista is a ferocious young improvising guitarist whose own projects have been legion since emerging from the MFA program in improvised music at Mills College in 2009 with his band Grex. Apura, his ongoing current project, began in 2008 with research on emigre musicians in England coming from the South African jazz group The Blue Notes and diversifying into the London-based Brotherhood of Breath. Evangelista’s project was documented in the October 2018 recordings made in London with Evangelista in collaboration with the drummer Louis Moholo Moholo, saxophonist Trevor Watts and keyboard player Alexander Hawkins, released as Apura (Astral Spirits, 2020). The making of the Apura album in 2018 spawned May 2023 Bay Area recording sessions with drummer Andrew Cyrille and many giants of the Bay Area improvising avant garde including Francis Wong, Lisa Mezzacappa and Rei Scampavia, documented in the album Ngoyon (Astral Spirits, 2023) and most recently the mid-November 2023 Bird & Beckett engagement with saxophonist Trevor Watts, percussionist Jamie Harris and bassist Lisa Mezzacappa.
Lisa Mezzacappa, ubiquitous and unstoppable collaborator and curator in the Bay Area music community, leads her own groups Bait & Switch, Nightshade, the Lisa Mezzacappa Trio and the Tangle Trio, and co-leads the ensembles duo B., Cylinder, the Mezzacappa-Phillips Duo, and the Caribbean folk band Les Gwan Jupons. Lisa has released her music on the Clean Feed, NoBusiness, Leo, NotTwo, Evander, Odd Shaped Case and Edgetone record labels, and has recorded as a sideperson for the Tzadik, Kadima and Porto Franco labels. She collaborates frequently on cross-disciplinary projects in sound installation, film/video, sculpture and public music/art.
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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