SFJAZZ Summer Sessions opens with Great American Songbook series

Thursday evening heralds the opening of the SFJAZZ Summer Sessions – just over five weeks of fabulous music and performances running through August 20. Opening this season is “legendary singer, social activist, and Bay Area gem” (SFJAZZ), Barbara Dane, who’s also celebrating her 90th birthday!  Appearing with the Tammy Hall Trio , Dane – described by the Boston Globe as “One of the true unsung heroes of American music ” – performs songs from her new album Throw it Away, and a selection of numbers from her impressive career which has spanned more than six decades.

There’ll also be appearances by special guests Pablo Menendez  and soul artists the Chambers Brothers who will join Dane in a performance of some of the freedom songs recorded in the 1960s. According to SFJAZZ, their 1966 LP Barbara Dane and the Chambers Brothers is being re-issued in time for tomorrow’s performance.

Barbara Dane is in the Miner Auditorium for one night only on July 13. For tickets and further information, visit the SFJAZZ website.

Another display of Bay Area talent follows on Friday, with the T Sisters, three Oakland-born vocalists who played to sold-out performances at the start of last year’s Summer Sessions.  SF Weekly said: “Chloe, Rachel, and Erika Tietjen sing and you just feel better about the world”, so what better reason would you need to head for SFJAZZ for their one-night only appearance? Hear them perform with Andrew Allen Fahlander on mandolin and guitar, bassist Steve Height and Marion Aldana on drums and percussion, and they’ll be joined by special guests Ramsey Tietjen (vocals and keyboards), Kevin Wong – also on keyboards – and trumpeter Zach Meyerowitz

More information and tickets can be found on the SFJAZZ website.

On Saturday evening, GRAMMY® Award-winning vocalist Catherine Russell  sings numbers from her latest – and GRAMMY® nominated – album Harlem On My Mind.  The album features music popular in New York during the 30s and 40s – numbers like You’re My Thrill and The Very Thought of You. During her career Russell has recorded and performed with names such as David Bowie, Steely Dan, Michael Feinstein, Paul Simon and Rosanne Cash, recorded five albums, and won her GRAMMY® for her contribution to the HBO series, Boardwalk Empire.  According to The Los Angeles Times, Russell, with her “natural, unforced way with a song, and the personal touch she brings to it .. virtually stands alone on today’s jazz landscape”.

Catherine Russell appears with Matt Munisteri on guitar, pianist Mark Shane, bassist Tal Ronen, and drummer Mark McLean. For more information and tickets, visit the SFJAZZ website.

Sunday evening’s performance is a Members-only event, so if you qualify, you’ll be enjoying The Songs of Ella Fitzgerald as performed by GRAMMY®-nominated singer Jane Monheit, the vocalist “Endowed with a voice of phenomenal beauty and flexibility”, says The New York Times. Equally at home in both jazz and cabaret, Jane Monheit has created her own recording label – Emerald City Records – the first album of which is Songbook Sessions: Ella Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald is the artist who has had the most influence on Monheit, although not, apparently, so much in terms of style. “What I really got from Ella,” says Jane, “is her warmth, her charm, the joy she puts in her music.”

Jane Monheit, with pianist Andy Langham, Dave Robaire on bass, drummer Rick Montalbano and percussionist Jamey Tate, is in the Miner Auditorium on Sunday evening, July 16. More information on this performance, and on membership of SFJAZZ, can be found on the SFJAZZ website.

Performers in the Joe Henderson Lab at SFJAZZ this week include Ranky Tanky, exponents of the South Carolina Gullah tradition, and Haitian-American vocalist Leyla McCalla  whose performances are strongly influenced by traditional Creole, Cajun and Haitian music, as well as by American jazz and folk. To find out more on these performances, visit the SFJAZZ website.



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