February’s ‘Fridays at Five’ line-up from SFJAZZ

The SFJAZZ Collective © Don Dixon – courtesy SFJAZZ

SFJAZZ has yet another month of top-flight concerts for jazz lovers to enjoy online, featuring Christian McBride, the SFJAZZ Collective, Kenny Barron – in duos with Regina Carter, Eddie Henderson and Terri Lyne Carrington – and Paula West.

On February 5th, SFJAZZ features a concert by six-time GRAMMY- winner, and former SFJAZZ Resident Artistic Director, Christian McBride – “One of the premier musicians of his generation …” according to Downbeat. The performance, recorded at SFJAZZ in September 2016, marked the West Coast debut of McBride’s New Jawn project – ‘New Jawn’ being a slang expression used in Philadelphia to describe “a person, place, or thing imbued with undeniable hipness and soul” (SFJAZZ). Comprising some of the most forward-thinking jazz artists of the time, the quartet features versatile bassist McBride, trumpeter Josh Evans, saxophonist Marcus Strickland, and drummer Nasheet Waits. They perform music from their triple GRAMMY-nominated 2018 release Christian McBride’s New Jawn.

The Fridays at Five session to be streamed on February 12th features a performance recorded at SFJAZZ in November 2019, at which the SFJAZZ Collective celebrated the 50th anniversary of the release of two hugely significant albums – Sly and the Family Stone’s million-selling hit Stand! and Miles Davis’ In a Silent Way. Not only did these albums represent what SFJAZZ terms “a beacon of hope during a turbulent time in American history”, but they were instrumental in pointing jazz, funk and soul music in new directions. With a guest appearance by original Sly and the Family Stone drummer Greg Errico, the concert also featured two new Collective artists – vocalist Martin Luther McCoy, and guitarist Adam Rogers – who joined David Sánchez on tenor saxophone, trumpeter Etienne Charles, Warren Wolf on vibraphone, pianist Edward Simon, Matt Brewer on bass and Obed Calvaire on drums.

Kenny Barron – “One of the top jazz pianists in the world”, says the LA Times, and “The most lyrical piano player of our time” according to Jazz Weekly – heads the bill on February 19th. He was a 2010 NEA Jazz Master, and eleven-time GRAMMY nominee who has helped to define and extend the jazz tradition during his impressive career, which includes a long association with SFJAZZ. For this performance he duets with three master musicians – violinist Regina Carter, who “brings a fresh and thrilling creative edge to her respect for jazz and classical traditions” says the Guardian; veteran trumpeter Eddie Henderson who plays “with tremendous assurance, vitality and a glorious warm tone” (London Jazz News); and GRAMMY Award-winning drummer and producer Terri Lyne Carrington, a 2021 NEA Jazz Master and SFJAZZ Resident Artistic Director. 

The February 26th Fridays at Five session features San Francisco-based vocalist Paula West – “the finest jazz-cabaret singer around”, according to Jazz Times. In a performance recorded at SFJAZZ in April 2018, Paula – with her quartet – explores the political moods of America through the years, focusing on the songs of Simon and Garfunkel, Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan, and Woody Guthrie. Aside from Bay Area performances, she is a regular visitor to Manhattan, and a frequent recipient of New York Nightlife Awards for ‘Outstanding Female Jazz Vocalist’. In 2013 she sang the lead role in the reprise of Wynton Marsalis’ Pulitzer Prize-winning work Blood on the Fields.

The Fridays at Five sessions are streamed online between 5.00 and 6.00 pm (Pacific) for $5 per performance to SFJAZZ members. Visit the SFJAZZ website for details, and benefits of membership.

Information sourced from:

SFJAZZ program notes

Artists’ websites

ArtsPreview home page

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