In November 2018, Laurie Anderson opened her week-long residency as Artistic Director of SFJAZZ with a World Premiere collaboration with Bay Area-based pianist and composer Tammy Hall, presenting a program of original songs written by each of them. Anderson is renowned for her highly inventive music and innovative use of technology, and Hall for her core sound of jazz, gospel and classical music, and it was Tammy Hall’s piece For Miss Jones which provided the inspiration for this program. Laurie had the idea of performing a collection of pieces which they’ve written for women, and presenting a program “that crosses back and forth from jazz to stories to electronics”. This is the fabulous result.
Laurie Anderson & Tammy Hall feature in the SFJAZZ Fridays at Five session on March 5th.
A particularly noteworthy event at SFJAZZ was the appearance in November 2015 of the ACS Trio. Comprising visionary pianist, composer and bandleader Geri Allen, bassist Esperanza Spalding – Best New Artist at the 2011 GRAMMY awards – and 2021 NEA Jazz Master, drummer, composer and bandleader Terri Lyne Carrington, this performance brought together three of the most important female jazz instrumentalists of recent times. The formation of the ACS Trio came about following the collaboration of these three artists on Carrington’s GRAMMY Award-winning album, The Mosaic Project. Sadly, though, this concert marked the final appearance at SFJAZZ of the highly influential Geri Allen before her passing in 2017.
The ACS Trio can be seen on the SFJAZZ Fridays at Five session on March 12th.
In the following week’s concert, recorded at SFJAZZ in January 2017, virtuoso drummer Cindy Blackman Santana curated a tribute to her mentor and primary source of inspiration, master drummer Tony Williams. Among the artists who joined her for the performance were Joe Lovano, Bill Frisell, Terence Blanchard, Edward Simon, Matt Penman, members of the SFJAZZ Collective, and the Kronos Quartet with whom she premiered the SFJAZZ-commissioned Rituals in 1990, which also featured Herbie Hancock. Notable landmarks in Blackman Santana’s career were her collaborations with artists such as Lenny Kravitz, Pharoah Sanders, Joe Henderson, and her husband, guitarist Carlos Santana, and she was part of the all-star line-up performing Bitches Brew, a tribute to the Miles Davis album, during the 2010 San Francisco Jazz Festival and NYC Winter JazzFest.
Cindy Blackman Santana’s performance honoring Tony Williams can be seen on the SFJAZZ Fridays at Five session on March 19th.
Vocalist Jane Monheit – with her “voice of phenomenal beauty” (New York Times) – takes to the digital stage on the last Friday of the month. Backed by her longtime trio, Jane paid tribute to the legendary Ella Fitzgerald in a concert recorded at SFJAZZ in July 2017, performing numbers from her 2016 Emerald City release The Songbook Sessions. As evidenced by all her albums, Jane has an obvious affinity for the Great American Songbook, the Brazilian pop of Ivan Lins and the songs of Paul Simon, Judy Collins and Judy Garland, but it’s her passion for, and ease of performance with, the songs of Ella Fitzgerald which really defines her first love in music.
Jane Monheit stars in the SFJAZZ Fridays at Five session on March 26th.
Fridays at Five is a weekly membership-based online concert series that enables jazz fans to enjoy exclusive hour-long broadcasts of SFJAZZ Center archival performances, while providing support for the artists who would normally be presenting live shows.
Access to Fridays at Five is easy. For just $5 a month ($60 annually) you can sign up for – or gift – a digital membership and tune in with friends each Friday at 5.00 pm (Pacific). That’s 1.00 am GMT and 2.00 am CET on Saturday morning – for night owls. Proceeds will help the SFJAZZ team prepare to reopen the SFJAZZ Center and bring you the same breadth of live concert and educational programming you’re used to. The music, as they say at SFJAZZ, will outlive the virus.
For more details, visit the SFJAZZ website.
Information sourced from:
SFJAZZ program notes