January 10 at Zinc Bar, 8:30 pm

Based in New York City, The Wolff & Clark Expedition is led by pianist Michael Wolff and drummer Mike Clark. Both of these jazz masters started their careers in the San Francisco Bay area in the 1970s and have continued to create, record and perform in the bands of the premiere jazz musicians of their time, as well as being leaders of their own projects.

Michael Wolff was a member of the bands of Cannonball Adderley, Sonny Rollins, Jean Luc Ponty, Airto Moreira and Flora Purim, and singer Nancy Wilson, among many others. As musical director of The Arsenio Hall Show, Wolff performed with artists ranging from Yo Yo Ma to Grandmaster Flash, and with Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, and Chick Corea as well.

Mike Clark created his own innovative style of drumming as a member of Herbie Hancock's Headhunters Band, and has gone on to be a leader of the Headhunters. Clark has performed and recorded with Wayne Shorter, Wallace Roney, Donald Harrison, Chet Baker, Christian McBride, Eddie Henderson, Nicholas Payton, Lenny White and countless others.

The music of The Wolff & Clark Expedition draws upon these experiences and combines their experimental jazz natures with their funky roots. Always central to the music is some feeling or intimation of the blues.

Alto and soprano saxophonist Steve Wilson is one of his jazz-playing generation’s greatest all-rounders. A learned musician with a bright and beautiful tone, he made sense of the fundamentals — Johnny Hodges, Charlie Parker and Cannonball Adderley — and combined them with other currents in jazz’s fragmented development after Ornette Coleman. Lots of top bandleaders have hired Wilson for his clear, lyrical improvising. In turn he’s hired dozens of New York’s top musicians for his own projects.

Ugonna Okegwo is one of the most distinctive and sought-after jazz bassists in the world. Critics across the globe have praised him for his rich tone, supple sense of swing, stylistic range and inventiveness. These qualities have not only earned him a place on the bandstand with jazz legends as diverse as Clark Terry, Benny Golson, Pharoah Sanders and Joseph Jarman, but they have also established him as one of the leading lights of a younger generation redefining jazz for the new century.

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Kimberly Chmura