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Jazz Mafia Ready to Celebrate Milestone Concert in San Francisco

The collective's groundbreaking suite premiered 10 years ago

The Jazz Mafia

The sound of San Francisco-based collective Jazz Mafia has been described as a “full-size philharmonic…jamming with a classic big band during a street-corner rap battle.”

Trombonist, bassist and band leader Adam Theis launched the raucous ensemble, which consists of several groups such as the Shotgun Wedding Quintet, Realistic Orchestra and more, in 1998. In 2009 the Jazz Mafia performed a mash up of jazz, classical, and hip-hop influences in one bold work: Brass, Bows & Beats: A Hip-Hop Symphony.

Written for a 50-piece ensemble, the suite’s premiere performance was at a sold-out show at San Francisco’s Palace of Fine Arts Theatre. The suite brought together some disparate influences, including strings, horns, a jazz rhythm section, as well as a whole host of singers and rappers.

That concert, which was part of SFJAZZ’s 2009 Spring Season, kicked off a string of performances across North America at venues and cities such as Newport, Montreal, Monterey, the Hollywood Bowl, and San Jose.

Now the Jazz Mafia is preparing to celebrate the 10thanniversary of that show on Saturday, Sept. 14 at 1 p.m.

Set to take place during the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival in San Francisco, the free concert will feature all the various factions of the collective.  Although, Theis said the group won’t be revisiting Brass, Bows & Beats: A Hip-Hop Symphony for the upcoming show.

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