SFJAZZ Announces Summer Sessions Concert Series

New series runs July 10-August 25

Amadou & Mariam at North Sea Jazz 2011
Cindy Blackman Santana with Spectrum Road, B.B. King's, NYC, 6-12
Airto Moreira
Marcus Roberts (Photo by Stephanie Lynne)
Dori Caymmi

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SFJAZZ has announced its first-ever SFJAZZ Summer Sessions Concert Series, running July 10 to August 25. The Summer Sessions Concert Series will take place at the SFJAZZ Center’s Robert N. Miner Auditorium and Joe Henderson Lab, and at Davies Symphony Hall. Tickets go on sale to the public on Wednesday, May 22 at 11:00 AM PST and to SFJAZZ Members on Wednesday, May 15 at 11:00AM PST.

Summer Series Concert Series Programs

Note: Concert descriptions courtesy SFJAZZ


The Soul of Africa Series presents a stellar lineup of artists from Mali, Ethiopia and Israel to explore music rooted in African traditions. The deep-voiced singer Christine Salem from Reunion Island, the multi-ethnic French province in the Indian Ocean east of Madagascar, performs maloya, a blues-like music rooted in the work songs and chants of the island’s African slaves, with a bracing trio of singing percussionists on July 10.

A Malian double-bill on July 11 at Davies Symphony Hall with Toumani Diabaté, the Malian master of the 21-string Western African kora, plays fresh and haunting music in a trio with the subtle Brazilian poet-singer Arnaldo Antunes and singing guitarist Edgar Scandurra. Amadou & Mariam, the famed “blind couple from Mali” fire up their grooving mix of Malian pop and Hendrix-flavored blues-rock.

The beguiling Ethiopian-born American singer-songwriter Meklit Hadero, whose floating melodies and dancing grooves draw on sources as varied as East African music, Nina Simone and Joni Mitchell. Only July 12, she sings classic Ethiopian tunes and originals with her swinging San Francisco trio: trumpeter Darren Johnston, bassist Sam Bevan and drummer Lorca Hart.

Yemen Blues on July 13 features the Yemeni-born Israeli singer Ravid Kahalani leading a roaring group, of improvising brass, string and percussion players – including the hot Israeli bassist and oud player Omer Avital – making intoxicating music that merges West African rhythms and ancient Jewish Yemeni melodies, mambo and funk.


Two weeks celebrating the popular music of the Americas, from Lennon & McCartney and Duke Ellington to the soulful tunes of rural Mexico.

Two of jazz’s most fluent and elegant improvisers, clarinetist Eddie Daniels and pianist Roger Kellaway join forces on July 18 to play Duke Ellington’s sublime and swinging music in a duet format ideally suited to the intimacy and acoustical refinement of SFJAZZ’s Miner Auditorium.

On July 19, the celebrated Bay Area ensemble Los Cenzontles, whose name means “The Mockingbirds,” creates a compelling contemporary sound deeply rooted in rural Mexican folk music, artfully merging electric bass and drums with traditional instruments like the requinto guitar and the quijada, a donkey’s jawbone.

The Grammy-nominated jazz singer Jane Monheit, on July 20, will perform music from her latest recording, The Heart of the Matter, interpreting lyrically rich songs by Randy Newman, Brazil’s Ivan Lins, Lennon & McCartney and others.

The prime San Francisco singer, Laurie Antonioli, one of many jazz musicians drawn to the melodies, lyrics and harmonies of Joni Mitchell’s vivid songs, sings the songwriter’s music in spacious arrangements explored by The American Dreams Band, a deft quintet of improvisers, on July 21.


The exploration of the Great Americas songbook continues with a dazzling tribute to departed singers, a toast to the music of Ray Charles, and two original singer-songwriters.

The stirring singer-guitarist Raul Midón is a brilliant musician who sometimes accompanies himself on guitar and bongos simultaneously and blows tart mouth-trumpet solos that summon Miles Davis. On July 25, he performs songs from his current CD, Invisible Chains, and other originals that draw fluently on jazz, soul, flamenco and Latin music.

The sumptuous-voiced San Francisco vocalist Jacqui Naylor, equally at ease singing music by Cole Porter and David Byrne, performs songs on July 26 from her new CD, Dead Divas Society, Naylor’s bouquet to the departed singers who’ve inspired her, among them Ella Fitzgerald and Amy Winehouse, Shirley Horn and Nina Simone.

Lavay Smith & Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers will celebrate Ray Charles’ soulful and swinging music on July 27 in a revue-style show, which covers Charles’ soul and C&W music, joined by the sensational singer-guitarist Quinn DeVeaux & the Quinettes.

One of Brazil’s great songwriters and arrangers, Dori Caymmi sings in a warm baritone that floats and skips through the shapely melodies of his harmonically-rich songs, which Sarah Vaughan, Johnny Mathis and many others have recorded. A deft João Gilberto-style guitarist, the two-time Grammy winner leads a crack quintet that sambas and sings on July 28.


This series showcases performances by some of today’s most exciting drummers and percussionists.

On August 1, the explosive jazz-rock drummer Cindy Blackman Santana, who has worked with everyone from Joe Henderson to Lenny Kravitz, leads a trio with bassist Rashaan Carter and keyboardist Marc Cary. The versatile drummer Allison Miller kicks it off improvising duets with multi-reedman Jeff Lederer.

The jazz drumming superstar Eric Harland has assembled a momentous gathering of fellow drum greats on August 2 including Chris “Daddy” Dave, Lil’ John Roberts, and DJ/producer Mark de Clive-Lowe.

Legendary Brazilian drummer and percussionist Airto, who made his name with Chick Corea’s Return to Forever, plays solo on a bill on August 3 with two rousing Brazilian bands: Grupo Samba Rio, led by percussion ace Jorge Alabê, and Grupo Falso Baiano, playing traditional Brazilian choro, an irresistible mix of African and European music.

Bay Area percussionist and dancer Keith Terry, presents his new group Corposonic on August 4. They will perform Body Music – chest slaps, foot slides, cheek pops, clapping, stepping, singing – with his nimble group featuring Nuria Bowart, Bryan Dyer, Steve Hogan, Namita Kapoor, Evie Ladin and special guests.


This week unleashes the full spectrum of jazz piano styles: Big band, Dueling pianists, Bebop, Ragtime, Fats Waller, and more.

John Beasley’s Monk-Estra Big Band on August 22 is a smashing new 17-piece big band that captures the spirit of Thelonious Monk’s singular music – the off-beat melodies and humor, strange beauty and unbounded swing – in fresh arrangements flavored with hip-hop, Afro-Cuban rhythms and atmospheric colors.

Two supremely talented pianists, Eric Reed and Benny Green, both with the blues-rich, hard- bopping music of Horace Silver and Sonny Clark in their bones, play solo and duets at facing grand pianos on August 23. Both toured Europe last year in a swinging eight-handed piano act with Mulgrew Miller and Kenny Barron, plunging into Monk and Ellington with daring delight.

On August 24, Marcus Roberts taps the full range of the jazz piano tradition in his original and passionate playing, from Joplin rags and Jelly Roll Morton blues to the Harlem stride of James P. Johnson, Earl Hines’ dazzling swing, the bopping music of Thelonious Monk and beyond.

Three masters of Harlem stride piano revel in the music of Fats Waller, James P. Johnson and others in a Summit on August 25. Dick Hyman, acclaimed for his sterling playing and Woody Allen movie scores, shares the stage with stride veteran Mike Lipskin and 26-year-old Stephanie Trick, joined by Django-loving guitarist Paul Mehling and others.

SFJAZZ Education: Workshops And More

SFJAZZ Education presents summer-long exploration of jazz and world drumming from Calypso, Rumba and Samba to Body Music techniques and the joyous music of Senegal in the Joe Henderson Lab. Learn digital music production in the state of the art Digital Lab. Celebrate legendary artists and dig deeper into the music. For more info visit us at sfjazz.org/education .

Bu Falle Family Drum Workshop “Rhythms and Songs of Senegal”

Saturday, July 13, 1:00pm-3:00pm, $5/10/15

Ideal for families with children ages 5-12, this hands-on workshop with Amadou Diawara on the powerful and joyous music of Senegal will delight first-time drummers as well as those with some experience.

Digital Lab Summer Intensive

Monday-Saturday, July 15-20, 12:00pm-4:00pm

$360 Members/$480 Public

David White, Instructor

A week-long class for older teens and adults interested in technology and production concepts. We provide the gear and instruction for hands-on digital music production. Along the way, we will explore microphone techniques and basic recording, and use these student- generated sounds within digital applications for further processing. All levels welcome.

“Music of Etta James”

Master Class with Pamela Rose & Friends

Wednesday, July 17, 7:00pm – 8:30pm

$25 Members, $30 Public

Join Bay Area songstress and historian Pamela Rose as she delves into one of the most intriguing icons of American song: Etta James. In this special master class, Rose combines artful storytelling with electrifying performance and multimedia to showcase a compelling and complex vocalist whose art defied categorization.

Music of Venezuela – A World of Percussion Master Class with Jackeline Rago

Wednesday, July 31, 7:00pm – 8:30pm

$25 Members, $30 Public

Multi-instrumentalist, composer and educator Jackeline Rago shares her wealth of knowledge on the diverse percussion traditions of Venezuela. From the Afro-Venezuelan tambor San Millán to the bamboo stamping tubes known as the quitiplás, Rago will highlight the multicultural elements of this South American music in one exciting evening including live performance, multi-media and Q&A.

World Drum Extravaganza

Wednesday, July 31 – Sunday, August 4, $10/$20

Explore the vast world of drumming with renowned artists, expert faculty and special guests. In addition to explosive evening concerts with star drummers like Eric Harland, Cindy Blackman Santana and Airto, we host hands-on workshops and clinics for teens and adults. Featuring drumset goddess Allison Miller and a host of world percussion greats including fiery Brazilian samba percussionist Jorge Alabe, this intensive program will introduce students to diverse world rhythms and jazz drumming techniques. All levels welcome!

Venezuelan Calypso with Jackeline Rago

Wednesday, July 31, 4:00pm-6:00pm

Body Music with Keith Terry

Thursday, August 1, 4:00pm-6:00pm

Monk on Drums with Allison Miller

Friday, August 2, 4:00pm-6:00pm

Rumba Cubana with Sandy Pérez, Jesus Diaz

Saturday, August 3, 12:00pm-1:30pm

Samba Batucada with Jorge Alabe

Saturday, August 3, 2:30pm-4:00pm

Uruguyan Candombe with Edgardo Cambón

Saturday, August 3, 5:00pm-6:30pm

Caribbean Sensibility for drummers with Josh Jones

Sunday, August 4, 1:00pm-3:00pm

Brazilian Bloco Afro Workshop with Wagner Santos

Sunday, August 4, 4:00pm-6:00pm

Discover Jazz with John Santos

Wednesday, August 7 – September 11, 7:00pm-9:00pm

Museum of the African Diaspora, San Francisco

Members $90 Full, $15 Class

Public $120 Full, $20 Class

The drum is still the heartbeat of many communities in the African diaspora. In this series, we will take an in-depth look at the rhythmic instruments used in diverse drumming traditions found in the Americas. Co-presented by SFJAZZ, Yerba Buena Gardens Festival & MoAD.

2013 Summer Sessions Concert Series Lineup

All Shows at SFJAZZ Center, 201 Franklin Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

Except where noted.

Tickets go on sale to the public on Wednesday, May 15 at 11:00AM PST.

Tickets go on sale to SFJAZZ Members on Wednesday, May 22 at 11:00AM PST.

There are three ways to purchase tickets:

• Visit sfjazz.org

• Call 866.920.5299

• Go to the SFJAZZ Center Box Office at 201 Franklin Street.

Christine Salem

Wednesday, July 10, 7:30pm


Amadou & Mariam; Toumani Diabaté

Thursday, July 11, 7:30pm

Davies Symphony Hall

201 Van Ness Ave

San Francisco, CA 94102

SFJAZZ Members $18/$26/$37/$52

Public $25/$35/$50/$70

Meklit Hadero

Friday, July 12, 7:30pm


Yemen Blues with Ravid Kahalani, Omer Avital

Saturday, July 13, 7:30pm


Eddie Daniels & Roger Kellaway

Thursday, July 18, 7:30pm

SFJAZZ Members $18/$30/$41

Public $25/$40/$55

Los Cenzontles

Friday, July 19, 7:30pm


Jane Monheit

Saturday, July 20, 7:30pm


“The Music of Joni Mitchell”

Laurie Antonioli & The American Dreams Band

Sunday, July 21, 7:30pm, Joe Henderson Lab


Raul Midón

Thursday, July 25, 7:30pm


Jacqui Naylor

Friday, July 26, 7:30pm


“The Music of Ray Charles”

Lavay Smith & Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers

Featuring Quinn Deveaux And The Quinnettes

Saturday, July 27, 7:30pm


Dori Caymmi

Sunday, July 28, 7:30pm


Cindy Blackman Santana;

Allison Miller Duo

Thursday, August 1, 7:30pm

SFJAZZ Members $18/$26

Public $25/$35

Eric Harland with Chris “Daddy” Dave, Lil’ John Roberts & Marke De Clive-Lowe

Friday, August 2, 7:30pm


Airto; Grupo Samba Rio & Grupo Falso Baiano

Saturday, August 3, 7:30pm


Keith Terry & Corposonic

Sunday, August 4, 7:30pm


John Beasley’s Monk-Estra Big Band

Thursday, August 22, 7:30pm

SFJAZZ Members $15/$22/$30

Public $20/$30/$40

Eric Reed & Benny Green

Friday, August 23, 7:30pm


Marcus Roberts

Saturday, August 24, 7:30pm


Stride Piano Summit: Music of Fats Waller and James P. Johnson

Dick Hyman; Mike Lipskin; Stephanie Trick

Sunday, August 25, 7:30pm


For more information, visit sfjazz.org