San Francisco Jazz Festival Opens First of Four Musical Weekends

Classic Arts News   San Francisco Jazz Festival Opens First of Four Musical Weekends
The San Francisco Jazz Festival opens its 22nd season today at noon with a free performance in Union Square by the SF JAZZ All-Star High School Ensemble, with special guest Dave Ellis. The festival runs through November 7.

The SF JAZZ All-Stars is a 20-piece big band directed by jazz educator Dr. Dee Spencer. Its members are selected every year by audition.

Highlights of the festival include performances by clarinetist Don Byron's Ivey-Divey Trio with pianist Jason Moran and drummer Jack DeJohnette (October 17); vocalist Dianne Reeves (October 31); guitar great Jim Hall and his trio (November 4); guitarist Ali Di Meola, bassist Stanley Clarke, and violinist Jean-Luc Ponty (October 22); pianist Brad Mehldau (October 22); and vocalist Kurt Elling (October 24). An October 28 tribute to soprano saxophonist and composer Steve Lacy, who died this past June, will feature the Monksieland Band, a hybrid of Thelonious Monk's music with Dixieland.

This year's lineup also contains plenty of world-music performers, including singer, guitarist, and composer Caetano Veloso from Brazil, the African-Portuguese fado singer Mariza, Afropop singer Rokia Traor_ of Mali, and the Norwegian jazz group Jaga Jazzist.

On November 7, the festival presents a Fats Waller tribute at Davies Symphony Hall called "The Joint is Jumpin'," with performances from singer Ruth Brown, pianist Dick Hyman, and pianist and bandleader Jay McShann.

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