Friday, April 17, 2015

#ThankYouJoni: Lizz Wright

"Joni is very much like one of her paintings..." Vocalist Lizz Wright reflects on Joni Mitchell, who will be honored with the SFJAZZ Lifetime Achievement Award at this year's Gala on May 8th.

We have asked a number of recent SFJAZZ performers what they would like to say to Joni. Each week leading up to the Gala, we'll share new videos at and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with ‪#‎ThankYouJoni‬.

What would you say to Joni?

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

SFJAZZ Collective's Avishai Cohen: Notes on Joe Henderson's "Inner Urge"

Avishai Cohen © Jay Blakesberg

“I was sitting with this tune for a long time, mainly playing the melody, rubato, over an F# bass. My original plan was to use only that part — basically the melody, but almost unrecognizable, since it’s very slow, and played over different changes. I liked that idea because it presented just the melody and gave it a different look, a different perspective, far from the original tune. After arriving in San Francisco, I realized I also wanted to add a part that emphasized the unique bass movement of this tune. Even though it’s all in 4/4, it sometimes feels like it’s in a different rhythm. The original melody is only lightly hinted at. There are tenor saxophone and vibes solos where it goes to a regular 4/4 feel, and that part clearly tells the educated listener that you’re hearing ‘Inner Urge.’ Throughout the tune (but mostly in the intro and outro) you’ll hear some clues that show
I’ve been listening intensely to Rachmaninoff.”

Avishai Cohen, album notes from the SFJAZZ Collective's new album The Music of Joe Henderson and New Compositions, now available!

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After a 4-night run at NYC's Jazz Standard, SFJAZZ Collective's 2015 Spring Tour heads west, to Loveland, CO tomorrow (4/15), and then the West Coast through the end of April!

See Tour Dates.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

SFJAZZ Collective Spring 2015 Tour Dates!

The SFJAZZ Collective takes The Music of Joe Henderson & Original Compositions on the road throughout April, starting with a four-night run at the Jazz Standard tonight (4/9), and wrapping up on the West Coast!

See 2015 Spring Tour Dates.

Obed Calvaire's funky arrangement of "Fire" (Joe Henderson) will get you excited for the live experience.

Watch the SFJAZZ Collective perform on NPR's Jazz Night In America!

Monday, April 6, 2015

SFJAZZ Collective's Robin Eubanks: Notes on Joe Henderson's "Black Narcissus"

Robin Eubanks © Jay Blakeberg

“I researched and listened to many different recorded versions of Joe Henderson's classic ‘Black Narcissus.’ Most were very similar to the original. Why mess with a classic, right? But I wanted to try and approach it differently. I got the idea for the drone tones from the melody. Joe composed the melody beginning with four B-flat dotted half notes. I stacked perfect 5ths to build the harmony and added a melody to set up the intro. Joe's melody is untouched but I re-harmonized it, slowed down the tempo and added a semi-funky beat to create a different feel for the composition.”

Robin Eubanks, album notes from the SFJAZZ Collective's new album The Music of Joe Henderson and New Compositions, now available!

SFJAZZ Collective's 2015 Spring Tour begins this Thursday (4/9) at the Jazz Standard in NYC!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Terence Blanchard: SFJAZZ Residency Teaser

2014-15 SFJAZZ Resident Artistic Director Terence Blanchard gives a teaser of his first SFJAZZ Residency (4/9-12) featuring Kenny Barron, Ambrose Akinmusire, E-Collective + A Tale Of God's Will.

See the full lineup at!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

SFJAZZ Collective's Miguel Zenón: Notes on Joe Henderson's "Recorda-Me"

Miguel Zenón © Jay Blakesberg

“I wrote this arrangement using the bass line from the intro of the original recording by Joe (from Page One) as the main motive. This is enhanced by layers of horn backgrounds under the main soloist, which build and climax towards the end of the chart, where the melody appears just once and fades to the end. The main groove is inspired by Afrobeat music, and I wanted to channel some of that with the arrangement as well.”

Miguel Zenón, album notes from the SFJAZZ Collective's new album

See the SFJAZZ Collective's April Tour Dates!