“A devotion to showcasing top-quality artists has been a constant at the Athenaeum…
“Libraries are supposed to be places where silence prevails, but the quiet of the Athenaeum feels expectant,
“one of the west coast’s more discerning jazz concert series…”
“This thoughtful series presents jazz with the seriousness and dignity becoming the art form.”
Thursday, October 2, 7:30PM: The Cookers
The Athenaeum’s jazz program returns to The Auditorium at TSRI (formerly known as The Neurosciences Institute) for our annual fall series, featuring an Athenaeum debut by the septet of hard-bop masters known as The Cookers, as well as return visits by tenor sax giant Joe Lovano with trumpet master Dave Douglas and by acclaimed alto and soprano saxophonist Greg Osby. The series starts Thursday October 2 at 7:30 p.m.
The fall series begins on Thursday, October 2, with the San Diego debut of The Cookers, a true all-star septet comprised of some of the leading instrumentalists in jazz from the past 40 years. Led by trumpeter David Weiss, the group features Billy Harper on tenor sax, Donald Harrison on alto sax, Eddie Henderson on trumpet, George Cables on piano, Cecil Mc Bee on bass, and Billy Hart on drums. Collectively, The Cookers have been called "a dream team of forward-leaning hard-bop" (The New York Times), including veterans of classic jazz ensembles led by Lee Morgan, Max Roach, Art Blakey, Herbie Hancock, Dexter Gordon, and Charles Lloyd. Currently celebrating their fifth year as a performing ensemble, The Cookers are actively touring the top international festivals and jazz clubs. DownBeat Magazine commented, “They are some of the best composers, arrangers and musicians we have in jazz, and they’re working together in one of the most exciting super-groups we’ve seen in a long, long time. The arrangements are outrageously wonderful. And the musicians just kill it on every tune. This is a group of the world’s best musicians who have nothing to prove to anyone, but they prove it all."
The series continues on Wednesday, October 15, with the Joe Lovano and Dave Douglas Sound Prints Quintet, featuring Lovano on tenor sax, Douglas on trumpet, Lawrence Fields on piano, Linda Oh on bass, and Joey Baron on drums. Lovano returns to the Athenaeum series for the first time since 2007. The Wall Street Journal wrote, “After at least 25 years in the spotlight, it’s clear Joe Lovano is more than a dominant figure in jazz. He’s jazz’s answer to George Clooney or Jeff Bridges, a vibrant player who delivers an award-worthy performance every time out.” Douglas returns to the series after his stellar October 2013 performance, recognized by the San Diego Union-Tribune as last year’s number one jazz concert. The two artists’ collaboration on Sound Prints is dedicated to the compositions and to the creative musical approach of jazz master Wayne Shorter. The New York Times wrote, “The defining trait of Sound Prints is the tangled crosstalk of its front line: an urbane, on-the-fly counterpoint brimming with crooked urgency. Their rapport seemed all but inexhaustible.” The Guardian wrote, “Fanfares unravelled into arrhythmic scampers, and turned into solos from both leaders in which lyricism and atonality, tone-centred phrases and fast-moving modulations all happened at break-neck speed.” This concert will be presented in one set with no intermission.
The series concludes on Saturday, October 25, with an Athenaeum debut by the Greg Osby Four, featuring celebrated alto and soprano saxophonist Osby, Italian-born pianist Simona Premazzi, bassist Desmond White, and drummer Adam Arruda. Greg Osby has made an indelible mark on contemporary jazz for the past three decades as a leader of his own ensembles, including his remarkable series of 15 recordings as a leader on the Blue Note Records label. As a guest artist with other acclaimed jazz groups, he has worked with artists as varied as Herbie Hancock, Dizzy Gillespie, Jack DeJohnette, Andrew Hill, Muhal Richard Abrams, and Jim Hall (with whom he appeared on the Athenaeum series in 2011). JazzTimes called him, “one of the most innovative jazz musicians of the past 30 years,” and The New York Times credited him as “a mentor and a pacesetter,” having fostered the careers of rising jazz stars such as Jason Moran, Eric Harland, and Stefon Harris. The Times also commented, “Osby has a keen, focused tone on alto saxophone and a hummingbird's phrasing, an equilibrium of hover and flutter.… It’s highly interactive, serious mainstream jazz, with great rhythm section ideas about bending and warping the music, and Mr. Osby’s spotless high-wire improvisations on top.” This concert is supported in part by the Western Jazz Presenters Network and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.
The Auditorium at TSRI is located at 10620 John Jay Hopkins Drive, north off of Genesee Avenue and just east of North Torrey Pines Road, easily accessible from I–5. Click here for directions.Please note that the start time for all three concerts has changed to 7:30p.m. Doors open at 7pm. Seating is limited and early reservations are advised!
The Athenaeum’s jazz program returns to the San Diego studio of the Athenaeum School of the Arts (4441 Park Boulevard in University Heights) for a performance by the extraordinary Brazilian jazz vocalist Claudia Villela. Claudia returns to the Athenaeum series for the first time since her memorable 2006 duo concert with pianist Kenny Werner. For this performance, she plays keyboards as well as sings, and is joined by Celso Alberti on percussion and drums and by Jeff Buenz on guitar and bass. A Rio de Janeiro native, Villela has become known internationally as the most adventurous Brazilian singer in North America. She has collaborated with jazz giants including Toots Thielemans, Michael Brecker, and Bela Fleck, while maintaining close ties to fellow Brazilian masters. While she is a sensuous interpreter of bossa nova standards and the voluminous Brazilian songbook, Villela has set herself apart with an extensive repertoire of original tunes combining jazz's harmonic vocabulary, poetic Portuguese lyrics and propulsive Afro-Brazilian rhythms. The Village Voice wrote, “She's a stunning unbelievable artist, totally at ease, completely natural and unaffected… deeply musical.” The Boston Globe commented, “Claudia Villela is a musical conjurer, a captivating performer who rarely needs more than one song to transform unsuspecting audiences into passionate fans. An extraordinary singer in any context.”
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