2016-17 Jazz Series

Luciana Souza TrioLuciana Souza Trio with Romero Lubambo and Cyro Baptista

Friday, Nov. 4, 2016 / 7:30 p.m.

Grammy winner Luciana Souza is one of jazz’s leading singers and interpreters. Born in São Paulo, Brazil, Souza’s work transcends traditional boundaries around musical styles. Entertainment Weekly writes, “Her voice traces a landscape of emotion that knows no boundaries.” Souza has been releasing acclaimed recordings since 2002, including her six Grammy-nominated records: Brazilian Duos, North and South, Duos II, Tide, Duos III and The Book of Chet. Her latest offering, Speaking in Tongues, is a brilliant collaboration with Lionel Loueke, Grégoire Maret, Massimo Biolcati and Kendrick Scott.

Souza has performed and recorded with Herbie Hancock, Paul Simon, James Taylor, Bobby McFerrin and many others. She has been a prominent soloist in important works by composers Osvaldo Golijov, Derek Bermel and Patrick Zimmerli, performing with the New York Philharmonic, the Atlanta Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and the American Composers Orchestra.

“Souza phrases with the wisdom of an old soul. With a refined, fluid voice, she’s a master of rhythm and pitch and knows how to get to the core of a melody.” —DownBeat Magazine


Children of LightDanilo Perez, John Patitucci and Brian Blade
Children of the Light

Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016 / 7:30 p.m.

Celebrating and inspired by Wayne Shorter, multiple Grammy Award winners and musical soul-mates Danilo Perez, John Patitucci and Brian Blade have long performed together as essential members of the Wayne Shorter Quartet. Embracing the message of their mentor and friend, these three virtuosos celebrate Wayne’s music and new compositions with the Children of the Light trio. Their three-way conversation is an intense collective improv, unfolding and constructing the music like a rhythmic and smoldering chamber recital.

The 11-track CD of the same name includes original compositions by all three members of the trio and a fresh take on Dolores, an old Shorter classic. Perez, who typically plays acoustic piano, plays a Yamaha CP4 Stage electric piano on his West African-rooted piece Lumen. Patitucci, who plays here acoustic, five- and six-string electric bass, contributes three pieces, including Ballad for a Noble Man, which features cellist Sachi Patitucci. Drummer and percussionist Blade contributes the soulful Within Everything, perhaps the closest to a standard song in the program. It’s a remarkable balancing act, but even as they put their considerable talents to the service of the trio, each of the members maintains his distinct personality.

“[Children of the Light] is an intentionally leaderless trio with a non-proprietary sense toward the music itself. Their combination of composition and improvising—which they call ‘compromising’—is a souvenir of their long tenure with Shorter. … Bring your sunglasses to the show, because there’s more than enough light to go around.” —DownBeat Magazine


Gerald Clayton TrioGerald Clayton Trio featuring Special Guest

Friday, Feb. 24, 2017 / 8 p.m.

The brilliant young pianist Gerald Clayton was schooled in hard-swinging, melodic jazz by his father, John Clayton, uncle Jeff Clayton and his mentors, Billy Childs and Kenny Barron. More recently, he has collaborated with the innovators of his own generation, from Ambrose Akinmusire to Kendrick Scott. In his long-standing trio with drummer Justin Brown and bassist Joe Sanders, Clayton blends those styles into a musical language all his own. The New York Times raved about Clayton’s “huge authoritative presence and highly controlled touch and dynamics.”

“In a generation of technical, and resourceful, wunderkinds, Clayton, 24, stands out for his nuanced touch, precise articulation and the way he constructs a narrative for his solos.” —DownBeat Magazine


Delfeayo MarsalisDelfeayo Marsalis Quintet

Saturday, May 13, 2017 / 8 p.m.

Delfeayo Marsalis is one of the top trombonists, composers and producers in jazz today. Known for his “technical excellence, inventive mind and frequent touches of humor” (Leonard Feather, Los Angeles Times), he is “one of the best, most imaginative and musical of the trombonists of his generation” (Philip Elwood, San Francisco Examiner). In January 2011, Delfeayo and the Marsalis family (father Ellis and brothers Branford, Wynton and Jason) earned the nation’s highest jazz honor—a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters Award.

Marsalis has toured internationally with Art Blakey, Abdullah Ibrahim, Elvin Jones, Slide Hampton and Max Roach, as well as leading his own groups. In 2005 Marsalis released a tribute to legendary jazz drummer Elvin Jones entitled Minions Dominion. He followed that up with a reworking of the classic Ellington suite Sweet Thunder, which was inspired by Shakespearean themes and characters. Originally scored for 15 pieces, Marsalis has reorchestrated the suite for octet, increasing the dramatic impact of the piece and relying on his ensemble’s collective strengths.

“One of the best, most imaginative and musical trombonists of his generation.” —San Francisco Examiner