Redwood Jazz Alliance

2007-08 Season

We knew that the phenomenal response to our inaugural season (two near-sellout performances, more than 100 attendees at each workshop) meant we'd have to ramp things up for 2007-08. We're thrilled about the world-class musicians who responded to our appeals, and we hope you will be, too.

Admission will remain $15 General Admission and $10 for students & seniors. Advance tickets will be available at the Metro, People's Records, and the Works--and here at our website. Each of the artists below will present a free workshop, clinic, or master class, usually the morning after the scheduled concert. Click on the artist's name below to navigate to a web page devoted to him or her. And feel free to contact us at with questions, comments--and donations!

ListenListen to an audio stream of music by Ben Allison by clicking on the "My Radio" icon below:

Listen to My Radio on (playlist here)

Photo ©Lenny Gonzalez

Plays Monk
Thursday, September 27 (7 and 9 p.m.) | Morris Graves Museum of Art

Drummer Scott Amendola (Charlie Hunter, TJ Kirk, Madeleine Peyroux), clarinetist Ben Goldberg (Tin Hat Trio, New Klezmer Trio) and bassist Devin Hoff (Nels Cline Singers, Good for Cows) put their own spin on the work of legendary pianist and composer Thelonious Monk. Presented in partnership with the Humboldt Arts Council.

“Jazz musicians of Amendola's age, disposition, and talent are anything but rigid when it comes to interests and influences…As a drummer, Amendola has a great sense of dynamics, and is always deep in the groove. He's a percussionist who seemingly can't help being funky (quietly or exuberantly) no matter what he's playing.” —All Music Guide

Claudia Villela and Kenny Werner
Friday, October 19, 2007 (8 p.m.) | Fulkerson Recital Hall

Pianist Kenny Werner returns to Humboldt County, this time with the brilliant Brazilian-born vocalist Claudia Villela. Werner's effortless creativity and Villela's five-octave range and vocal gymnastics combine for an evening of beautiful, inventive and spontaneous duets.

“The combination of Villela's versatile voice with Werner's artful piano paints a soulful landscape of emotions.” —Egidio Leitao, Musica Brasileira

Marty Ehrlich-Myra Melford Duo, Trio M (Myra Melford, Mark Dresser, Matt Wilson), and Trio M with Marty Ehrlich
Saturday, January 26, 2008 (8 p.m.) | Fulkerson Recital Hall, HSU

Pianist & composer Melford, one of the true luminaries of Modern Creative Music, brings a duo, trio, and quartet featuring multi-instrumentalist Marty Ehrlich on clarinets and saxes, the versatile Mark Dresser on bass and DownBeat poll-winner Matt Wilson on drums.  The four M's are celebrating the release of two new albums: Spark! (Ehrlich-Melford duo) on Palmetto and Big Picture (Trio M) on Cryptogramophone  Happy New Year!  It doesn’t get any better than this. Made possible by the generosity of Wildberries Marketplace.

"Myra Melford is at once a dancer, a romantic and a savage suckerpuncher at the bench . . . beating all hell out of the piano and making it beautiful." —Coda Magazine
mark dresser at ucsd
matt wilson on the web

Photo ©Scott Chernis

Marcus Shelby Jazz Orchestra featuring Faye Carol
“Harriet Tubman: Bound for the Promised Land”
Friday, March 7, 2008 | Van Duzer Theater

A fifteen-piece big band and four vocalists perform bassist-composer Shelby's epic new jazz oratorio about 19th-century abolitionist Harriet Tubman. Presented in conjunction with the HSU Social Justice Summit (formerly the Diversity Conference).

"When a band achieves that perfect confluence of fine composition, tight arrangement, technical virtuosity, and chemistry, the result is magic.” —El Greco, Critical Cloud

Marcus Shelby Jazz Orchestra
"Bound for the Promised Land"

Miguel Zenón Quartet
Monday, April 7, 2008 (8 p.m.) | Kate Buchanan Room, HSU
With Luis Perdomo, piano; Hans Glawischnig, bass; Henry Cole, drums

A major new voice in the tradition established by Dizzy Gillespie, Machito and other great Afro-Latin/Nuyorican innovators. Zenón, a veteran of the SF Jazz Collective and Charlie Haden's Liberation Music Orchestra, uses Puertorriqueño influences to push the contemporary jazz quartet in new directions.

“Miguel Zenón is one of the most exciting players in the world right now.” —Kenny Werner
miguel zenon on myspace

David Berkman Trio
Tuesday, April 22, 2008 | Morris Graves Museum of Art
With Joe Martin, bass and Ted Poor, drums

With a series of critically acclaimed albums on Palmetto and a bestselling textbook (The Jazz Musician's Guide to Creative Practicing) to his name, Berkman (Tom Harrell, Cecil McBee, the Vanguard Orchestra) has quietly become one of today’s most respected jazz pianists.

"In his tunes, harmonies flow in unanticipated directions, silences open suddenly like trap doors, and quirky rhythmic displacements keep both listeners and band members on their toes.  [His] music is also full of romance, mystery and good spirits…” —Ed Hazel, Jazziz
david berkman on myspace

Photo: Jimmy Katz

Ben Allison and Man Size Safe
Thursday, May 15, 2008 (8 p.m.) | Fulkerson Recital Hall, HSU
With Ron Horton, trumpet; Michael Blake, saxes; Steve Cardenas, guitars; and Michael Sarin, drums

Melodic, jagged, sophisticated, bassist Allison’s compositions are the very definition of what's hip in the current jazz scene. His new quintet "Man Size Safe" delivers the news in a crisp, tight, and playful package. Allison is a perennial Downbeat readers' & critics' poll winner; his current album, "Little Things Run the World," like his previous album "Cowboy Justice" spent weeks at the top of the CMJ jazz radio charts.

“Ben Allison’s tunes are both sour and beautiful, and they’re studded with mesmerizing sound effects. His new quartet interacts like the gears of a fine watch. There’s no denying his musical genius.” —Newark Star-Ledger

In addition to our regular season, we'll be presenting an occasional series of "satellite" shows by musicians whose schedules couldn't accommodate the full-court treatment---but who we really wanted to hear anyway, workshop or no workshop, concert hall or no concert hall. We hope you'll appreciate the opportunity to hear some other great musicians at smaller, more intimate venues. Kicking things off is:

Bill Horvitz Band
Tuesday, November 6, 2007 | Jambalaya
With Steve Adams, saxes & flutes; and Harris Eisenstadt, drums

Guitarist Horvitz, an erstwhile fixture of the New York downtown scene, brings his Bay Area power trio (featuring ROVA's Steve Adams and up-and-comer Harris Eisenstadt) to the North Coast. The band's original compositions range freely from jazz and blues to rock, classical, and "world" music, while its three members move between tight composition and improvised solo & ensemble work, communicating with an almost telepathic rapport. Driving swing, lyrical ballads, and funky grooves all contribute to an exciting performance that moves the head, heart, and soul.

Tickets for this show will be $10 General Admission and $8 for students & seniors. Doors open at 8 p.m.with music beginning at 9.

"A compact unit that gushes with artistic expressionism while providing an abundance of good-natured fun along the way. "
Glenn Astarita,

Sweeter Than the Day
Sunday, March 2, 2008 | Jambalaya
With Timothy Young, guitars; Keith Lowe, bass; and Andy Roth, drums

Wayne Horvitz, composer and pianist, longtime collaborator of John Zorn, Bill Frisell, and Bobby Previte and leader of projects as diverse as Zony Mash, 4+1 Ensemble, Gravitas Quartet, and Mylab (with sound collagist Tucker Martine), brings his working quartet back to Arcata after a long hiatus--and takes a rare turn at the Fender Rhodes!

Tickets for this show will be $10 General Admission. Doors open at 5 p.m.for dinner, with music from 8 to 10 (before Deep Groove Society)

"On piano, Horvitz is economical yet lyrical, never venturing far from the strong melodic hooks which characterize his compositions, but constantly working small surprises.  An irresistible antidote to gray days." The Wire (UK)

"Wayne Horvitz's aesthetic and music encoded the notion of 'downtown jazz.'...For this group he writes strong mixtures of jazz and pop that sound like film music with strong, sturdy harmonies, equal parts Thelonious Monk and...the Band, with the guitarist Tim Young soloing through it. It’s beautiful, but never naïvely so; the pastoral moments are offset by barrelhouse intrusions."
Ben Ratliff, New York Times


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