SFJAZZ announces 36th season and summer concert series

Ahmad Jamal

Ahmad Jamal

SFJAZZ this week announced the lineup for the 36th annual San Francisco Jazz Festival and 2018 Summer Sessions concert series. The festival lineup includes Ahmad Jamal, Irma Thomas, Tuck and Patti, Marcus Miller, Brian Blade Fellowship, Julian Lage Trio, Amadou & Mariam, Broken Shadows and Soweto Kinch.

Summer Sessions shows include soul and bluegrass band Dustbowl Revival, mandolin player David Grisman, Gypsy swing and Latin band Paris Combo, cellist Zoë Keating, blues icon Taj Mahal and Bay Area funk band Sal’s Greenhouse.

The festival will run June 5 through 17, with the sessions following from July 12 through Aug. 19. Tickets for both go on sale to SFJAZZ members March 9 at 11 a.m. here, and everyone else can buy tickets beginning March 16. In all, the festival will present 43 shows over 13 days in five venues around San Francisco’s Hayes Valley neighborhood.

SFJAZZ will also present a performance with two-time Grammy winner Gregory Porter singing Nat “King” Cole, accompanied by the Magik*Magik Orchestra, under the direction of arranger Vince Mendoza. The concert will be held at Davies Symphony Hall on Aug. 18. The organization’s music education program will offer hands-on workshops in music production, world drumming, and digital music. The Discover Jazz series will present performance-infused conversations on jazz masters and global sounds.

The festival begins June 5 with a free celebration at the outdoor Proxy space, along Octavia Street between Hayes and Fell streets, with a performance by Beso Negro and Howard Wiley & Extra Nappy. There will be a beer garden, videos and food trucks.

Jazz master and Kennedy Center Living legend Ahmad Jamal is one of the most influential figures in jazz history. He performs at Davies Symphony Hall on June 6, following a three-year break away from the stage. Founding Tower of Power organist and Santana veteran Chester Thompson will revisit music from his 1971 soul jazz classic, Powerhouse, with guest saxophonist Howard Wiley on June 6. Irma Thomas, who performs June 8, has worked with Allen Toussaint and is known as the “Soul Queen of New Orleans.”

Tuck and Patti, who opened for their niece St. Vincent earlier this year, blend jazz, folk and R&B. They have been performing for three decades, and hit the Miner Auditorium stage on June 10. Marcus Miller is one of the best electric bassists. The two-time Grammy-winning producer, arranger, keyboardist, bass clarinetist and film composer plays on June 11. Brian Blade, a Grammy-winning drummer, composer and member of the Wayne Shorter Quartet, performs on June 12 with his Fellowship Band. Julian Lage and his trio, and Mary Halvorsen’s Thumbscrew, will share a double bill on June 14.

Amadou & Mariam, known as the “blind couple from Mali,” have performed with U2 since first making waves internationally in the last decade. They will perform their combination of Malian pop and blues rock on June 15 and 16. London saxophonist and rapper Soweto Kinch will perform on June 16.

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