SFJAZZ Collective: Meet the Band

An all-star, award-winning jazz octet comprising eight of modern jazz’s most dynamic performers-composers, the SFJAZZ Collective “boasts as much or more collective talent, firepower, and critical acclaim than any other jazz ensemble going” (DownBeat). Launched in 2004 by SFJAZZ, a not-for-profit institution in San Francisco, the Collective has cultivated jazz-education programs for youth and adults while crafting its own innovative approach to repertoire. Each year, the group balances its own originals with the work of post-1960 composers—honoring recent jazz history while championing its in-the-now presence as a living art form. After exploring the works of John Coltrane, Horace Silver, and Stevie Wonder, the SFJAZZ Collective continues its foray into popular R&B with The Michael Jackson Project. As the undisputed King of Pop, Jackson forever changed the face of modern music—inspiring and influencing artists in all genres and nations. The SFJAZZ Collective’s fresh arrangements of his timeless music include such hits as “Rock with You,” “Thriller,” “Smooth Criminal,” and “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’.” Together, these master musicians will peel back these songs’ mainstream appeal to explore and expand upon their rhythms, moods, and grooves. When the King of Pop meets these titans of jazz, it’s a guaranteed evening of “off the wall” excitement!


Meet the performers:

MIGUEL ZENÓN / Alto Saxophone / Original Member from 2004
Multiple GRAMMY nominee, Guggenheim and MacArthur Fellow Miguel Zenón was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He has released nine recordings as a leader, including his most recent, Identities are Changeable (2014). He has collaborated with some of the most distinguished artists in jazz, a list that includes Charlie Haden, Bobby Hutcherson, David Sanchez, Steve Coleman, Fred Hersch and Kenny Werner, among others. He is a founding member of the SFJAZZ Collective.

DAVID SÁNCHEZ / Tenor Saxophone / Member 2012 – Present
A native of Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, tenor saxophonist David Sánchez has had a spectacular career. A 2004 GRAMMY winner, six-time nominee, and recipient of Chamber Music America’s “New Works: Creation and Presentation Program” grant, he has recorded nine albums and performed with a roster of greats including Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Haden, Roy Haynes, Tom Harrell, Kenny Barron and Eddie Palmieri.

SEAN JONES / Trumpet / Member 2015 – Present
For the newest member, trumpeter, educator, and activist Sean Jones, the pursuit of jazz is a most serious endeavor. Deeply influenced by his immersion in Gospel music in the church as a youth, Jones had an epiphany at the age of 19 while he was a student at Youngstown State University. The awakening was his first hearing of the magnificent John Coltrane’s masterpiece, A Love Supreme. After receiving his Master’s Degree from Rutgers University, Jones performed a six-month stint with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. Wynton Marsalis offered him a permanent position as lead trumpeter and Jones remained there until 2010, also participating in two recordings. During those years, Jones started touring and performing regularly with his own ensembles and began his longtime relationship with Mack Avenue Records, for whom he released his seventh recording last year. He also
serves as Artistic Director of both the Pittsburgh and Cleveland Jazz Orchestras and in 2014, Jones joined Berklee College of Music as Chair of the Brass Department and maintains the position as he tours year-round.

ROBIN EUBANKS / Trombone / Member 2008 – Present
GRAMMY-winner Robin Eubanks is the premier jazz trombonist of his generation, with a career that includes collaborations with Art Blakey, Elvin Jones, Eddie Palmieri, Sun Ra, Barbra Streisand, The Rolling Stones and others. Robin won the 2014 JazzTimes Critics Poll for Best Trombonist and is a multiple winner of DownBeat’s Readers and Critics Polls. The native Philadelphian serves on the faculty of the Oberlin College Conservatory and Berklee School of Music, and performs with Mental Images, EB3, and Dave Holland.

WARREN WOLF / Vibraphone / Member 2013 – Present
Whether on piano, drums, vibes, or marimba, Baltimore native Warren Wolf has grown into one of the most in-demand instrumentalists in jazz. In addition to his work as a second-year member of the SFJAZZ Collective, Warren is currently touring with Christian McBride & Inside Straight, the David Sanborn/Joey DeFrancesco Group, the Aaron Diehl Quartet, and his own group, WOLFPACK. Hiss most recent album on the Mack Avenue label, Wolfgang, features pianist Benny Green and bassist Christian McBride.

EDWARD SIMON / Piano / Member 2010 – Present
Edward Simon was born in the coastal town of Punta Cardón, Venezuela. He is a three-time Chamber Music America New Jazz Works grantee, a 2014 Doris Duke Impact Award nominee and a 2010 Guggenheim Fellow. He has produced 13 critically acclaimed albums as a leader, including two New York Times top ten jazz records of the year: Edward Simon (Kokopelli, 1995) and Simplicitas (Criss Cross, 2005). Pianist for the SFJAZZ Collective since 2010, his newest album, Venezuelan Suite, is a celebration of timeless Venezuelan folk music.

MATT PENMAN / Bass / Member 2005 – Present
Originally from Auckland, New Zealand, Matt Penman is one of the premier bassists in jazz. In addition to releasing his own critically acclaimed CDs as a leader, Catch of the Day (2007) and The Unquiet (2002), he has recorded as a sideman on over 70 other discs and has performed with Joe Lovano, Nicholas Payton, Madeleine Peyroux, Brian Blade, John Scofield, and others. An SFJAZZ Collective member since 2005, Penman works with the supergroup James Farm, which includes saxophonist Joshua Redman, pianist Aaron Parks and drummer Eric Harland.

OBED CALVAIRE / Drums / Member 2013 – Present
A Miami-native of Haitian descent, Obed Clavaire is one of the most exciting young drummers on the current jazz scene. A member of the SFJAZZ Collective since 2013, Mr. Calvaire has performed and recorded with artists as diverse as as Wynton Marsalis, Seal, Eddie Palmeri, Vanessa Williams, Dave Holland, Mary J. Blidge, Stefon Harris, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Peter Cincotti, Music Soulchild, Nellie McKay, Joshua Redman, and Lizz Wright to name a few. Currently, Obed can be found playing with Monty Alexander, Richard Bona, Sean Jones, and Yosvany Terry.

Tickets for SFJAZZ Collective: The Michael Jackson Project

SFJAZZ Collective / Thursday, April 7 / Loeb Playhouse / 7:30 pm

Buy Tickets
FROM $20 – $28

Tickets are available at the Stewart Center box office at 765-494-3933 or 800-914-SHOW. Group tickets are also available to groups of 10 more. Call 765-496-1977 for more details.