Fridays Live: Kind of Blue: The Acoustic Quintets
Fridays Live • SFJAZZ At Home

Kind of Blue: The Acoustic Quintets


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SFJAZZ At Home May 2023 Playlist, curated by Vince Wilburn, Jr.

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The cover art for Miles Davis's Nefertiti

This week on Fridays Live, SFJAZZ presents the first night of our Miles Davis celebration week. This performance is focused on Davis’ hard bop first quintet of the 1950s with John Coltrane, the iconic 1959 sextet session Kind of Blue, and the exploratory 1960s second quintet with Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock, brought to life by an all-star cast of musicians that includes Patrice Rushen, Javon Jackson, Donald Harrison, Eddie Henderson, and Lenny White.

Patrice Rushen is a classically trained pianist who originally found success in the 70’s and 80’s with her signature fusion of jazz, pop and R&B. Her 1982 single “Forget Me Nots” received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance. She is also a music director, educator, and ambassador for artistry in education at the Berklee College of Music.

Javon Jackson is a tenor saxophonist who came into international prominence as a member of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers in the late 80’s. He has since recorded and performed with a wide range of jazz luminaries, such as Freddie Hubbard, Elvin Jones, Cedar Walton, Charlie Haden, and Betty Carter. He is also a professor of jazz studies at the Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz at the University of Hartford.

Donald Harrison is an alto saxophonist who is a master of various musical styles, from traditional New Orleans jazz to modern jazz, funk, hip-hop, and classical. He has worked with Roy Haynes, Jack McDuff, Terence Blanchard, Lena Horne, Eddie Palmieri, and The Notorious B.I.G., among others. He is also the co-founder and artistic director of the Tipitina’s Intern Program, and a 2022 NEA Jazz Master.

Eddie Henderson is a trumpet player who was influenced by his early encounters with Louis Armstrong and Miles Davis. He joined Herbie Hancock’s Mwandishi band in the early 70’s and became one of the pioneers of jazz-funk fusion. He has also played with Pharoah Sanders, Art Blakey, Joe Henderson, Kenny Barron, and Billy Hart. He is also a practicing psychiatrist and a professor at the Juilliard School of Music.

Lenny White is a drummer who is best known for being part of Chick Corea’s Return to Forever band in the 70’s. He has also played with Miles Davis, Freddie Hubbard, Stanley Clarke, Jaco Pastorius, Chaka Khan, and Marcus Miller. 

Artist, cool man, bad dude, hipster, clear as daylight and funky as revelation. His influence and effect on the music called jazz and its players is still astonishing.
The New York Times on Miles Davis

Setlist, Personnel, & More

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