Fridays Live: Lenny White
Fridays Live • SFJAZZ At Home

Lenny White

w/ Essiet Essiet & Joe Warner

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Lenny White wearing a dark suit and hat against a gray background

This week on Fridays Live, SFJAZZ presents the electric jazz pioneer who gained fame with Chick Corea and Return to Forever, Lenny White, with Bay Area pianist Joe Warner and master bassist Essiet Essiet. Part of our four night series “Give the Drummer Some” curated by Warner, this night brings lightning-fast post-bop finesse and a muscular groove inspired by rock and the burgeoning jazz-funk movement.

Joe Warner has a simple goal. He wants to play with the greatest musicians in the world.
The Mercury News

Gaining worldwide recognition in the 1970s as a member of Chick Corea’s fusion juggernaut Return to Forever, the three-time GRAMMY winner Lenny White got his start in the late 1960s with saxophonist Jackie McLean, and made his recorded debut on Miles Davis’ landmark 1970 album Bitches Brew. By the time White joined Corea’s band of virtuosos, he’d already been working alongside Andrew Hill, Freddie Hubbard, Woody Shaw, and Latin rock bands Santana and Azteca, developing a signature approach that blended lightning-fast post-bop finesse with a muscular groove inspired by rock and the burgeoning jazz-funk movement. White won a pair of GRAMMYs with Return to Forever, including accolades for their 1975 release No Mystery and another for their 2009 live reunion recording, Returns.

In addition, White has done invaluable sideman work with Al Di Meola, Wallace Roney, Stanley Clarke, Geri Allen, Jaco Pastorius, Kenny Garrett, and dozens more.

He made his debut as a leader with 1975’s Venusian Summer, and has issued nearly 20 albums including the seminal The Adventures of Astral Pirates (1978) and his latest, the 2013 all-star live release Lenny White Live featuring Victor Bailey, Patrice Rushen, Bennie Maupin, and former Miles Davis bassist Foley.

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