Fridays at Five Overview
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Online Concert Series

Fridays at Five

Every Friday At 5 PM PT (8 PM ET)

This Week's Concert

The coronavirus separates us, threatening the fabric of community – but music connects, which is why we’ve launched Fridays at Five. It’s what we need right now: a new series of weekly pre-recorded concerts that aspire to connect you – to music, to musicians, to the warm and unique feeling of experiencing live music at the SFJAZZ Center.

For just $5 a month ($60 annually), you can become a Member and tune in each Friday from 5–6 PM PT (8–9 PM ET) for the latest concert. Make it a regular date. Bring a glass of wine and cozy up – we think you will discover that digital technology can reveal new dimensions of musical performance. Fridays at Five is not your typical video concert series; it is designed to take you inside the music.

BECOME A MEMBER

"A chance to support the artists and catch up on memorable concerts from years past."SF Classical Voice

"That was super-great ... really immersive, amazing camerawork and the sound was excellent. I just felt like I was inside the music and really in the hall." — SFJAZZ Member

"As coronavirus cancels concerts, I tried a new way to listen to live music." (SFGate)

SFJAZZ's New Virtual Concert Series Embraces the Streaming Age (SFist)

Fridays at Five: Launching a Digital Experience (On the Corner)

Press

UPCOMING ARTISTS 

OCT 23 Taj Mahal Quartet
OCT 30 Lila Downs
NOV 6 José James Celebrates Bill Withers
NOV 13 Sons of Kemet
NOV 20 Anat Cohen Tentet
NOV 27 Gregory Porter 

& MORE TBA

See below for full descriptions.

OCT 23 | TAJ MAHAL QUARTET

WATCH OCT 23 • 5 PM PT (8 PM ET)

Recorded FEB 28, 2020

This rollicking performance by the three-time GRAMMY-winning blues icon comes from his run of March 2020 shows that were some of the very last held at the SFJAZZ Center before we closed our doors due to the coronavirus pandemic. A longtime Berkeley resident, Mahal has created a singular body of work that embraces the raw energy of field hollers, the rent-party gumption of early jazz, the urbane grooves of rhythm and blues, the church-derived cadences of soul music and the rhythms of West Africa, via New Orleans and the Caribbean. Since his first release 50 years ago with the Rising Sons, which he founded with Ry Cooder, Taj has been a cultural force, bringing blues culture to new generations. He brought his telepathic quartet for this special night.

Taj Mahal at SFJAZZ, March 2020 (The Bay Bridged)

 

OCT 23 | TAJ MAHAL QUARTET

WATCH OCT 23 • 5 PM PT (8 PM ET)

Recorded FEB 28, 2020

This rollicking performance by the three-time GRAMMY-winning blues icon comes from his run of March 2020 shows that were some of the very last held at the SFJAZZ Center before we closed our doors due to the coronavirus pandemic. A longtime Berkeley resident, Mahal has created a singular body of work that embraces the raw energy of field hollers, the rent-party gumption of early jazz, the urbane grooves of rhythm and blues, the church-derived cadences of soul music and the rhythms of West Africa, via New Orleans and the Caribbean. Since his first release 50 years ago with the Rising Sons, which he founded with Ry Cooder, Taj has been a cultural force, bringing blues culture to new generations. He brought his telepathic quartet for this special night.

Taj Mahal at SFJAZZ, March 2020 (The Bay Bridged)

 

OCT 30 | LILA DOWNS

Recorded MAY 2019

Mexican-American singer and songwriter Lila Downs is a GRAMMY winner and one of the most celebrated artists of her generation. A native of Oaxaca, she’s built a career bridging cultures and languages, both as a musician and social activist for humanitarian causes. With guidance from her vocalist mother and inspiration from Mexican singing greats Chavela Vargas and Lucha Villa balanced by the gamut of American music she heard in the States, Downs made her major label debut with 1999’s jazz-informed La Sandunga, and her contributions to the 2002 Frida Kahlo biopic Frida elevated her status to that of a major international star. She’s won a GRAMMY and multiple Latin GRAMMYs, including a nod for her newest Sony Music album, Salón, Lágrimas y Deseo (Salon, Tears and Desire). This performance, filmed in May 2019, is a celebration of that release.

OCT 30 | LILA DOWNS

Recorded MAY 2019

Mexican-American singer and songwriter Lila Downs is a GRAMMY winner and one of the most celebrated artists of her generation. A native of Oaxaca, she’s built a career bridging cultures and languages, both as a musician and social activist for humanitarian causes. With guidance from her vocalist mother and inspiration from Mexican singing greats Chavela Vargas and Lucha Villa balanced by the gamut of American music she heard in the States, Downs made her major label debut with 1999’s jazz-informed La Sandunga, and her contributions to the 2002 Frida Kahlo biopic Frida elevated her status to that of a major international star. She’s won a GRAMMY and multiple Latin GRAMMYs, including a nod for her newest Sony Music album, Salón, Lágrimas y Deseo (Salon, Tears and Desire). This performance, filmed in May 2019, is a celebration of that release.

NOV 6 | José James Celebrates Bill Withers

Recorded JUN 15, 2019

Celebrating the eightieth year of the great Bill Withers in this concert filmed in June 2019, vocalist and guitarist José James returned with his celebration of the music of the legendary R&B singer and songwriter in a tribute blessed by Mr. Withers himself. James performs many of Withers’ most beloved songs including "Ain't No Sunshine," "Grandma’s Hands," “Use Me,” “Lovely Day,” "Just the Two of Us,” and “Who is He” — timeless material recorded on James’ Blue Note tribute release Lean On Me — backed by a stellar band including guitarist Marcus Machado (Robert Glasper, Lalah Hathaway), keyboardist Takeshi Ohbayashi (Takuya Koroda, Terri Lyne Carrington), bassist Aneesa Strings (an SFJAZZ High School All-Star alumnus), and drummer Aaron Steele (Ximena Sarinana, Rachel Z). This concert is guaranteed to have you on your feet and singing along.

NOV 6 | José James Celebrates Bill Withers

Recorded JUN 15, 2019

Celebrating the eightieth year of the great Bill Withers in this concert filmed in June 2019, vocalist and guitarist José James returned with his celebration of the music of the legendary R&B singer and songwriter in a tribute blessed by Mr. Withers himself. James performs many of Withers’ most beloved songs including "Ain't No Sunshine," "Grandma’s Hands," “Use Me,” “Lovely Day,” "Just the Two of Us,” and “Who is He” — timeless material recorded on James’ Blue Note tribute release Lean On Me — backed by a stellar band including guitarist Marcus Machado (Robert Glasper, Lalah Hathaway), keyboardist Takeshi Ohbayashi (Takuya Koroda, Terri Lyne Carrington), bassist Aneesa Strings (an SFJAZZ High School All-Star alumnus), and drummer Aaron Steele (Ximena Sarinana, Rachel Z). This concert is guaranteed to have you on your feet and singing along.

NOV 13 | Sons of Kemet

Recorded AUG 17, 2019

In recent years, the most vital, inclusive, and innovative jazz scene on earth has shifted east across the Atlantic to London, and the figure that stands atop this revolution is saxophonist Shabaka Hutchings and his band Sons of Kemet. This performance was filmed in July 2019 during Summer Sessions, and the energy produced by the band and dancefloor crowd is impossible to resist.

Championed by tastemaking British DJ Gilles Peterson, the band has recorded a trio of albums including their 2018 Impulse! Records debut, Your Queen is a Reptile. With a unique lineup featuring Hutchings, tuba player Theon Cross, and drummers Tom Skinner and Eddie Hick, the quartet blends relentless dance-ready rhythms culled from the calypso and soca of the Caribbean and the New Orleans brass band tradition with roots in West Africa.

NOV 13 | Sons of Kemet

Recorded AUG 17, 2019

In recent years, the most vital, inclusive, and innovative jazz scene on earth has shifted east across the Atlantic to London, and the figure that stands atop this revolution is saxophonist Shabaka Hutchings and his band Sons of Kemet. This performance was filmed in July 2019 during Summer Sessions, and the energy produced by the band and dancefloor crowd is impossible to resist.

Championed by tastemaking British DJ Gilles Peterson, the band has recorded a trio of albums including their 2018 Impulse! Records debut, Your Queen is a Reptile. With a unique lineup featuring Hutchings, tuba player Theon Cross, and drummers Tom Skinner and Eddie Hick, the quartet blends relentless dance-ready rhythms culled from the calypso and soca of the Caribbean and the New Orleans brass band tradition with roots in West Africa.

NOV 20 | Anat Cohen Tentet

Recorded DEC 3, 2017

At the leading edge of a wave of brilliant Israeli improvisers who have energized the New York jazz scene over the past two decades, Anat Cohen is the most acclaimed clarinetist of her generation and a commanding tenor saxophonist. This concert, filmed in December 2017, marked the West Coast debut of her superb recent tentet project. The group is stocked with some of the most exciting young players in New York, including Maria Schneider Orchestra trumpeter Nadje Noordhuis, Brazilian pianist/accordionist Vitor Gonçalves, vibraphonist James Shipp, and guitar star Sheryl Bailey. The essential 11th member is music director/arranger Oded Lev-Ari, a protégé of the legendary trombonist and arranger Bob Brookmeyer. The Tentet’s songbook is infused with Cohen’s love of Brazilian music, but with an expansive palette of orchestral colors and high-spirited rhythms.

NOV 20 | Anat Cohen Tentet

Recorded DEC 3, 2017

At the leading edge of a wave of brilliant Israeli improvisers who have energized the New York jazz scene over the past two decades, Anat Cohen is the most acclaimed clarinetist of her generation and a commanding tenor saxophonist. This concert, filmed in December 2017, marked the West Coast debut of her superb recent tentet project. The group is stocked with some of the most exciting young players in New York, including Maria Schneider Orchestra trumpeter Nadje Noordhuis, Brazilian pianist/accordionist Vitor Gonçalves, vibraphonist James Shipp, and guitar star Sheryl Bailey. The essential 11th member is music director/arranger Oded Lev-Ari, a protégé of the legendary trombonist and arranger Bob Brookmeyer. The Tentet’s songbook is infused with Cohen’s love of Brazilian music, but with an expansive palette of orchestral colors and high-spirited rhythms.

NOV 27 | Gregory Porter

Recorded August 4, 2019

A two-time GRAMMY-winner and six-time nominee, Gregory Porter is jazz’s most celebrated male vocalist, whose long history at SFJAZZ includes this most recent night recorded in August 2019, devoted to music from across his career and his newest Blue Note album All Rise. After gaining buzz in jazz circles for his soulful artistry, the Bakersfield-born Porter broke through to mainstream stardom with his third album and Blue Note debut Liquid Spirit, winning the 2013 GRAMMY for Best Jazz Vocal Album. His 2017 tribute to Nat “King” Cole, Nat “King” Cole & Me, was supported by a 2018 orchestral SFJAZZ performance at Davies Symphony Hall.

NOV 27 | Gregory Porter

Recorded August 4, 2019

A two-time GRAMMY-winner and six-time nominee, Gregory Porter is jazz’s most celebrated male vocalist, whose long history at SFJAZZ includes this most recent night recorded in August 2019, devoted to music from across his career and his newest Blue Note album All Rise. After gaining buzz in jazz circles for his soulful artistry, the Bakersfield-born Porter broke through to mainstream stardom with his third album and Blue Note debut Liquid Spirit, winning the 2013 GRAMMY for Best Jazz Vocal Album. His 2017 tribute to Nat “King” Cole, Nat “King” Cole & Me, was supported by a 2018 orchestral SFJAZZ performance at Davies Symphony Hall.

Get Access to 'Fridays at Five'

Become a Digital Member

Starting at just $5 a month ($60 annually), you can sign up for or gift a digital membership and tune in with friends each Friday at 5 PM (PT) for the latest concert. Proceeds will help the SFJAZZ team prepare to reopen the SFJAZZ Center and bring you the same breadth of live concert and educational programming you're used to. The music will outlive the virus.

Join Today
Get Access to 'Fridays at Five'

Become a Digital Member

Starting at just $5 a month ($60 annually), you can sign up for or gift a digital membership and tune in with friends each Friday at 5 PM (PT) for the latest concert. Proceeds will help the SFJAZZ team prepare to reopen the SFJAZZ Center and bring you the same breadth of live concert and educational programming you're used to. The music will outlive the virus.

Join Today