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Sunday, April 14, 2024

SFJAZZ Collective celebrates 10th anniversary

In celebration of its 10th anniversary, SFJAZZ Collective, a San Francisco-based eight-piece ensemble, will perform at the Mondavi Center on Oct. 23.

The group is comprised of eight musicians: alto saxophonist Miguel Zenón, tenor saxophonist David Sánchez, trumpeter Avishai Cohen, trombonist Robin Eubanks, vibraphonist Warren Wolf, pianist Edward Simon, bassist Matt Penman and drummer Obed Calvaire.

Each member’s musicality contributes to creating SFJAZZ Collective’s diverse sound, which Wolf attributes the group’s innovative take on the art.

“We’re all from different parts of the world, bringing parts of all the cultures that we grew up in,” Wolf said. “We move beyond what most people think of Jazz. We’re just bringing a collective of ideas from each musician. That’s why we’re called the Collective.”

The 10th anniversary performance will demonstrate the group’s evolution throughout the years by showcasing its most noteworthy arrangements.

“This is our 10-year anniversary, so we’ll be playing music from Thelonious Monk to John Coltrane, and compositions by a few members of the band. It’ll be a lot of different things from the past 10 years of the Collective,” Wolf said.

The SFJAZZ Collective dedicated the past ten years to interpreting and presenting Jazz in a refreshing manner. Through its assortment of arrangements, the SFJAZZ Collective is often renowned for epitomizing the versatility of modern Jazz.

Their works include original compositions written by each of the eight ensemble members. Additionally, the group writes arrangements of classic pieces, implementing personal interpretations and colorful twists. Composers the SFJAZZ Collective has paid tribute to include John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, Herbie Hancock and most recently, Chic Corea.

To Penman, the music’s infinite flexibility exemplifies what Jazz is all about to the SFJAZZ Collective: an unbounded, ever-evolving art.

“Jazz has continued to develop and continued to stay current. It’s an art form that is continually in flux,” Penman said. “That’s what this band tries to continue and the aesthetic it tries to uphold. It’s always changing. There’s no limit from what you can do.”

Rob Tocalino, the Mondavi Center’s marketing manager, is particularly keen on the SFJAZZ Collective’s arrangements.

“What the octet has done is something not replicable,” Tocalino said. “They’ve put a lens on past composers and arrange their music in a way that’s both authentic to what the composer’s intent was, but also really radical.”

Tocalino once worked for the SFJAZZ organization, developing an eternal passion for the SFJAZZ Collective. He will be giving a pre-performance talk, sharing how the group perpetually influences his take on Jazz.

“It makes me reconsider what I think about of tunes that I’ve heard over two hundred thousand times,” Tocalino said.

The SFJAZZ Collective performance will not only demonstrate musical passion, but also personality. Penman foresees an energetic evening of moving melodies and funny banter.

Overall, he hopes that the SFJAZZ Collective’s performance will leave the Davis community entertained and inspired to delve deeper into the depths of music.

“We hope to inspire and to be inspired,” Penman said. “We’re going to give it our 100 percent like we do every night. It’s going to be an exciting night of our original music. Come expected to be blown away.”

For more information about the SFJAZZ Collective’s performance at the Mondavi, please visit mondaviarts.org.

CHLOE CATAJAN can be reached at arts@theaggie.org.

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