Jazz In the Bay

The best live jazz in San Francisco Bay Area

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Ahmad Jamal

  • Davies Symphony Hall 201 Van Ness Avenue San Francisco, CA, 94102 United States (map)

Tickets ($35 - $125)

An NEA Jazz Master and a Kennedy Center Living Jazz Legend, pianist Ahmad Jamal has long been recognized as one of the most influential figures in jazz history, and now makes a long-awaited return to live performance following a three year break – a rare appearance that reserves for, in his words, “special occasions.” Jamal brought a sense of space and subtlety to jazz improvisation that deeply affected Miles Davis and countless other jazz musicians inspired by them both. “He knocked me out with his concept of space, his lightness of touch, his understatement,” said Miles Davis, whose lyrical less-is-more style was indebted to the elegant pianist who rose to international fame with the success of his 1958 live date At the Pershing: But Not for Me – a timeless and iconic session containing the definitive version of Jamal’s theme song, “Poinciana.”

Ahmad Jamal - piano
James Cammack - bass
Herlin Riley - drums
Manolo Badrena - percussion

All my inspiration come from Ahmad Jamal.
— Miles Davis

Now a youthful 87, Jamal continues to refine and expand his approach, composing new music and exploring fresh harmonies and sonorities. On the heels of his new Jazz Village release Marseille, he performs at Davies Symphony Hall with his seamless quartet whose grooving sound is flavored by the New Orleans style of drummer Herlin Riley along with bassist James Cammack and the polyrhythmic pop of Puerto Rican-born percussionist Manolo Badrena. In 2017, Jamal was awarded the GRAMMY Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to music.

Earlier Event: June 6
Chester Thompson Quartet
Later Event: June 6
Chester Thompson Quartet