Jazz In the Bay

The best live jazz in San Francisco Bay Area

A curated calendar of the best jazz shows in SF Bay Area

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Aaron Johnson/Smith Dobson Quintet

  • Bird and Beckett 653 Chenery Street San Francisco, CA, 94131 United States (map)

Tickets at door ($10 - $20)

NYC based multi-instrumentalist Aaron Johnson (sax, clarinet, flute) joins San Francisco’s own Smith Dobson, a multi-instrumentalist himself (reeds, drums, vibes). On this date, Dobson will go head to head with Johnson on tenor and soprano sax. The rhythm section will comprise NY-based bassist Hans Glawischnig and local heroes Keith Saunders on piano and James Gallagher on drums.

Johnson considers himself a member of a new generation of mainstream jazz musicians that’s embracing older styles of jazz and the great American songbook. At the same time, he’s an adventurous multi-instrumentalist who has also immersed himself in the avant-garde.

Aaron leads his own working quartet in New York, and can be found performing frequently with Slide Hampton, Dick Hyman, Benny Benack III, Ken Peplowski, John Colianni, Jon Erik Kellso, Joe Cohn, Veronica Swift and Art Garfunkel, as a member of the Slide Hampton Big Band, and as associate principal clarinet/bass clarinet with the Siletz Bay Festival Orchestra on the Oregon Coast.

Bay Area multi-instrumentalist (Saxophone/Drums/Vibraphone) Smith Dobson has worked with jazz legends like Bobby Hutcherson, Red Rodney, John Handy, Sheila Jordan, Red Holloway, Pete and Conte Condoli, Phillip Harper, and Ben Goldberg, and performed at major Bay Area venues, such as the SFJAZZ, Monterey Jazz Festival, Yoshi's, Great American Music Hall, California Jazz Conservatory, Stanford Jazz Workshop, and Club Deluxe.

As a saxophonist part of what sets Dobson apart from his peers is his lithe, cool tone and relaxed, even phrasing. Inspired by Lester Young, the seminal tenor saxophonist who changed the shape of jazz in the 1930s with his sound and rhythmic feel, Dobson credits Ben Goldberg providing the inspiration to dedicate himself to the horn.
— Berkeleyside.com