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The best live jazz in San Francisco Bay Area

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Caroline Davis Quartet

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

Tickets at door ($10 - $20)

NYC saxophonist Caroline Davis leads a quartet featuring fellow New Yorker Carmen Staaf on piano, Noah Garabedian on bass and Evan Hughes on drums.

Caroline Davis's debut album, Live Work & Play, was featured on All About Jazz’s best releases, and she was named one of JazzTimes’ Best New Artists in the 2012 Expanded Critics’ Poll. Her second album, Doors: Chicago Storylines, was just released as an audio documentary that uniquely sets stories from Chicago’s jazz scene from the 80s and 90s alongside her original music. Doors has brought her much acclaim from DownBeat and JazzTimes. A Singapore native with a Ph.D. in music cognition from Northwestern University, her latest album, Heart Tonic, is modeled the compositions on the album after the beat of the human heart.

Caroline has shared musical moments with a diverse group of musicians, from jazz to mainstream, including Matt Wilson, Ellis Marsalis, Matt Mitchell, Randy Brecker, Bobby Broom, Greg Saunier, Ron Miles, Dennis Carroll, Erin McKeown, Allison Miller, Jenny Owen Youngs, and Billy Kaye. Aside from her own quintet, she collaborates regularly with R&B indie band, Maitri, and has been a regular member of many outfits including Whirlpool, Fatbook, Deep Fayed, Matt Mitchell’s Sprees, Billy Kaye Quintet, Paul Bedal Quintet, Orso, Chicago Jazz Orchestra, Caili O’Doherty Group, Dion Kerr Group, Elliot Ross, and Materials and Their Destiny.

Winner of the 2009 Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Pianist Competition, Carmen Staaf has been called “a new star to discover” (Allmusic.com) and “a most impressive pianist” (Bob Brookmeyer); she was listed as one of Revive Music’s “Six Young Pianists You Should Know About” in 2015.

Carmen has performed with Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock at the Hollywood Bowl in the Playboy Jazz Festival, along with the Thelonious Monk Institute Ensemble. She played solo piano at the Kennedy Center for NPR’s A Jazz Piano Christmas, along with Kenny Barron, Fred Hersch and Joey Alexander. The Monk Institute ensemble also toured Morroco and Paris with Herbie Hancock and Dee Dee Bridgewater. Carmen has previously been a guest soloist with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra under Wynton Marsalis, and has been featured on NPR’s JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater, featuring her trio’s 2010 Kennedy Center performance in the Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival. She played at Carnegie Hall with Lila Downs and at the Village Vanguard with Roberto Rodriguez Octeto Masada (during John Zorn’s Masada residency). Lately she has been part of the SPEAK project featuring tap dancers Michelle Dorrance and Dormeshia Sumbry Edwards, the Chitresh Das Kathak dance company, Hindustani musicians and a jazz trio led by drummer Allison Miller. She is the pianist in Joseph Phillips, Jr.’s New Music ensemble Numinous, whose monumental Changing Same came out last year. Carmen has also worked with jazz luminaries including Henry Grimes, Eddie Gomez, Bob Brookmeyer, Esperanza Spalding, Matt Wilson, George Garzone, Francisco Mela, Anat Cohen, and Avishai Cohen.

Bassist Noah Garabedian was a finalist for the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz graduate program. He has performed and toured with Ravi Coltrane, Josh Roseman, Ralph Alessi, Andrew D’Angelo, Myron Walden, Nir Felder, Frank LoCrasto, Silver City Bound, Julian Pollack, as well as his own sextet Big Butter And The Egg Men.

Drummer Evan Hughes has worked closely with jazz icons such as Joe Lovano, John Scofield, George Garzone, Brian Lynch, Ralph Alessi, as well as studied under drummers Tony Moreno, Billy Drummond, and Dafnis Pietro. Since graduating NYU, Evan has worked closely with multi-grammy winning producer and composer Don Sickler, developing the “Jazz Drum Corner” as an educational tool.