“Fast fingered and ferociously swinging” (SF Chronicle), organ great Chester Thompson brings the serious funk with his supercharged trio and special guests including vocalist Mary Stallings and saxophonist Houston Person. One of the most revered organists alive, Thompson has led a charmed musical life – writing, recording and performing for four decades with two of the legendary bands to emerge in the 1960s and 1970s, Tower of Power and Santana.
Arriving in the Bay Area in 1969, Thompson released his aptly named 1971 debut, Powerhouse, on the Black Jazz label before embarking on his decade-long tenure with Tower of Power at the height of their popularity. During his 26-year stay with Santana, he recorded eight albums including their 1999 commercial zenith Supernatural, which sold over 30 million copies and won nine GRAMMY awards, including Album of the Year. Upon leaving the Santana fold in 2009, Thompson dove headlong back into jazz and released his second album as leader, Mixology, featuring saxophonist Howard Wiley and former Miles Davis guitarist Barry Finnerty, who both join the organist on the bandstand for these shows along with special guests including vocal legend and former SFJAZZ Resident Artistic Director Mary Stallings and soul jazz saxophone king Houston Person. In addition to Thompson’s deeply funky compositions, the group will revisit Stallings' "Jazzville" program that she originally performed at the SFJAZZ Center in 2017, exploring the gritty, soulful sides of the classic jazz sound of the sixties.