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

Back to All Events

GoGo Penguin

  • SFJAZZ Miner Auditorium 201 Franklin Street San Francisco, CA, 94102 United States (map)

Tickets   ($25 - $55)

In a night of film and music, the trio applies their hypnotic, swirling grooves informed by EDM and post-modern classical composition to this performance of their new score to filmmaker Godfrey Reggio’s landmark 1983 film Koyaanisqatsi, accompanying a screening of the film and replacing the iconic Philip Glass soundtrack.

The piano trio has been one of the most durable, beloved, and flexible formats in jazz history, evoking illustrious names like Oscar Peterson, Bill Evans, and Ahmad Jamal, among others. Manchester-based GoGo Penguin turns this most venerable jazz construct on its ear, infusing direct influences from contemporary electronic music and modern classical concepts into their singular ensemble approach that “defies genre, pulling together influences from trip-hop, classical, jazz and more.” -The Wall Street Journal

The band’s hypnotic, groove-heavy sound has a basis in compositions originally programmed in sequencing software and relies as much on additive compositional development and dynamic contrasts as improvisation, with pianist Chris Illingsworth’s powerful melodic statements anchored by Nick Blacka’s thunderous bass and the skittering, acrobatic rhythms of drummer Rob Turner. Pushing the jazz trio form in unprecedented new directions, GoGo Penguin truly sounds like nothing else on Earth.

Chris Illingsworth
Nick Blacka bass
Rob Turner drums

GoGo Penguin lure you into a trance-like state, they toy with your emotions, feeding some primal need with jolts of energy.
— London Jazz News
It’s a piano-driven blend with all the traditional aspects you’d expect from the genre while still scanning as something refreshingly vibrant and contemporary.
— Pitchfork
GoGo Penguin defies genre, pulling together influences from trip-hop, classical, jazz and more.
— The Wall Street Journal
Earlier Event: October 10
Alpha Rhythm Kings
Later Event: October 11
Aaron Parks Little Big