Anthony Brown & Friends

Sunday, September 4th, 4:30 & 5:30 pm – two sets

Anthony Brown & Friends

which way west?
Sunday concert series

Percussionist Anthony Brown, born of an African-American/Native American father and a Japanese mother, is a mainstay in a hugely influential movement that started locally three decades ago, as a handful of talented Asian-American musicians began to develop innovative approaches to jazz composition, instrumentation and performance.

After playing as a youth in pop and R&B bands and working in military choruses and jazz settings, Anthony co-founded with bassist Mark Izu and trumpeter George Sams the San Francisco-based ensemble known as United Front– which proceeded to blaze the way along a path that has led to the Asian-American Jazz Orchestra and related projects by colleagues Jon Jang, Francis Wong, Melecio Magdaluyo and many others.

Today at Bird & Beckett, Anthony, on drumset and percussion, is joined in a trio by Mark Izu on bass and Sheng (Chinese mouth organ) and Masaru Koga on saxophones, flute, Shakuhachi and Brazilian percussion.

Mark Izu was a co-founder of United Front with Anthony and remains a leading participant in the Asian American jazz movement; and has composed for symphony, film, theater, dance and jazz; he was principal curator of the SF Asian Art Museum’s Asian American Jazz Festival for two decades; and he has won an Emmy Award for composition.

Brown and Izu have collaborated productively along the way with the likes of Steve Lacy, James Newton, John Carter, David Murray, Zakir Hussain, Cecil Taylor and countless other giants of modern jazz and world music figures from numerous geographic corners.

Mas Koga is a young player who grew up in Japan steeped in American jazz and came to world music influences during his undergraduate days at San Jose State University. He has performed with influential cross-cultural musicians and educators including Hafez Modirzadeh, Francis Wong, John Carlos Perea, Wayne Wallace and Fred Ho.

This promises to be a brilliant afternoon of progressive music in the intimate setting that is Bird & Beckett.