Friday, September 8th – 5:30-8 pm
Mark Levine Trio
jazz in the bookshop
SF’s longest running neighborhood jazz party

Mark Levine, piano
Robb Fisher, bass
Ron Marabuto, drums

Robb Fisher joined Cal Tjader’s group in 1976, playing alongside percussionist Poncho Sanchez. It was an association that lasted over six years and a key highlight in Robb’s career. “Cal was a mentor to all his sidemen,” say Robb, “and his lyrical ballads and love of Afro Cuban rhythms was impressive.” Robb toured and recorded many albums, including anchoring Cal’s Grammy Award- winning album, La Onda Va Bien and Grammy-nominated album, Gozame Pero Ya. During this period, Robb recorded with such jazz and Latin luminaries as Art Pepper, Carmen McCrae, Clare Fischer, Tania Maria and Anita O’Day.  He has continued to play with a wide range of Bay Area jazz musicians, including Akira Tana, Eddie Marshall, Peter Horvath, Vince Lateano, Mark Levine, Matt Clark, Brian Cooke, Susan Muscarella and Rob Schneiderman. In the ‘90s, he formed a quintet with guitarist George Cotsirilos and continues to play in trio format with George and with Ron Marabuto. He also plays with Mel Martin’s Bebop and Beyond and performs regularly with the pianist Dick Whittington.

Ron Marabuto grew up around jazz. His father, John, was a key piano player locally from the 1950s on.  He worked in New York for a long stretch, 1977-1986, with leading players such as Pepper Adams, Roland Hanna, Tommy Flanagan, Rufus Reid, Steve Grossman and many more. Locally, he has performed with Bruce Forman, Buddy Montgomery and Mark Levine, and been featured on many recordings by local artists.

Mark Levine has shared the bandstand and recording studio with Woody Shaw, Bobby Hutcherson, Freddie Hubbard, Wallace Roney, Tito Puente, Milt Jackson, James Moody, Art Farmer, Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Fortune, Eddie Harris, Stefon Harris, Eddie Henderson, Conrad Herwig, Clark Terry, Ingrid Jensen, Charlie Rouse, Bobby Watson, Chet Baker, Philip Harper, Mark Murphy, Art Pepper, Julian Priester, Bobby Shew, Steve Turre, Madeline Eastman, Enrique Pla and Poncho Sanchez… in particularly fruitful and intense extended stints with trumpeter Blue Mitchell and sax giants Joe Henderson, Harold Land and Dave Liebman… and with latin jazz titans Mongo Santamaria, Willie Bobo, Moacir Santos, Pete Escovido, Cal Tjader and Francisco Aguabella…

He was nominated for a Grammy for Best Latin Jazz Recording in 2003 for his CD Isla, with his band Mark Levine & The Latin Tinge. He was nominated for a Latin Grammy award in 2010 for his CD Off & On: the Music of Moacir Santos. He produces the BAJA (Bay Area Jazz Archives) series of archival CDs for Jazzschool Records.

He wrote the book on jazz piano – The Jazz Piano Book (Sher Music, 1989 and 2005) – and has thus been instrumental in the education of many thousands of jazz pianists. Mark himself studied in Boston and New York with legendary figures Hal Overton, Herb Pomeroy and Jaki Byard.