Saturday, February 14th – 8-11 pm
jazz club… when lights are low
The Grant Levin Quartet
featuring Noel Jewkes

jazz club…     when lights are low
every Saturday night from 8 to 11 pm

Grant-Hamir-NoelNoel Jewkes
–saxophone
Grant Levin
–piano
Joe McKinley
–bass
Hamir Atwal
— drums

 

Grant Levin’s beautifully supple mastery of the piano, his feel for melody and unusual harmonies and his deep skill in jazz improvisation and composition place him among the very best pianists in jazz today, though he’s a well-kept secret here on the West Coast.  About ten years ago, he finished his BA in jazz performance at the University of Nevada at Reno and joined the faculty at Chico State, before gravitating to the Bay Area at the urging of local musicians who knew of his skill.  Once here, he quickly caught the ears and attention of his jazz peers and audiences alike.  We’re more than pleased to present him at Bird & Beckett as the leader of our Saturday night “jazz club” dates on the second session of each month.

Noel Jewkes has set the standard among San Francisco jazz saxophone players for decades, since moving here from Utah where he grew up in a musical family — playing Salt Lake City clubs and area resorts and traveling widely through the region with his uncle’s big band.  Starting out here as a jazz player in the early 1960s, he didn’t shy away from the late 1960s rock and roll scene – playing in the all-girls-but-one “Ace of Cups” – but he’s a jazzman through and through, sometimes referred to as Dr. Legato, and always named by his peers as the best among them.

Bassist Joe McKinley has played in pit bands for stage productions, circuses, second line bands and orchestras.  He has accompanied musicians including Earl “Fatha” Hines and Sun Ra; Chuck Berry and Joe Henderson (Henderson’s Big Band — West Coast Version); as well as John Handy, Eddie Henderson, Marlena Shaw, Oscar Brown Jr, Jimmy Witherspoon and many others.  He can run the changes, walk and stroll, play in the New Orleans styles… as you like it!  His peers like it that he’s a solid player with a big tone and a nimble improviser.

Drummer Hamir Atwal started on the drums at the age of 10 and was playing professionally at 18. At Berklee College of Music he studied improvisation with saxophone great Joe Lovano and trombonist/composer Hal Crook, and moved back to the Bay Area, where he began collaborating with the likes of clarinetist/composer Ben Goldberg (Tin Hat Trio), trumpeter Darren Johnston (Nice Guy Trio) and saxophonist Patrick Wolff. Hamir’s rock/jazz/improv group Glimpse Trio was founded with guitarist Mike Sopko in 2010.  He’s without doubt in the top echelon of the local jazz scene, and is recognized across the country and internationally for his talents and the sheer joy in his playing.