Thursday, September 21st – 7:30 pm
Saxophonist Greg Abate
on tour! – $15 cover charge

Listen to this track, and come down to the show!
“Take the Crowell Train” – written for saxophonist and Bay Area educator Ken Crowell. It burns!

Greg Abate, a multi-instrumentalist and an alto player in the tradition of Phil Woods, is a road warrior, says Simon Rowe, director of the SF Conservatory of Music’s new Roots, Jazz and American Music program. He performs all over Europe as well as in Canada and Japan, and is typically on the road 150-225 days a year.

In July, Greg toured for three weeks in England and Italy, performing 18 dates in concert halls, churches, jazz societies, schools and festivals. In August and the first few weeks of September, he’s doing 20 dates in Quebec and along the Eastern Seaboard from Maine to Connecticut and inland to West Virginia.

Then it’s our turn, as Greg flies way out west to play Bird & Beckett on September 21st before heading down to the seaside village of Cambria for a trio date with vibes legend Charlie Shoemake at Shoemake’s Central Coast Jazz Institute.

Then it’s more dates back east, England in November, and England and Italy again in February.

Greg graduated from Berklee College of Music in 1971 and hasn’t stopped for a minute since. He joined the Ray Charles Orchestra in 1973 for two years on lead alto and flute, taking David “Fathead” Newman’s chair,  and was the tenor player for the Artie Shaw band from 1986 to 1988 under clarinetist Dick Johnson. All along the way, he’s led his own bands, gone out solo on the road and recorded prolifically.

Greg recorded his first cd “Bop City: Live At Birdland” in 1991 on the Candid Jazz Label with the trio of James Williams, Rufus Reid and Kenny Washington. His album “Evolution,” with James Williams, Harvie S and Billy Hart, was nominated for Grammy Awards in four categories in 2004. He’s recorded as leader and sideman with Richie Cole, the Kenny Barron Trio, George Mraz, Hilton Ruiz and Claudio Roditi. Yet to be released is “Bird Lives” with trumpeter Red Rodney along with Barry Harris, Bob Cranshaw, Mickey Roker and Jessie Davis. In the late 90s and the ensuing decade, he played many local dates at Pearl’s, at Pier 23 (with the late master pianist Ed Kelly) and at Yoshi’s, as well as the Monterey Jazz Festival, the San Jose Jazz Festival (4 times) and Jazz on the Hill at the College of San Mateo. KCSM plays his music frequently, and has had him on air as an interview guest several times.

Greg is a bebopper/hard bopper par excellence and a whole lot more. Prepare to be rocked on your heels and also beguiled by some beautiful ballad work.

At Bird & Beckett, his quartet will feature top local players Keith Saunders (piano), Adam Gay (bass) and Ron Marabuto (drums). Hear how it’s done by a jazz musician made of iron, who’s also one of the sweetest guys you’ll encounter.