Sunday, January 20th:
Mike Lipskin & Dinah Lee
stride piano and jazz vocals

which way west? Sunday concert series.
All ages welcome!
No cover charge, but your generous donations
make it possible for us to pay the musicians.

Sunday, Jan. 20 – 4:30-6:30 pm: Mike Lipskin & Dinah Lee
with Paul Mehling & Jerry Logas.

mike lipskin and dinah leeMike Lipskin is a 50-year veteran Stride Jazz pianist who has an original sound within that idiom. Early on, Lipskin gained the stamp of approval of giants including Willie “The Lion” Smith, Eubie Blake, Dick Hyman and Jay McShann. He will be making swinging jazz combinations with stellar guitarist Paul Mehling, leader of the Hot Club of San Francisco, Dinah Lee, distinctive jazz vocalist, and reed man in the Lester Young tradition, Jerry Logas. This will be a rich and satisfying program of lovely, irresistible songs from the classic American Songbook of the 20s, 30s and 40s together with engrossing jazz instrumentals.

mike lipskin and willie the lion smithLipskin has appeared at Carnegie Hall and the Newport Jazz Festival, has toured the U.S. and Europe, and directed and performed in eight “Stride Summit” concerts for SFJazz at Davies Symphony Hall and Masonic Auditorium. He has also been a mainstay in classic San Francisco clubs from the Washington Square Bar & Grill and Moose’s to Stars and Bix, and is acclaimed internationally as one of the top interpreters of Stride Jazz, a distinct discipline. This formative and full jazz style has a characteristic left hand action, rhythmic complexities, tension and release dynamics with varied harmonic structures. It came into its own in the 1920s and 1930s, and also can be the most classically oriented of jazz piano styles. Fats Waller, James P. Johnson, Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Art Tatum were all Stride Jazz pianists.

Besides receiving instruction from Smith, Lipskin gained from interaction with famed stride jazz players Luckey Roberts, Cliff Jackson and Donald Lambert on his teenage visits to Harlem in the 1950s. He’s done much to keep this music in focus for modern audiences through performances, media appearances and college lectures. Lipskin was also A&R producer for RCA New York, releasing many reissues of historical classic jazz, pop recordings and producing fusion music and rock there as well. Lipskin will present two more Stride Summits in San Francisco and Walnut Creek this coming August.

Singer Dinah Lee has been digging into the American popular song of the 20s, 30s and 40s — thrilling audiences in Arizona, California, and New York, garnering accolades from the likes of legendary record producer Jerry Wexler for her original “stamp” and inspiring performances. Mike & Dinah, joined by Jerry Logas, recently released a terrific recording called “A Sweet Beginning”. Bird & Beckett audiences know Jerry Logas’ work well, as he’s a regular on the first Friday of each month, playing inimitably beautiful and mellifluous tenor, bari sax, clarinet and flute. As for Paul, he’s a terrific guitarist known widely for his work in a Django Reinhart gypsy jazz bag, and has become a key component of Mike & Dinah’s current performing quartet. For obvious reasons, we’re very proud and excited to present this group at Bird & Beckett!