John R Burr and Jenna Mammina: “James Taylor; 6 Degrees of Separation”

Grammy-nominated songwriter/pianist John R Burr and renowned singer songwriter Jenna Mammina will be joined by John Shifflett on bass, Jason Lewis on drums and Scott Sorkin on guitar to present a tribute to the music of beloved singer-songwriter James Taylor.

This special concert celebrates the enduring and vast musical legacy of James Taylor, as well as the music of other artists who have been a part of his career. Featuring Jenna and John R’s new arrangements of many of Taylor’s classics, the concert will include reworked songs by longtime Taylor associates Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Don Grolnick, and even the Beatles, on whose Apple records label JT’s first album appeared. While staying true to the essence of James Taylor’s wonderful writing, the new arrangements provide plenty of room for improvisation and spontaneity.

“Exquisite!” says author/radio host Ben Fong-Torres, former senior editor of Rolling Stone Magazine and perennial king of what’s hot and what’s not. He’s talking about pop/ jazz vocalist/songwriter Jenna Mammina and he is not alone. Recognized as one of the leading women of jazz/pop crossover for three years in a row by Jazziz Magazine, she has shared the cover alongside Diana Krall and Norah Jones. Ms. Mammina has been awarded Jazz Performer of the Year for the SF Weekly, a nomination for Best Jazz Album for her Meant to Be cd, by the California Music Awards, and the Goldy Award for her tireless work with children through her Scat for Cats program. Jenna’s first album, Under the Influence, earned a four-star review in Japan’s most prestigious jazz magazine, Swing Journal.! Jenna has performed with a vast array of legendary talent, such as Bobby McFerrin, June Millington, Rickie Lee Jones, Al Jarreau, Phish, David Sanborn, Ray Obiedo, Wil Ackerman, Liz Story, Tuck Andress, and Rosemary Clooney. Jenna has graced the stages of esteemed venues like Yoshi’s in Oakland, California, Town Hall in New York, The Green Mill in Chicago, and festivals such as Jazz Aspen, New Orleans Jazz and Heritage, Monterey San Francisco, Big Sur and Mount Hood.

The Philadelphia Weekly said, “Pianist extraordinaire John R. Burr has the most sparkling style since former Allman Brother- turned-Rolling Stone hired hand Chuck Leavell” “Burr is not nearly as funny as he thinks he is…”- Anonymous Facebook Posting 

Burr was first drawn to the piano at the age of 10 when he heard Vince Guaraldi’s playing on the Peanut’s animated TV specials. He started out as a child prodigy drummer; he was the only child out of 5 siblings not forced to study the piano. It wasn’t until he was in high school that his focus turned to the keyboard. He then discovered that there were too many drummers to compete with and the piano became his instrument of choice.

John R Burr has performed with Robben Ford, Sherie Friedlander, Suzanna Smith, Jackie Ryan, Maria Muldaur, The Alison Brown Quartet, Paul McCandless, Michael Manring and Kathy Kallick, among many others.

For tickets:

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Originals For The ORIGINALS: Michael Zilber and Friends

This performance is part of Jim Bennett’s In The Moment Concert Series for KCSM, presented by Jazz In The Neighborhood and Musically Minded Academy
Originals For The ORIGINALS
A tribute to saxophone giants, one of the Bay Area’s leading saxophonists Michael Zilber performs all original music from his upcoming ORIGIN CD, Originals for the ORIGINALS, written in homage to John Coltrane, Wayne Shorter, Dave Liebman, Michael Brecker, Sonny Rollins, Paul Desmond and Joe Henderson. The recording features New York jazz greats Dave Kikoski on piano, James Genus on bass, and Clarence Penn on drums. Zilber will be joined at Musically Minded by the outstanding rhythm section of pianist Matt Clark, bassist Peter Barshay and drummer Akira Tana; all three share with Zilber a long stint as New York-based musicians.
SF-based saxophonist and composer Michael Zilber is described by NEA Jazz Master David Liebman as “one of the best players and composers around anywhere. Period!” and a “flawless. soulful” player by ALL ABOUT JAZZ. The Canadian-born ex-New Yorker has 10 CDs to his name as a leader and has also been a sideman on a myriad of recordings. He co-led a band with drumming great Steve Smith for 8 years, and throughout his career has performed, toured and recorded with numerous leading jazz artists, including Liebman, Miroslav Vitous, and Mike Clark among many others.

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Winter Student Performances

These events feature students playing pieces mostly based on the theme of the Winter Holidays. This event is casual, and the pieces are not as perfected as the Halloween or June Recitals.

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Thanksgiving Break-no regular lessons or classes

There are no regular lessons or classes scheduled this week. If you are an enrolled or a new student and you want an initial lesson, or a makeup lesson, discuss this week with your teacher as they may offer a customized schedule for these dates. Since this was not a billable week in our enrollment system, there were no lessons billed for this week–thus, no makeup lessons are due for classes that normally meet on this week.

If you are looking for something for students ages 4-10 to do this week. Enroll in our Beatles Musical Theater Camp.

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The Sheldon Brown Sextet with “Love, Gloom, Cash, Love” by Herbie Nichols

On November 19th, composer and woodwind multi-instrumentalist Sheldon Brown will lead a septet of some of the Bay Area’s finest players in a concert dedicated to the brilliant composer- pianist Herbie Nichols’ 1957 album Love, Gloom, Cash, Love. Brown has been studying the music of Herbie Nichols for years, and performing it with a quintet consisting of himself, Darren Johnston, Matt Clark, John Shifflett and Jason Lewis, and a piano- less quartet with Ben Goldberg, Shifflett and Lewis. For this concert he has put all those musicians together to form a sextet. Sheldon Brown – Alto and Tenor Saxophones Ben Goldberg – Clarinet, Bass Clarinet Darren Johnston – Trumpet Matt Clark – Piano John Shifflett – Bass Jason Lewis – Drums

This is part of KCSM’s In the Moment Concert Series, produced by Jim Bennett, presented by Jazz in the Neighborhood and Musically Minded Academy.

Tickets are available now at

For Brown’s 2011 performance at The Hillside Club, Andrew Gilbert wrote in Berkeleyside: “Responsible for the composition Lady Sings the Blues, a tune indelibly linked to Billie Holiday, Nichols became jazz’s quintessential overlooked genius. While he recorded several classic trio sessions for Blue Note, he scuffled for work until his death from leukemia in 1963 at the age of 44. Combining his love of modernist composers like Satie and Bartok with Caribbean inflections and bebop’s hurtling tempos, tunes like House Party Starting, The Gig, and Shuffle Montgomery, have entranced subsequent jazz generations. For Brown, Nichols’ music has provided endless inspiration, and over the course of a decade he ended up transcribing every tune the pianist ever recorded. He notes that while Nichols was profiled as a hard-luck case in A.B. Spellman’s classic book Four Lives in the Bebop Business, he should be remembered for his musical achievements rather than canonized as an abused master. ‘Nichols is like St. Jude for all those cats who didn’t make it,’ says Brown, a longtime Oakland resident. ‘There is that aspect to his story, but I wouldn’t want that to be the take away. The music is just brilliant. When I was in my transcribing fever, playing through his tunes a lot, I really got to know his completely unique voice. He was a melodic improviser. He uses the melody of the piece in his solos, which distinguishes him from great players who apply their ideas to any tune. There’s elegance and humor is his music, but definitely tempered by a little bit of melancholy.’ ”

Composer and woodwind mulit-instrumentalist Sheldon Brown has been involved in the San Francisco Bay Area creative music scene for over 20 years. In June of 2014 he premiered his extended composition “Blood of the Air” at the 32nd Annual San Francisco Jazz Festival. Based on the speech melodies of Beat-era Surrealist poet Philip Lamantia, “Blood of the Air” was made possible with the help of Chamber Music America’s 2013 New Jazz Works: Commissioning and Ensemble program (funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation), and with additional support from San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music.

Since 1994 he has led Sheldon Brown Group, which performs his own compositions. Sheldon Brown Group has performed at the San Francisco Jazz Festival, Fillmore Jazz Festival, the Presidio Sessions series, and has appeared several times at Yoshi’s Nitespot. In 2010 he formed Sheldon Brown Quintet, which performs the music of Herbie Nichols, and Distant Intervals, based on poetic speech melodies. Brown has performed internationally as a featured soloist with Cuban pianist Omar Sosa, and recorded on 5 of Sosaʼs albums. While with Sosa he performed at many famous venues, such as The North Sea Jazz Festival in Den Haag, New Morning in Paris, Tribute to the Love Generation in Tokyo and many others.

Brown performs with many groups in the S.F. Bay Area, including: Clarinet Thing; Goldberg, Brown, Anderson; Ian Carey Quintet + 1; Club Foot Orchestra, and Laurie Antonioli. As a composer, Brown has written music for his own groups and many of the other groups he performs with. For Club Foot Orchestra he composed music for the silent films, Metropolis, Sherlock Jr., Pandoraʼs Box, and The Hands of Orlac. He also wrote music for Club Footʼs scores for the cartoon series The Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat, which aired on CBS.

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Veteran’s Day-no regular lessons or classes

There are not regular lessons or classes scheduled this day. If you are an enrolled or a new student and you want an initial lesson, or a make-up lesson, discuss this date with your teacher as they may offer a customized schedule for this day. Since this was not a billable day in our enrollment system, there were not lessons billed for this day–thus, no make up lessons are due for classes that normally meet on this day of the week.

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Fall Student Recitals

Join us for our annual student Fall Recitals! We have many recitals this day featuring students from beginning to advanced levels. Audience and students are both encouraged to wear Halloween Costumes!

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The Jenny Maybee/Nick Phillips Quartet: Miles & More

jenny-maybee-nick-phillips-2 This performance is part of Jim Bennett’s In The Moment Concert Series for KCSM, presented by Jazz In The Neighborhood and Musically Minded Academy. Jenny Maybee (piano, vocals) and Nick Phillips (trumpet) will be joined by Dan Feiszli (bass) and David Rokeach (drums) to present a tribute to Miles Davis, for Jim Bennett’s In the Moment Concert Series. This special concert celebrates the enduring and vast musical legacy of Miles Davis — from mid-century modern jazz classics to latter-20th-century Davis hits. Featuring new arrangements of Miles Davis classics and songs celebrating the spirit of Miles, the Quartet leaves plenty of room for fresh in-the-moment innovation.

Rounding out the sets at Musically Minded Academy, the Maybee/Phillips Quartet will also perform choice selections from Haiku, lauded by the press as “a thrilling, intimate, very delicate dialogue…close to perfection” and “an 11-track rarity of pristine playing, beautiful vocals and original compositions” that is “in the same league as jazz legends Billie Holiday and Chet Baker.”

For tickets: jazzintheneigborhood/events/inthemoment

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Maya Kronfeld, “Don’t Explain”

Part of KCSM’s In the Moment Concert Series, produced by Jim Bennett, presented by Jazz in the Neighborhood and Musically Minded Academy.

An evening that moves between classic piano trio and a larger, soulful & experimental ensemble. Please join pianist Maya Kronfeld and a host of special guests and collaborators. In times like these, the challenge given us by Billie Holiday (and Arthur Herzog) is as urgent as ever:” Don’t Explain” ; in fact, their music just might expose some gaps in our present explanations.

Rhythm-driven pianist Maya Kronfeld was born in Berkeley, CA to a drummer father and a literature professor mother. She studied piano with Libby McLaren and Susan Muscarella, who gave her lifelong tools for connecting authentically to every moment of playing.

jazz-in-the-neighborhood-logoMaya has toured with Van Hunt, The Memorials (led by drum phenomenon Thomas Pridgen) and appeared in venues ranging from Yoshi’s Oakland, to the Harlem Stage Theatre in NYC, to the Viper Room in Los Angeles. In 2016, she performed with vocalist Georgia Anne Muldrow.

In 2015 Maya was profiled on KCSM’s Desert Island Jazz alongside vocalist/composer Valerie Troutt. The two have an inspired duo project entitled “Two Shoes Shouting,” and have collaborated on several recordings of Valerie’s including Prepare For A Future and The Sound of Peace. Maya has already performed twice as part of the In The Moment Concert series at Musically Minded, with Valerie Troutt, and with Ruthie Price’s Witches Brew. Maya is also the featured pianist on vocalist Natalie John’s self-titled original jazz album.

Whether playing jazz or related musics, Maya strives to uplift audiences with her experimental spontaneity and sense of groove, but can always be relied upon to dig into the music! In addition to being a working musician, Maya is completing a PhD in Comparative Literature at UC Berkeley, where she also teaches undergraduate writing. She has recently given talks on jazz, critical theory, modernist poetry and anglo-american philosophy at the Sorbonne Paris III and at the University of Dublin. Her dissertation on 19th and 20th century American fiction is tentatively titled “Rhythms of Thought.”

Maya does not appear frequently leading her own ensemble, and she is a true musical gem. Jim Bennett first began working with Maya in 2007, when she was featured on KCSM’s In The Moment, in a trio recording done at the Jazzschool in Berkeley.

Our concerts are now in partnership with Jazz In The Neighborhood!!!

GENERAL: $18 advance, $20 at-the-door
STUDENT/SENIOR: $12 advance, $15 at-the-door. Applicable to full-time students and seniors over 65.


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New Violin Teacher, Halleh Balch

Halleh Balch, Violin

Halleh Balch, Violin

I’m excited to hear you or your child is interested in violin lessons! Whether you hope to be a professional musician or just want to explore a new way of thinking, the violin is a fantastic way to express and develop creativity, focus, and a lifetime love of music.

I have played the violin for over 22 years and have performed at venues in New York City, throughout New England, and in the Czech Republic. I’ve participated in masterclasses with members of the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, the Shanghai Quartet, the Eroica Trio, and the Lark Quartet. I received my Bachelors degree from Swarthmore College, my Masters degree from UC Berkeley, and in addition to being an active musician, I have worked in music management, journalism, and as a physicist.

screen-shot-2016-09-20-at-1-11-42-pmI teach both private lessons and coach chamber music. I encourage my students to participate in a range of ensemble opportunities. Regardless of experience level, lessons are uniquely tailored to your goals as a musician. Together we will develop the practicing habits to achieve them over time. I believe that there is a place for music making in every lifestyle.

In addition to developing technical and musical skills, as a teacher I hope to empower my students to develop good communication skills, focused work habits, and the self-confidence to identify and pursue whatever they enjoy.

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