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Blackbird Tavern serves up jazz tributes in May

Ren Geisick
Ren Geisick
Ren Geisick

SFJAZZ has had success in recent years with its Hotplate series, which features the region’s top talent showcasing the work of a specific acclaimed jazz artist.
Hotplate, it should be noted, is on something of a hiatus for the moment but will be return in grand style with a festival set for August 14-17. To formally christen SFJAZZ’s Joe Henderson Lab, will feature local players offering their takes on some of Henderson’s most indelible performances. Saxophonist and Henderson collaborator Mel Martin will present tunes from Henderson’s debut album, “Page One” (1963); pianist Matt Clark plays McCoy Tyner’s “The Real McCoy” (1967); Adam Shulman weighs in on Horace Silver’s “Songs for My Father” (1965); and the series concludes with Michael Zilber playing Henderson’s “Lush Life” (1992) album.
The Blackbird Tavern in San Jose has a similar series set for Thursdays in May. Admission is free and performances run 8-10:30 p.m. You can hear Ren Geisick playing Nina Simone (May 15), Shawn Williams playing Freddie Hubbard and Thad Jones (May 22) and Brian Ho playing Herbie Hancock (May 29).

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