The Rapidian

St. Cecilia Music Center brings SFJAZZ Collective to perform music of Miles Davis this Thursday

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St. Cecilia Music Center will bring eight of the best jazz musicians from around the world to the Royce Auditorium stage on May 4. The SFJazz Collective is an all-star ensemble comprised of the finest performers/composers at work in jazz today.
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SFJazz Musicians

SFJAZZ artists appearing at St. Cecilia Music Center include Miguel Zenon, Alto Saxophone; David Sanchez, tenor saxophone; Sean Jones, trumpet; Robin Eubank, trombone; Warren Wolf, vibraphone; Edward Simon, piano, Matt Penman, bass and Obed Calvaire, drums

St. Cecilia Music Center will bring eight of the best jazz musicians from around the world to the Royce Auditorium stage this Thursday, May 4. The SFJazz Collective is an all-star ensemble, that changes each season and is comprised of the finest performers/composers at work in jazz today. SFJAZZ artists appearing at St. Cecilia Music Center include Miguel Zenon, Alto Saxophone; David Sanchez, tenor saxophone; Sean Jones, trumpet; Robin Eubank, trombone; Warren Wolf, vibraphone; Edward Simon, piano, Matt Penman, bass and Obed Calvaire, drums.

The eight will perform the Collective’s arrangements of the music of Miles Davis as well as their own fresh compositions.

Executive Director of St. Cecilia Music Center Cathy Holbrook exclaims, “If you are a jazz lover, this is the performance not to miss. An eight-piece band made up of eight of the most talented jazz performers on the jazz scene today will culminate in an exciting night for everyone who is in the audience this Thursday, May 4.”

The SFJAZZ Collective’s mission each year is to perform fresh arrangements of works by a modern master and newly commissioned pieces by each Collective member. More than any other figure, Miles Davis changed the sound of jazz – not once, but consistently over his career – from the birth of bebop in the 1940s to the integration of rock that gave rise to the fusion movement in the 1970’s.

Concert tickets are $43 and $48 and can be purchased by calling St. Cecilia Music Center at 616-459-2224 or visiting the box office at 24 Ransom Ave. NE. Tickets can also be purchased online at A post-concert “Meet-the-artists” reception with all ticket-holders will be held giving the audience the opportunity to meet members of SFJazz and to obtain signed CDs of their music including their newest release. NOTE: This concert may sell out to tickets purchases in advance are recommended. 

A pre-concert wine and hors d’oeuvres reception for $15 per person is also optional when purchasing tickets for this event.

St. Cecilia Music Center’s Jazz Series is known for bringing internationally known jazz musicians – both up and coming as well as jazz legends – to Grand Rapids. The SCMC Jazz Series gives jazz lovers the opportunity to hear these artists up close and personal without having to travel outside of the area to hear them, and introduces West Michigan music lovers to the best jazz musicians in the world.

The SFJazz Collective

The SFJAZZ Collective is an all-star award-winning jazz ensemble comprising eight of the finest performers/composers at work in jazz today. Launched in 2004 by SFJAZZ in San Francisco, the SFJAZZ Collective has become one of the most exciting and acclaimed groups on the jazz scene. The award-winning SFJAZZ Center in San Francisco is the Collective’s home base. The current octet is a burnished international ensemble comprising alto saxophonist Miguel Zenón, tenor saxophonist David Sánchez, vibraphonist Warren Wolf, trumpeter Sean Jones, trombonist Robin Eubanks, pianist Edward Simon, bassist Matt Penman and drummer Obed Calvaire.

Each year, the SFJAZZ Collective creates and performs eight new works and eight new arrangements of tunes by an honored artist. Past honorees include Ornette Coleman, John Coltrane, Herbie Hancock, Thelonious Monk, Wayne Shorter, McCoy Tyner, Horace Silver, Stevie Wonder, and Chick Corea. For their 2016-17 season, the Collective will perform new arrangements of the music of jazz innovator Miles Davis and new compositions.

In addition to its outstanding line-up with a leaderless format, the SFJAZZ Collective has also been praised for the innovative approach to repertoire. Through the pioneering approach of simultaneously honoring jazz's recent history while championing the music's up-to-the-minute directions, the Collective embodies SFJAZZ's commitment to jazz as a living, ever-relevant art form. 

As soloists, composers, and bandleaders, the SFJAZZ Collective represents what’s happening now in jazz. They also demonstrate that jazz has truly become an international language. Hailing from Ohio, Baltimore, Miami, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, and New Zealand, the Collective’s multi-cultural lineup mirrors the explosion of jazz talent around the globe. However, the jazz community only reached its current state by maintaining its traditions while simultaneously embracing innovation. This, too, is the essence of the SFJAZZ Collective. These exceptional artists come together in the name of jazz as a constantly evolving, quintessentially modern music.

SFJAZZ Collective Artists:

Miguel Zenon – Alto Saxophone

Multiple Grammy Nominee and Guggenheim and MacArthur Fellow Miguel Zenón represents a select group of musicians who have masterfully balanced and blended the often contradictory poles of innovation and tradition. Widely considered as one of the most groundbreaking and influential saxophonists of his generation, he has also developed a unique voice as a composer and as a conceptualist, concentrating his efforts on perfecting a fine mix between Latin American Folkloric Music and Jazz. Born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Zenón has released nine recordings as a leader, including the Grammy Nominated Identities are Changeable (2014). As a sideman he has worked with jazz luminaries such as Charlie Haden, Bobby Hutcherson, Danilo Perez, Fred Hersch, Kenny Werner and Steve Coleman.

David Sanchez – Tenor Saxophone

Since his early exposure with Dizzy Gillespie’s United Nations Orchestra, Puerto Rican tenor saxophone virtuoso David Sánchez has become a one of the most celebrated instrumentalists in jazz, recording nine albums as a leader and winning a Latin Grammy Award for his 2004 orchestral session, Coral. The five-time Grammy nominee has performed with a roster of greats including Charlie Haden, Eddie Palmieri, Roy Haynes, Tom Harrell and countless others. Sánchez has an impressive résumé as an educator, conducting master classes, workshops and residencies at the world’s top universities and conservatories. His latest album is Ninety Miles: Live at Cubadisco, a project recorded in Cuba and co-led by trumpeter Christian Scott and vibraphonist Stefon Harris.

Sean Jones – Trumpet

For the remarkable composer, trumpeter, educator, and activist Sean Jones, the pursuit of jazz is a most serious endeavor. Deeply influenced by his immersion in Gospel music in the church as a youth, Sean had an epiphany at the age of 19 while he was a student at Youngstown State University. The awakening was his first hearing of the magnificent John Coltrane’s masterpiece A Love Supreme. After receiving his Master’s Degree from Rutgers University, Sean performed a six-month stint with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. Wynton Marsalis offered Sean a permanent position as lead trumpeter and Jones remained there until 2010, also participating in two recordings. During those years, Sean started touring and performing regularly with his own ensembles and began his longtime relationship with Mack Avenue Records, for whom he has just released his seventh recording. Education is also a major element in Sean’s ongoing activities. Shortly after joining the JALCO, he began teaching at Duquesne University in his adopted hometown of Pittsburgh, where he is currently Associate Professor of Jazz. In 2012 he also became Professor of Trumpet at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. In addition, master classes and clinics are a regular part of his activities, providing more than a dozen annually around the world. He also serves as Artistic Director of both the Pittsburgh and Cleveland Jazz Orchestras.

Robin Eubanks – Trombone

A five-time “Trombonist of the Year” in the DownBeat Critics Poll, Robin Eubanks is the premier jazz trombonist of his generation. In addition to leading his own groups, EB3 and Mental Images, Eubanks has performed and composed on Grammy-winning recordings with Dave Holland and Michael Brecker. He has worked with music legends Art Blakey, McCoy Tyner, Elvin Jones and the Rolling Stones, to name a few. The native Philadelphian is the recipient of composition grants from Chamber Music America and ASCAP. He is a sought-after educator and is now a tenured professor of trombone at the renowned Oberlin Conservatory and Adjunct Professor at Philadelphia’s University of the Arts.

Warren Wolf – Vibraphone

Warren Wolf is a multi-instrumentalist from Baltimore, MD. From the age of three, Warren has been trained on the vibraphone, marimba, drums, and piano. He attended the Peabody Preparatory for eight years studying classical music with former Baltimore Symphony Orchestra member Leo LePage. During his high school years at the Baltimore School for the Arts, Warren studied with current Baltimore Symphony Orchestra member John Locke. After graduating from Baltimore School for the Arts in June of 1997, Warren headed north and enrolled at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA.

During his time at Berklee, Warren studied with Caribbean Jazz Vibraphonist Dave Samuels. After graduating from Berklee in May of 2001, Warren became an active musician on the Boston local scene and was hired in 2003 to become an instructor in the percussion department. Warren is currently the drummer of choice for alto saxophonist Tia Fuller, who tours with internationally renowned pop star Beyonce Knowles. Warren is also a member of the Donal Fox Group.

Wolf has several recordings as a leader and was recently signed to the Mack Avenue Records. The upcoming release of Warren Wolf, the eponymous debut album, will make it as apparent to jazz fans as it already is to jazz insiders that the 31-year-old vibraphonist is the next major voice on his instrument.

Edward Simon – Piano

Edward Simon was born in the coastal town of Punta Cardón, Venezuela, where he grew up in a family of musicians. Settling in New York City in 1989, he played with numerous jazz masters, including Herbie Mann, Paquito D’Rivera, Bobby Hutcherson, Bobby Watson, Terence Blanchard and Don Byron. He has produced ten critically acclaimed albums as a leader, including two The New York Times top ten jazz records of the year: Edward Simon and Simplicitas. In July 2010 Simon was named a Guggenheim Fellow, and his latest trio CD with bassist John Patitucci and drummer Brian Blade, Live in New York at Jazz Standard, has recently been released.

Matt Penman - Bass

Originally from Auckland, New Zealand, Matt Penman studied at Boston’s Berklee College of Music before relocating to New York in 1995. In addition to releasing his own critically acclaimed CDs as a leader, Catch of the Day (2007) and The Unquiet (2002), he has recorded as a sideman on some 70 other discs and has performed with the likes of Joe Lovano, Nicholas Payton, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Gary Bartz, Kenny Werner, Nnenna Freelon, Madeleine Peyroux, Brian Blade, John Scofield and Guillermo Klein. In addition to the Collective, Penman works with the supergroup James Farm, which includes founding Collective saxophonist Joshua Redman, pianist Aaron Parks and drummer Eric Harland.

Obed Calvaire – Drums

Obed Calvaire, a native of Miami and of Haitian descent is a graduate with both a master and bachelor degree of music from one of America’s premiere private music conservatories in the nation, Manhattan School of Music. He received his bachelor’s degree in 2003, completing the undergraduate degree requirements in three years and receiving his master’s in 2005. Mr. Calvaire has performed and recorded with artists such as Wynton Marsalis, Seal, Eddie Palmeri, Vanessa Williams, Mark Murphy, David Foster, Mary J. Blidge, Stefon Harris, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Music Soulchild, Nellie McKay, Yellow Jackets, Joshua Redman, Steve Turre, and Lizz Wright to name a few. He has also performed with large ensembles such as the Village Vanguard Orchestra, Metropole Orchestra, the Mingus Big Band, Roy Hargrove Big Band, and the Bob Mintzer Big Band. Currently, Obed Calvaire can be found playing with Peter Cincotti, Richard Bona, Monty Alexander, Sean Jones, Yosvany Terry, The Clayton Brothers Quintet, Mike Stern among others.


St. Cecilia Music Center’s mission is to promote the study, appreciation and

performance of music in order to enrich the lives of West Michigan residents.

The Center fulfills this mission by

presenting visiting world-class artists in concert,

providing music education for all ages through our School of Music and

preserving a historic building for musical activities and community events

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