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Take note of summer performances by jazz faculty

July 14, 2004

Photo of Dee SpencerFaculty in SFSU's Jazz and World Music Studies Program do a lot more than just teach. Many perform around the world where jazz, an American art form, is one of our greatest exports. You won’t have to go far to hear some of SFSU’s outstanding jazz musicians this summer -- you can catch them on Bay Area stages.

Photo of Akira TanaPianist and vocalist Dee Spencer, co-director of Jazz and World Music Studies, performs with The Wizzard MC from 8:30 p.m. to midnight every Monday at Rassela's on Fillmore, located at 1534 Fillmore St. in San Francisco. Admission is free to these open-mike sessions where aspiring instrumentalists, vocalists and spoken-word artists jam with the band. Spencer will also lead members of the Stanford University Jazz Workshop faculty in a July 19 performance at the Stanford Jazz Festival. Tickets range from $14 to $16.

Photo of Andrew Speight and Hafez ModirzadehOn July 31 at the Stanford Jazz Festival, alto saxophonist and Lecturer Andrew Speight will perform with the Harold Mabern Trio. Tickets are $24 to $26. Speight, whose free Sunday jams from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Dogpatch Saloon on 2496 Third St. in San Francisco have become a Bay Area jazz favorite, won the Australian equivalent of a Grammy Award for Best Jazz Album of 1999. Speight will also participate in the Stanford Jazz Festival's All-Star Jam Session on Aug. 6. Tickets are $20 to $30.

Stick around Stanford a few days longer and hear Lecturer Akira Tana on the drums with the Dave Liebman Quartet, on Aug. 4. Tickets range from $22 to $24. Tana, who was performing with the likes of Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk by the time he was a teenager in the late 1960s, is recognized as one of jazz's most widely respected drummers.

Tenor saxophonist Hafez Modirzadeh, co-director of Jazz and World Music Studies, brings his quartet to the 15th annual Comcast San Jose Jazz Festival on Aug. 7. Admission is free. Modirzadeh is critically acclaimed for his unique blend of straight-ahead jazz and traditional world music he calls "chromodal discourse," which was the topic of his doctoral dissertation.

-- Matt Itelson


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