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Jazz Elites Team Up for Sensational Gala Concert, Thursday, Nov. 20, 8 p.m.


College of Creative Arts


Ariane Bicho, Publicist
College of Creative Arts
San Francisco State University
(415) 338-1442
(415) 338-0520 fax

Press Release published by the Office of Public Affairs


Student musicians featured in series of concerts from November 17 through November 19
Trombonist Bill Lowe featured in afternoon recital, Wed, Nov 19 at 1 p.m.

San Francisco -- For jazz junkies who didn’t get their fix at the SF Jazz Festival, SFSU caters jazz to all tastes in Fall into Jazz, a new four-day jazz festival November 17 through November 20 in Knuth Hall in the Creative Arts Building on the SFSU campus. The week’s offerings include student, faculty and guest performances and culminate on November 20 with a gala benefit concert by the SFSU Jazz Faculty All Stars, an electrifying ensemble of jazz pros who appear regularly at venues throughout the Bay Area.

Saxophone luminary Stan Getz once said every great jazz player needs four things: taste, courage, individuality and irreverence. All four are in ample supply with the Jazz Faculty All Stars and their special guests. Among the line-up is Marcus Shelby, a virtuoso bassist and composer whose copious talents have been showcased throughout the Bay Area as well as in L.A., New York and Paris. Keyboardist Dee Spencer, a Monday-night fixture at Rasselas Jazz Club in San Francisco, is recently back from New York, where she led a stand-out troupe of Bay Area high schoolers in an Ellington extravaganza at the prestigious Lincoln Center. A pair of gifted sax players give the All Stars added punch. Hafez Modirzadeh, the name and the tenor horn behind the Hafez Modir Quartet, appears regularly in jazz havens throughout Northern California and laces his intense playing with cross-cultural influences from the world music scene. His alto counterpart is Australian-born Andrew Speight, a nimble, lyrical performer whose trademark nuances have earned him an Aria Award, Australia’s equivalent to the Grammy. And keeping everyone stompin’ is drummer supreme Akira Tana, an internationally touring player and the percussion might behind several local jazz groups, including his own trio.

The SFSU Jazz Faculty All Stars appear on stage Thursday, November 20, at 8 p.m. in Knuth Hall. Admission is $50/benefactors; $25/general; and $10/ students and seniors. Tickets are available through the box office at 415/338-2467. Proceeds from the benefit will go to support jazz education at SFSU’s renowned School of Music and Dance.

The festival also spotlights three nights of student ensembles and jam sessions. Accomplished student musicians cover a range of styles in thematic sets, including Big Band, R&B, Afro-Cuban, Straight Ahead, jazz vocals and more. Student sessions run from Monday, November 17, through Wednesday, November 19, at 8 p.m. in Knuth Hall. Admission is free.

For jazz enthusiasts with the afternoon off, Boston-based trombonist Bill Lowe performs with jazz faculty and students in a free hour-long concert, Wednesday, November 19 at 1 p.m. in Knuth Hall in the Creative Arts building. Lowe has played with greats such as James Brown, George Russell, Henry Threadgill and Lester Bowie.

Parking information
Public parking is available in Lot 20 on the SFSU campus, accessed from Lake Merced Boulevard between Winston Drive and Font Boulevard. Parking is $1 per hour with a $5 daily maximum. Nearby on-street parking is readily available on weekends. For more information, please visit

The SFSU School of Music and Dance
San Francisco State University’s School of Music and Dance boasts such graduates as conductor Kent Nagano, jazz singer Wesla Whitfield and composer Paul Gemignani, who received the Tony Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001. An internationally recognized faculty directs students in both professional and liberal arts degree programs. Students also benefit under the instruction of SFSU’s renowned quartet-in-residence, the Alexander String Quartet, and artists-in-residence such as Branford Marsalis. Music is a program of the College of Creative Arts. For more information, please call the School of Music and Dance at 415/338-1431 or visit


Fall into Jazz Festival, November 17 through November 20, 2003

SFSU Jazz Faculty All Stars Benefit: Thursday, November 20, 8 p.m.
Admission: $50/Benefactor; $25/General; $10/Students & Seniors
Knuth Hall, Creative Arts Building, SFSU campus, 19th Ave & Holloway Ave, San Francisco
Information: 415/338-2467
Dee Spencer, piano, Andrew Speight, saxophone, Hafez Modirzadeh, saxophone, Marcus Shelby, bass, Akira Tana, drums, and special guests present an evening of jazz classics. Proceeds benefit SFSU’s jazz education program.

Student Jazz Ensembles
Big Band & Straight Ahead: Monday, November 17, 8 p.m.;
Afro-Cuban & R&B: Admission: Tuesday, November 18, 8 p.m. (Free); and,
Jazz Vocals: Wednesday, November 19, 8 p.m.
Knuth Hall, Creative Arts Building, SFSU campus, 19th Ave & Holloway Ave, San Francisco
Information: 415/338-1344

Guest Artist: Bill Lowe, Trombone: Wednesday, November 19, 1 p.m. (Free)
Knuth Hall, Creative Arts Building, SFSU campus, 19th Ave & Holloway Ave, San Francisco
Information: 415/338-1344


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Last modified November 5, 2003, by the Office of Public Affairs