SFJAZZ Conquers Corea

The SFJAZZ Collective, a San Francisco-based jazz ensemble that has been celebrated from coast to coast for its innovation and talent, will be performing the music of jazz pianist Chick Corea at the Berklee Performance Center on March 8. This group, which is made up of eight experienced jazz musicians including Grammy nominee Miguel Zenón and Grammy winner David Sánchez, manages to attract fans from all walks of life with the wide breadth and diversity of experience represented by its members. “Because it’s the top guys on each instrument, if you’re an older jazz fan, you know who these guys are,” SFJAZZ publicist Marshall Lamm says. “If you’re a younger jazz fan or a younger musician…these are the guys you look up to. These are the guys whose solos you transcribe. These are they guys whose bands you want to be in.”

Since its inception in 2004, the collective has attracted a group of performers that is both international and noteworthy; the current line up includes members from Venezuela, New Zealand, Israel, Puerto Rico, and the contiguous United States. “Jazz is a very international music, and [in this collective] you’ve got players from all over the world.... It’s a very international group,” Lamm says. While its members are all celebrated in their solo careers, they are each drawn to the democratic aspect of the SFJAZZ Collective. All performers hold an equal voice in the decisions of the collective, something that Lamm says is extremely rare in jazz.

This democratic approach to jazz has a major influence on this tour’s set list. To create the set list, each member picked a favorite from Chick Corea’s four-decade repertoire, and from this eight-song selection the band will choose four songs every night to perform, along with three to four group originals. To the group’s excitement, the performance has already earned the admiration of Corea. “He has given his approval,” Lamm says. “He thinks it’s a heck of a concept.”