The A-List of Bay Area Counterculture
In this special concert in honor of Black History Month, Bay Area saxophone titan Howard Wiley channels nearly 200 years worth of musical influences, covering what he calls “the full range of Black American music from the field to the church to the streets.”
This musical journey begins in the 1800s, with the foundational Negro spiritual “Wade in the Water,” as recorded by blues pioneer W.C. Handy. An extended stop is made into the 1930s and 40s, a time when jazz experienced new heights of popularity within broader American culture, represented by Duke Ellington’s regal “Black Brown & Beige,” Tommy Dorsey’s sanctified “Precious Lord,” and Billy Strayhorn’s swinging Harlem Renaissance anthem “Take the A Train.”
The timeline then skips forward to the 1970s, when Stevie Wonder was at the peak of his creative powers, for the Ellington tribute “Sir Duke,” and the inspirational “Higher Ground.” Sandwiched in-between the two is another lesser-known yet sublime Wonder composition: “Misrepresented People” from 2000’s “Bamboozled” soundtrack – a song which sums up the African American experience, while reminding listeners that Black history is still being made.
Joining Wiley will be vocalist Tiffany Austin, pianist and organist Lionel “LJ” Holoman, bassist Michael “Tiny” Lindsey, and drummer John “Omayga” Adams. This evening of classic jazz standards and jazzy interpretations of soul/R&B standouts is sure to be one which won’t soon be forgotten.
California Jazz Conservatory Presents
Black History Month
Howard Wiley Quintet: Songs in the Key of Jazz
California Jazz Conservatory
2087 Addison Street
Berkeley, California 94704