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FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS: SFJAZZ Singles: Chris Potter Big Band Performs "We Wear The Masks"

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Full concert available On-Demand from MAR 30, 2022 – MAY 13, 2022 https://www.SFJAZZ.org/Digital

About this clip:
SFJAZZ Resident Artistic Director Chris Potter and his big band perform his composition “We Wear the Mask” that sets the poetry of late 19th/early 20th century American poet Paul Laurence Dunbar, with vocals by Gretchen Parlato, during Chris’ March 18, 2022 performance at the SFJAZZ Center, broadcast on Fridays Live.

About the concert:
The most accomplished saxophonist of his generation, Chris Potter premiered an evening-length song cycle for his 19-piece big band featuring vocalist Gretchen Parlato – and Potter himself, as soloist. Since childhood, Potter has been enamored of big artists – their collective power and orchestral possibilities. Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn have been his lodestars, along with Gil Evans. And like all worthy musical guides, they have inspired him to find his own compositional style, which is rich in information, color, and mood. Potter is lyricist for a number of his new songs. Others are settings of texts by Paul Laurence Dunbar, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and Kabir Das, the 15th-century Indian mystic poet. Interpreted by an all-star band and Parlato, an exquisite artist, this ambitious new work is among the 2021-22 season’s highlights.


A monster saxophonist, Potter is one of the premiere improvisers of recent decades and a ubiquitous influence among younger players. Since emerging as a sideman 30 years ago with bebop trumpeter Red Rodney, he has played with everybody, from Pat Metheny to Steely Dan. He is currently Music Director and tenor saxophonist with the SFJAZZ Collective.


Chris Potter: tenor saxophone
Gretchen Parlato: vocals
Adam Rogers: guitar
Craig Taborn: piano
Reuben Rogers: bass
Eric Harland: drums
Mary Fettig: flute
Melecio Magdaluyo: flute
Patrick Wolff: clarinet
Matt Renzi: clarinet
Ben Goldberg: bass clarinet
Marvin McFadden: lead trumpet
Mike Olmos: trumpet
Erik Jekabson: trumpet
Kate Williams: trumpet
John Gove: trombone
Joel Behrman: trombone
Marty Wehner: trombone
Jamie Dubberly: bass trombone

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***SFJAZZ is a non-profit organization that presents year round jazz concerts, festivals and educational programs at the SFJAZZ Center in San Francisco, CA.


2 Responses

  1. KaylaDad75 says:

    Nice corny virtue-signaling song title!🙄. Ironic that y’all are supposed to be “following the science” crowd, even though the “science” said most masks don’t even work,LOL

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