SFJAZZ returns April 8

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By Jay Harvey

Founded in 2004 by saxophonist Joshua Redman in San Francisco, the SFJAZZ Collective has honored a series of jazz giants with new arrangements of their compositions, preserved on CD and shared with national audiences through touring.

The pattern was broken in 2011 and 2012, with recordings and a tour focusing on Stevie Wonder. The artistic direction of the group thus branched out into pop music, showing that there was a legitimate jazz approach to such songs as “Sir Duke” and “Superstition.” The octet brought that show to the Center for the Performing Arts, proving its point definitively.

A further departure from a purist concentration brings the band back to the Palladium April 8, the night after a concert at Purdue’s Loeb Playhouse. This time, the ensemble features its arrangements of songs by Gary native Michael Jackson. Without the Jackson vocals and dance production, the venture may seem like a stretch, but the Collective touts the musical validity of — and their personal love for — songs like “Working Day and Night” and “Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough.”

Members appearing here are Matt Penman, bass; Obed Calvaire, drums; David Sanchez, tenor sax; Miguel Zenon, alto sax; Avishai Cohen, trumpet; Robin Eubanks, trombone; Warren Wolf, vibraphone, and Edward Simon, piano.

Two weeks out of every year, the octet gathers at the San Francisco Jazz Center to write and rehearse new arrangements. Then it goes on tour, from which a CD results.

SFJAZZ Collective plays the music of Michael Jackson

  • 8 p.m. April 8
  • Palladium at Center for the Performing Arts
  • Tickets: $45-$95 (students, $15); www.thecenterfortheperformingarts.org

Jazz Photography Exhibit 

  • April 8–16 | The Palladium
  • Works from photographer Mark Sheldon’s recent exhibit, The Naptown Scene, featuring images of Jazz musicians in Indianapolis will be on display.
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