Double Bill: CJC Blue Ensemble & California High School

Concerts

Double Bill: CJC Blue Ensemble & California High School

Feb 24, 2024
8:00 PM - 9:30 PM

Rendon Hall/Fiddler Annex @ California Jazz Conservatory

2040 Addison Street , Berkeley
This concert is sponsored by JAMBAR

Under the direction of Gerald Cleaver, the California Jazz Conservatory’s flagship ensemble, the Blue Ensemble, will be performing works from the albums “Big Mouth” by Chris Lightcap, “The Talented Mr. Pelt” by Jeremy Pelt, and “Expandable Language” by Oliver Lake. The Blue Ensemble will be joined by the California High School Big Band, under the direction of Dave Ellis.

This event is free and open to the public!

Band Members

Gerald Cleaver – Director
Adam Torres – Alto saxophone
Mario Ramirez – Tenor saxophone
Joshua Aldana – Guitar
Jonny Kaminek – Bass
Sheldon Alexander – Drums
The California High School Big Band – Dave Ellis

Band Bio

Gerald Cleaver was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, and is a product of the rich music tradition found there and also in his home. Inspired by his father, John Cleaver, also a drummer, he began playing the drums at an early age. He also played violin in elementary school and switched to trumpet during junior high and high school. While in his teens, he gained early working experience with Ali Muhammad Jackson, Lamont Hamilton, Earl Van Riper, and Pancho Hagood and later with Marcus Belgrave, Donald Walden, Rodney Whitaker, A. Spencer Barefield and Wendell Harrison. Cleaver earned a B.A. in music education from the University of Michigan. During his studies he was awarded an National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Study Fellowship to study with drummer Victor Lewis. After graduating he began teaching in Detroit, and later joined the jazz faculty at the University of Michigan and Michigan State University. He relocated to New York in 2002. Cleaver has worked with Roscoe Mitchell, Henry Threadgill, Jacky Terrasson, Hank Jones, Tommy Flanagan, Mario Pavone, Charles Gayle, Matthew Shipp, Reggie Workman, Joe Morris, Craig Taborn, Ralph Alessi, Eddie Harris, and Miroslav Vitous, among others. In 2002 “Adjust”, recorded for the Spanish label Fresh Sound New Talent, was nominated in the Best Debut Recording category.


Dave Ellis has long been a key figure in the fertile Northern California jazz scene. His story is a tapestry woven from myriad musical adventures. It begins with his days as a ten-year-old musical prodigy and opens on a new chapter with State of Mind, his debut recording for Milestone, featuring a sterling jazz veteran cast of pianist Mulgrew Miller, bassists Peter Washington and Christian McBride, drummers Carl Allen and Lewis Nash, and alto saxophonist Vincent Herring. Along the way, Ellis was named Best New Talent (along with Diana Krall) in the 1997 Jazziz magazine Readers Poll. He scooped up two 1999 California Music Awards–for Outstanding Jazz Album and Outstanding Jazz Artist in Northern California, and jazz critics hailed his mature saxophone style for its “enveloping sound and emphatic attack” (Bob Blumenthal, Atlantic Monthly) and its “alternately earthy, probing, and lyrical” sound (Mike Joyce, Washington Post). As legendary record producer Orrin Keepnews writes in his liner notes to the first new Ellis recording in five years, “even on the shifting and difficult terrain of early 21st century jazz, a talent as formidable as his should and will be recognized.” Learn more at http://www.davellis.com/index.html

Proof of vaccination is no longer required for Covid-19. Masking is optional and masks are available upon request. The California Jazz Conservatory kindly requests that anyone feeling unwell refrain from attending in-person events of any kind. 


This concert is sponsored by JAMBAR


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