JAMBAR Presents The David Liebman Quartet


JAMBAR Presents The David Liebman Quartet

Apr 14, 2023 - Apr 15, 2023
8:00 PM - 9:30 PM

Rendon Hall/Fiddler Annex @ California Jazz Conservatory

2040 Addison Street, 2040 Addison Street

NEA Jazz Master and Grammy-nominee David Liebman appears in a rare engagement with Liberty Ellman on guitar as well as CJC’s resident all-star rhythm section – Jeff Denson on bass and Gerald Cleaver on drums – for two nights of provocative jazz exploration sponsored by JAMBAR.

“David Liebman has the ability to touch the soul seeking from the wayward horn an extraordinary depth of emotion and dramatic range. His cantabile style, as identifiable as a human voice in its emotional tone and dramatic role playing, may in a given solo, conjure up anguish, ecstasy, anger, fear, hilarity or haughtiness. Liebman’s music is storytelling of a very high order-form, content, accent, color and mood are all in place, on cue. ” – Downbeat Magazine

Band Members & Instrumentation

David Liebman – saxophone

Liberty Ellman – guitar

Jeff Denson – acoustic bass

Gerald Cleaver – drums

Artist Bios

NEA Jazz Master (2011) David Liebman’s career has spanned nearly five decades, beginning in the early 1970s as the saxophone/flautist in both the Elvin Jones and Miles Davis Groups, continuing as a bandleader since. He has played on over five hundred recordings with nearly two hundred under his leadership and co-leadership. In jazz education he is a renowned lecturer and author of several milestone books: Self Portrait Of A Jazz Artist, A Chromatic Approach To Jazz Harmony And Melody, Developing A Personal Saxophone Sound (translated into multiple languages), in addition to teaching DVDs, journalistic contributions to periodicals and published chamber music. Lieb‘s autobiography What It Is-The Life Of A Jazz Artist (Scarecrow Press) is a fascinating look into Lieb’s career. His bands over the years have included noted musicians such as John Scofield, Richie Beirach, Bob Moses, Billy Hart and others. The current group Expansions features some of the best of the younger generation. Lieb is the Founder and Artistic Director of the International Association of Schools of Jazz (IASJ) existing since 1989, which is a worldwide network of schools from nearly 40 countries. Liebman’s awards, besides the NEA honor include the Jazz Educators Network (JEN) Legends of Jazz (2013); the Order of Arts and Letters (France 2009); Jazz Journalist’s award for Soprano Saxophone (2007); Grammy nomination for Best Jazz Solo (1998); Honorary Doctorate from the Sibelius Academy (Finland-1997). He is currently teaching at the Manhattan School of Music and a guest lecturer at Berklee College of Music. Dave has consistently placed in the top positions for Soprano Saxophone in the Downbeat, Jazz Times and JazzEd polls since 1973. For more information visit davidliebman.com

Jeff Denson has balanced a full career as both an acclaimed performing musician and a highly respected educator. Jeff has released 16 albums as a leader or co-leader and has toured extensively throughout the U.S. and Europe with both his own groups, worked with some of jazz’s finest artists such as Brian Blade, Jane Ira Bloom, Dave Douglas, Charles McPherson, Cuong Vu, Joe Lovano, Ralph Alessi, Walter Smith III, Dayna Stephens, Vadim Neselovskyi, Florian Weber, Warren Wolf, Romain Pilon, Edward Simon, Dan Weiss, Paul Hanson among others, and had an ongoing relationship with the legendary Lee Konitz since 2007.

Jeff is currently the Dean of Instruction and Chair of the Bass Department of the California Jazz Conservatory in Berkeley, CA. Learn more at jeffdenson.com

In his All Music bio of Gerald Cleaver, journalist Thom Jurek notes that “Gerald Cleaver is among the most agile and wide-ranging first-call musicians on the 21st century jazz scene.” Cleaver has worked with such jazz luminaries as Rodney Whitaker, Marcus Belgrave, Hank Jones, Tommy Flanagan, Kenny Burrell, Frank Foster, Cecil Bridgewater, Eddie Harris, Howard Johnson, Diana Krall, and Don Byron, among others. He has toured and/or recorded with Henry Threadgill, Matt Shipp, Craig Taborn, Kevin Mahogany, Charles Gayle, Jacky Terrasson, Jeremy Pelt, Miroslav Vitous, Michael Formanek, Charles Lloyd, Bill Frisell, Benny Golson and Tomasz Stanko, among others. Awarded an NEA Fellowship grant, Cleaver used the opportunity to study with Victor Lewis. Graduating with a music degree from the University of Michigan, Cleaver joined the U of M faculty in 1995. Cleaver now serves as Chair of the California Jazz Conservatory Drum Department.

Guitarist / composer Liberty Ellman has performed and or recorded with a host of stand out creative artists including: Joe Lovano, Myra Melford, Wadada Leo Smith, Butch Morris, Vijay Iyer, Steve Lehman, Greg Osby, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Nels Cline, Somi, Nicole Mitchell, Matana Roberts, Ledisi, JD Allen, Michele Rosewoman, Adam Rudolph, Stephan Crump, Jonathan Finlayson, Okkyung Lee, and Ches Smith. In 2014 Ellman participated in Luanda Kinshasa, a video installation by visionary filmmaker Stan Douglas and Jason Moran. Ellman is perhaps best known for his long tenure in Henry Threadgill’s groundbreaking ensemble, Zooid. The group has recorded several critically lauded albums. Their most recent recording “In For A Penny, In For A Pound” earned a Pulitzer prize for Mr. Threadgill. In addition to playing guitar, Mr. Ellman is credited as producer and mixing engineer on that recording. He has mixed and mastered many other recordings as well, including Gregory Porter’s “Be Good,” which was nominated for a Grammy. For more information visit libertyellman.com

JAMBAR Presents is a special series of select concerts, workshops and other events sponsored by JAMBAR whose purpose is to support music and active living.

Proud Sponsor

COVID-19 POLICY (8-23-22): In the interest of providing the best possible health and safety conditions for our campus community, all in-person participants are required to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19. This includes staff, faculty and students in classes and workshops, and performers and audience members at concerts. Participants who are exempted from receiving the COVID-19 vaccination for medical reasons only, must provide the California Jazz Conservatory with verification of exemption from a licensed medical professional, and proof of negative COVID-19 test results within 72 hours of each event, to participate. 

Concert attendees must wear masks regardless of vaccination status. 

The California Jazz Conservatory kindly requests that anyone feeling unwell refrain from attending in-person events of any kind.