The Return of Zilberella! Mike ZILBER/Susan MuscarELLA Quartet


The Return of Zilberella! Mike ZILBER/Susan MuscarELLA Quartet

Apr 22, 2023
8:00 PM - 9:30 PM

Rendon Hall/Fiddler Annex @ California Jazz Conservatory

2040 Addison Street, 2040 Addison Street

In a rare live appearance, CJC President and pianist Susan Muscarella and CJC instructor and saxophonist Mike Zilber reunite for a night of jazz standards. Joining them will be the CJC’s Dean of Instruction, bassist Jeff Denson, and Drum Chair Gerald Cleaver.

Celebrate Jazz Appreciation Month with these Bay Area jazz icons!

Band Members & Instrumentation

Susan Muscarella – piano

Mike Zilber – sax

Jeff Denson – bass

Gerald Cleaver – drums

Band Bios:

Susan Muscarella holds a PhD in Musicology, University of Évora, Portugal. BA inMusic Composition, UC Berkeley. Founding President, CJC, Inc.; Director, UCJazz Ensembles 1984 – 89; composer, arranger and recording artist; performancesat major clubs and festivals including Yoshi’s, Keystone Korner, Great AmericanMusic Hall and the Lighthouse, and Monterey, Berkeley and Concord JazzFestivals; featured on Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz on NPR; recipient of a2008 “A Team” Award from the Jazz Journalists Association; former member of theBoard of Directors, Chamber Music America; recipient of the 2018 Benjamin IdeWheeler Award; panelist at the 2019 Jazz Congress. 

San Francisco Bay Area based saxophonist and composer Michael Zilber is described by NEA Jazz Master David Liebman as “one of thebest players and composers around anywhere. Period!” The Canadian-born ex-NewYorker has performed and/or recorded with many jazz luminaries over the years,from Liebman to Miroslav Vitous, Mike Clark, Steve Smith and Bob Berg, to namejust a very few. Says ALL ABOUT JAZZ,  “Zilber is one of the truemasters of modern jazz saxophone, his prodigious talents evidenced by hisrecordings and live performances are truth.”

Zilber has co-led several notable groups,including with drumming great Steve Smith foreight years, releasing the top 20 recording Reimagined:Jazz Standards, Volume 1 in 2003. As well, for more than a decade,Zilber has frequently collaborated with guitar virtuoso  John Stowell, mostrecently on 2016’s Basement Blues,on which All About Jazz’s Dan McClenaghan hails  Zilberas “soulful and flawless”. Their 2015 Origin Records recording Live Beauty,made DownBeat magazine’s “best of the year” list for 2015. Zilber has 12 CDs to his credit as a leader, the last 6 onJAZZWEEK Independent Jazz Label of the year  Origin Records. 

Bassist Jeff Denson has released 16 albums as a leader or co-leaderand toured extensively throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe with both his owngroups and others at some of the world’s most prestigious venues and festivalssuch as the Village Vanguard, Birdland, The Kennedy Center, JVC Jazz FestivalParis, Montreal Jazz Festival, Berlin Jazz Festival, and SFJazz to name a few.Jeff has worked with some of jazz’s finest artists such as Brian Blade, JoeLovano, Chris Potter, Billy Childs, Jane Ira Bloom, Dave Douglas, Walter SmithIII, Kendrick Scott, Rachel Z, Omar Hakim, Gerald Cleaver, Warren Wolf, LeoGenovese, Edward Simon, Paul McCandless, Cuong Vu, Ralph Alessi, Dan Weiss,Lionel Loueke, Romain Pilon, and Mimi Fox, among many others and had an ongoingrelationship with the legendary Lee Konitz for over a decade until his passingin 2020. Jeff has been ranked in the DownBeat Rising Star Critic’s Poll tentimes in the Bass, Electric Bass and Male Vocalist categories, and was voted #1Rising Star Electric Bassist in 2021. Jeff is the Founder and Artistic Directorof Ridgeway Arts, Inc., a 501c3 arts nonprofit organization and the Dean ofInstruction at the California Jazz Conservatory in Berkeley.

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.

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.