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2008 Events

Outdoor Jazz Concert in Yerba Buena Gardens | Visual Arts Programming: Resilience: My Culture, My People, Me! | Gala Concert at Yoshi's San Francisco and Awards Ceremony | Black Voices Series | UNITED IN HEALTH 3: Artists, Healthcare Workers and Community | 
AfroSolo Arts Festival 15
Outdoor Jazz Concert in Yerba Buena Gardens
SaxoPhoNia: In Praise of the Saxophone
Saturday, August 2, 1-4 pm
Yerba Buena Gardens (Mission Street between 3rd & 4th, SF)  map
Free and open to the public; wheel chair accessible
"No pets" (certified service or companion animals excepted)
Richard Howell, Razel Merritt, Robin Nzingah Smith

In collaboration with the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival, AfroSolo presents its seventh free jazz concert in the gardens. Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Lester Young, James Moody this year, AfroSolo celebrates the saxophone and the jazz innovators who pioneered today's modern saxophone sound. Pack a lunch, bring a blanket and enjoy a wonderful afternoon of jazz featuring Richard Howell, 15 year-old Bay Area musical prodigy Razel Merritt, and Robin Nzingah Smith presenting three diverse takes on jazz saxophone.

Richard Howell
Richard Howell
Multi-instrumentalist, saxophonist, vocalist, Richard Howell has explored a vast spectrum of music. [One of the premiere saxophonists in the Bay Area, Howell's] powerful, sensually melodic saxophone playing has been heard with artists as diverse and definitive as blues/jazz/soul legends Etta James, Chaka Khan, Della Reese, Cecil Taylor and Don Cherry. He has also worked with Babatunde Lea, the Bay Area Afro/Indian/jazz improvisational group The Supplicants, jazz/poetry ensemble Upsurge, and the Big Belly Blues Band. He lectures on jazz history and is currently developing jazz education programs. Richard is also a founding member of Khalil Shaheed's band Mo'Rockin Project.  www.morockinproject.com/

Razel Merritt
Razel Merritt is a member of the Oaktown Jazz Workshops. At the age of fifteen, he has garnered a reputation for his tonal quality and has performed with many of today's leading jazz artists.

Oaktown Jazz Workshops (OJW) is comprised of working musicians-educators seeking to perpetuate, propagate, and preserve the American Art form JAZZ. In their core program, people who have experience with a musical instrument and wish to develop their skill further are immersed in an ensemble environment where they play alongside peer learners and professionals.

Robin Nzingah Smith
Robin Nzingah Smith
Nzingah hails from New York State's Hudson River Valley. She studied at Harlem's Jazzmobile with the Basie alumnae: Frank Foster, Frank Wess and Bill Baron. She also studied at Carl Berger's Creative Music Studio in Woodstock, N. Y, Berkeley School of Music in Boston and at Rutger's University where she received her BA in Music.

In 1986 she relocated to CA and has participated in a variety of musical endeavors, including the Mendocino Music Festival Orchestra, Azucar y Crema (a women's salsa band), the Junius Courtney Big Band and Blues legend, Johnny Tolbert. More recently she has performed with Angela Wellman's New Roots Ensemble; Music She Wrote (an ensemble dedicated to the presentation of music composed by women); vocalist, Denise Perrier and violinist, Sandi Poindexter. Nzingah currently plays with Infinite Kin and B-Free, and is the lead alto saxophonist in the Oakland Public Conservatory of Music Count Basie Tribute Band.

A dedicated music educator, Nzingah teaches at a number of Bay Area schools, both public and private.

AfroSolo Theatre Company ·  762 Fulton Street, Suite 307 ·  San Francisco, CA 94102
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