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SFJAZZ Collective: The Michael Jackson Project

Thursday, April 7, 2016 / 7:30 pm

SFJAZZ Collective is known for their original compositions & new arrangements by notable composers, they'll now feature pop star, Michael Jackson.

An all-star, award-winning jazz octet comprising eight of modern jazz’s most dynamic performers-composers, the SFJAZZ Collective “boasts as much or more collective talent, firepower, and critical acclaim than any other jazz ensemble going” (DownBeat). Launched in 2004 by SFJAZZ, a not-for-profit institution in San Francisco, the Collective has cultivated jazz-education programs for youth and adults while crafting its own innovative approach to repertoire. Each year, the group balances its own originals with the work of post-1960 composers—honoring recent jazz history while championing its in-the-now presence as a living art form. After exploring the works of John Coltrane, Horace Silver, and Stevie Wonder, the SFJAZZ Collective continues its foray into popular R&B with The Michael Jackson Project. As the undisputed King of Pop, Jackson forever changed the face of modern music—inspiring and influencing artists in all genres and nations. The SFJAZZ Collective’s fresh arrangements of his timeless music include such hits as “Rock with You,” “Thriller,” “Smooth Criminal,” and “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’.” Together, these master musicians will peel back these songs’ mainstream appeal to explore and expand upon their rhythms, moods, and grooves. When the King of Pop meets these titans of jazz, it’s a guaranteed evening of “off the wall” excitement!

SFJAZZ Collective Roster

Miguel Zenón – Alto Saxophone

David Sánchez – Tenor Saxophone

Avishai Cohen – Trumpet

Robin Eubanks – Trombone

Warren Wolf – Vibraphone, Marimba

Edward Simon – Piano

Matt Penman – Bass

Obed Calvaire – Drums


Several SFJAZZ Collective members have already been on Purdue stages over the years: Miguel Zenón headlined a date in 2010, David Sánchez soared on a show in 2000 with the David Holland Octet, and Robin Eubanks held forth with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis in 2008. Welcome back, gents!

PRE-SHOW / 6:30PM / STEW 310

Don Seybold, host of Inside Jazz on WBAA, and pianist Judd Danby will discuss SFJAZZ Collective

A superbrain for what serious jazz sounds like now.
—The New York Times


SEPT 11 / Piano Dedication Recital with Sean Chen and Eric Zuber
SEPT 18 / Rising Stars of Metropolitan Opera
OCT 22 / Cécile McLorin Salvant
NOV 13 / In Mo Yang, violin
JAN 22 / DIVA Jazz Orchestra (Purdue Jazz Festival)
FEB 20 / Philip Glass: The Complete Piano Etudes
APR 7 / SFJAZZ Collective: The Michael Jackson Project
APR 16 / Les Violons du Roy with Alexandre Tharaud, piano