Announcing the 2nd Annual SF Offside Festival – May 23-25

Klaxon Mutant Allstars

So, you think you know jazz? Think again!

Now in its second year, the SF Offside Festival presents three nights of incredible music that at once defines and defies the genre.

Featuring the best and brightest of the Bay Area scene—including local legends Howard Wiley and Marcus Shelby, two-time Grammy Award-winner Mads Tolling, Bay Area bulwarks Dave Mihaly, Steve Adams, Sheldon Brown, and Jaz Sawyer, plus emerging stars from a new generation of composers, Aram Shelton, Lisa Mezzacappa, Jordan Glenn, and Alex Pinto—SF Offside demonstrates why San Francisco is on the cusp of becoming the epicenter for new innovations in jazz.

Night 1 – “Streams” – Thursday, May 23, 8-11pm  
Awaken Café, 1429 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94612
Wiener Kids Family Band + Mucho Stereo + Waystanders 

Night 2 – “Currents” – Friday, May 24, 9pm-midnight 
Duende, 468 19th Street, Oakland, CA 94618
Howard Wiley Trio + Mads Tolling Quartet

Night 3 – “Tides” – Saturday, May 25, 8-11pm 
Community Music Center, 544 Capp Street, SF, CA 94110
Dave Mihaly & the Shimmering Leaves Ensemble + Sheldon Brown Group +
Lisa Mezzacappa-Steve Adams Duo

Tickets are sliding scale: $10-20 at the door or $25-45 in advance for a festival pass.

Fourth Show Added in Spark Series

Oh yeah! That’s right—we’ve added one more show to our Spark Series! That means we’ll have a show every week in March, including this, which will be the third of four.

Saturday March 23, 8-11pm @t The Revolution Cafe

3248 22nd Street, San Francisco, CA 94110

Spark Series Jazz Jam featuring the Sonny Sharrock Experience

FREE Admission

david boyce

Because this show is a fundraiser for SF Offside’s second annual festival, which takes place this coming Memorial Day weekend, a $5-10 donation in the tip jar is greatly appreciated.

Opening the jam will be the Sonny Sharrock Experience, a brand new collaborative project, born out of last year’s SF Offside Festival, featuring David Boyce on sax.

Then we’ll open things up to our many talented friends in the local jazz scene.

Come on down and find out who will be playing!

Presenting the Spark Series

After the resounding success of the first ever San Francisco Offside Festival in May, we are working hard on our second annual festival. But you don’t have to wait till Memorial Day weekend to sample the best of the Bay Area’s innovative jazz scene. Coming in March, SF Offside presents three exciting shows at three different locations in the Bay Area, including (for the first time!) an Oakland show.

Thursday March 7, 8-10pm @ Red Poppy Art House

2698 Folsom Street, San Francisco, CA 94110

Eric Garland’s Hodge Podge Ensemble + Marcus Stephens’ Markstep Trio

$10-20 sliding scale


Friday March 15, 9-11pm @ Café Royale

800 Post Street, San Francisco, CA 94109

Aram Shelton’s Golden Age

Free admission


Wednesday March 27, 7:30-9:30pm @ Awaken Café

1429 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94612

Alex Pinto Trio + Roger Kim’s First Day

$5-20 sliding scale

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The Latest from Offside!

It’s hard to believe that it has been almost five months since the festival! Our heads are still spinning…

A huge thanks to all the incredible composers and musicians that contributed their talents, and to everyone in the community who supported our vision in so many ways. We were blown away by the response to the festival and are excited to keep working on this project going into 2013.

Which gets us to the first piece of news we’d like to share! We are delighted to announce that San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music just accepted our application for fiscal sponsorship. That means that as SF Offside moves forward, we will be in a better position to find donors and apply for grants so that we can cover all our expenses and adequately compensate all the performing artists that make SF Offside what it is.

Without a doubt, SFFCM is a great fit for Offside. Just check out their five-week Sunday series JAZZ+ at the de Young Museum, which features Offside alums Lisa Mezzacappa, Erik Jekabson, Marcus Shelby, Kasey Knudsen, and David Ewell. Continue reading

Alex Pinto Talks about Pentatonics and Harmonic Expression at Stanford

This week, Stanford’s Center for South Asia is hosting a three-day conference called South Asia by the Bay. The conference addresses many topics ranging from South Asian identity politics and sexuality to education and development.

Included in the mix is SF Offside’s co-director, guitarist and composer Alex Pinto, who will be talking on Friday about his efforts to seamlessly blend traditional Hindustani music and modern jazz. Topics will include deriving pentatonic scales, extracting chord structures, and creating chord patterns and progressions from raags (ragas), as well as expanding the sound palette by combining elements of Hindustani and jazz approaches to improvisation.

The conference is free and open to the public.

San Francisco Offside 2012

Jazz is alive and well and living in San Francisco! So say the creators of San Francisco Offside, and the many talented local musicians taking part in this year’s inaugural festival.

Born of a passion to celebrate the unique creativity and diversity of the local jazz scene, SF Offside has gathered together some of the Bay Area’s most exciting musical talent for an event unlike any other. The three-night festival showcases notable local musicians and composers, like Marcus Shelby, David Boyce, Darren Johnston, Lisa Mezzacappa, Larry Ochs, Erik Jekabson, Aram Shelton, Eric Garland, and many more.

Night One: “Excursions” – Thursday May 24 @ El Valenciano, 1153 Valencia Street

The festival kicks off with three different ensembles with one thing in common—mastery of traditional techniques coupled with fearless commitment to exploring innovative territories. Bassist Lisa Mezzacappa opens the evening with her improvisational “garage jazz” quartet, Bait & Switch. Following is an experimental trio featuring saxophonists Dave Rempis from Chicago (the festival’s only non-local musician!) and Larry Ochs of ROVA with the ubiquitous Darren Johnston on trumpet. These Are Our Hours, a brand new quintet featuring core members of the Oakland Active Orchestra, close the evening with explorations grounded in jazz and free improvisation.

Night Two: “Onward” – Friday May 25 @ 50 Mason Social House, 50 Mason Street

The second night of the festival takes a decidedly contemporary look at straight-ahead jazz and presents three Bay Area composers and their respective trios—bassist Marcus Shelby, trumpeter Erik Jekabson, and guitarist Alex Pinto. Celebrated as a leading light of the Bay Area’s jazz scene, Shelby will perform with a fresh trio that features the talented young pianist Joe Warner and the versatile Tiffany Martin on vocals. Jekabson, respected both as a bandleader and as a sideman, brings his post-bop improvisational sensibilities to the mix, while Pinto, a young guitarist trained in Hindustani classical music (who also happens to be the festival’s co-director), has a distinctive modern sound all of his own.

Night Three: “Junction” – Saturday May 26 @ Special Location TBA

The festival closes with an evening of genre-expanding music that intersects jazz in distinctive ways. Secret Sidewalk, an innovate quintet bridging electronic/sampled music and jazz, spotlights Marcus Stephens on sax and electronics. Blending rock and jazz strategies, the recently formed Klaxon Mutant Jazz All Stars is an illustrious quintet featuring music by all five members—Eric Garland, Henry Hung, Kasey Knudsen, George Ban-Weiss, and Colin Hogan. Bay Area staple and masters of improvisation, The Supplicants, with guest drummer Hamir Atwal, end the evening with a musical journey that takes many unexpected directions. (The venue for the closing night of the festival will be announced May 21st.)

SF Offside Festival

A co-production of local jazz guitarist Alex Pinto and local music curator Laura Maguire, SF Offside was created to fill a perceived gap in the regional jazz festival circuit. With an exclusive focus on homegrown talent, the mission of SF Offside is to draw attention to the incredible creativity to be found right here in our own backyard, and to build larger audiences for specifically local jazz offerings. The hope is that San Francisco ultimately gets the recognition it deserves as home to a rich, diverse, and exceptionally talented jazz community.