Meet Aram Shelton

Reed master Aram Shelton is one of the most prolific avant-jazz composers in the Bay Area, and is bandleader to numerous ensembles, including Marches, Ton Trio, Stratic, and These Are Our Hours, a quintet Shelton put together especially for our inaugural festival last year. He also curates and organizes the Active Music Series, Oakland’s monthly showcase of creative jazz, noise, improv, and more at the Uptown.

Photo by Peter Gannushkin / DOWNTOWNMUSIC.NET

Photo by Peter Gannushkin / DOWNTOWNMUSIC.NET

Influenced by the free jazz movement, Shelton’s compositions are complex and intricate, with generous sections devoted to improvisations that highlight the strengths and talents of his bandmates. For our Spark Series, Shelton has put together another brand new ensemble, a quartet he’s calling Golden Age. In addition to some new material, Shelton’s Golden Age will also be revisiting an older composition, the Kodachrome Music suite, which he wrote a few years ago after a camping trip to the Kodachrome Basin in southern Utah, a place Shelton describes as “sparse, unpopulated, and beautiful.”

We talked with Aram about his music and the brand new quartet he’s put together for SF Offside.

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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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