Meet Roger Kim

Guitarist Roger Kim is a fresh voice on the Bay Area jazz scene. A recent graduate of UC Berkeley, where he studied Music with Myra Melford and Brian Pardo, Kim’s trio, First Day, is his first venture as a bandleader. Kim is a modern jazz composer whose style ranges from the quiet and contemplative to more swinging, upbeat tunes. As he says, he writes emotionally expressive music that likes to “ask questions, take journeys, and describe sentiments.”

Roger Kim flanked by Brendan Liu (l) and Jacob Richards (r). Photo by Liz Duran

Photo by Liz Duran

We met Roger last year at our inaugural event in May after he wrote an enthusiastic preview on his blog of the three-night festival. After reading that, it was no surprise to see him there every night, taking lots of fantastic photos (many of which you can see here). Some time later, when I was still programming music at Viracocha, I invited Kim’s First Day to open for Lisa Mezzacappa’s Bait and Switch. Since then his trio has been playing regularly at various spots around town, so it’s a pleasure for Offside to present him (along with the Alex Pinto Trio) in this, the last show of our Spark Series.

We stole a few moments with Roger to ask him some questions about First Day and his upcoming Offside show.

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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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