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SFJAZZ Announces New SFJAZZ Collective Members Trumpeter Etienne Charles & Bassist Matt Brewer Join All-Star Octet

San Francisco, California, United States
Etienne Charles
Laura Ferreira

SFJAZZ announces a new lineup of its award-winning all-star octet, the SFJAZZ Collective, with trumpeter Etienne Charles replacing trumpeter Sean Jones and bassist Matt Brewer replacing longtime bassist Matt Penman.

Launched in 2004 by SFJAZZ, the SFJAZZ Collective has become one of the most accomplished and acclaimed groups on the global jazz scene. The SFJAZZ Center in San Francisco is the group's home base. The SFJAZZ Collective’s mission each year is to perform fresh arrangements of works by a modern master and newly commissioned pieces by each member of the band. Through this pioneering approach, simultaneously honoring music’s greatest figures while championing jazz’s up-to-the-minute directions, the SFJAZZ Collective embodies SFJAZZ’s commitment to jazz as a living, ever-relevant art form. As soloists, composers, and bandleaders, the SFJAZZ Collective is a leaderless group representing what’s happening now in jazz. They also demonstrate that jazz has truly become an international language. Hailing from Baltimore, Miami, Oklahoma City, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, and Trinidad, the SFJAZZ Collective’s multi-cultural lineup mirrors the growth of jazz around the globe.

The current lineup features founding member and alto saxophonist Miguel Zenón, tenor saxophonist David Sánchez, trombonist Robin Eubanks, trumpeter Etienne Charles, vibraphonist Warren Wolf, pianist Edward Simon, bassist Matt Brewer, and drummer Obed Calvaire. Past SFJAZZ Collective members include Eric Harland, Mark Turner, Joshua Redman, Bobby Hutcherson, Avishai Cohen, Stefon Harris, Dave Douglas, Nicholas Payton, Joe Lovano, Josh Roseman, Renee Rosnes, Robert Hurst, Brian Blade and numerous guests.

"It is a humbling honor, privilege and dream come true to join the SFJAZZ Collective,” says Charles. “In addition to being a group of some of my favorite musicians, it is truly a Collective where each member puts their heart and soul into the music they write and play. I am stoked to start writing music for this group to play and playing the compositions and arrangements of David, Miguel, Warren, Robin, Matt, Obed, Edward, and past members.”

“More bands should operate the way the SFJAZZ Collective does,” says Brewer. “The time allotted for rehearsing and the emphasis placed on everyone contributing compositionally fosters a real band mentality. I have had a long history with many of the members in the SFJAZZ Collective and I am really looking forward to making music with everyone. It goes without saying how high the SFJAZZ Collective's musicianship is.”

From Trinidad, Etienne Charles is the Associate Professor of Jazz Trumpet at Michigan State University. He has received critical acclaim for his exciting performances, thrilling compositions and knack for connecting with audiences worldwide. In June 2012, Etienne was written into the US Congressional Record for his musical contributions to Trinidad & Tobago and the World. Perhaps more than any other musician of his generation or Eastern Caribbean origin, Etienne brings a careful study of myriad rhythms from the French, Spanish, English and Dutch speaking Caribbean to the table. As a soloist, he fully understands the New Orleans trumpet tradition; which is readily discernible in his trademark instrumental swagger, and what famed Crescent City pianist, Jelly Roll Morton so succinctly captured in the now immortal phrase, 'The Spanish Tinge.’ He has performed and or recorded with Monty Alexander, Roberta Flack, Frank Foster, Ralph MacDonald, Johnny Mandel, Wynton Marsalis, Marcus Roberts, Maria Schneider, Count Basie Orchestra, Eric Reed, Lord Blakie, David Rudder and many others. He holds a Master's degree from the Juilliard School and a Bachelor's degree from Florida State University.

Matt Brewer was born in Oklahoma City and grew up in Albuquerque NM, surrounded by a family of musicians and artists. His grandfather played trumpet in the bands of Charlie Barnett, Woody Herman, and Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys. Matt’s mother worked as a jazz radio DJ and his father is a trombonist/educator with a doctorate in music composition and theory. At the age of 10, Matt fell in love with the bass and began a lifelong study of music. He graduated high school from the Interlochen Arts Academy, and then went on to study at the Juilliard School. Since then he has travelled the world playing in the bands of Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Greg Osby, Steve Coleman, Dave Binney, Gerald Clayton, Ben Wendel, Aaron Parks, Vijay Iyer, Dhafer Youssef, Antonio Sanchez, Mark Turner, Steve Lehman, Ben Monder, Lage Lund, (among many others) He has been a frequent guest lecturer at the Banff Center, and is an adjunct faculty member at the New School University.

In 2018-19, the SFJAZZ Collective premieres innovative new arrangements of the work of pioneering Brazilian composer Antônio Carlos Jobim and freshly minted compositions by the band. A pioneering figure and primary creator of the bossa nova style, Jobim merged Brazilian popular song with jazz to form a new and wildly popular hybrid that captivated listeners from its inception in the 1960s to today. Starting with the genre-defining 1963 Stan Getz and Astrud Gilberto collaboration Getz/Gilberto, Jobim contributed a vast number of compositions now considered jazz and pop standards. The Collective highlights the pianist and composer’s immense diversity of expression, interpreting epochal work from Jobim’s timeless songbook. Recordings from these performances will comprise the SFJAZZ Collective’s next album, due to be released in early 2019.

2018 European Fall Tour Playing the Music of Antonio Carlos Jobim & Original Compositions

  • October 24, Bozar Concert Hall, Brussels, Belgium
  • October 25, National Forum of Music, Wroclaw, Poland
  • October 26, German Jazz Festival, Frankfurt, Germany
  • October 27, Auditorium de Cladas, Caldas da Raihna, Portugal
  • October 28, CCB Concert Hall, Lisbon, Portugal
  • November 1, Teatro Central, Seville, Spain
  • November 3, So What’s Next Festival, Eindhoven, Netherlands
  • November 8-9, Cité de la Musique, Paris, France
  • November 10, Theaterhaus Gessneralle, Lausanne, Switzerland
  • November 11, Elbphilharmonie Hamburg - Hamburg, Germany
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