Saxophonist Mike Zilber Leads Quintet into Jazz at Pearl's, Thursday, April 26


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"Michael Zilber is one of the best composers and players around anywhere, period!" So says jazz great and frequent Zilber collaborator Dave Liebman.

A vibrant and sure-toned saxophonist, Zilber will be leading an intriguing 5-musician ensemble into Jazz at Pearl's (256 Columbus Avenue, near Broadway) in the heart of San Francisco's North Beach District. on Thursday, April 26. Shows begin at 8:00 and 10:00 pm, with doors open at 7:30.

The quintet, in fact, is much more a collective than a “leader and band" ensemble. Zilber's bandmates, all leaders in their own right, will be trombonist John Gove, trumpeter Erik Jekabson, bassist Peter Barshay and drummer Jeff Marrs. The group has been designed with the spirit and instrumentation of Art Blakey's classic Jazz Messengers in mind. This is an ensemble that is bound to surprise and delight with imaginative yet accessible straight-ahead jazz.

Zilber plays jazz like it should be played, with emotion, virtuosity and a lightning agility. His style is fluid and always full of rewards, as if he had an entire orchestra tucked away in his horn.

A stalwart on the San Francisco scene for many years, Zilber was, before his move here, a stand-out in the New York City jazz world as well. He's recorded highly acclaimed CDs on both coasts. His release “Stranger in Brooklyn" was named one of the top 30 CDs of all time by Jazzfusion.com.

In addition to performing and recording with Liebman, Zilber has worked with drumming star Steve Smith and led CARMA, a San Francisco Bay Area all-star big band. His highly acclaimed 2000 CD, “Two Coasts," featuring Steve Smith, Rachel Z and James Genus, was a finalist for the 2001 Independent Music Awards' Jazz Record of the Year.

Zilber moved to Boston in his late teens and to New York City in his early twenties. He has performed and/or recorded with Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Stitt, Liebman, Miroslav Vitous, Bob Berg, Eddie Henderson, Fareed Haque, Geoff Keezer, Donald Harrison, John Handy, Dave Douglas, Rachel Z, James Genus, Rodney Holmes, Narada Michael Walden and Barry Finnerty, among many others.

Michael's CD, co-led with Steve Smith, entitled “Reimagined: Jazz Standards, Vol. I" and featuring Zilber's writing and arrangements, was released in March 2003, by Blue Jay Records of New York City. It received tremendous praise and went to #20 on the jazz radio charts.

In September 2003, Jazzschool records made “Live at The Jazzschool: David Liebman and Michael Zilber" its debut release on the new label.

Zilber's most recent tour was with Dave Liebman and Steve Smith across Canada for the summer festival circuit, and he recorded his new CD, Crossroads: Brooklyn to Berkeley at The Studio in Manhattan with Liebman, Genus, Clarence Penn and Bruce Barth.

This story appears courtesy of Rocket Words.
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