The Wharton Center Presents: San Francisco Jazz Collective

EAST LANSING, MI — The San Francisco Jazz Collective is an all-star jazz ensemble comprised of eight of the finest performers/composers at work in jazz today. The SF Jazz Collective has been named Rising Star Jazz Band of the Year in Down Beat’s 2006 International Critics Poll. The ensemble features the triumphant return of legendary tenor saxophonist Joe Lovano and vibes/marimba superstar Stefon Harris. Filling out the all-star ensemble are Miguel Zenón, alto saxophone & flute; Renee Rosnes, piano; Eric Harland, drums; Matt Penman, bass; Dave Douglas, trumpet; and Grammy-winner Robin Eubanks, trombone. For the 2008 season, the group will divide its repertoire between all-new compositions by the band members themselves and the works of one of jazz’s quintessential modernists: the iconic saxophonist, composer, and pioneer Wayne Shorter. Don’t miss witnessing the evolution of jazz as the Collective pays tribute to jazz’s past while exploring its future live on stage.
Grammy-winner Robin Eubanks boasts the reputation of being the premier jazz trombonist of his generation. Robin directs his own groups EB3 or Mental Images and performs with the critically acclaimed Dave Holland Quintet and Big Band as an original member.
Alto Saxophonist and founding Collective member Miguel Zenón looks forward to the creative challenge of interpreting Shorter’s work. “As has been the case with all the composers we’ve worked on with the band,” Zenón said, “the biggest challenge is to try and keep the spirit of the original versions of the compositions, while at the same time reflecting the personality of the Collective. I really feel we get better and better at doing this every time we get together.”
In addition to its stellar line-up, the SFJAZZ Collective has been praised for its innovative approach to repertoire. Each year, the ensemble performs an entirely new list of works, consisting of compositions by a modern jazz master and new pieces by members of the Collective. Through this pioneering approach, simultaneously honoring jazz’s recent history while championing the music’s up-to-the minute directions, the Collective embodies SFJAZZ’s organizational commitment to jazz as a living, ever-changing, and ever-relevant art form.  
There will be a PreView lecture in the Stoddard Grand Tier Lounge 45 minutes before the show begins.  PreView lectures are free, half-hour discussions presented by industry experts that provide unique insight into the performance.