SAN FRANCISCO, March 12, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Hosting the first live jazz recording in San Francisco’s historic Tenderloin District in nearly 60 years, Black Cat Jazz Supper Club announced today the launch of its jazzUNLEASHED! Live Series. Three-time Grammy winning, global trumpet sensation Keyon Harrold will reissue his acclaimed “The Mugician” album during four live recording sessions taking place at Black Cat from March 18-21.
Located in the heart of San Francisco, the Tenderloin District once buzzed with supper clubs and world-renowned jazz venues. Half a century ago, the Tenderloin was a pulsing center of the global jazz scene. Jazz greats regularly performed here: Coltrane, Davis, Monk, Gillespie, Blakey, among many others. In 1961, Miles Davis recorded his first live album here: “In Person Friday and Saturday Nights at the Blackhawk.” Just two years later, the Tenderloin’s jazz scene folded, succumbing to urban change: Black Hawk got demolished to make way for a parking lot.
Nearly 60 years later, Black Cat has emerged in the Tenderloin to reclaim the neighborhood’s legacy as a home for world-class jazz. “I wanted Black Cat to be a beacon in this historic jazz district. It could exist only here. We’re bringing cutting-edge jazz back to the Tenderloin, featuring some of the most of-the-moment young global artists who are redefining jazz for this generation, as Miles and others did for their generation,” said Black Cat founder Fritz Quattlebaum, who is grateful for the City’s help in making this vision a reality.
“Throughout the City’s history, San Francisco’s vibrant nightlife industry has provided vital spaces for neighbors and visitors to share in artistic and cultural expression. In bringing jazz back to the Tenderloin, Fritz and his team at Black Cat are drawing new audiences to the neighborhood, inspiring the jazz community, and positioning Black Cat as a premier platform for aspiring jazz musicians from the neighborhood and around the world,” said Joaquín Torres, Director of the San Francisco Office of Economic and Workforce Development.
Black Cat’s programming is unique: an incubator for young jazz musicians, driving underground scenes in jazz innovation hotbeds like Chicago, New York, Detroit, and London: Makaya McCraven, Sanah Kadoura, Casey Benjamin, Lakecia Benjamin, Theo Croker, Mobetta Brown, Kassa Overall, Big Yuki, De’Sean Jones, Nate Smith and others. These artists, some of them multiple Grammy winners, are forging crossover collaborations in hip-hop and R&B and are implanting an edgy urban energy back into jazz. “Black Cat is a place of freedom for creation and innovation, creating ‘community’ among musicians and the greater community,” says Keyon Harrold.
Keyon is one of these cutting-edge jazz innovators who is knocking down barriers and redefining jazz. He grew up in Ferguson, Missouri (close to Miles Davis’s homeplace); trained in straight-ahead jazz; won a Grammy for his musical performance in the film “Miles Ahead”; and has performed and recorded music with some of the world’s best artists including Beyoncé, Mac Miller, Jay-Z, Prince, Lauryn Hill and others.
Harrold and Quattlebaum met in a chance encounter at a NYC jazz club in 2015, where they discussed Quattlebaum’s vision of Black Cat, and bonded over a shared vision of jazz’s future.
Harrold visited Black Cat in late 2018, two years after the club opened its doors. After taking in the Detroit band playing, Harrold exclaimed: “Jazz is freedom. Black Cat gives musicians a place to be free.” Harrold wanted to infuse his studio album “The Mugician” (inspired by Ferguson events) with the energy of a live recording. “The energy and vibes of a live show – even more so, a live recording – is the ultimate honesty, rawness and vulnerability captured in time, pure truth,” added Harrold.
From March 18 to 21, Black Cat will host live recording sessions of “The Mugician,” the Tenderloin’s first since Miles Davis’s1961 Black Hawk album. The album’s theme – that rebirth can emerge from chaos, grief and destruction – is apropos: Black Cat’s Tenderloin presence and this live recording celebrate the re-energizing of this historic jazz district.
Keyon’s residency represents another bold step by Black Cat to create a vibrant home for jazz in the Tenderloin. Black Cat’s programming is unique in the jazz world: rare multi-day artist residencies; frequent opportunities for young local musicians to play with global rising stars; and its founder personally curates programming, selecting artists who embrace the spirit of jazzUNLEASHED! In addition, Black Cat’s new nonprofit initiative will expand community outreach and education. “Music is learned in schools, but authentic jazz emerges only in this environment,” added Harrold.
Keyon Harrold’s live recording sessions at Black Cat will feature nightly guests, including Bilal and top artists from March 18-21. To learn more visit www.BlackCatSF.com. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram. Black Cat is located at 400 Eddy St, San Francisco, CA 94109.
About Black Cat Jazz Supper Club
A restaurant, bar & live jazz venue in the heart of San Francisco’s Historic Arts & Entertainment District, The Tenderloin. Located in the historic Verona Hotel (1910), Black Cat (originally 1906) has been given a rebirth. The space combines grit with glam in the Tenderloin.
SOURCE Black Cat Jazz Supper Club