NATHAN BICKART TRIO
OPENING DANIELLE WERTZ QUINTET
FRIDAY APRIL 1, 2022
(Doors at 7pm)
The Nathan Bickart Trio will be premiering their brand-new multimedia piece 'Gravity Sweet,' generously funded by a grant from Intermusic SF. This four-part suite is a musical exploration of human relationship to land: land as source of nourishment, disconnection from land as tool of oppression, land as ultimate resting place. Critically-acclaimed jazz vocalist Danielle Wertz and her Quintet play the opening set.
*Gravity Sweet is made possible through the Musical Grant Program, which is administered by InterMusic SF, and supported by the Clarence E. Heller Charitable Foundation, the Hewlett Foundation, and San Francisco Grants for the Arts.
Nathan Bickart Trio crafts sensitive, visceral, warm music that insists upon the inherent goodness of all life on Earth. Joined by the extraordinarily-talented Owen Clapp (bass) and Michael Mitchell (drums), Bickart’s trio composes and improvises from a deeply collaborative aesthetic, valuing folk-song melodies that hold audience members in rapt attention, recognizing that three notes played in unity are stronger than 300 played apart. They build upon the piano trio traditions of artists ranging from Ahmad Jamal to Robert Glasper, recognizing the ways in which musical and spiritual practices can be folded into our complex and busy modern existence. Their original music contains the echoes of their San Francisco Bay Area homes: from the verdant hills of West Marin to the bustling diversity of downtown Oakland. The trio released their debut album ‘Poem’ in 2018 and toured the West Coast of the United States in support of the album.
Bickart (piano) is a stalwart of the East Bay music scene, performing with a diverse array of artists ranging from soul singer Lilan Kane to the bluegrass/Americana band the T Sisters. Since graduating from the University of California - Berkeley in 2013, Bickart has carved out a role as one of the most professional, swinging, and sensitive young musicians in the Bay Area. He is also passionate about working for social and environmental justice, and works for the internationally-recognized non-profit Urban Tilth in Richmond, CA. He released his debut solo album ‘ur gd’ in 2016, followed by ‘Nest’ in 2020.
Clapp (electric and acoustic bass) is one the most sought-after bass players in the Bay Area, known widely for his concise phrasing and a tone that sings and supports in equal proportion. He also performs with the Jonah Levine Collective and Bay Area folk-singer Ismay.
Mitchell (drums) is a critical piece of the Bay Area music scene: a sensitive, melodic, and versatile drummer who supports local arts leaders SF Jazz and the Stanford Jazz Workshop. He can be found playing with trombonist/vocalist Natalie Cressman and Steven Lugerner’s Jacknife project, among others.
Danielle Wertz is an award-winning artist on the rise, making a name for herself as a vocalist, composer, educator and arranger. The Oakland-based artist weaves together elements of straight-ahead and modern jazz, folk and the use of her voice as an instrumental texture to create an intimate and personal musical world. Described as, "untarnished by the politics of music" (Jazz Music Archives) and "at home alongside more contemporary exponents of improvised singing" (LoudMouth, AU) Danielle has rapidly gained national acclaim. After being named a 2015 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Vocals Competition semi-finalist, Danielle independently released her debut album, Intertwined. This collaboration with Israeli pianist, Tal Cohen, was ranked #4 on Capital Bop's list of "Best DC Jazz Albums of 2017" and has continued to receive high praise since its release. That same year Danielle placed 2nd in the inaugural Ella Fitzgerald Jazz Vocal Competition, 3rd in the Mid-Atlantic Jazz Vocal Competition, and co-led a concert at the Smithsonian American Art Museum with Lena Seikaly celebrating women in jazz. In addition to her solo career, Danielle is an avid collaborator. She has recently been featured on recording projects alongside Javier Santiago, Aaron Janik, Justin Rock, Ambrose Akinmusire, J. Hoard, Elena Pinderhughes, Braxton Cook, Jeff Denson and Andrew Dixon. She has also had the privilege of performing with many renowned musicians in a professional, non-academic setting including Kate McGarry, Cyrille Aimée, Keith Ganz, Shelly Berg, Chris Botti, Michael Bowie, Mark G. Meadows and Chris Grasso.