Grammy-Winning Saxophonist and jazz legend Joe Henderson had a long and memorable history with SFJAZZ performing over a dozen times in various settings including a duet with tabla great Zakir Hussain at Grace Cathedral, a salute to Antônio Carlos Jobim with Herbie Hancock, and a 1993 tribute night entitled “We Love Joe” featuring his quintet with John Scofield, Charlie Haden and Al Foster, his Big Band, and the Kronos Quartet.  On Thursday, August 14, SFJAZZ formally dedicates the Joe Henderson Lab, named for the iconic saxophonist, with a week of performances that pay tribute to four of his greatest recorded moments.

The SFJAZZ Center features the 100-seat Joe Henderson Lab and will hold a Dedication Ceremony on Thursday, August 14th at 6:30pm featuring remarks by SFJAZZ Founder and Executive Artistic Director Randall Kline, as well as Joe Henderson’s two sons – Malcolm Daniel and Kim Vasquez plus his grandson Saivon Romero-Daniel.


Mel Martin Plays Page One

Thursday, August 14, 7:00pm & 8:30pm, $25

On Thursday, saxophone great and Joe Henderson collaborator Mel Martin presents the music of Henderson’s 1963 debut, Page One, a landmark session and a remarkably self-assured first statement as a bandleader. Page One boasts an impressive band made up of trumpeter Kenny Dorham, pianist McCoy Tyner, bassist Butch Warren and drummer Pete LaRoca, and contains a pair of tunes that have become timeless standards in the jazz repertoire and songs forever associated with Henderson, Dorham’s “Blue Bossa” and Henderson’s own bossa-tinged classic, “Recorda Me.”

Matt Clark Plays The Real McCoy

Friday, August 15, 7:00pm & 8:30pm, $25

Friday night focuses on the hugely influential 1967 Blue Note debut by pianist McCoy Tyner, The Real McCoy, performed by former Bay Area pianist Matt Clark and a terrific band. Having left saxophonist John Coltrane’s epochal quartet two years before, Tyner formed a new band for The Real McCoy, which included Henderson along with bassist Ron Carter and drummer Elvin Jones. Marked by its longer, exploratory material including the signature Tyner compositions “Passion Dance,” “Contemplation” and “Blues on the Corner,” The Real McCoy is a prominent feature for Henderson as a peerless soloist and ensemble player.

Adam Shulman Plays Song For My Father

Saturday, August 16, 7:00pm & 8:30pm, $25

Called one of the “17 Essential Hard Bop Recordings” by the All Music Guide, Horace Silver’s immortal 1964 Blue Note release, Song for My Father, is the pianist’s defining album and among the greatest jazz recordings of all time. Anchored by Silver’s signature title tune, Song for My Father has as its centerpiece the knotty and virtuosic Henderson composition “The Kicker,” which has come to be regarded as a jazz standard and a potent demonstration of Henderson’s formidable skill as a composer. At the heart of Song for My Father is Henderson, who shared the front line with trumpeter Carmell Jones, backed by a rhythm section including Silver, bassist Teddy Smith and drummer Roger Humphries. For this third night of the Joe Henderson Hotplate Festival, pianist and San Francisco native Adam Shulman and his group will perform Song for My Father in its entirety.

 Michael Zilber Plays Lush Life: The Music of Billy Strayhorn

Sunday, August 17, 7:00pm & 8:30pm, $25

The Joe Henderson Hotplate Festival concludes Sunday with a performance of Henderson’s GRAMMY-winning 1992 Verve album Lush Life: The Music of Billy Strayhorn by acclaimed Bay Area saxophonist Michael Zilber.