Itinerant jazz concerts take to the city in the Mobile Jazz Bay area

The “guerrilla jazz” van known as Bay Area Jazz Mobile pops up in parks and parking lots and gives paid concerts to local jazz musicians.

If you happened to buy your weed at the BASA collective dispensary in Divisadero and Grove Streets on Sunday afternoon, you would have witnessed a very unconventional street performance in the parking lot. A double bass, two congas and the Amélie Anna Quintet were going outside, in a fully planned and scheduled concert, like the one that takes place across the city, thanks to a self-proclaimed “mobile / traveling jazz hall” known as the Mobile Jazz Bay.

“It’s an extraordinary and very timely concept”, singer David de la Torre said to the Chronicle, who described him as “collecting supplies at BASA”. He added that “Live music is something people have been waiting for after the pandemic we have been through. I salute what they do because musicians always work on a tight budget. “

These aren’t just impromptu outdoor concerts, the Bay Area Jazz Mobile pays what the Chronicle describes as “$ 195 guaranteed for conductors and $ 150 for accompanists.” The Jazz Mobile also supplies the amplifiers, battery, keyboard and microphones, all kept in the Mercedes Sprinter van owned by Jazz Mobile founder, promoter and driver Omar Aran.

The Bay Area Jazz Mobile is a full-fledged 501 (c) (3) nonprofit with an annual budget of $ 80,000. This is a pandemic-era project, but in just over a year of existence, it has hosted over 160 outdoor concerts in the Bay Area. “It’s guerrilla jazz,” Aran told The Chronicle. “So far this year we have provided work for 250 jazz musicians, all of them local.

If you’re in town for Thanksgiving weekend, the Bay Area Jazz Mobile has two outdoor shows on Saturdays. The two are at North Beach’s Washington Square Park, where the jazz mobile will rock the Edgardo Cambon Quartet (11 a.m.-1 p.m.), and the trumpet styles of Steffen Kuehn (1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.) on Saturday weather forecast said it will be 66 degrees and sunny.

Related: SF scores $ 2.5 million for outdoor concert series, to be hosted by clubs like Bottom of the Hill [SFist]


Willie J. Johnson