The San Francisco All-Star Big Band was formed in September of 1975 under the auspices of the San Francisco Art Commission’s Neighborhood Arts Program. Establishing a design, still modeled today, the intent was to allow the continuing development of writing and playing abilities of members of the local professional jazz community, and to develop a band comprising a mixture of seasoned veteran jazz musicians, and younger developing talents. Since its inception, the band has gained a broad San Francisco Bay Area following.
The band emphasis focuses on the abilities of its members. “In a place where even small ensembles often have trouble surviving, David Hardiman has assembled many of the area’s finest jazzmen into a hard-swinging, free-spirited San Francisco All-Star Jazz Band that is now entering its second year with hopes of recording and festival appearances.” San Francisco Chronicle jazz critic Tom Albright.
Included in the band lineup are stellar soloists as alto saxophonists John Handy and Bishop Norman Williams, guitarist Michael Howell, bassist James Leary, trombonist “Tricky” Lofton and Frank Fisher. Along with John Hunt and Hardiman himself on trumpet, the band combines a solid, Basie-style foundation with plentiful space and freedom for long improvisations- largely be-bop, and beyond. Its calling card is perhaps the warmth, fun and good spirits that seem to bind the group’s highly individualistic members together, projecting a personality and freewheeling feeling that is more common among small combos than big bands.”
The nineteen-piece professionals have performed, recorded, traveled, and associated with such notables as “DUKE” ELLINGTON, TONY BENNETT, “DIZZY” GILLESPIE, EARL “FATHA” HINES, RAY CHARLES, FREDDIE HUBBARD, “SUN-RA,” etc. Featuring vocalists such as, “SWEETIE” MITCHELL, MARY STALLINGS (formerly with “COUNT” BASIE), DENISE PERRIER, and NINA CAUSEY, reminiscent of ELLA FITZGERALD, BILLIE HOLIDAY, DINAH WASHINGTON, and NANCY WILSON. DAVID HARDIMAN, JR. sings songs from MICHAEL JACKSON, COOL AND THE GANG, AND LIONEL RICHIE. Collectively members of the band have performed all over the world.
Dr. David Hardiman, Sr., comes from Indianapolis, Ind. Where his early jazz training was developed with hometown associates Dr. Willis Kirk, Dr. David Baker, Freddie Hubbard, Dr. Larry Ridley, and James Spaulding. He received a bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Indiana University and a Master of Music degree in Music Education with Trumpet Emphasis from Butler University, Indianapolis, Ind. and an honorary Doctor of Arts from Martin University, Indianapolis, Ind. Following eleven years as an educator in the Indianapolis Public Schools system, he relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area, where he taught in the Berkeley Unified School District for several years before taking a post in the music department at City College of San Francisco. After a thirty-year career, he is now retired, as Professor Emeritus where he developed the City College Jazz Studies program. In addition to his teaching, David has been active in the Bay Area jazz scene playing, writing/arranging, recording, adjudicating, consulting, and has also directed the African American Jazz Caucus Big Band 5 years (under the auspices of the International Association of Jazz Educators).
On May 21, 2018, the Sacramento Jazz Coop is proud to present David Hardiman with his all-star band, including vocalist Denise Perrier, as the band celebrates its 43rd anniversary. Please join us for a memorable evening. Masonic Temple, 1123 J Street, 7 PM Tickets $25 at Eventbrite or through www.sacramentojazzcoop.org.