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Sheldon Brown Sextet Plays the Music of Herbie Nichols

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Sheldon Brown has gathered a stellar sextet of Bay Area players to perform work by the brilliant yet overlooked pianist Herbie Nichols, a contemporary of Thelonious Monk and the Be-boppers.

Like Monk, Nichols left behind a substantial body of profoundly elegant, seriously humorous pieces. Unlike Monk, he never gained recognition for his musical genius, even by his peers, in spite of having recorded classic sessions for Blue Note and Bethlehem.

Happily, Nichols’ music has enjoyed an underground resurgence, in no small part due to reed player and composer Sheldon Brown, who has diligently transcribed every tune Nichols recorded and has seized every opportunity to share them with others.

Sheldon Brown has been active in the Bay Area music scene for over 30 years, leading his own groups and playing in some of the region’s most interesting and creative ensembles. In 2014, he premiered his commissioned suite Blood of the Air at SFJAZZ Center; and in 2018, he released the studio recording of the work. He is an original member of Electric Squeezebox Orchestra and has composed and arranged for that group since its inception in 2015. He also composes for and performs with Clarinet Thing, Club Foot Orchestra, and Hemispheres. Brown has toured extensively with Omar Sosa and other notable artists, and he regularly performs with Ben Goldberg, Darren Johnston, Ian Carey, and Matt Small.

Sheldon Brown Sextet will feature work from Nichols’ 1957 album Love, Gloom, Cash, Love and the Blue Note recordings. Performing with Brown are Ben Goldberg (clarinet), Darren Johnston (trumpet), Matt Clark (piano), John Wiitala (bass), and Jason Lewis (drums).

Tickets are $18 and are available in advance at the link below, or you may purchase your tickets at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby). 

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. Children under 12 are free. Those 21 and over are welcome to bring their own adult beverages with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!