Will Bernard ignites Boom Boom Room 

One of America’s finest jazz guitarists, two-time Grammy nominated Will Bernard, returns with his trio to his former home base, the Bay Area, for two nights at the Boom Boom Room in San Francisco this weekend.

With two special guests, organist Robert Walter and young New Orleans drummer Simon Lott, the Berkeley native promises a night rich with his and Walter’s original music.

Most of the tunes will be drawn from “Blue Plate Special,” Bernard’s most recent recording for Palmetto Jazz.

“The music is kind of reminiscent of the early ’70 guitar/organ trio, funk/soul-jazz,” he explained from his new home in Brooklyn’s Crown Heights neighborhood.

“We like to vary the tempo a lot; probably most of it will be mid-tempo funk.

“People will hear a lot of New Orleans influence, especially The Meters. Some of that has to do with Simon, who plays in a New Orleans drumming style that’s based on centuries-old second-line drumming styles heard in brass bands, parades and marching music.”

The night will be a special occasion. While Bernard and Walter have played together in different groups for eight years, the organist from the Gray Boy All-Stars in San Diego rarely plays with Bernard’s trio.

Lott is a more recent collaborator, with a lot of good energy.

Bernard first became known internationally when he began playing and recording as a member of Peter Apfelbaum’s Hieroglyphics Ensemble.

Since then, he has continued to push boundaries, performing jazz, hip-hop, world, experimental and everything in between and around those genres. He has worked with groups as far afield as the Hindustani-influenced Jai Uttal to the political hip-hop group the Coup.

Most recently, he’s played a lot with Stanton Moore Trio. His 1998 CD, “Medicine Hat,” displayed his flair for funky, bottom-heavy soul-jazz. His 2007 Palmetto release, “Party Hats,” received a Grammy nomination for best contemporary jazz album.

“I do like to dabble in a lot of different styles,” says Bernard with a wink. “In New York, I do a lot of straight-ahead jazz playing, and I get involved in some rather contemporary experimental projects from time to time. But I’m mostly known for music of the soul-jazz genre. It’s music that people can dance to, which is what I expect they’ll do in the Boom Boom Room.”


IF YOU GO
Will Bernard Band

Where:
Boom Boom Room, 1601 Fillmore St., San Francisco
When: 9:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday
Tickets: $15
Contact: (415) 673-8000, www.boomboomblues.com

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Staff Report

Staff Report

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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