The SFJAZZ Collective is an all-star award-winning Jazz supergroup comprising eight of the finest performers/composers at work in Jazz today. Launched in 2004 by SFJAZZ in San Francisco, the SFJAZZ Collective has become one of the most exciting and acclaimed groups on the Jazz scene. The current ensemble features Lizz Wright on vocals, Chris Potter on saxophones, David Sánchez on saxophones, Etienne Charles on trumpet, Warren Wolf on vibraphone, Edward Simon on keyboards, Aneesa Strings on bass, Kendrick A.D. Scott on drums.Read our Covid-19 Precautions & Policies
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Founded by SFJAZZ in 2004, the SFJAZZ Collective is a leaderless group and a democratic composer’s workshop that represents what’s happening now in Jazz. The Collective’s mission is to perform fresh arrangements of works by a modern master and newly commissioned pieces by each member. Through this pioneering approach, simultaneously honoring music’s greatest figures while championing Jazz’s up-to-the-minute directions, the SFJAZZ Collective embodies SFJAZZ’s commitment to Jazz as a living, ever-relevant art form. Over their fifteen-year existence, the SFJAZZ Collective has honored the music of John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, Herbie Hancock, Thelonious Monk, Wayne Shorter, McCoy Tyner, Horace Silver, Stevie Wonder, Chick Corea, Joe Henderson, Michael Jackson, Miles Davis, António Carlos Jobim and Sly Stone, and has created over 100 new arrangements and original compositions.
The Collective rehearses intensively every fall at the SFJAZZ Center, where it begins an annual tour that takes it across the country and Europe. As Downbeat wrote, “the octet boasts as much or more collective talent, firepower and critical acclaim than any other Jazz ensemble going.”
The SFJAZZ Collective has gone through numerous line up changes over the years and has featured Bobby Hutcherson, Joshua Redman, Miguel Zenón, Eric Harland, Mark Turner, Matt Penman, Avishai Cohen, Sean Jones, Andre Hayward, Stefon Harris, Dave Douglas, Nicholas Payton, Joe Lovano, Josh Roseman, Renee Rosnes, Jeff Ballard, Robert Hurst, Brian Blade, Martin Luther McCoy, Obed Calvaire, Matt Brewer, Adam Rogers and others.
MUSIC DIRECTOR, SOPRANO & TENOR SAXOPHONE | Member 2021–Present
A Chicago native, Chris Potter is among the most prominent, influential, and visionary artists in Jazz, fronting multiple ensembles and collaborating with a staggering list of major artists including Paul Motian, Pat Metheny, Dave Holland, Zakir Hussain, Herbie Hancock, Jim Hall, Steely Dan and the Mingus Big Band. A veteran of over 150 recordings, he has topped numerous DownBeat Critics Polls, received a Grammy Award nomination, and has led or co-led over 20 albums including his latest Edition Records release, There Is A Tide. Potter also assumes the role of Music Director and this is the first time the SFJAZZ Collective has had a member in a music director position in over a decade.
TENOR SAXOPHONE | Member 2012—Present
Since his early exposure with Dizzy Gillespie’s United Nations Orchestra, Puerto Rican tenor saxophone virtuoso David Sánchez has become a one of the most celebrated instrumentalists in Jazz, recording nine albums as a leader and winning a Latin Grammy Award for his 2004 orchestral session, Coral. The five-time Grammy Award nominee has performed with a roster of greats including Charlie Haden, Eddie Palmieri, Roy Haynes, Tom Harrell and countless others. Sánchez has an impressive résumé as an educator, conducting master classes, workshops and residencies at the world’s top universities and conservatories. His latest album is Ninety Miles: Live at Cubadisco, a project recorded in Cuba and co-led by trumpeter Christian Scott and vibraphonist Stefon Harris.
TRUMPET | Member 2018—Present
Hailed by JazzTimes as a “daring improviser who delivers with heart wrenching lyricism” (Bill Milkowski), Trinidad-born Etienne Charles is an artist deeply versed in the New Orleans trumpet tradition. In June 2012 he was written into the US Congressional Record for his musical contributions to Trinidad & Tobago and was named a Guggenheim Fellow in 2015. His 2016 album San Jose Suite was a musical discourse on the effects of colonialism in three San Jose locations — Costa Rica, California and Trinidad, and his newest album, Carnival: The Sound of a People Vol. 1, is an excursion into the grooves, chants and rituals of Carnival in his native Trinidad & Tobago. His latest work as a producer, composer, arranger, trumpeter and percussionist, Petite Afrique by Somi won Outstanding Jazz Album at the 2018 NAACP Image Awards. He is currently Associate Professor of Jazz Trumpet at Michigan State University in East Lansing.
VIBRAPHONE | Member 2013—Present
Warren Wolf is a multi-instrumentalist from Baltimore, MD. Wolf began playing vibraphone, marimba, drums and piano at age three, studying at Peabody Institute preparatory program and the Baltimore School for the Arts with Baltimore Symphony Orchestra member John Locke. After graduating in 1997 he enrolled at the Berklee College of Music in Boston for studies with master vibraphonist Dave Samuels, graduating in 2001 and returning as an instructor from 2003–2005. Warren became an active musician on the national scene after leaving Berklee, working with Bobby Watson, Tia Fuller, Christian Scott, Donal Fox, Christian McBride and Karriem Riggins and his own Wolfpack band. Warren has released five albums on the Mack Avenue label including his 2020 holiday release Christmas Vibes.
PIANO | Member 2010—Present
Edward Simon was born in the coastal town of Punta Cardón, Venezuela, where he grew up in a family of musicians. Settling in New York City in 1989, he played with numerous Jazz masters, including Herbie Mann, Paquito D’Rivera, Bobby Hutcherson, Bobby Watson, Terence Blanchard and Don Byron. He has produced fifteen critically acclaimed albums as a leader for Sunnyside, CAM JAZZ, Criss Cross,and various other labels. His 2016 album Latin American Songbook won an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Jazz Album and his 2018 release Sorrows and Triumphs was declared “unmissable” in Nate Chinen’s “Take Five” column at WBGO.org. His latest album is 25 Years, a curated career retrospective documenting his quarter century of music.
BASS & VOCALS | Joined 2021
Oakland, CA-born songstress, musician, producer and influencer Aneesa Strings is an alumni of the SFJAZZ High School All-Stars program. While laying down roots in Oakland, LA, Michigan and New York City she went on to become a high demand artist touring globally and working with the likes of José James, Duckwrth, Kandace Springs and many more. She’s released two critically acclaimed independent albums A Shift in Paradigm and Ways featuring her hit single “Simpin” and is currently working on her next mixtape and album. It’s a full circle moment for us to have her join the SFJAZZ collective this season as a representation of the endless possibilities of SFJAZZ culture.
KENDRICK A.D. SCOTT
DRUMS | Joined 2021
Named “Rising Star – Drums” by DownBeat magazine and a “Drummer Whose Time is Now” by The New York Times, Kendrick A.D. Scott is a premier drummer and composer of his generation. The Houston-born Scott has toured worldwide and recorded with artists including Herbie Hancock, Terence Blanchard, Marcus Miller, Charles Lloyd, Wayne Shorter, The Crusaders, Joshua Redman, Robert Glasper, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Dianne Reeves, Kurt Elling, Gretchen Parlato and the Blue Note All-Stars. Kendrick’s compositions have been recorded on GRAMMY-winning records, and he won a 2017 Chamber Music of America New Works Grant funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. He has released five albums as a bandleader with his band Oracle, The Source (2007), Reverence (2011), Conviction 2013), We Are The Drum (2015) and A Wall Becomes A Bridge on Blue Note records. Scott is on faculty at the Manhattan School Of Music.
VOCALS | Joined 2021
Acclaimed vocalist Lizz Wright is a steward of American music bringing brilliant color and vibrancy to singular original works and compositions by some of the greatest songwriters of our time. Wright has garnered widespread attention as one of the most venerable popular singers of her generation through the release of six critically acclaimed albums. From her breakout Verve debut album Salt to gospel-inflected 2017 Concord release Grace, Wright lives a life filled with beautiful possibilities centered on the power of song. An artist inspired by Joni Mitchell’s legacy, she performed on Herbie Hancock’s Grammy Award-winning River: The Joni Letters.