We don’t have to worry about the future of jazz with guys like these coming up.
Each year, SFJAZZ puts out a call for proposals to jazz composers, commissioning an original work to be played by the High School All-Stars Big Band. The talent pool: High School All-Stars alumni, from the program’s birth in 2001 to the very most recent grads. The prize: $1000 awarded by the Hut Foundation and SFJAZZ. This year, 2009 All-Stars alumnus Owen Clapp rose to the challenge, submitting his outline for the piece “Tokyo” just as he had returned from the Japanese metropolis. We caught up with the bassist following his piece’s May 7th world premiere at the SFJAZZ Center to learn more about his composition, his recent social justice work, and his swath of musical projects.
Is he playing totally acoustic? Wow. The room is not that large, and there’s not a lot of clinking glasses or other noise. Even still, a pretty brave move for this young player. What’s also great is that this bass player has one of the best sounds I’ve heard in a while, full and timbral.