Date(s) - 06/22/2019
9:30 PM - 11:30 PM
Miner Auditorium, SFJAZZ Center
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The “Godfather of Neo Soul,” vibraphonist, composer and soul jazz luminary Roy Ayers returns, bringing the funky, feel-good sounds that have made him a musical icon and one of the most sampled artists in hip-hop. The Los Angeles native was born to a musical household, and set his sights on the vibraphone at the age of 5 after attending a Lionel Hampton performance.
Following studies with jazz giant and neighbor Bobby Hutcherson, he paid his dues as a journeyman, releasing his debut West Coast Vibes in 1961 and touring as part of flutist Herbie Mann’s band. The 70s saw Ayers come into his own as a composer and bandleader, forming his wildly popular Ubiquity group that fully embraced the funk and dance rhythms that were, and remain, the lifeblood of urban pop music. The albums Ayers issued during the 70s, including He’s Coming, Red, Black & Green, Vibrations, Everybody Loves the Sunshine, and his landmark soundtrack to the classic 1973 Pam Grier blaxsploitation film Coffy, are classics of the genre and have made Ayers a celebrated, near mythic figure in contemporary R&B, hip-hop and soul music. He has most recently been working with a number of today’s major artists including Erykah Badu, Talib Kweli, and others. With a career spanning over four decades and over 60 albums, Ayers remains a vital force in modern music, bringing a joyous energy to every performance.
After more than 60 albums and dozens of hits sampled by the likes of 50 Cent, Mary J. Blige and A Tribe Called Quest, the ripples of Ayers’ shape-shifting career remain woven into the fabric of popular music.
– LOS ANGELES TIMES