Program Series

JazzPOP 2016

The Hammer’s "reliably excellent" (Los Angeles Times) annual summer festival of creative jazz and improvised music celebrates its 11th year with three concerts featuring some of the most adventurous, inspired, masterful music happening on the West Coast. Curated by Lisa Mezzacappa.

Cathlene Pineda Quartet

Thursday, August 4, 8 p.m.

In her extended work, Passing: A California Suite, pianist and composer Cathlene Pineda pays tribute to the complexities and wonders of the city of Los Angeles with music that is “airy, elegant and haunting” (Bakersfield Californian). Pineda and her close-knit quartet navigate the music’s emotionally rich and rhythmically dynamic landscape in a series of compositions inspired by the works of Los Angeles’ first poet laureate, Eloise Klein-Healy.

Michael Vlatkovich Septet

Thursday, August 11, 8 p.m.

Amazingly fleet for a group packed with so much thunderous low-end, trombonist Michael Vlatkovich’s Septet features many of Southern California’s most versatile improvisers, handling familiar musical genres with an irreverent and innovative playfulness. The band shapeshifts effortlessly through hard-swinging romps, brass band fantasies, and collective improvisation epiphanies.  

Sheldon Brown Ensemble

Thursday, August 18, 8 p.m.

From the vast musical mind of Bay Area saxophonist and composer Sheldon Brown comes an expansive project connecting the rapturous voices of poets to the power of jazz improvisation.  Brown’s superlative ensemble performs his thrilling, layered, asymmetrical compositions, built from the rhythms and speech melodies of Beat and Surrealist poets reading from their work.