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Yoshi's San Francisco

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Dining Reservations

Box Office:
Open Daily 12:00pm

Monday Closed

Tuesday - Thursday
5:30pm to 8:30pm

Friday & Saturday


Tuesday - Sunday
Open 5:00pm

Yoshi's San Francisco
1330 Fillmore Street
SF, CA 94115
Phone: 415.655.5600

Jazz Club
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GARY BARTZ, NICHOLAS PAYTON, & KEVIN TONEY 3: Donald Byrd Acoustic & Electric Sessions

Aug 23-Aug 24, 2013

Hosted by Greg Bridges, TRANSITIONS ON TRADITIONS on KPFA 94.1FM, 8pm Mondays.


Nicholas Payton - Trumpet
Gary Bartz - Saxophone
Kevin Toney - Piano/Keyboard
Michael Bradford - Bass
Rayford Griffin - Drums
Charles Julian Fearing - Guitar
Dominique Toney - Vocals/Keys

Friday-Saturday, Aug 23-24

  • 8pm $30
  • 10pm $26
  • This musical journey will explore the history of Donald Byrd's music.  Each set will begin with acoustic jazz and progress through electric soul.



Dr. Donald Byrd, one of the leading jazz trumpeters of the 1950s and early 1960s, who became highly successful in the 1970s by blending jazz, funk and rhythm and blues into a pop hybrid that defied categorization,  died early this year but his music lives on through his many recordings and the legacy of all the young musicians he instructed at Howard University. His later work shaped black pop music through multiple generations. Known for his pure tone and impeccable technique, he performed or recorded with some of the most prominent jazz musicians including John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, Sonny Rollins and Art Blakey.  As a bandleader, Mr. Byrd was sometimes a talent scout too - one of the first to hire a promising young pianist named Herbie Hancock.

His 1972 album "Black Byrd" would become Blue Note Records top selling record and hit the R&B chart, the jazz chart and the pop chart. His follow-up albums "Street Lady", “Places and Spaces" and "Caricatures" would become four classics in a row! These recordings were produced by his first generation Howard University students, Fonce and Larry Mizell. In the mid-'70s, Byrd debuted his latest evolution. He formed a band out of his students at Howard University and called them The Blackbyrds. The Blackbyrds' subsequent albums went to greater commercial heights with Byrd as producer. The band had a string of hit singles in the 1970s, including the #1 pop hit "Walking in Rhythm" and  "Rock Creek Park," a remarkably distinctive single – you’ll recognize that synth line anywhere – that became a theme song for Washington, D.C. and has been sampled by everyone from Grandmaster Flash to De La Soul and Happy Music. Dr. Byrd welcomed hip-hop and in the '90s, worked with rapper Guru, who used his funk-fusion recordings for the Jazzmatazz project.

Donald's many hits include "Christo Redentor," "Flight Time," "Places and Spaces," "Dominoes," "Change" and "Love Has Come Around."

BlueNote spotlight - Listen to newly released Donald Byrd, Live at Montreux July 5, 1973

Featured Artists

Gary Bartz (Saxophonist)
played on some of Byrd's 70's recordings and became close with him. A GRAMMY® Award winning Artist with over 30 recordings as a leader (as well as more than 100 recordings as a guest artist with others including Max Roach, Art Blakey, Charles Mingus, McCoy Tyner and Miles Davis), Gary Bartz has taken his rightful place in the pantheon of jazz greats. His latest release is "Coltrane Rules Tao Of A Music" on OYO Recordings. Gary Bartz's website


Nicolas Payton (Trumpet) is widely considered one of the great artists of our time. Hailed as a virtuoso before he was even out of high school, his maturation and talent has earned him praise and accolades, as well as insured his place in musical history. A GRAMMY® Award winner with over 120 recordings as a composer, arranger, special guest or sideman which include Ray Charles, Dr. John, Stanley Jordan, Herbie Hancock, Wynton Marsalis, Marcus Roberts, Jill Scott, Wayne Shorter, Allen Toussaint, Nancy Wilson, and many others. #BAM Live at Bohemian Caverns, Payton’s latest release, is the first for his own imprint, BMF Records™.
Nicholas Payton's website

Kevin Toney 3 (Piano), a 2X GRAMMY® nominated pianist and composer, Kevin Toney attended Howard University where he became the leader of "The Blackbyrds," founded by jazz trumpet legend Donald Byrd. Kevin wrote many of the band's hit songs including  "Rock Creek Park", "All I Ask," and the Grammy®-nominated scorcher “Unfinished Business".  He has formed his trio which includes Michael Bradford on bass and Chris Coleman on drums and have recently released their acclaim album "New American Suite." ...  "The lyrical “New American Suite” will make you proud to live in this land of free, while the musicians themselves serve the music like true patriots."
-George Harris, Publisher Jazz Weekly
Kevin Toney's website