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The Fourth Annual El Cerrito Jazz Festival is taking place on Saturday, February 10, 2018 in the ECHS Performing Arts Center! The festival will feature workshops, master classes, clinics, concerts, and adjudicated performances from top high school groups from around the San Francisco Bay Area.

Headlining the evening concert is the Walter Smith III Trio featuring Walter Smith III (sax), Eric Harland (drums), and Harish Raghavan (bass). Although it may appear Smith is a new voice on the scene, he is widely recognized as an adept performer, accomplished composer, and inspired educator. Smith will release his 5th album as a leader, “Twio” in February of 2018 with his longtime trio of Harish Raghavan and Eric Harland including guest appearances by Christian McBride and Joshua Redman.

In the Jazz tradition, Smith has developed under the wings of many of the music’s greats. Walter is/has been a member of several legendary groups (recording and/or touring) including the Roy Haynes Fountain of Youth Band, Terence Blanchard Quintet, Eric Harland’s “Voyager”, Jason Moran’s “In My Mind: Monk at Town Hall”, Ambrose Akinmusire Quintet, the Christian McBride “Situation”, Christian Scott group and the Sean Jones Quintet to name a few. Smith has performed all over the world participating in virtually every international festival as well as famed venues such as Carnegie Hall, the Village Vanguard, and the Kennedy Center. In addition, he has shared the stage and/or appeared on recordings with many Jazz notables including Mulgrew Miller, Eric Reed, Billy Childs, Joe Lovano, Herbie Hancock, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Terri Lynne Carrington, Bill Stewart, Ralph Peterson, and a host of others. To date, Walter has appeared on over 100 recordings that are released worldwide.

The festival’s distinguished panel of adjudicators and clinicians include Barb Catlin from Pomona College, Patrick Langham from the University of the Pacific, Dave Loeb from University of Nevada Las Vegas, Steve Owen from the University of Oregon, and Rob Tapper from the University of Montana.

2018 Festival Documents and Schedule


ECJF Festival Sponsors: