The SFJAZZ Collective, which performed at New York’s Lincoln Center earlier this month, returns to the Mondavi Center at 8 p.m. Thursday, March 29, with a program exploring the compositions of multi-Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Stevie Wonder.
The SFJAZZ Collective is an all-star eight-piece ensemble that highlights the original compositions of its annually rotating members and also revisits and rearranges famous compositions from past masters. While Wonder may be considered to be an artist outside of the jazz tradition, his sophisticated song craft and timeless melodies make his music attractive to jazz performers — much as John Coltrane adapted the song “My Favorite Things” (from the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical “The Sound of Music) in 1961, and used the tidy show tune as the springboard for an expansive jazz improvisation.
The SFJAZZ Collective is composed of saxophonists Mark Turner, Antonio Hart and Miguel Zenón; pianist Edward Simon; vibraphonist Stefon Harris; trumpeter Avishai Cohen; bassist Matt Penman; trombonist Robin Eubanks; and drummer Eric Harland.
Following the concert, there will be a question-and-answer session with the musicians, moderated by Jeremy Ganter, associate executive director and director of programming at the Mondavi Center.
Tickets to the SFJAZZ Collective’s concert in Jackson Hall at the Mondavi Center are $25-$49 general, $12.50-$24.50 students, available at www.mondaviarts.org or (530) 754-2787.