Scott Amendola – drums & electronics; Wil Blades – Hammond B3 organ
Scott Amendola and Wil Blades conjure various sonic deities though only a duo. Their live shows have been generating a buzz around the Bay Area. The two got their start as a group when Scott had the vision of performing Duke Ellington’s Far East Suite in duo with Wil. While quite a daunting task translating a suite (originally written for a big band) into duo, the Hammond Organ had previously been used in the 1940s and 1950s to emulate the sound of big bands. With Wil’s knowledge of this tradition and Scott’s desire to push boundaries, they were able to pull it off in a explorative, yet cohesive manner. The duo continues to perform the Ellington suite in their live performances, while also developing their original material. In performance, Amendola and Blades cover everything from Avant Garde to Funk, Bebop to Rock.
Wil Blades, a native Chicagoan, has become the San Francisco Bay Area’s first call organist and is rapidly gaining momentum throughout the world. In 2007 and 2008, he was named in the Downbeat critics poll under “Rising Star” for organ. Wil has kept the traditional sounds of Jimmy Smith, Larry Young, and “Groove” Holmes alive, while creating a more personal, modern sound. Wil has performed and recorded with John Lee Hooker, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Melvin Sparks, Idris Muhammad, Joe Louis Walker, Don Braden, Donald Harrison, Karl Denson, Will Bernard, Charlie Hunter, Stanton Moore, Betty Joplin, Eddie Marshall, Herbie Lewis, and many others.
An organizer by nature, Jersey native Scott Amendola has become a creative nexus for a community of musicians stretching from Los Angeles and Seattle to Chicago and New York. Amendola’s inspiration stems from such stylistic influences as African music, jazz, blues, spirituals, rock, and the avant garde. Scott has never been satisfied with just being a masterful drummer, he has spent his career pushing music in new directions. Scott has toured, recorded, or performed with Bill Frisell, Charlie Hunter, Nels Cline,John Zorn, Dave Liebman, Wadada Leo Smith, Jacky Terrasson, Larry Goldings, Jeff Parker, Madeleine Peyroux, Sex Mob, Wayne Horvitz, Johnny Griffin, ROVA Saxophone Quartet, Pat Martino, Peter Apfelbaum, Jim Campilongo, Ben Goldberg, Mark Turner, Michael Franti, Phil Lesh, and others, and has toured extensively throughout Europe, North America, and Australia.
Founded by Intersection for the Arts and local award-winning composer and bassist Marcus Shelby in 1999, Jazz at Intersection provides local Jazz artists and audiences with consistent and ongoing opportunities to celebrate the diverse and powerful Jazz traditions that are unique to the San Francisco Bay Area, while encouraging experimentation and creativity with new forms and styles. Since establishing the program, we have presented over 170 performances featuring over 400 musicians and vocalists (many of whom have performed multiple times in our series) to thousands of audience members. Dozens of new Jazz compositions have been commissioned and premiered through our series. We aim to nurture an audience not for specific artists or traditions, but rather for a broad and inclusive definition of the Jazz idiom.
“Jazz At Intersection is notable not only for the breadth of its musical content, but for bridging communities across all lines: age, race, gender, cultural affiliation, and even class…” – Sam Prestianni, SF Weekly
We continue a series in our new home at 5th and Mission Streets that highlights an array of contemporary and historical musical styles within the Jazz idiom; provides insight into what influences new music and musicians; and also shows direct connections between well-known songs and composers and the new music being created today. Our approach to presenting Jazz is based on an intimate and direct connection between the musician, the music, and the audience. The 2013 series will include 8 indoor performances at Intersection’s new location with the 5M Project (a flexible performance space that can seat up to 100) and a dozen free outdoor performances in partnership with Off The Grid, a local organization that produces pop-up food markets featuring independent mobile food trucks.