DJ Qbert joins Jazz Mafia at Fillmore

Courtesy PhotoWorld Champ DJ Qbert will improvise with Jazz Mafia Symphony Saturday night at the Fillmore.

Two quintessentially American art forms — jazz and turntablism — collide at the Fillmore on Saturday during Jazz Mafia Symphony’s adventurous, 12-year anniversary blowout featuring DJ Qbert, a world champion battle DJ.

Jazz Mafia Symphony will play commissioned works such as “The Emperor Norton Suite” and “Brass, Bows, and Beats” with DJ Qbert on turntables as part of a celebration for the loose Jazz Mafia collective. The shape-shifting collective started in 2000 in the Mission district and infuses jazz with soul, funk, hip-hop and electronic music.

#link_box { width: 150px; height: auto; margin: 0; padding: 0; margin: 10px 20px 10px 0px; padding: 10px; background-color: #fbfade; /* ecru – light yellow */ border: 1px solid #343a25; /* green – for summer arts */ float: left; font-family: arial, sans serif; font-size: 11px; } #link_box img, #link_box a { border 0px; border-style: none; outline: none; } #link_box h1 { margin: 0; padding: 5px; border-bottom: 1px solid #ddd; text-transform: none; color: #8A0808; font-family: arial, sans serif; font-weight: bold; font-size: 12px; text-align: center; } #link_box h2 { margin: 0; padding: 5px; border-bottom: 1px solid #ddd; text-transform: none; color: #000; font-family: arial, sans serif; font-weight: bold; font-size: 10px; text-align: center; } #link_box ul { list-style: none; margin: 0; padding: 0; border: none; } #link_box li { margin: 0px padding: 0px; border-bottom: 1px solid #ddd; border-bottom-width: 1px; } #link_box li a { display: block; padding: 5px 5px 5px 15px; /* Padding for bullet */ /* border-bottom: 1px solid #ddd; border-bottom-width: 1px; */ color: #000; width: 100%; width: auto; /* height: auto; */ /* border: 1px solid blue; */ margin: 0px; font-family: arial, sans serif; font-size: 11px; line-height: 14px; text-decoration: none; } #link_box li a: before { /* background-position: top left; */ } #link_box li a:hover { background-color: #ddd; color: #000; }

Relentless, regular local live shows and touring have earned it a global fan base.

Twelve years into the game, the well-loved, road-tested crew focuses on quality over quantity, says Adam Theis, bandleader and Mission district resident. Jazz Mafia Symphony can be as big as 60 players. Saturday’s show boasts a 35-piece orchestra, plus a huge supporting lineup that includes Forrest Day, Shotgun Wedding Quintet and Realistic Orchestra, comprising about 45 to 50 performers for the night.

“This is the huge deal for us,” Theis says. “It’s really something that’s only going to happen once in this configuration.”

“I think that’s why we took the big risk,” he says. “We said, ‘We believe in our fans, they believed in us this whole time. Let’s just go for it, let’s put on, basically, a local jazz show at the Fillmore.’”

Meanwhile, Excelsior district native Qbert, 43, won his first DJ World Championship in 1991, and co-founded turntablism pioneers Invisibl Skratch Piklz. Jazz Mafia and Qbert hit it off when San Francisco producer Dan the Automator paired the two for a loose, improvisational live show.

“These are real musicians. Not like us DJs. We’re kind of just winging it,” Qbert says. “It’s a beautiful thing to learn from these guys. They really know what’s going on.”

The feeling seems mutual. “As a musician, he’s on par with college-trained jazz guys and natural singers,” Theis says. “Among DJs, he’s the guy everyone looks up to.”

Amid a busy year of touring, Qbert says he’ll release a new LP, and he invites the public to an open house Saturday at his Millbrae headquarters, Thud Rumble. And his “Treat Social Club” — an invite-only, experimental underground music night — has turned into a commercial success. “I feel super-lucky,” he says.

artsdan the automatorFillmoremusicPop Music & Jazz

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

City officials closed San Francisco County Jail No. 4 on the top floor of the Hall of Justice at 850 Bryant St. in September, reducing the number of beds in the jail system by about 400. 
Kevin N. Hume/
S.F. Examiner
SF jail closure prompts doctor to call for release of more inmates

Reduced space increases risk of COVID-19 spreading among those in custody

Cyclists have flocked to Market Street since private vehicles were largely banned from a long stretch of it in January. (Amanda Peterson/Special to the S.F. Examiner)
Plans for sidewalk-level bikeway on Market Street dropped due to costs, increased cyclist volume

Advocates say revisions to Better Market Street fail to meet safety goals of project

Prop. 21 would allow San Francisco city officials to expand rent control to cover thousands more units. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Tenant advocates take another try at expanding rent control with Prop. 21

Measure would allow city to impose new protections on properties 15 years or older

Tenderloin residents are finding benefits to having roads closed in the neighborhood. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
Should there be fewer cars in the Tenderloin’s future?

The pandemic has opened San Franciscans’ eyes to new uses of urban streets

Singer-songwriter Cam is finding musicmaking to be healing during 2020’s world health crisis. 
Courtesy 
Dennis Leupold
Cam challenges country music tropes

Bay Area-bred songwriter releases ‘The Otherside’

Most Read