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Thizz Face Spreads Throughout SF Jazz Show

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Kiefer’s jazz fusion ensemble from LA took over Brick and Mortar on Thursday night and made everyone make a thizz face while listening. OK not actually a thizz face, but more like that sticky tasting scrunchy face you make when a jazz musician surprises you, grabs hold, and takes you on a melodic journey. Kiefer on keys was accompanied by Jonah Levine on trombone, Andy McCauley on bass, and William Alexander on drums and they provided us with some incredible live listening.

I know Kiefer back from our freshman year college dorms at UCLA. A devoted pianist even then, Kiefer loved jazz more than some of our football stars loved football or fame. I got to meet up with Kiefer before his set, and he said despite playing shows and writing new music, the music education doesn’t stop. “We study every single day”. But it’s not just notes and chord progressions they look out for, “When I listen to a musician, I can tell when they have a deep reverence for the song they are playing. It matters to me.” With his bandmates Kiefer said they will study together and talk about what makes a piece of music special. That love for the music was evident in the set Kiefer and his band played, and it even showed on their faces…see below thizz/jazz face.

Kiefer playing a juicy melody

Kiefer has a new and funky fresh EP out called Bridges, and he played a few tracks from it on Thursday. When asked if he approaches songwriting differently for an LP vs EP vs collaborating, he said, “it’s a same, I think it’s the ultimate rite of passage.” In a world where over stylization and fitting a mold to make it runs rampant over Instagram, Kiefer remains true to who he is and is constantly developing his own personal sound. All the while, he lets his musicians “decide their own job description” and play to their signature styles while on stage with him. Kiefer put more succinctly than I could though: “we don’t try to be dope, we just do our thing.”

Jonah Levine during a moving solo

I must admit that it was pretty surreal to see a jam-packed SF venue to hear this up-and-coming artist that I know personally, and couldn’t help but think of the times he’d play the keyboard in his bunk bed over a self-generated GarageBand beat years back. His dream was to make jazz fusion with some friends, go on tour, and sell shows out – and that’s exactly what they’ve been doing these last few weeks, including selling out the Troubador in LA the night after SF. “My dream has really manifested in a way that I hadn’t imagined…and I want to keep doing it bigger”.

Kiefer and bassist Andy

Kiefer on Bandcamp

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Laina Petrinec

Laina Petrinec

Laina was raised attending cheap concerts in the LA music scene and is now broke from attending too many indie rock shows in the Bay Area. At concerts, you can find her on the edge of the mosh pit with ear plugs in, or buying concert tickets 8 months in advance while cursing processing fees.