For the average patron the music at Jupiter might seem like an afterthought. Most people show up to dine and drink with no foreknowledge of who’ll be performing underneath the towering redwood at the back of the patio. But the restaurant’s longtime music policy provides an essential anchor for many East Bay musicians, giving them a friendly and easily accessible forum at home. Jupiter’s gravitational pull can even attract artists from far beyond the local constellation, like Planet Loop, who return to the patio on Saturday night.
Some three years after the death of the beloved San Francisco drum maestro Eddie Marshall the loss still stings. Whether serving as a sideman or leading his own inventive combo, Marshall made the trap set purr and roar, generating tremendous swing with a minimum of fuss. His presence in the Bay Area felt particularly felicitous as he moved west after establishing himself as a top-shelf New York player, known for his work with Toshiko Akiyoshi, Stan Getz, and Sam Rivers. As the house drummer at Keystone Korner in North Beach, he provided impeccable rhythmic support to steady rotation of masters, while generously mentoring several generations of young Bay Area musicians.
The Berkeley High jazz program is the gift that keeps on giving. Hardly a year goes by without at least a handful of excellent young musicians emerging from its ranks, and, while many head east to attend elite conservatories and music schools, Berkeley’s oversized gravitational pull often brings them back home.
If you happen to be on 4th Street this afternoon between 2-4 pm take a few minutes to check out the jam session in front of Peet’s Coffee. The kids are students at REALM, Berkeley’s first charter school, and most of them attended the school’s summer jazz camp. The camp was organized by saxophonist/bassist Peter Hargreaves, a Berkeley High grad (class of 2004) who was hired to run the new school’s music program. The jam session is part of his effort to collect instruments for REALM’s music program (they need saxophones, trumpets, trombones, violins, cellos, keyboards and pianos).