Wil Blades' 40th Bday Bash and Farewell Party! feat. Donald Harrison Jr., Mike Clark, Scott Amendola, Jeff Parker, and more

Wil Blades' 40th Bday Bash and Farewell Party! feat. Donald Harrison Jr., Mike Clark, Scott Amendola, Jeff Parker, and more

Donald Harrison Jr., Mike Clark, Scott Amendola, Jeff Parker, Jack Tone-Riordan, Brandon Etzler, Oscar Myers

Sunday, August 25th

Doors: 6:00 pm / Show: 7:00 pm

$20 ADV / $24 DOOR (plus fees)

  • All tickets are subject to an additional $4 per ticket facility fee.

Wil Blades 40th Bday Bash and Farewell Party
Wil Blades 40th Bday Bash and Farewell Party
Donald Harrison Jr. - Sax
Mike Clark - Drums
Jeff Parker - Guitar
Scott Amendola - Drums
Jack Tone-Riordan - Guitar
Brandon Etzler - Drums
Oscar Myers - Trumpet and Percussion


Wil Blades celebrates his 40th birthday, and plays his last shows as a resident of the Bay Area, before moving to Los Angeles. This all-star show features some of his closest musical associates and mentors: New Orleans saxophone legend, Donald Harrison Jr, drum innovator Mike Clark of the Headhunters, Amendola Vs. Blades bandmate Scott Amendola, and Los Angeles based guitarist Jeff Parker. Last but not least, Bay Area locals and longtime collaborators, Oscar Myers on percussion, guitarist Jack Tone-Riordan and drummer Brandon Etzler round out the night.
Wil Blades
Wil Blades
"Yeah, he does it...he’s on it. He is the future to carry on the legend, the legacy of the organ, [of] the B-3.”
-Dr. Lonnie Smith


Blades says, “my whole thing is having a foot in the past and trying to have a foot in the future and to bring those two worlds together as much as possible.”

That influence harkens back to Blades’ roots in Chicago, where he grew up playing drums and guitar in rock and funk bands. He moved west to study jazz at the New College of California, where he studied with bassist Herbie Lewis. “It was a real old school jazz education,” Blades recalls. “With Herbie, it was almost a Mr. Miyagi thing, life lessons where I’d be wondering, ‘Why am I cleaning the music room right now?’ But as I got older I started to appreciate these fundamental, basic lessons that were actually very deep and useful, more so than what scale to play over what chord.”

Wil Blades ably carries on the organ tradition while infusing it with modern influences, suggesting an exciting future for the instrument.
Donald Harrison Jr.
Donald Harrison Jr.
Donald Harrison Jr. has combined a whirlwind career as a saxophonist with establishing cultural and educational traditions in his native New Orleans, Louisiana. Known for creating nouveau swing, a jazz style that combines R&B, funk, hip-hop, and African dance, Harrison tours all over the world and has many albums and honors to his name. Yet he finds time to be Big Chief of Congo Square Nation in New Orleans for Mardi Gras season as well as being cofounder and artistic director of Tipitina's Foundation Internship Program to help New Orleans youth, especially the disadvantaged, realize their musical dreams.
Mike Clark
Mike Clark
“He’s a great jazz drummer—and he hasn’t lost any of the stuff that he brought from Oakland. So now he’s totally free to do both, and he does. The solo he played on the album Thrust, on the song “Actual Proof,” is one of the best drum solos on any of my albums. So many people have remarked about that solo, saying, ‘Incredible.’” -Herbie Hancock

Drum virtuoso and jazz musician Mike Clark gained worldwide recognition as one of America’s foremost jazz and funk drummers while playing with Herbie Hancock and The Headhunters in the early seventies. His incisive playing on Hancock’s “Actual Proof” garnered him an international cult following and influenced generations of drummers. His versatility led him to a two-year stint with Brand X, the British jazz/rock fusion band founded by Phil Collins. With them he recorded “Do They Hurt?” and “Product.”

Mike is a co-leader with several other artists. “The Wolff and Clark Expedition 2,” with pianist Michael Wolff, was considered one of Downbeat's Top 25 releases in 2016. Along with Delbert Bump, he released "Retro Report," an organ trio CD, in April 2018. He continues to tour with the Headhunters.
Scott Amendola
Scott Amendola
For Scott Amendola, the drum kit isn’t so much an instrument as a musical portal. An ambitious composer, savvy bandleader and capaciously creative foil for some of the world’s most inventive musicians, Amendola applies his rhythmic virtuosity to a vast array of settings. His closest musical associates include guitarists, Nels Cline, Jeff Parker, Charlie Hunter, Hammond B-3 organist Wil Blades, violinists Regina Carter and Jenny Scheinman, clarinetist Ben Goldberg, players who have each forged a singular path within and beyond the realm of jazz.

No project better displays Amendola’s big ears and musical ambitions than “Fade To Orange”, an orchestral piece commissioned as part of the Oakland East Bay Symphony’s Irvine Foundation-funded New Visions/New Vistas initiative. The roiling work premiered to critical acclaim at Oakland’s Paramount Theater on April 15, 2011.

As a sideman, Amendola has performed and recorded with a vast, stylistically varied roster of artists, including Bill Frisell, John Zorn, Mike Patton, Mondo Cane, John Scofield, Cibo Matto, John Dieterich from Deerhoof, Wadada Leo Smith, Bruce Cockburn, Madeleine Peyroux, Joan Osborne, Jacky Terrasson, Shweta Jhaveri, Phil Lesh, Sex Mob, Kelly Joe Phelps, Larry Klein, Carla Bozulich, Wayne Horvitz, Johnny Griffin, Julian Priester, Sonny Simmons, Pat Martino, Jim Campilongo, Bobby Black, Larry Goldings, Paul McCandless, Rebecca Pidgeon, and the Joe Goode Dance Group.

Over a career spanning more than three decades, Amendola has forged deep ties across the country, and throughout the world. As an ambitious composer, savvy bandleader, electronics explorer, first-call accompanist, and capaciously creative foil for some of the world’s most inventive musicians, Amendola applies his wide-ranging rhythmic virtuosity to a vast array of settings. He’s never more than one degree away from a powerful musical hook-up.
Jeff Parker
Jeff Parker
“His sound is unmistakable, spastic and unpredictable, yet at the same time precise and refined…history will certainly reflect that he is one of the more noteworthy guitarists of his generation.” -Dusted Magazine

Jeff Parker is a multi-instrumentalist, producer and composer. A longtime member of the influential indie-band Tortoise, Parker is recognized as one of contemporary music’s most versatile and innovative electric guitarists and composers.

With a prolific output characterized by musical ideas of angularity and logic, he works in a wide variety of mediums - from pop, rock and jazz to new music - using ideas informed by innovations and trends in both popular and experimental forms.

He creates works that explore and exploit the contrary relationships between tradition and technology, improvisation and composition, and the familiar and the abstract.
Jack Tone-Riordan
Jack Tone-Riordan
Jack Tone-Riordan has been a well-loved guitarist on the Bay Area jazz scene for close to 20 years. He is a modern player with firm roots in the tradition. Local jazz fans know they can catch him on almost any given night of the week performing as a leader or sideman. Jack has recorded and/or performed with some of today's finest jazz musicians, including Dr. Lonnie Smith, Tony Monaco, Larry Goldings, Dayna Stephens, Eddie Marshal, Mike Clark, Jarred Gold and many more. Tone-Riordan's latest album (soon to be released) Features Darrell Green On Drums and Jarred Gold on Hammond B3 Organ.​