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John Handy 

When: Sun., Feb. 24, 3 p.m. 2013
Price: $50

John Handy is the most consistently creative saxophonist ever to blow out of Oakland. He developed his chops, particularly his stunning command of the alto's upper register, during the Fifties, playing modern jazz at Bop City in San Francisco and blues with such greats as Lowell Fulson and Jimmy McCracklin before making a national name for himself in 1959 with Charles Mingus on such classic albums as Mingus Ah Um and Mingus Dynasty. He went on to lead his own bands and collaborate with the likes of Ravi Shankar and Ali Akbar Khan, and even scored an R&B hit with "Hard Work" in 1976. Handy has been playing mostly straight-ahead jazz in recent years, and on Sunday, Feb. 24, he'll celebrate his eightieth birthday at Yoshi's (1330 Fillmore St., San Francisco) in the company of saxophonist Robert Stewart, pianist Glenn Pearson, bassist Ron Belcher, drummer Jaz Sawyer, and singers Jamie Davis and Denise Perrier. 3 p.m., $50. Yoshis.com

— Lee Hildebrand

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