The winter thaw is well underway — with two HJF benefits in February and two more scheduled in April, it’s clear the juice is returning to the Sonoma County music scene.

Bennett FreidmanWhat about March? Well, there’s the four-days-a-week music in Healdsburg at the Dry Creek Kitchen and the Hotel Healdsburg Lobby. And just announced, the Music Department of Santa Rosa Junior College will present a jazz concert by the Bennett Friedman Quartet on Friday, March 18, at 8 PM in Newman Auditorium on the SRJC campus. 

Saxophonist Bennett Friedman has performed at many major jazz festivals in Northern California, including Monterey, San Jose, Stanford and Russian River.  He has taught Jazz Studies at Santa Rosa Junior College since 1977, and is currently serving as chair of the Music Department.

As a performer, Friedman has often played with the Healdsburg Jazz Festival in years past, and many of his “graduates” from SRJC are enthusiastic supporters and performers in area music. Friedman is on the HJF Musicians Advisory Group, and an active supporter of live jazz in regional venues. 

The quartet includes Randy Vincent on guitar, Chris Amberger on bass, and Lorca Hart playing drums.  We saw Randy Vincent most recently at the Guarneri Double Quartet benefit at the Healdsburg Center for the Arts on Feb. 23. has been teaching jazz guitar at Sonoma State University since 1981.  He has performed with Bobby Hutcherson, Joe Henderson and Dizzy Gillespie, and backed Brazilian bossa nova queen Leny Andrade at Barndiva a couple years ago.

Like Vincent, bassist Chris Amberger is a Santa Rosa resident who has appeared with George Shearing, Art Blakey, and Bobby McFerrin, and often in performance at the Dry Creek Kitchen.

Based in Los Angeles, drummer Lorca Hart often travels to the Bay Area for appearances, and has performed in Healdsburg many times, including several at the Healdsburg Jazz Festival.  He has also performed with Hugh Masekela, the Clayton Brothers and Anthony Wilson. His father is another HJF favorite, Billy Hart.

Admission to the event is $10 general and $5 for students and seniors.  There is a $4 fee for parking on campus.  Proceeds from the concert benefit the SRJC Foundation Music Department Fund. For further information please call 527-4255 or email directly for details.