Shenson Faculty Concert Series: Stevie Wonder – His Songs in the Key of Life with Clif Payne

Join GRAMMY-honored vocalist Clif Payne as he celebrates songs from Stevie Wonder’s greatest album, Songs In The Key of Life. For this special concert, Clif will sing re-imagined versions of Stevie’s songs backed by a trio consisting of pianist Frank Martin, bassist Daniel Fabricant and drummer David Rokeach. Frank has toured with Sting, Billy Joel and his album credits include with Whitney Houston, Al Jarreau and Chris Isaak. Stevie Wonder’s songs reach across boundaries, cultures and generations. If you love great jazz singing, great music and Stevie’s wonderful songs, don’t miss this show!

Featured Musicians:

Clif Payne, voice
Frank Martin, piano
Daniel Fabricant, bass
David Rokeach, drums

Thursday, July 25 at 7pm
CMC Concert Hall
FREE (RSVP here)

About the Shenson Faculty Concert Series

The Shenson Faculty Concert Series returns this summer with free concerts spotlighting CMC’s talented faculty members. Each year, the Shenson Foundation sponsors free community concerts for musical projects to support CMC faculty as performing artists and ensure their work on stage is shared and celebrated in our community.

This year’s accomplished presenters will highlight a wide variety of musical styles, techniques, and creative inspirations—from jazz to classical to folk traditions, original compositions, and music as a tool for social justice and historical and cultural reflection.

Meet this summer’s talented faculty performers:

About the Performers:

Discovered by jazz icon Bobby McFerrin, Harlem-born Clif Payne has one of the most distinctive voices in music today having opened in concert for Tony Bennett, Johnny Mathis and Dionne Warwick. His album credits include George Benson, Harvey Mason, Gerald Albright and jazz fusionist Hiroshima. Clif released his first solo albums, Welcome To My World in 2016 and TOO in 2018. Both albums are a tribute to the classic R&B stylings of the 1980s & ’90s and features the legendary vocalist Freda Payne in duet with Clif. Welcome To My World features their #1 U.K. R&B hit “No Payne, No Gain.”

“Clif is a lush tenor with soaring melismas in his individual passages.” —Don Heckman, Los Angeles Times

Daniel Fabricant may be the most versatile bassist in San Francisco—and the most in-demand. Playing upright or electric, he can adapt to a wide range of musical settings, from intimate chamber groups to sprawling dance bands and Latin ensembles. In his decade on the San Francisco scene he has played as a sideman with dozens of San Francisco groups and is a founding member of the award-winning Nice Guy Trio.

Fabricant has performed internationally with Piaf! The Show, The California Honeydrops, Michael Feinstein, Liza Minnelli, Betty Buckley, Joan Rivers, Spencer Day, Ann Hampton Callaway, Petula Clark, Dan Hicks and Mary Wilson of the Supremes, among many others. In the Bay Area, he regularly performs with Rupa and the April Fishes, Redwood Tango Ensemble, The Cosmo Alleycats, Lavay Smith and the Red Hot Skillet Lickers and Gaucho, among many others. He has appeared at SFJAZZ, Monterey Jazz Festival, Yerba Buena Gardens, Yoshi’s, The Freight and Salvage, and the Feinstein’s at the Hotel Nikko, and New York City venues including Carnegie Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Café Carlyle and The Algonquin. 

Northern California native Frank Martin continues a diverse career as a performer, producer and educator, and has performed and/or recorded with a wide variety of artists that include:

Stevie Wonder, Sting, Randy Brecker, Angela Bofill, Whitney Houston, Al Jarreau, Richard Bona, Shankar Mahadevan, Alex Acuna, Dori Caymmi, Larry Coryell, Flora Purim & Airto Moriera, Narada Michael Walden, Herbie Hancock, Pandit Ronu Majumdar, Tuck & Patti, Patrice Rushen, Wah Wah Watson, Robben Ford, Joey DeFrancesco, Lisa Fischer, Nguyen Le, Trilok Gurtu, John McLaughlin, Joe Farrell, Nishat Khan, Patti Austin, Steve Winwood, Santana, Abraham Laboriel, Chris Isaak, Anandan Sivamani, B.B. King, Larry Carlton, John Handy, Bruce Springsteen, Chris Botti, Jose Neto & the Netoband, Paul Simon, Patti Labelle, L. Subramaniam, Ramsey Lewis, Stanley Turrentine, Dennis Chambers, Alex Acuna, Kala Ramnath, Steve Kindler, Turtle Island String Quartet, Zakir Hussain, Wayne Shorter.

For the past 25 years he has been a member of Sting’s “Rainforest Band” performing annually at Carnegie Hall along with James Taylor, Elton John, Billy Joel and many others. Traveled as Musical Director for recording artists Narada Michael Walden, Patti Austin, Angela Bofill, Roy Ayers. Arranging credits include Al Green, Dianna Ross, Turtle Island String Quartet, Steve Winwood, Chris Isaak, Lisa Fischer, Angela Bofill, Mimi Fox . . .

A long time Bay Area resident, drummer David Rokeach has been working primarily in the San Francisco and Los Angeles areas for more than 20 years. David toured nationally and internationally with Ray Charles from 1990-91. This included concert videos and many television appearances, including an appearance on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and the Doc Severinson Orchestra. In recent years he has performed/recorded with Aretha Franklin, Patti LaBelle, Aaron Neville, Mavis Staples, Lou Rawls, Dr. John, Grammy winner Joe Henderson, Stanley Clarke, Down Beat Poll winner Mark Murphy, Bluesman Charlie Musselwhite, The George Brooks-Zakir Hussain Group, Wilson Pickett, Linda Tillery, Steve Miller, Joe Satriani, Grammy-winning Blues legend Taj Mahal, Big Brother and the Holding Company, Joyce Cooling, Maria Muldaur, Calvin Keys, Barry Finnerty, Merl Saunders, David Grisman, Melvin Seals, The Family Stone Experience, Louis Bellson, Wayne Wallace, The Nelson Riddle Orchestra, Wycliffe Gordon, Anat Cohen, The San Francisco Symphony, The Atlanta Symphony, The Baltimore Symphony, The Dallas Sympnony, Paula West, Brazilian Master Marcos Silva, The Coasters, The Shirelles, Bluegrass Grammy winner Alison Brown, Ernestine Anderson, Oscar Brown Jr., award-winning trumpeter Ingrid Jensen, acclaimed composer and Grammy winner, Maria Schneider, Tony, Grammy, Oscar and Emmy Award winner, Rita Moreno, and many more.

Date / Time

July 25, 2024
7:00 pm
Cost: Free

Type of Event



CMC Concert Hall
544 Capp Street, San Francisco, CA 94110