When: Tue., Nov. 12, 8 p.m. 2019
Oakland-reared alto saxophonist Jesse Levit has been living in New York for most of the past decade, but he’s still a regular presence on the Bay Area scene, particularly when there’s an opportunity to stand up for the Oaktown Jazz Workshops. A proud Oaktown graduate, he credits the Workshops’ late founder Khalil Shaheed with showing him the jazz ropes, and he’s featured in an impressive OJW alumni combo that’s performing Tuesday at Yoshi’s as part of the OJW’s 25th anniversary celebration. Levit has also lined up a disparate run of gigs while he’s in town. He plays San Jose’s Café Stritch on Saturday with a burning quartet featuring bassist Josh Thurston-Milgrom, pianist Christina Galisatus, and drummer Wolf Quigg. He and Thurston-Milgrom are joined by pianist Dan Zemmelman and drummer Eric Garland Nov. 14 at Bird & Beckett in San Francisco, and Levit finishes the run Nov. 15 in Berkeley at Jupiter with Adam Shulman on organ and drummer Isaac Schwartz. Whatever the context, Levit plays with fire and conviction, rendering ballads with burnished lyricism and post-bop anthems with rip-snorting intensity.