Oakland Freedom Jazz Society presents

Hamir Atwal
Smith Dobson


Hamir began playing the drums at the age of 10 and started playing professionally at the age of 18.  He studied at the Berklee College of Music on scholarship studying improvisation with saxophone great Joe Lovano and trombonist/composer Hal Crook.  "Studying with composers and people who don't play your instrument really opened the way I approached music and improvising."  After graduating from Berklee, Hamir moved back to the San Francisco Bay Area, where he started working with creative musicians such as clarinetist/composer Ben Goldberg (Tin Hat Trio), trumpeter Darren Johnston (Nice Guy Trio) and saxophonist Patrick Wolff.  Hamir's rock/jazz/improv group Glimpse Trio was founded with guitarist Mike Sopko in 2010.  They released their 1st CD entitled "1985," which was described by Downbeat Magazine editor Frank Alkyer as "a furious blend of rock, jazz. blues with infectious folkiness."  Glimpse Trio's 2nd CD "Garage," will be released July 2012 featuring anticon producer/keyboardist Martin Dosh (Andrew Byrd), and bassist Chris Lopes (Jeff Parker, Mike Patton's Mondo Cane).  You can catch Hamir playing all over the San Francisco Bay Area, and is currently active with Glimpse Trio on the road playing over 100 shows a year with his group. In addition to performing, Hamir has also has taught drum clinics at the Stanford Jazz Workshop, the Berkeley Jazzschool, and Music Academy International (Nancy, France).


Smith Dobson

Drummer/Vibraphonist/Saxophonist Smith Dobson V has been performing in the Bay Area for nearly twenty years. Originally from Santa Cruz, Dobson is a member of an important Jazz family. His father, the late Smith Dobson IV, was a world renowned pianist and director of the Jazz series at the Garden City in San Jose for over twenty years, where he accompanied artists like Art Pepper, Stan Getz, Bobby Hutcherson, Harold Land, Chet Baker, Red Norvo, Tal Farlow, and Lee Konitz, to name a few. 

Also in the family, grandfather Smith III is a Jazz accordionist and grandmother Norma, mother Gail, and Sister Sasha are all Jazz vocalists. The family often performed as a group at the Garden City, and other venues, as well as many local schools and workshops. As a child, Smith V had the opportunity to study with legendary Jazz Drummer Albert "Tootie" Heath, who said of his pupil, "He has the talent, determination and persistence as a musician, combined with the dedication necessary to succeed... improvisational skills totally advanced, excellent sensitivity, both solo and as an accompanist... my most talented student!"

Smith got his first shot on a major stage sitting in with his parents at the Monterey Jazz Festival at age 11, and at age 15, led his own band at the MJF, under the first year of director Tim Jackson, who said, "Not only does Smith have the musical expertise to play the MJF, he has the leadership qualities to make it work. His arrangements are outstanding and uniquely his own."

Since then, Dobson has been performing with his various groups at many Bay Area venues, such as the San Jose and San Francisco Jazz Festivals, and clubs like The Kuumbwa Jazz Center, Yoshis, Kimballs, Pearls, Bacar, Brunos', The Make-Out Room, Great American Music Hall, Bottom Of The Hill, Amnesia, TheJazzschool, The Stanford Jazz Workshop, and The Intersection of the Arts. 

Smith has had the honor of working with some of the great Jazz artists, locally and internationally, such as Bobby Hutcherson, Red Rodney, John Handy, Sheila Jordan, Red Holloway, Pete and Conte Condoli, Phillip Harper, Hal Stein, Noel Jewekes, Ben Goldberg, Graham Connahs' Sour Note Seven, Darren Johnstone, Will Bernard, and Kenny Brooks. In 2000, Smith was asked by percussionist William Wynant to join him and the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players to perform works by composers Charles Mingus and Anthony Davis (who performed with the group on his own compositions), for a concert at the Yerba Buena Theater. Smith was also a member of the Ska/Punk/Rock band the Square Roots in the mid 90s'.


$10-$15 sliding scale


** No refunds or exchanges are permitted. **