San Francisco Bay Area based composer and jazz bassist, Ravi Abcarian, started learning guitar at the age of seven and began playing bass when his high school jazz band director challenged him to switch from electric guitar to upright bass.

Ravi went on to join the house band for a weekly jam session at famed jazz venue, Yoshi’s Oakland. There, he met and began working with many of the Bay Area’s great musicians, including Faye Carol, Edwin Kelly, and Smiley Winters. By his mid-twenties he was busy performing a wide range of gigs from small clubs and cafés in Oakland and San Francisco to regional jazz festivals.

In 1997 Ravi was invited to join the Oakland, CA based nonprofit organization, Oaktown Jazz Workshops (OJW), as a bass instructor by Founding Director, Khalil Shaheed. Shortly after, Ravi was promoted to the position of Educational Director.  In 2011, Ravi was appointed Executive Director of OJW by Mr. Shaheed and the OJW Board of Directors.

Ravi has more than 20 years of teaching experience through his role as the Artistic Director of “The Richmond Jazz Collective,” a resident company at The East Bay Center for Performing Arts in Richmond, CA where he taught from 1993 to 2013, as a school music teacher for grades K-12, and teaching individual bass and guitar lessons at his home studio. He also enjoys working as a sideman, as is evidenced by his extensive experience accompanying artists ranging from legendary tap dancer Fayard Nicholas (of the Nicholas Brothers) and vocal group Sweet Honey in the Rock to tenor saxophonists Chico Freeman, Joshua Redman and Sonny Simmons.


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John Santos Quintet Saturday, October 6th • 7PM

You’re invited to a concert performance featuring the outstanding young musicians of Oaktown Jazz Workshops and The John Santos Quintet.

The concert takes place at 7PM on Saturday, October 6th at Oaktown Jazz Workshops, 55 Washington Street, Jack London Square, Oakland.

This event is a benefit for Oaktown Jazz Workshops’ year-round music program for youth. As you may know, I’ve been with Oaktown Jazz Workshops since 1997, and have seen the incredible impact that we’ve had on the lives of countless youth.  We are only able to continue thriving thanks to support from individuals like you.

Tickets are available at

Tell a friend and if you participate in social media please share the event Facebook page at

Thank you,

Ravi Abcarian

Executive Director
Oaktown Jazz Workshops

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