Sax player McPherson launches 14th season of Del Mar Foundation’s ‘First Thursday’ events


First Thursdays, a nine-event offering of cultural programs from the Del Mar Foundation, started its 14th season recently with world-renowned saxophone player Charles McPherson.

A packed Powerhouse audience listened to the mainstream jazz performance of McPherson and his group of San Diego-based musicians including bassist Rob Thorsen, drummer Carlos Vazquez, pianist Joshua White, and trumpet virtuoso Gilbert Castellanos. McPherson dedicated the performance to his recently deceased colleague, Gerald Wilson, a renowned jazz musician whose career spanned more than 70 years.

McPherson grew up in Detroit, studied with jazz icons including pianist Barry Harris, and began playing professionally at age 19. He recently performed at Lincoln Center and was featured in the Clint Eastwood film “Bird,” a biography of Charlie “Bird” Parker.

The Cultural Arts Committee of the Del Mar Foundation is dedicated to bringing a wide variety of concerts, lectures, and other performances to Del Mar. Its flagship program, the First Thursdays subscription series, offers world-class performances every first Thursday between September and June. Also, special performances are offered throughout the year with tickets available to the public. For information about these programs or the Del Mar Foundation, visit