Bolingbroke mural poster

Shipyard artist Richard Bolingbroke creates mural backdrop for jazz performances at Word. A Cafe in the Bayview

Shipyard artist Richard Bolingbroke will unveil a 30-foot “Jazz Mural” at Word. A Cafe in San Francisco’s Bayview district on Friday May 21. The brilliantly colored mural wraps around the inside of the cafe’s new bandstand created in one of two dining decks built in parking spaces as part of the city’s Shared Spaces program.

Where: Word. A Cafe, 5114 Third Street at the Revere-Shafter Muni T Line station
When: Friday, May 21, 6-8 p.m. Unveiling will be midway through the performance by jazz vocalist Loretta Gooden

For now, all musical events at the cafe are outdoors, with masking and social distancing as required by the city’s health officials.

The cafe charges no cover, but asks for a minimum $10 per person donation to support the musicians.

Reservations can be made through EventBrite, or by contacting the cafe at

The new mural design reflects Bolingbroke’s visual take on the music that happens at Word every Friday and Saturday night. Bolingbroke has been a regular customer and one of a rotating roster of artists the cafe has hosted.

“This is about jazz,” Bolingbroke said as he began laying out the patterns. “This is my musical interpretation of jazz. Jazz means syncopation. It means rhythm, it means things coming out of nowhere and just kind of exploding.” “It’s very improvised;’ he added, pointing to a few of the motifs. “Maybe here’s a trombone. Then here come the drums, here’s a flute, and here’s the bass player.”

To some viewers, the mural evokes the cutouts of Matisse, the eye-popping soup cans and donuts of Andy Warhol and the mid-century modern title credits of early James Bond movies. “The vibrant colors and movement of Richard’s art inspires great music here every weekend,” said Kat Anderson, co-owner of the 2½-year-old cafe.

“To my eye, Richard’s mural moves right along with Charles Unger’s tenor saxophone and Manny [Berry]’s keyboards,” said Word co-owner Carl Hall, an amateur singer, songwriter and harmonica player who occasionally sits in with the performers.

Word. A Cafe is operating on reduced hours pending the return to full capacity inside dining: Friday 11 am – 8 pm, Saturday 11 am – 10 pm, and Sunday 10 am – 2 pm. Musical performances are 6-8 p.m. Fridays, 7 pm to closing on Saturdays, and 11 am to 1 pm on Sundays. Reservations aren’t required but are recommended, particularly on Sundays.

For more information: Carl Hall,, or 415-500-2501.

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