Papa's life story mirrors much of the history of jazz in San Francisco over the past 50 years. He may be under the radar of many current jazz fans, but the significance of his career can be tracked through the dozens of young musicians who have found him a caring and trusted mentor as they make the transition from student to professional musician.
When I came to town, all the trumpet players were telling me about playing with B.J., Hung says. You learn a lot of songs because B.J. knows them all, and he helps you gain experience and exposure. A lot of the young cats got their start with him, and I feel privileged to be part of that lineage.