Beginning in September with the 2022-23 Season, SFJAZZ will celebrate both the 10th anniversary of the SFJAZZ Center and the 40th anniversary of the organization. Throughout the nine-month season, SFJAZZ will be presenting over 300 concerts from artists and musicians that have inspired and guided the organization for four decades including Chucho Vadlés, Hiromi, Charles Lloyd, Joe Lovano, Joshua Redman MoodSwing Reunion, SFJAZZ Collective, Monsieur Periné, Rosanne Cash, Cecilé McLorin-Salvant, Chris Botti, Pink Martini, Mavis Staples, tributes to Chick Corea, McCoy Tyner, Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, Joe Henderson, and so much more.
It doesn’t seem so very long ago that Randall Kline, the founder and Executive Artistic Director of SFJAZZ, had only begun to talk about his dream — that after decades of roaming San Francisco, from rented space to rented space, his organization should have its own home, and that it should have the energy of a great little jazz club along with the comforts and sound quality of a fine concert hall. It took years of planning and fundraising (to the tune of $64 million) to fulfill the vision: that SFJAZZ would plant a flag for jazz. It would produce hundreds of concerts each year, and — most importantly — it would create a community gathering place. The SFJAZZ Center was to be more than just a building. It would be a home for artists and audiences, a place where everyone felt comfortable: nice dressing rooms, unobstructed sight lines, excellent sound, a sense of intimacy. The music would be celebrated. Artists and listeners would connect, and that connection — such was the hope — would lead to peak experiences for everyone in the 700-seat hall.
Has it worked? Over the years, some prominent musicians have answered with a resounding “yes.”
The sound is so clear, the audience so wrapped up in the intimacy of the situation, singer Dianne Reeves once remarked, that “you can feel them feeling it, and if a note or a sound or a word sends them, they let you know. It’s kind of what you get in church.” Pianist Ahmad Jamal, among the most revered instrumentalists in the history of this art form, has called the hall “a jewel… a tribute to the monumental power of this music.”
Last September, when the lights went back on at the SFJAZZ Center, Kline invited Omar Sosa, the technology-savvy Cuban pianist, to give the system a trial run performing his piece “Motherland Journey” — merged his band’s improvisations with the visual images that danced across the walls, enclosing the audience in a multi-media bubble. “It was like a movie,” Sosa said. He wants to come back and do it again: “This is the temple of jazz.”
Join SFJAZZ in what promises to be a special milestone celebratory season full of memorable moments and performances.
More information and tickets at SFJAZZ.org.