[Dixielandjazz] It ain't Dixieland, But.
Stephen G Barbone
barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Fri May 7 06:35:06 PDT 2010
It isn't Dixieland, but given the preponderance of DJMLers in
may be some interest in an article indicating that the jazz genre is
alive and well
in the San Francisco Bay Area. Any ideas on who that local jazz fan is
who donated $20 million to the project?
NY TIMES - By Ben Ratliff - May 8, 2010
San Francisco Jazz Group Plans Its Own Building Dedicated to the Genre
SFJazz, the San Francisco arts organization, will announce plans on
Friday to build its own facility dedicated to jazz: a 35,000-square-
foot building in that city’s Hayes Valley neighborhood, with two
adaptable theater spaces inside.
“The concept of an institution for jazz is a very new thing —
obviously, Jazz at Lincoln Center made that concept work,” said
Randall Kline, the group’s director. “It’s the idea that jazz has
earned a right to permanence. And because our view of jazz is wide-
angled, it’s a great thing for the art form.”
The building, to be called the SFJazz Center and designed by Mark
Cavagnero Associates Architects, is scheduled to break ground in
spring 2011 and open in fall 2012. It will entail a $60 million
capital campaign, including a $10 million operating endowment.
The campaign was initiated in 2008 by a $20 million donation from an
individual from the Bay Area who wished to remain unidentified, Mr.
Kline said. Beyond the gift, $10 million has been raised from the
SFJazz board; Mr. Kline hopes to raise 80 percent of the $60 million
total by next spring.
Founded in 1983, SFJazz offers nearly 100 concerts a year to a growing
audience that includes a 3,000-member subscriber base. As the most
visible presenter of jazz in San Francisco, it produces the city’s
annual fall jazz festival, as well as its own year-round schedule of
concerts, talks and workshops. Since 2004 it has cultivated its own in-
house band, the SFJazz Collective, whose members have included some of
the genre’s marquee names — Joshua Redman, Dave Douglas, Joe Lovano,
Bobby Hutcherson and Nicholas Payton. The band records and tours with
a new program every year.
In many respects, SFJazz has functioned like a West Coast counterpart
to New York’s Jazz at Lincoln Center. But the creation of a bricks-and-
mortar home base where the organization will present 90 percent of its
concerts — near the city’s conservatory of music and symphony hall —
seals that comparison.
Mr. Kline said the theater inside the building would be a steeply
raked, 700-seat space.
“It’s acoustically friendly to jazz both in the sound aspect and the
proximity aspect,” he said. “The idea I’m trying to capture is
He added, “When we visited other theaters with our architectural
people, we went to many smaller places, including Barbès and the
Brooklyn Lyceumin New York. We wanted a hybrid of different theater
shapes, not necessarily associated with a particular art form, whether
music or theater. And we wanted a community room, welcome to everybody.”
Another space inside the building, he said, will be a multi-use room
with an 80-person capacity that will serve as a daytime rehearsal hall
for the Collective, SFJazz’s high school band and community big band,
as well as handle smaller concerts at night. There will also be a
cafe, and four other rooms for rehearsal and recording.
“If we get it right, it’s going to be a great place to experience
music,” Mr. Kline said. “It truly could be a center for jazz.”
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