[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  
California, there
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  
out there
who donated $20 million to the project?

Steve Barbone

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.”

More information about the Dixielandjazz mailing list