New Jazz Center

The New SF Jazz Center is now officially open, situated a few blocks away from City Hall at Franklin.   On opening night punters were privy to Esperanza Spaulding (the first jazz artist ever to win a Grammy as best new artist); McCoy Tyner, Joe Lovano and Eric Harland, with Bill Cosby as emcee.  Other performers include: Chick Corea, Pete Escovedo, Bobby Hutcherson, and John Handy. This center really proves once-and-for-all that jazz is not dead and is also a great place to play music and have fun.  Musicians who have already enjoyed it there have likened it to Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York which has acoustics conducive to this. 

The idea is that people should feel “invited into the music,” according to Eric Harland. And that’s exactly what is likely to happen given that the auditorium can seat up to 700 people.   Last week, to mark MLK day, the center gave the public the opportunity to enjoy a free celebratory party also to mark a new day for itself.  It was established in 1983 but at that time had to hold concerts in a variety of different venues.  But the celebration now is that it boasts its very own venue. 

Ultimately, according to Harland, jazz is US music, part of the nation’s heritage and its “gift to the world.”

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