On its 30th anniversary, SFJazz gambles on a 700-seat, $63 million concert hall and HQ. Can it re-energize a San Francisco scene?
A rare old school jazz legend in the center's inaugural season — stunning and dapper pianist Tyner will "consecrate" the space by performing with the SFJazz house band.
Jan. 24, 7:30pm, $50–$150
MONTCLAIR WOMEN'S BIG BAND
Swing is still huge in SF, and this celebration of the classic big band sound pairs the 17-member Montclair Women with the 20-member Realistic Orchestra (who've big-banded Bjork) for a wall of swingin' sound. The SFJazz High School All-Stars Orchestra opens.
Jan. 31, 7:30pm, $25
AFRO-CUBAN ALL STARS
Oh heck yes.
Feb. 22-24, 7:30pm, $25–$65
The gorgeous longing of Portuguese fado washes over the Bay in the form of the wonderfully voiced Mariza, a spellbinding star whose repertoire spotlights acoustic melancholy melodies from Brazil, Cape Verde, North Africa, and beyond.
Mar. 14-17, 7:30pm, $25–$65
"JOHN SANTOS: FILOSOFÍA CARIBEÑA II"
Beloved Bay Area bandleader and jazz evangelist digs deep in his knowledge of Cuban, Latin, and indigenous Caribbean styles to deliver a heady trip through ancient Iberian influences and contemporary island expressions.
Mar. 23, 7:30pm, $25–$65
San Francisco's Club Foot Orchestra performs its renowned futuristic soundtrack to Fritz Lang's silent sci-fi masterpiece.
Apr. 14, 7:30pm, $20–$40
"ALLEN GINSBERG'S KADDISH" AND "HUNTER S. THOMPSON'S THE KENTUCKY DERBY"
Überhip guitarist Bill Frissell, an SFJazz resident artistic director, applies his downtown cool pedigree to two überhip literary iconoclasts. He'll be conducting an ace team of musicians for multimedia presentations of Ginsberg's epic poem of mourning and Thompson's notorious, uproarious 1970 article about the grand horse race. With visual design by Ralph Steadman for both programs, classic counterculture will be out in force.
Ginsberg: Apr. 18, 7pm and 9:30pm, $35–$80
Thompson: Apr. 20, 7:30pm and Apr. 21, 4pm and 7pm, $35–$80
BANDWAGON AND LIVE SKATEBOARDING
"Jazz wild card" and MacArthur Genius pianist Jason Moran gets contemporary with new trio Bandwagon, performing a rolicking set as a who's-who of SF skateboarders shows off the flexibility of the new center.
May 4, 7:30pm, $20–$40