New tune for SFJAZZ

11 May 2010

SFJAZZ announce permanent new facility in San Francisco’s performing arts district

SFJAZZ are currently planning to build the 28-year-old institution’s first permanent home. The organisation is an educational musical facility, which presents as many as 100 performances annually and partakes in a jazz outreach programme to Bay Area students. SFJAZZ’s new home is set to be on Franklin Street in San Francisco’s Hayes Valley, providing new artistic competition for neighbours San Francisco Symphony, San Francisco Opera and San Francisco Ballet.

After a very generous anonymous donation of $20m (the largest donation ever given to a jazz institution), SFJAZZ is well on its way to raising the goal budget of $60m. Chair of the Board of Trustees, Srinija Srinivasan, seemed upbeat about raising the necessary funds, stating: ”We have a diverse and very motivated donor base that truly reflects who we are as an organisation. Our donors represent the eclectic spirit of the Bay Area and beyond. We invite everyone in the Bay Area to join the effort.” The architect chosen for this large-scale project is Mark Cavagnero, an award-winning San Francisco local, whose practise recently received the California AIA Council 2010 Distinguished Practice Award. Cavagnero’s design for the 35,000 sq ft centre involves a state of the art auditorium with flexible seating for an audience of 350-700 music lovers, advanced technology for performance recording and digital-age broadcasts to global audiences, and 80-seat multi-purpose Ensemble room, three rehearsal spaces, a digital learning lab and a pavement level restaurant/cafe.

In relation to the plans for an extensive new facility, SFJAZZ are to expand its educational programming and outreach to students. The design concept for the new building includes dedicated spaces for educational lectures, panel discussions, and professional workshops as well as a digital music lab for rehearsals and recordings, making space for this extended educational programme. Mark Cavagnero, the architect on this project, said: “The SFJAZZ Center will be distinct from more formal concert halls. Its design elements will capture the creative, non-hierarchical and improvisational spirit of the music form. The building’s concrete frame and translucent skin express the energy and functions within, including the flexible, large main theatre, an intimate 80-seat ensemble room, and a cafe that features live jazz. The glass-enclosed ground floor will engage passersby along the well-travelled neighbouring streets and welcome visitors.”

SFJAZZ Centre from SFJAZZ on Vimeo.

Sian Disson
Editorial Assistant

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