A center designed specifically for jazz sounds pretty good to local musician Adam Theis, founder of Jazz Mafia. Theis will perform with one of his groups, Realistic Orchestra, in the second week of the opening celebrations. He particularly likes the idea of a permanent space for the music, recalling how Jazz Mafia's Tuesday night residency changed venues four times in 10 years because its host venues kept closing. "It's exciting to know that it's going to be a place more for art as opposed to a commercial space that's driven like a club," Theis says. "There are people who are passionate about it and love it, and they will put in thousands to see the art form preserved."

But questions remain about whether contemporary audiences will still pay to go see jazz. San Francisco clubs focused exclusively on the genre have struggled. Yoshi's, for example, discovered that its Fillmore location could not turn a profit by booking only jazz, so it has branched out into R&B, world music, and even hip-hop. The SFJAZZ Center plans to take a different approach: preservation instead of profit. "The negative is some people call it the 'museumification' of jazz," Theis says. "But the upside is it becomes something that's credible, and people want to fund it to keep it alive."

The SFJAZZ center was designed to be open and inviting — you’ll even be able to glimpse the main stage from the street.
Henrik Kam
The SFJAZZ center was designed to be open and inviting — you’ll even be able to glimpse the main stage from the street.
SFJAZZ Artistic Director John Santos
Courtesy SFJAZZ
SFJAZZ Artistic Director John Santos

Indeed, the hope among both musicians and the organization's founders is that the SFJAZZ Center becomes nothing less than a local landmark. "It will be a crown jewel up there with the Golden Gate Bridge or Twin Peaks," says Santos. "It's going to be gold on a cultural level for the city."

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1 comments
maxium
maxium

To have a center dedicated to Jazz music, very cool idea!...

fugly architecture though.

 
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