Critic’s Notebook: At SFJazz Center, a Genre’s Boundaries Are Flexible

“I’m sorry, you’ll have to forgive me,” pronounced Mr. Kline, a owners and executive artistic executive of SFJazz, as he took it all in, finally gnawing some cinema with his phone. “We’ve been operative toward this impulse for so long, it roughly feels surreal.”

In one clarity he was referring to a story of SFJazz, a presenting classification that began as a weekend festival called Jazz in a City in 1983 and now ranks among a leaders in a field. But he was also vocalization some-more tangibly about a center, a $64 million, 35,000-square-foot building that suggests a earthy phenomenon of his organization’s ideals.

An receptive three-story structure in potion and concrete, a SFJazz Center is being billed as a nation’s initial free-standing building combined for jazz. And if a clever diction of that explain suggests a sidestep opposite comparisons with Frederick P. Rose Hall — a $128 million home of Jazz during Lincoln Center, ensconced within a Time Warner Center in Manhattan — it frequency diminishes a unusual operation and guarantee of SFJazz’s achievement.

“It’s an considerable building, and has a certain grandeur,” pronounced a saxophonist Joshua Redman on Wednesday. “But it also feels kind of down-to-earth, and like it’s partial of a neighborhood.” (Mr. Redman, a former artistic executive of SFJazz, happened to be warming adult in a center’s Joshua Redman sauce room.)

The jazz circuit in this nation has always relied on a network of nightclubs, though there are distant fewer now than there once were — and not only in San Francisco, that depends Yoshi’s as a difference that proves a rule. For 30 years SFJazz was nomadic, regulating spaces like a Herbst Theater and Grace Cathedral. Mr. Kline began meditative about a dedicated home some-more than a decade ago, fervent to indurate an temperament and settle a unchanging customary of production.

In 2004 he common his prophesy with a Bay Area designer Mark Cavagnero. After weighing options like a partnership with a San Francisco Symphony, they set their sights on a skill assigned by an automobile correct emporium in a emergent-chic Hayes Valley area (and only a retard divided from Davies Symphony Hall). Mr. Cavagnero began sketch adult designs.

But a thought of a purpose-built structure wasn’t indispensably an easy sell with a SFJazz board: as some members forked out, a classification had flourished for years though it. One thing that helped Mr. Kline’s means was a concentration and passion of his evidence about permanence; another was a lead present of $20 million, that he had cumulative from an unknown benefactor.

One core element for a new building, by many rounds of planning, was that it would be a village core as most as a unison hall. To that end, a potion extraneous conveys a verbatim and unpractical transparency, while a second-floor run is bracketed by bars and balconies. (A span of consecrated murals depicting jazz scenes, by a artists Sandow Birk and Elyse Pignolet, accoutre a run walls.) The Joe Henderson Lab, a delegate 80-seat opening space that will accommodate workshops and other gatherings, sits during belligerent level, a goings-on manifest to passers-by.

And while a street-level cafeteria called South during SFJazz won’t open for business until subsequent month, it will be run by Charles Phan, a successful cook and owners of a Slanted Door grill group. It will be open all day, portion business who aren’t SFJazz patrons, that Mr. Kline pronounced was a point.

As for a feel of a auditorium, Mr. Cavagnero said, “I started looking during these Unitarian churches, since they’re places that are about people meeting, and there is no grave energy relationship; it’s about everybody being equal.”

He pronounced he drew sold impulse from Frank Lloyd Wright’s Unity Temple and Louis Kahn’s First Unitarian Church, adopting identical proportions for a hall. Its steeply raked seating devise offers good sightlines, and even a clarity of intimacy, from only about each vantage. (One quarrel of patio seats, that peers down from behind a stage, is expected to turn a cherished roost for song students looking to get inside a action.)

Mr. Kline, whose possess set of references enclosed a operation of nonsacramental spaces like a Brooklyn Lyceum and a Fat Cat in Greenwich Village, put it this way: “We wanted a focused feeling of a unison gymnasium though a loose vicinity of a club.”



The GlobalPost Mission is to provide original international reporting rooted in integrity, accuracy, independence and powerful storytelling that informs, entertains and fills the void created by diminished foreign coverage.