30th Annual San Francisco Jazz Festival

Randall Kline's Picks

For three decades, the San Francisco Jazz Festival has been a place for legends, a place to introduce emerging artists, and a place to explore the boundaries of jazz. Here are my “baker’s dozen” picks for this 30th Anniversary Season, in chronological order:

      Saturday, August 25, 8:00pm      
      at Paramount Theatre

Esperanza Spalding is the new face of jazz. She debuted at the festival four years ago and now returns as a genuine star with her latest project, Radio Music Society.

      Friday, September 28, 8:00pm      
      at Herbst Theatre

Brecker Brothers Band Reunion is a long-awaited reunion of many classic Brecker Brothers members, including Randy Brecker, Mike Stern, George Whitty, Neil Jason and Dave Weckl. Rising star Ada Rovatti stands in for the late Michael Brecker.

      Saturday, September 29, 8:00pm      
      at Herbst Theatre

A spectacular array of Miles Davis alums come together again as Miles Smiles, with Wallace Roney, Bill Evans, Robben Ford, Joey DeFrancesco, Darryl Jones and Omar Hakim.

      Sunday, September 30, 8:30pm      
      at Davies Symphony Hall

The history of jazz and the tenor saxophone is embodied by the colossus Sonny Rollins. His probing solos are legendary, and he’s easily among the most influential jazz musicians alive. President Obama recently presented him with the nation’s highest artistic award, a Kennedy Center Honor.

      Friday, October 5, 8:00pm      
      at Grace Cathedral

The Sacred Space concerts have been an essential part our presenting since 1986. This fall, Branford Marsalis is performing solo, but matched with the 7-second echo of Grace Cathedral. Branford joins this longstanding SFJAZZ tradition and an esteemed list of saxophonists including Joe Henderson, Jackie McLean, Pharoah Sanders and Steve Lacy.

      Saturday, October 6, 8:00pm      
      at YBCA Forum

Saxophonist and clarinetist Don Byron defines eclecticism. He first played the San Francisco Jazz Festival in 1993 with his klezmer tribute to Mickey Katz, and now this musical chameleon returns with his back-to-the-roots New Gospel Quintet.

      Wednesday, October 10, 7:30pm      
      at Herbst Theatre

On Thelonious Monk’s birthday (10/10), we present Barry Harris, Jacky Terrasson and Alfredo Rodríguez — three generations of superb pianists carrying on the spirit of Monk. Barry Harris is the “voice of Monk,” a veteran who has a closer connection to Monk than any other living artist.

      Thursday, October 18, 7:30pm      
      at Herbst Theatre

Latin jazz trailblazers Jerry and Andy Gonzalez have never performed as a duo before, making this show an “only at SFJAZZ” event. They’re sharing a bill with another duo, the young Cuban pianist Elio Villafranca and percussionist Arturo Stable.

      Friday, October 26, 8:00pm      
      at Herbst Theatre

San Francisco’s own Mary Stallings is considered by many to be the top vocalist in jazz. She has been an integral part of SFJAZZ’s history, appearing numerous times since 1986. You always feel better after hearing Ms. Stallings sing, and we honored her with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011. She’s appearing with the masterful pianist Bill Charlap and his trio.

      Thursday, November 1, 8:00pm      
      at Palace of Fine Arts Theatre

Making his third SFJAZZ appearance is Robert Glasper, a game-changing artist who incorporates modern pop and R&B sounds into his music.

      Friday, November 9, 8:00pm      
      at Davies Symphony Hall

Ornette Coleman has changed the course of jazz. He is an artist to whom the label “genius” has attached itself, and for good reason. In 1994 we presented the premiere of his controversial Tone Dialing, and he has performed four times since. He will be appearing with his quartet with two basses, which he debuted at SFJAZZ.

      Saturday, November 10, 8:00pm      
      at YBCA Forum

Another San Francisco jazz singer, Lavay Smith, has also performed numerous times for SFJAZZ. She and her band, the Red Hot Skillet Lickers, are keeping the swing of ’40s Kansas City alive.

      Sunday, December 2, 7:00pm      
      at Herbst Theatre

The Blind Boys of Alabama, founded in 1939, are the seminal gospel group in America. They are returning to rekindle their holiday gospel concert, which has brought the house down four previous times at SFJAZZ.

F12 RK's picks #2

Ranking: 
2
Excerpt Body: 

Brecker Brothers Band Reunion is a long-awaited reunion of many classic Brecker Brothers members, including Randy Brecker, Mike Stern, George Whitty, Neil Jason and Dave Weckl. Rising star Ada Rovatti stands in for the late Michael Brecker.

F12 RK's picks #1

Ranking: 
1
Event Pick: 
Excerpt Body: 

Esperanza Spalding is the new face of jazz. She debuted at the festival four years ago and now returns as a genuine star with her latest project, Radio Music Society.

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podcast

30 years of SFJAZZ Highlights

Just a few of the amazing musicians who have performed with SFJAZZ



*NOTE: A full list of SFJAZZ presented artists coming soon!

Ticket Buying Tips

To make sure your ticket buying experience is as smooth as possible, we’ve put together a few pointers below. If you have additional questions, get in touch with us at boxoffice@sfjazz.org.

How do I get the best seats possible?

Short answer: become an SFJAZZ Member. Members get access to tickets weeks before the general public, starting Saturday, October 13 at 10am. The general public will not have access to Season 1 tickets until early November.

Want to take it up a notch? Leaders Circle Members enjoy special reserved access to premium seats.

Should I buy online or over the phone?

We recommend, in this order:

1) Online: The fastest way to order tickets. All online orders are processed immediately, ensuring you the absolute best seats available at that time. As of Fall 2012, you can pick your exact seats for all shows in the SFJAZZ Center, Davies Symphony Hall or Paramount Theatre through the “Select Your Own Seat” option.

2) Box Office: If you don’t want to order online, we recommend coming down to the SFJAZZ Box Office, where orders are processed right away and allow you to speak with our staff about special requests. Directions to SFJAZZ Box Office.

3) Phone (Members: 415-788-7353, Public: 866-920-5299): We only recommended calling if you have special requests, such as needing an aisle or handicap accessible seat that you cannot find online. Phone lines get extremely busy during the Members Advance Sales period, so we strongly encourage you to order online.

Is my account active?

Make sure you have an account and that your log-in is working before October 13, when tickets for Season 1 in the SFJAZZ Center go on sale to Members. You can log-in, find or create your account here.

SFJAZZ recently made upgrades to our site that require accounts to use an email address instead of a separate user ID. If you previously had a user ID, you will now need to log-in with your email address on file.

The log-in page also has options to retrieve your password and create a new account. However, if you are a Member, do not create a new account as the system will not automatically find your membership. Please call us at 415-788-7353.

Is my membership current?

If you receive weekly emails from SFJAZZ Membership, then your membership is current. If you’re unsure whether your membership is current, write to members@sfjazz.org with your full name and primary email address. 

When will I receive my tickets?

We will be mailing all tickets for Season 1 in the SFJAZZ Center in early December. Any ticket orders placed for the 30th Anniversary San Francisco Jazz Festival will be mailed right away.

30th Anniversary San Francisco Jazz Festival Catalog

Discover Jazz: Young Lions

Discover Jazz

Música Cubana

Young Lions: From School of the Arts to Carnegie Hall

Wednesday, October 31, 7:00pm
at Jewish Community Center of San Francisco

Gonzalo Rubalcaba

Discover Jazz: Revolutionary Fusion

Discover Jazz

Música Cubana

Revolutionary Fusion: Cuba’s Post-Modern Edge

Wednesday, October 24, 7:00pm
at Jewish Community Center of San Francisco

Irakere
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