Black Lives Matter
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Black Lives Matter

Jazz is music born of the African American experience.

Those who present, play and enjoy this music are duty-bound to recognize its origins.

When we see the acculturated oppression and violence against African Americans continually expressed throughout our society, we must choose to fight it.

The birth of jazz, and its evolution is rooted in black artists fighting against systemic oppression. Jazz musicians have always been on the front lines of change. The music’s elders endured humiliation with the belief that freedom was near. In the 37-year life of SFJAZZ we have been privileged to present such dedicated griots who fought for, and were exemplars of “Freedom Now.”

To George Floyd, to all who have died at the hands of police brutality and other forms of systemic racism, to black Americans whom we have failed over and over again to provide the protection every citizen deserves: We stand on the side of righteousness and justice. We must do better. Our country must do better.

— Randall Kline, SFJAZZ Founder and Executive Artistic Director & SFJAZZ