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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.