The SFJAZZ Collective is an all-star award-winning jazz ensemble comprising eight of the finest performers/composers at work in jazz today. Launched in 2004 by SFJAZZ in San Francisco, the SFJAZZ Collective has become one of the most exciting and acclaimed groups on the jazz scene. The award-winning SFJAZZ Center in San Francisco is the Collective’s home base. 

 The current octet is a burnished international ensemble comprising alto saxophonist Miguel Zenón, tenor saxophonist David Sánchez, vibraphonist Warren Wolf, trumpeter Sean Jones, trombonist Robin Eubanks, pianist Edward Simon, bassist Matt Penman and drummer Obed Calvaire.

Each year, the SFJAZZ Collective creates and performs eight new works and eight new arrangements of tunes by an honored artist. Past honorees include Ornette Coleman, John Coltrane, Herbie Hancock, Thelonious Monk, Wayne Shorter, McCoy Tyner, Horace Silver, Stevie Wonder, and Chick Corea. For their 2016-17 season, the Collective will perform new arrangements of the music of jazz innovator Miles Davis and new compositions.

In addition to its outstanding line-up with a leaderless format, the SFJAZZ Collective has also been praised for the innovative approach to repertoire. Through the pioneering approach of simultaneously honoring jazz's recent history while championing the music's up-to-the-minute directions, the Collective embodies SFJAZZ's commitment to jazz as a living, ever-relevant art form. 

As soloists, composers, and bandleaders, the SFJAZZ Collective represents what’s happening now in jazz. They also demonstrate that jazz has truly become an international language. Hailing from Ohio, Baltimore, Miami, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, and New Zealand, the Collective’s multi-cultural lineup mirrors the explosion of jazz talent around the globe. However, the jazz community only reached its current state by maintaining its traditions while simultaneously embracing innovation. This, too, is the essence of the SFJAZZ Collective. These exceptional artists come together in the name of jazz as a constantly evolving, quintessentially modern music.

The idea for the Collective arose from discussions between SFJAZZ’s founder and executive artistic director Randall Kline and saxophonist and founding Collective member Joshua Redman. While deeply respectful of jazz’s origins and early traditions, SFJAZZ was concerned that the modern side of jazz, from roughly the mid-20th-century to the present day, was often overlooked in the public eye in comparison with the music of jazz’s so-called “Golden Age.” Both Kline and Redman were eager to showcase, in a manner that would resonate with jazz aficionados and newcomers alike, the artistic continuum from modern masters to today’s new generation of players. Much like chamber music, the music is designed for a small group of instruments to be performed in intimate settings and atmospheres including performing arts centers, concert halls and salons.

Past Collective members have included the likes of Eric Harland, Mark Turner, Joshua Redman, Bobby Hutcherson, Avishai Cohen, Stefon Harris, Dave Douglas, Nicholas Payton, Joe Lovano, Josh Roseman, Renee Rosnes, Robert Hurst, Brian Blade and others.


High School All-Stars

The SFJAZZ High School All-Stars program provides advanced-level training and performance opportunities for some of the most talented musicians in the Bay Area. Comprised of two ensembles -- the Orchestra, directed by Paul Contos, and the Combo, directed by Dann Zinn -- as well as Alternate and Mentorship Programs, the All-Stars rehearse and perform with today's top jazz educators and artists.

Those auditioning must read this important information before signing up. 2016-17 auditions take place August 18-21; sign-up to receive an audition time.


Monday Night Band

The SFJAZZ Monday Night Band, directed by acclaimed Bay Area musician, composer, and bandleader Adam Theis, provides musicians of all ages with a structured approach to learning and interpreting various styles and genres of jazz Open by audition to intermediate/advanced level instrumentalists and vocalists, this ensemble culminates in a final showcase in the beautiful Miner Auditorium. Auditions take place in the fall and in the spring; sign up to receive an audition time.

Koret Discover Jazz Courses

Jazz history, live performance, classic audio and exciting video make Discover Jazz the most distinctive jazz appreciation course available for adults.

Four & More: The Music of Miles Davis

Wednesdays, October 19 - November 9, 7PM-8:30PM
Joe Henderson Lab • 4-class series

Miles Davis recorded with the vision of continually changing the world of music - a lofty ideal that he met with stunning success decade after decade. Each new record had purpose, and was intended to be considered in its entirety, from the first track to the last. For this Discover Jazz series, we are going to focus on four exemplary Miles Davis recordings from his incredible discography, considering the recordings as they were meant to be considered - as complete and dynamic works of art created by a visionary like no other.

The Great Jazz Women

Wednesdays, March 8 - 29, 7PM-8:30PM
Joe Henderson Lab • 4-class series

Who were these powerhouse jazz women who defied the odds and stood shoulder to shoulder with their male counterparts, giving the world their awe-inspiring artistry? When will the playing field finally be leveled in this historically male-dominated field? Why do we need to highlight the accomplishments of women in jazz? Until we no longer have to ask these questions! For our Women’s History Month series, SFJAZZ will honor some of the most influential, talented and groundbreaking artists to shape the jazz landscape.

Koret Discover Jazz Series is generously supported by

SFJAZZ High School All-Stars

Although it may be a cliché to boast that the future of jazz is in good hands, the skilled young musicians comprising our award-winning Big Band and Combo continue to earn accolades wherever they appear, including four consecutive wins at the Next Generation Jazz Festival in Monterey, numerous Downbeat Awards, first place in The Portland Jazz Forward and Charles Mingus festivals, and so many more.

Under the expert direction of Paul Contos (Orchestra) and Dann Zinn (Combo), the SFJAZZ High School All-Stars Program also includes an Alternate Program, in which students are invited to participate as subs in rehearsals, recordings, and concerts, and a Mentorship Program, in which promising young players are matched with alumni mentors and invited to audit all All-Stars rehearsals and clinics.

In addition, our extraordinary alumni return each year to present a memorable showcase of their ongoing musical explorations, further enhanced by our Alumni Commission Award, which is presented annually to one of our former All-Stars.

The SFJAZZ High School All-Stars Big Band is comprised of 22 of the finest young Bay Area jazz musicians, selected annually by competitive audition. Get to know this ensemble's members and their achievements.

Representing the "best of the best", this small ensemble focuses on original compositions and arrangements plus works by the SFJAZZ Collective. Led by renowned Bay Area educator and saxophonist Dann Zinn.

Paul Contos and Dann Zinn have each been involved in jazz performance and education for over 30 years. Their mentoring and teaching have touched hundreds of lives and their work as a performers, composers and arrangers is distinguished and comprehensive.

Founded in 2013, the SFJAZZ High School All-Stars Alumni Program is designed to maintain engagement with High School All-Star program alumni in a way that fosters their own creativity and artistry.

Education Program Calendar

SFJAZZ Hotplate in the Joe Henderson Lab

SFJAZZ Hotplate is a monthly concert series at the Joe Henderson Lab featuring Bay Area’s most gifted musicians re-imagining a famous recording of a jazz legend. The 2nd Thursday of every month, Hotplate aims to show another side of SFJAZZ, an informal setting where you can drop in for a drink and hear some of the best jazz the local scene has to offer. Make sure to show up early for each set as DJ Pat Les Stache spins some of the legend's best-known tracks before the live music begins. This is a seriously fun jazz hang and the joint is always packed!

Hotplate Video Vault

Check out these videos from some past Hotplate gigs. To view all Hotplate videos, click here.

Erik Jekabson plays Chet Baker

See video

Marc VW plays Jaco Pastorius

See video

Haggai Cohen Milo

plays John Zorn

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Marcus Stephens plays
Joe Henderson

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Mike Olmos plays Freddie Hubbard

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Fil Lorenz plays Count Basie

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Mads Tolling plays Jean Luc Ponty

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Josh Jones plays Ray Barretto

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The Shotgun Wedding Quintet plays Cab Calloway

See video

SFJAZZ Spring Season

SFJAZZ Collective

San Francisco Jazz Festival