SFJAZZ.org | Through The Years: Ornette Coleman at SFJAZZ

On The Corner Masthead


March 9, 2019 | by SFJAZZ

Ornette Coleman's World Premiere of "Tone Dialing" at Masonic Center (1994)

Since its inception, the San Francisco Jazz Festival reflected the best of the national jazz scene and the unique, adventurous Bay Area jazz culture. SFJAZZ Founder and Artistic Director Randall Kline always liked to include "wild cards" to keep things interesting, and San Francisco audiences continued to take chances. Perhaps no artist better exemplified the "wild card" than the great avant-garde jazz pioneer Ornette Coleman. One of the festival's most memorable and historic performances was Coleman's 1994 premiere of Tone Dialing at Masonic Auditoirum on Nob Hill. The multimedia work combined the debut of Coleman's acoustic quartet, featuring Geri Allen, with spoken word, video effects, and a live, onstage demonstration of body piercing by Fakir Musafar.

SFJAZZ was fortunate to bring Coleman to San Francisco regularly for the next two decades. On the occasion of his birthday on March 9, we've dug into the archives and pulled a few more photographs from the years!

2002, Davies Symphony Hall

"The Master Maverick" at Masonic Center 2007


Davies Symphony Hall 2009

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