Randall Kline, the Executive Artistic Director of SFJAZZ—the leading nonprofit jazz organization on the West Coast and the presenter of the San Francisco Jazz Festival—today announced the complete artist lineup for the SFJAZZ Spring Season 2012. The dynamic and expansive four-month-long concert series begins on February 9 and will continue through June 17. The season will present over forty concerts with the most illustrious names in jazz, world and related music.

 There is an unprecedented sense of musical growth and evolution in the air, as we showcase the ever-increasing global impact on jazz and the exciting things that can happen when artists from one tradition fully embrace the influences of another,” says Kline.



A collection of rising stars to living legends presenting the broad spectrum of modern jazz artistry including “An ECM Evening” with Enrico Rava Tribe, John Abercrombie Trio (2/17), the all-star Dave Holland Overtone Quartet with Chris Potter, Jason Moran & Eric Harland (2/24), Toots Thielemans with Kenny Werner & Oscar-Castro Neves (3/10), the SFJAZZ Collective in a rare series of club dates at Yoshi’s Oakland (3/30-4/1), the Charles Lloyd New Quartet featuring iconic Greek vocalist Maria Farantouri (4/22), the SFJAZZ debut of alto saxophonist Tia Fuller with her quartet (5/17) and the rollicking Christian McBride Big Band (6/17).


This season’s group of lyrical storytellers includes famed songwriting legend Dan Hicks’ 70th Birthday Bash: A Reunion of the Hot Licks featuring special guests (4/6), celebrated chamber experimentalists Tin Hat with Carla Kihlstedt, Mark Orton, Ben Goldberg & Rob Reich (4/5), modern guitar hero Bill Frisell in a multi-media presentation of The Great Flood (4/21) and country favorite Rosanne Cash, who returns with a stunning career retrospective (5/5).


A power-packed lineup, each with ties to the Caribbean. Pianist Chucho Valdés & the Afro-Cuban Messengers lead off (2/20), while the 2012 SFJAZZ Beacon Award for lifetime achievement goes to Bay Area Latin jazz legend Benny Velarde (3/31). Cuban son masters Sierra Maestra make a rare Bay Area appearance (4/4), Dominican-Republic pianist Michel Camilo Trio with Charles Flores & Giovanni Hidalgo (4/14) and a solo performance from another Cuban virtuoso Gonzalo Rubalcaba (6/9).


This inspiring and passionate collection of flamenco artists features guitar genius Paco de Lucía (4/27), the incomparable pianist Chano Domínguez (3/30) and Vicente Amigo, the heir apparent to de Lucía (3/25). Each of the three Spaniards appears in a rare U.S. performance.


An impressive cast of keyboard talent begins with eclectic piano star Uri Caine with John Hébert & Ben Perowsky (3/18). The superb Brad Mehldau Trio with Larry Grenadier & Jeff Ballard spends three glorious nights in SF (5/18-20) and the series closes with a ‘Solo & Duo Summit’ featuring NEA Jazz Master Kenny Barron with Mulgrew Miller (5/26).


This series includes Celtic Superstars The Chieftains in a 50th Anniversary show (2/21), South African vocal group Ladysmith Black Mambazo (3/3), Indian sitar star Anoushka Shankar with her intoxicating “Gypsy Journey” (4/19), the legendary Brazilian genius Hermeto Pascoal (4/7) and percussionist Cyro Baptista’s adventurous trio Supergenerous (5/12). Finally, the Israeli JazzFest, a weekend devoted to the rising tide of Israeli jazz musicians, features Third World Love (4/28), the 3 Cohens: Anat, Avishai & Yuval; the Gilad Hekselman Quartet (4/29), and Eli Degibri & Kevin Hays (4/29).


These spellbinding storytellers interpret the legacy of song with passion, grace and fire. R&B diva Chrisette Michele celebrates the spirits of Ella, Sarah and Billie (3/17), soul songstress Lizz Wright shares a bill with local phenom Meklit Hadero (3/23), Raul Midón returns for an amazing one-man show (4/1), heralded jazzer Kate McGarry brings her trio (4/20) and the lovely chanteuse Jane Monheit will perform for SFJAZZ Members only (5/16).


Guitarist James “Blood” Ulmer makes his unique mark on the blues tradition in a rare solo show (3/11). Spectrum Road, a true all-star group with Vernon Reid, John Medeski, Jack Bruce and Cindy Blackman celebrates the legacy of drumming great Tony Williams (6/16). And, the irrepressible spirit of New Orleans returns to the Bay Area with Another Night In Treme (6/15).


Commissioned exclusively by SFJAZZ, the Collective features new arrangements of the work of legendary pop icon Stevie Wonder and original compositions by Collective members.  The all-star roster includes alto saxophonist Antonio Hart (subbing for veteran member Miguel Zenón), tenor saxophonist Mark Turner, trumpeter Avishai Cohen, trombonist Robin Eubanks, vibraphonist Stefon Harris, pianist Edward Simon, bassist Matt Penman and drummer Eric Harland. The SFJAZZ Collective will tour nationally in March, 2012, culminating with six performances at the intimate Yoshi’s Oakland (3/30-4/1).


Only SFJAZZ Members get “insider” access to these unique experiences:

·      Caminos Flamencos Listening Party, featuring guitarist Jason McGuire, Thursday, February 9, 7:00pm, YBCA Forum

·      Jane Monheit, Wednesday, May 16, 7:30pm, YBCA Forum


SFJAZZ, in addition to being the largest nonprofit jazz presenter on the West Coast, is a year-round education organization that offers a dynamic and innovative array of educational programs in the concert hall, classroom, and community. This spring, SFJAZZ offers the following programs in connection with the SFJAZZ Spring Season.


Jazz history, live performance, classic audio and exciting video make Discover Jazz the most engaging jazz appreciation course available for adults and our spring lineup features two distinctive programs. The driving force behind every jazz ensemble, the drummer represents the quintessential role as conductor, literally driving the band and creating explosive solos while providing the nuances of dynamics and accompaniment. This spring, Discover Jazz Course #1 takes a close look at the contributions of six extraordinary artists — Tony Williams, Peter Erskine, Elvin Jones, Jack DeJohnette, Brian Blade and Eric Harland — tracing their signature sounds, distinctive presence and influential mark on jazz drumming today and beyond. Series taught by SFJAZZ lecturer, composer and bassist Cory Combs.

Thursdays, January 26 – February 23, 7:00pm-9:00pm

Jewish Community Center of San Francisco, 3200 California Street

Non-Members: $25/class or $100 full course (5 classes)

SFJAZZ & JCCSF Members: $18/class or $75 full course (5 classes)

January 26: Tony Williams

Joining the Miles Davis quintet at just 17, Tony Williams literally re-invented the vocabulary of jazz drumming and helped usher in the “fusion” movement with his Lifetime group.

February 2: Peter Erskine

From his work with Stan Kenton, Maynard Ferguson and Bob Mintzer to his years with Weather Report, Peter Erskine has remained as one of the signature drummers of the modern era.

February 9: Elvin Jones

Touted as the “world’s greatest rhythmic drummer,” Jones’ close-knit work alongside McCoy Tyner and Jimmy garrison provided the volcanic foundation of the John Coltrane quartet.

February 16: Jack DeJohnette

Known for his incorporation of free jazz and world music textures, Jack DeJohnette has graced the rhythm sections of Miles Davis and Keith Jarrett, also leading his own groups since the mid-60s.

February 23: Brian Blade & Eric Harland

Among the “young lions” today, Brian Blade and Eric Harland have attained an extraordinary level of recognition for their work with Wayne Shorter, Joshua Redman, the SFJAZZ Collective and many more.


Tuesdays, March 6 – April 24, 7:00pm-9:00pm

Jazz Heritage Center, San Francisco. Visit sfjazz.org for information and tickets.

SFJAZZ Education is proud to partner with the Jazz Heritage Center of San Francisco in creating an exciting two-month long program in celebration of Women’s History Month and Jazz Appreciation Month. Taught by a who’s who of Bay Area artists and educators — including Marcus Shelby, Pamela Rose, Nina Ott, Amanda King and Rebeca Mauleón — this innovative series will highlight the contributions of women instrumentalists, songwriters and bandleaders as well as the cross-cultural connections in jazz.


The SFJAZZ High School All-Stars program provides advanced-level training and performance opportunities for some of the most talented young musicians in the Bay Area. Selected annually by competitive audition, the All-Stars rehearse and perform with today’s top jazz educators and artists. This spring, the All-Stars will appear in distinctly different small- and big-band performances:

·      SFJAZZ High School All-Stars Combo, Thursday, March 22, 7:30pm, San Francisco Conservatory of Music

·      SFJAZZ High School All-Stars Orchestra, Sunday, May 13, 7:00pm, Jewish Community Center of San Francisco

Prices are family friendly: $15 General Admission, $10 adults with children and $5 for children and seniors.


Both fun and educational, SFJAZZ Family Matinees provide a window into the exciting world of live jazz. Each one-hour matinee features live performance, audience participation, Q&A and amazing music. Although designed for elementary school students, our Family Matinees are open to music fans of all ages. This spring, the Marcus Shelby Trio hosts our Matinee series at Herbst Theatre, highlighting the primary solo or “lead” instruments of jazz, as well as the role of the vocalist. Enjoyed individually or as a series, these Family Matinees will change the way you hear jazz.  Once again, prices are family friendly: $15 General Admission, $10 adults with children and $5 for children and seniors.

Matinee 1: The Trumpet — Saturday, March 10, 11:00am

From Buddy Bolden and Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong to Dizzy, Miles, Hubbard and Marsalis, the role of the trumpet has often been a catalyst for evolutionary change in jazz. Learn how the many “trumpet kings” explored new texture, evolved solo techniques and experimented with mutes to create new sounds.

Matinee 2: The Reeds — Saturday, April 14, 11:00am

The reeds have contributed to stylistic development perhaps more than any other instrument in jazz. The great saxophonists playing alto, tenor or baritone, have brought about revolutionary ways of playing that inspired future generations, and the role of the clarinet continues to be redefined. From Sidney Bechet to Charlie Parker and beyond, the great reed players have shaped the sound of jazz since the beginning.

Matinee 3: The Trombone — Saturday, May 12, 11:00am

From Kid Ory to J.J. Johnson and Melba Liston, jazz trombonists have paved the way for one of the most powerful lead “voices” in jazz, many of them also contributing as extraordinary arrangers. Slide trombones in particular represent the powerful, lush and low register that compliments the brash, explosive sound of the trumpets, and when played in a solo role, can be one of the most emotive instruments around.

Matinee 4: The Voice — Saturday, June 9, 11:00am

The human voice is our most precious instrument, and the history of jazz music has been told — and of course, sung — by an extraordinary collection of vocalists, from Blues icon Bessie Smith to Ella Fitzgerald, and crooners such as Frank Sinatra and Nat ‘King’ Cole. There is nothing more compelling than a story in song to convey rich emotion, and the jazz singers we celebrate have paved the way for the young pioneers of tomorrow. This matinee will feature members of the SFJAZZ High School All-Stars Combo.

SFJAZZ Hotplate

A low-cost series showcasing the exciting Bay Area jazz scene, SFJAZZ Hotplate occurs on the second Thursday of each month at the Amnesia Bar in the Mission district. Each show features a local artist re-imagining the music of a jazz legend.  Recently, a new component called Front Burner has been added, featuring SFJAZZ Director of Education Rebeca Mauleón leading a multi-media discussion about the jazz icon of the night. Six sizzling tributes are scheduled during the first half of 2012:

·      January 12 – Chris Robinson plays Pat Metheny

·      February 9 – Larry De La Cruz plays Cannonball Adderley

·      March 8 – Kymberly Jackson plays Hubert Laws

·      April 12 – Anton Schwartz plays Stanley Turrentine

·      May 10 – Geechi Taylor plays Roy Hargrove

·      June 14 – Scheherazade Stone sings Gil Scott-Heron

 And, at every Hotplate event there is a chance to win SFJAZZ merchandise and tickets to upcoming SFJAZZ concerts. For information, visit sfjazzhotplate.org.


Calendar Editors, Please Note: SFJAZZ is spelled as one word in all caps. This is not a graphic treatment, but the name of the organization. All concerts are a production of SFJAZZ and are part of the SFJAZZ Spring Season 2012. Please print the “SFJAZZ Spring Season 2012” when referring to the organization’s spring programming. A complete list of the SFJAZZ Spring Season 2012 can be found at sfjazz.org and the entire SFJAZZ Spring Season 2012 catalog can be downloaded at the following link: