SF Jazz’s new season — and 5 must-see, must-hear shows

Chucho Valdes, the legendary Cuban pianist, will be feted at the SFJAZZCenter Gala on Jan. 31, 2019, when he also will receive a lifetime achievement award. (Courtesy SFJAZZ)

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It wasn’t that long ago that the San Francisco Jazz Festival served as SFJazz’s flagship endeavor, providing a thoughtfully diverse three-week musical repast. Since the $64-million SFJazz Center opened in January 2013, the excitement once generated by the festival seems almost quaint, as each new season in the nation’s only free-standing building designed to present jazz arrives as a cornucopian flood brimming with so many heralded acts it’s hard to comprehend.

The just-announced 2018-19 Season features more than 350 concerts between Sept. 12 and May 19, kicking off with four-night runs by the incandescent 28-year-old multi-Grammy Award winning vocalist Cécile McLorin Salvant in the Miner Auditorium, and DJ, producer, keyboardist, beatboxer, vocalist and composer Taylor McFerrin in the intimate Joe Henderson Lab with drummer Marcus Gilmore. Tickets go on sale to members on June 22, and to the general public on July 12.

As part of the season announcement, SFJazz also unveiled its latest crop of resident artistic directors (RAD), a position that deputizes musicians as programmers, giving them the opportunity to present themselves or other artists in four-night Miner Auditorium engagements. The organization has often used the RAD positions to deepen relationships with artists, but most of the new artists are already well-ensconced in the SFJazz fold.

Chucho Valdes stars at the SFJAZZ Center Gala on Jan. 31, 2019. (Courtesy SFJAZZ)

Cuban piano legend Chucho Valdés has been an SFJazz mainstay for decades, as has vocal star Dianne Reeves and saxophonist Joe Lovano, who spent several fruitful seasons with the SFJazz Collective. San Francisco bassist/composer Marcus Shelby, an artist whose ambitious, historically informed works are well suited for the center, is another long-time SFJazz pillar.

The wild card here is composer, violinist and vocal artist Laurie …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


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