SFJAZZ Announces 12th Annual SFJAZZ Spring Season Artist Lineup


Sign in to view read count


  • Tony Bennett
  • A Night In Treme
  • Youssou N'dour & Angelique Kidjo
  • Randy Newman
  • Buddy Guy
  • Rickie Lee Jones
  • Ravi Shankar
  • Steve Tyrell
  • Hugh Masekela
  • Max Raabe & Palast Orchester
  • SFJazz Collective
  • Nikki Yanofsky
  • Marcus Roberts
  • Dr. Lonnie Smith
  • Cu
  • Jake Shimabukuro
  • John Scofield
  • Patricia Barber
  • Preservation Hall Jazz Band
  • Irma Thomas
  • Ellis Marsalis
  • Marc Ribot
  • Lee Ritenour
  • Ambrose Akinmusire
  • Kenny Werner
  • Eliane Elias
  • Madeleine Peyroux
And Many Others


(SAN FRANCISCO, CA, December 22, 2010)—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 12th Annual SFJAZZ Spring Season. The unique and spectacular five-month-long concert series begins on February 10 and will continue through June 25. The season will present over forty concerts with the most illustrious names in jazz, world and related music.

“Partnerships and pairings are the key to what excites me most about our shows, and are absolutely the lifeblood of this Spring Season. Collaborations between great artists make for unique performances and exciting combinations also exist between the artist and the material they choose, their sources of inspiration, their latest project, the venue in which they perform, and most important, between the artist and their audience," says Kline.


A collection of legendary musical institutions spanning generations and genres, including a solo performance with Oscar-winning pianist Randy Newman (4/22), blues giant and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame member Buddy Guy with up-and-coming blues singer John Nmeth opening (4/23), Rickie Lee Jones playing Rickie Lee Jones and Pirates in their entirety (5/27) and 15- time Grammy Winner Tony Bennett performing the Great American Songbook (5/28).

Artists from every corner of the globe with diverse cultures and styles, from ancient to modern, including South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela (3/4), Israeli vocalist Yasmin Levy (3/20), the premiere of Bay Area percussionist John Santos's “Filosofa Caribea" (4/2), German cabaret ensemble Max Raabe & Palast Orchester (4/9), Brazilian sensation CU (5/6), a double bill with two of Africa's greatest vocalists, Youssou N'Dour and Angelique Kidjo (6/17) and Portuguese fado singer Ana Moura (6/25).

These melodic masters and spellbinding storytellers interpret the legacy of song with passion, grace and fire, including Guggenheim Fellow Patricia Barber (3/19), the jazz and pop stylings of Madeleine Peyroux (4/8), Lavay Smith's “Patsy Cline Tribute" (4/30), plus three interpreters of the Great American Songbook: Jane Monheit (3/24), Steve Tyrell (6/3) and Nikki Yanofsky (6/18).

A showcase of the finest sounds from the Crescent City with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band with Bourbon Kings Brass Band opening (3/13), Grammy-winning blues vocalist Irma Thomas (3/27), NEA Jazz Master and legendary patriarch, pianist Ellis Marsalis (4/17) and “A Night In Treme" with Rebirth Brass Band, Kermit Ruffins, Donald Harrison, Big Sam Williams, Michael White and more (6/10).

An astonishing assortment of fingerboard geniuses including Marc Ribot accompanying Charlie Chaplin's “The Kid" (3/16), Brazilian duo Assad Brothers (4/10), ukulele master Jake Shimabukuro (3/26), Grace Cathedral's “Sacred Space" solo concert with John Scofield (4/29), Indian sitar legend Ravi Shankar with daughter Anoushka Shankar (5/19), African guitarist Lionel Loueke Trio (5/20) and “Captain Fingers" Lee Ritenour (6/5).

This collection of artists balances a profound respect for tradition with a new search for modes of expression: 2010 Guggenheim Fellowship Award winner and master pianist Kenny Werner Quintet featuring trumpeter Randy Brecker and saxophonist David Snchez (3/5), SFJAZZ Collective plays Stevie Wonder (3/11), 2007 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition winner and Berkeley High School graduate, trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire (5/22) and a special meeting between jazz giants, Cedar Walton and trumpeter Roy Hargrove (6/19).

With a strong sense of heritage, these sonic explorers are charting new directions in music, including GO HOME: Ben Goldberg, Ellery Eskelin, Charlie Hunter, Scott Amendola (3/18), Adam Theis and the Jazz Mafia String Quartet's World Premiere of “Suite for Trombone and Strings" (3/25), Proverb Trio: Dafnis Prieto, Kokayi and Jason Lindner (4/16) and “33 1/3" with ROVA Saxophone Quartet with DJ Olive & DJ P-Love (6/4).

A showcase of the piano's broad range of expression in the hands of true virtuosos including the rising star Gerald Clayton Trio (3/6), a rare Bay Area appearance by Marcus Roberts Trio (3/17), a Hammond B-3 double bill with Dr. Lonnie Smith; Barbara Dennerlein Trio (4/15), Venezuelan pianist Gabriela Montero, solo (5/1) and Brazilian pianist Eliane Elias Trio (5/21).

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 veteran members alto saxophonist Miguel Zenn, vibraphonist Stefon Harris trombonist Robin Eubanks, bassist Matt Penman, drummer Eric Harland, tenor saxophonist Mark Turner, trumpeter Avishai Cohen and pianist Edward Simon (3/11). The SFJAZZ Collective will tour nationally and internationally in 2011.

Only SFJAZZ Members get “insider" access to these unique experiences:
  • Miguel Zenn Listening Party: The Music of Stevie Wonder, Thursday, February 24, 7:00pm, SF Conservatory of Music
  • SFJAZZ Collective: Post-Concert Reception, Friday, March 11, 8:00pm, War Memorial Green Room
  • Eliane Elias Trio: Members-Only Concert, Saturday, May 21, 8:00pm, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts 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.


Led by acclaimed composer and bassist Cory Combs, the Discover Jazz Series is a multimedia music appreciation course for adults, offering entertaining and informative insights into jazz music, history and culture. Each series features classic video, audio and live performances by some of the Bay Area's finest musicians. Discover Jazz is presented in a fun and relaxed environment, open to anyone with an interest in learning more about America's indigenous art form. Each Discover Jazz class includes live performances, classic audio tracks and rare video. Open to all jazz enthusiasts regardless of prior knowledge.

Thursdays, February 10—March 10, 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)

February 10: Ben Webster, Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young and the Art of Swing. Swing music dominated American culture in the 1930s and '40s. Here the jazz soloist took on a prominent role in the big band, and three of the greatest tenor players in jazz history rose to stardom.

February 17: Sonny Rollins—Bebop, Hard Bop and the “Saxophone Colossus." After stints with Art Blakey and Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins emerged to become the most enduring tenor player of the bebop and hard bop eras. His original voice and concept have cemented his place as a living legend.

February 24: John Coltrane—The Master of Innovation. John Coltrane's tireless pursuit of musical and spiritual depth helped him become not only one of the most influential saxophonists in jazz, but one of the most important figures in music history.

March 3: Wayne Shorter—Art Blakey, Miles Davis, Weather Report and Beyond. After Coltrane left to develop his own group, Miles went through many tenor players before finding his creative match in the great Wayne Shorter. Shorter went on to co-lead Weather Report and blaze a brilliant solo path.

March 10: Dewey Redman, Joe Lovano, Michael Brecker and the Modern Jazz Masters. Too many jazz history books end with Wayne Shorter. Doing so leaves out modern tenor pioneers, including Dewey Redman, Michael Brecker, Joe Lovano, and more recently, Joshua Redman and Chris Potter. Each player has brought a new spark to the tenor saxophone tradition.


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, showcasing one of America's great musical treasures, the Blues. Enjoyed individually or as a series, these Family Matinees will change the way you hear jazz. Prices are family friendly: $15 General Admission, $10 adults with children and $5 for children and seniors.

Matinee 1: The Blues—In the Beginning, Sunday, March 13, 11:00AM
From work songs, field hollers and spirituals came “call and response"—a key musical and lyrical ingredient in blues music. In this matinee, families engage in call-and-response and learn about New Orleans, a city steeped in the history of the blues.

Matinee 2: The Blues—Telling Stories, Saturday, April 2, 11:00AM
Blues music has long been a means of expressing stories of hardship, heartbreak, passion and politics, as well as passing along oral history. This matinee explores both the African American oral tradition and its relationship to the blues.

Matinee 3: The Blues—Hearing & Feeling It, Saturday, May 21, 11:00AM
Blues is the foundation of jazz and the prime source of rhythm and blues, rock 'n' roll and country music. This matinee helps the audience hone their “blues" listening skills through an interactive, how-things-work approach.

SFJAZZ Hotplate

SFJAZZ Hotplate is a monthly series showcasing the exciting Bay Area jazz scene in a low- cost, low-key environment at Amnesia in San Francisco. Each month features a new local artist re-imagining the music of a jazz legend, along with the Guardian's “Best Local DJ," Vinnie Esparza, spinning classic cuts throughout the night. Plus, you can win cool SFJAZZ merchandise, free memberships and tickets to upcoming SFJAZZ concerts. More information can be found at the all-new sfjazzhotplate.org.

Jarret Cherner plays Keith Jarrett, Thursday, January 13
The Afrofunk Experience plays Maceo Parker, Thursday, February 10
Karyn Paige plays Nina Simone, Thursday, March 10
Shotgun Wedding Quintet plays Cab Calloway, Thursday, April 14


SFJAZZ, founded in 1983, is the largest nonprofit presenter of jazz in the western United States. SFJAZZ presents over 100 concerts a year to over 100,000 fans and is dedicated to advancing the art form of jazz and cultivating new jazz audiences through artistic and educational programming, including: The San Francisco Jazz Festival, SFJAZZ Spring Season, SFJAZZ Collective, SFJAZZ Summerfest, SFJAZZ Education, SFJAZZ Membership and SFJAZZ Hotplate.

The organization is planning to build the SFJAZZ Center as a permanent home for SFJAZZ. This remarkable new facility, to be located in San Francisco's vibrant Hayes Valley neighborhood, will be a 35,000 square-foot transparent free-standing structure designed by renowned architect Mark Cavagnero. With the SFJAZZ Center, jazz will take its place alongside major arts institutions such as the San Francisco Symphony, Opera and Ballet in the Civic Center performing arts district. Visit sfjazz.org to learn more about this exciting new development.

The 12th Annual SFJAZZ Spring Season is a project of SFJAZZ, a nonprofit presenter of jazz music and education programs. Brought to you by California Home & Design, Northern Trust, KPIX, 7x7, KCSM Jazz 91, City Park, The Jazz Cruise, JetBlue Airways. Official Sponsors: Best Western Americania Hotel, Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners, Capital Public Radio, KXJZ, The Fairmont San Francisco, Foxxdance Productions, Goethe-Institut San Francisco, Hotel Carlton, Hotel Kabuki, Hotel Kabuki, Hotel Rex, JazzTimes, KBLX, KPFA, North Coast Brewing, Smartwater, Stanford Shopping Center, St. Regis Hotel, Yamaha Pianos. In-Kind Donors: Roederer Estate, Bruce De Benedictis, Kabuki Spa, Seyfarth Shaw, Vintage Berkeley.

SFJAZZ receives funding from the following corporations, foundations and government agencies: Confidence Foundation—Whittier Trust Co., The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Grants for the Arts | San Francisco Hotel Fund, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, The San Francisco Foundation, The Wallace Foundation, Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation, US Bank, Western Jazz Presenters Network.

Visit Website

For interview requests or more information contact .



Timely announcements from the industry.

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.