SFJAZZ Announces SFJAZZ Collective Spring 2012 Concert Tour


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Antonio Hart—Alto Saxophone
Mark Turner—Tenor Saxophone
Avishai Cohen—Trumpet
Robin Eubanks—Trombone
Stefon Harris—Vibraphone
Edward Simon—Piano
Matt Penman—Bass
Eric Harland—Drums

SAN FRANCISCO, CA: SFJAZZ, the leading nonprofit jazz organization on the West Coast and presenter of the San Francisco Jazz Festival and SFJAZZ Spring Season, today announced Spring 2012 concert dates for the SFJAZZ Collective. The award-winning all-star SFJAZZ Collective roster includes tenor saxophonist Mark Turner, vibraphonist Stefon Harris, trumpeter Avishai Cohen, trombonist Robin Eubanks, pianist Edward Simon, bassist Matt Penman and drummer Eric Harland. Alto saxophonist Antonio Hart will substitute on most dates for original Collective member Miguel Zenón, who will be taking paternity leave for the birth of his first child.

SFJAZZ recently released SFJAZZ Collective: Music of Stevie Wonder and New Compositions, Live in New York 2011-Season 8, recorded live in the intimate setting of the Jazz Standard in New York City. The deluxe, hand-numbered 3-CD set features new arrangements of the classic works of Stevie Wonder, as well as all-new original compositions by Collective members.

The Collective's Spring 2012 personnel features trombonist Robin Eubanks, a two-time DownBeat “Trombonist of the Year," trumpeter Avishai Cohen and Grammy-nominated vibraphonist Stefon Harris. The incendiary rhythm section boasts 2010 Guggenheim Fellow Edward Simon on piano along with two of the most in-demand sidemen on the international scene—bassist Matt Penman and Eric Harland, winner of DownBeat “#1 Rising Star Drummer" for the last three years.

Holding down the alto chair for Zenón during the Collective's spring 2012 tour is Antonio Hart. From Baltimore, MD, Hart is currently a Professor of Jazz Studies at Queens College City University of New York. He received a 1997 Grammynomination for his solo on “The Community" from his Impluse! CD, Here I Stand.

Hart has released eight albums as a leader and has recorded as a guest on over 80 recordings with artists such as McCoy Tyner, Roy Hargrove, Donald Byrd, Jimmy Heath, Cyrus Chestnut, Robin Eubanks, Slide Hampton, Dizzy Gillespie, Terence Blanchard, the Dave Holland Big Band and the Mingus Big Band. Hart says, “I am excited to be in the company of these high level musicians. I have known some of them for many years as friends, classmates, or just from their performances and recordings. I look forward to the chance to build new friendships, musical intimacy and the opportunity to push myself in some other musical directions."

The Collective has received worldwide critical acclaim. The New York Times said, “You can propose various definitions for what this band represents, but it's a superbrain for what serious jazz sounds like now." And The Wall Street Journal proclaimed, “There hasn't been a group to call itself 'the All Stars'—at least not without irony—since the death of Louis Armstrong, but this collective deserves the title more than any other band playing today." According to jazz journalist Don Heckman in the CD's liner notes, “The unique qualities of the SFJAZZ Collective—now firmly established—continue to make the ensemble one of the remarkable accomplishments of 21st century jazz. Each year, since the founding of the Collective in 2004, has brought musically adventurous new achievements." Jack Conte, of famed YouTube sensation Pomplamoose, has directed four videos of the Collective performing Wonder's music. The first, “Superstition," has received over 87,000 views on YouTube since its release. A full-length documentary of the group is currently in production. Directed by Ken Ellis, “Collective Wonder," captures the group's creative process with interviews, rehearsals and live performance.

In addition to its outstanding lineup, the SFJAZZ Collective has been praised for its innovative approach to repertoire. Each year, the ensemble performs a new list of compositions by a modern jazz master and new pieces by the Collective members (commissioned by SFJAZZ). Through this pioneering approach, the Collective simultaneously honors jazz history while evolving its own compositional style. After exploring the work of Ornette Coleman (2004), John Coltrane (2005), Herbie Hancock (2006), Thelonious Monk (2007), Wayne Shorter (2008), McCoy Tyner (2009) and Horace Silver (2010), the Collective has taken on the material of pop music icon Stevie Wonder for the balance of 2011 and Spring 2012.

The idea for the Collective arose from discussions between SFJAZZ's founder and Executive Artistic Director, Randall Kline, and saxophonist and original Collective member, Joshua Redman. While deeply respectful of jazz's origins and early traditions, Kline 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 so-called “Golden Age" of jazz. 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.

Past Collective lineups have featured luminaries including Joshua Redman, Bobby Hutcherson, Dave Douglas, Nicholas Payton, Joe Lovano, Josh Roseman, Renee Rosnes, Robert Hurst, Brian Blade and other jazz stars.

SFJAZZ Records has released seven previous limited-edition CD sets since 2004, documenting the SFJAZZ Collective's complete annual repertoire in concert, as well as a concert DVD filmed at 2007's Jazz à Vienne Festival in France. All recordings and more information on the SFJAZZ Collective and SFJAZZ can be found at sfjazz.org. The Live 2010 set is also available at iTunes and Amazon.


March 1—UMASS, Amherst, MA
March 2—Flynn Center for the Performing Arts, Burlington, VT
March 3—Snell Theatre, SUNY/Potsdam, NY
March 4—The Egg, Albany, NY
March 6—The Jefferson Center, Roanoke, VA
March 7—Weinberg Center for the Arts, Frederick, MD
March 8—Union City Arts Center, Rahway, NJ
March 9—Paramount Center for the Arts, Peekskill, NY
March 10—Allen Room, Jazz At Lincoln Center, New York, NY*
March 13—University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE
March 14—University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS
March 15—Walton Arts Center, Fayetteville, AR
March 17-18—Smith Center for the Performing Arts, Las Vegas, NV
March 22—Spanos Theatre, San Luis Obispo, CA
March 23-24—Sergenstrom Center for the Arts, Costa Mesa, CA
March 27—Great Hall, Valley Performing Arts Center, Northridge, CA
March 29—Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts, Davis, CA
March 30-April 1—Yoshi's, Oakland, CA

* Miguel Zenón also performs on this date.


Founded in 1983, SFJAZZ is the largest nonprofit presenter of jazz and education programs 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 audiences through innovative programming, including: The San Francisco Jazz Festival, SFJAZZ Spring Season, SFJAZZ Collective, SFJAZZ Summerfest, SFJAZZ Hotplate and SFJAZZ Education.

In May 2011, the organization broke ground on the SFJAZZ Center, a permanent home for SFJAZZ. This remarkable new facility, located in San Francisco's vibrant Hayes Valley neighborhood, will be a 35,000 square-foot transparent freestanding 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.


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