SFJazz, the nonprofit Bay Area jazz concert presenter, is finally constructing its own building in which to present shows. The San Francisco Chronicle reports:
SFJazz will build itself a permanent home in San Francisco — the first stand-alone major facility in the country devoted to the swinging American art form.
The nonprofit organization unveils plans today for the SFJazz Center, a three-story, 35,000-square-foot glass, steel and concrete structure that will rise at the corner of Fell and Franklin streets in bustling Hayes Valley, just down the street from Davies Symphony Hall and the Opera House. The auto-repair center on the site will be torn down.
"Our goal is to create a vibrant home for jazz, an environment where the music can grow and develop in the future," says Randall Kline, SFJazz's founder and executive artistic director.
For the last 28 years, SFJazz — a year-round presenting organization that produces the San Francisco Jazz Festival, commissions new music and runs educational programs — has put on shows in rented theaters, clubs and concert halls around town. Now, it will have its own performance space created specifically for jazz.
Gosh, this is magnificent news. It does a lot for the future of your art (or sport, or business, or whatever) to physically house it in a purpose-built facility, especially when you've been constantly scrapping for respect as jazz historically has. This will be a big, thoughtfully-planned edifice — a 700-seat hall, an 80-person venue, plus offices, practice rooms, cafes, etc. — and it will be expressly for jazz.
One might point out that the price tag on this thing is $60 million. That's a lot of bread! Looks like SFJazz can get there; it's already halfway. (I also wish that jazz clubs 1/60th the size of SFJazz could raise $1 million for capital investments too, but I guess capitalism don't always work that way.) Let's hope that if they build it, audiences will come. [San Francisco Chronicle: Nomadic SFJazz to settle into permanent home]