As a follow-up to the $200 gig musing of last week, I point out that the New York Times recently ran a column from its Bay Area culture correspondent, Chloe Veltman, about San Francisco's "sleepy" jazz scene. The basic gist was that the club network has seen better days, though the underground grassroots are slowly bubbling up. And of course, there's SFJazz's recent announcement that it would build a new $60 million home base, which probably inspired an editor to run this piece after all.
Written into all this is the idea that a new, well-located SFJazz building could act as a home base for the entire jazz community. This is something of a trickle-down model, where heightened interest in the central institution bleeds over into a stronger jazz audience. To the organization's credit, it seems willing to be an actual community center; the article closes by talking about a seemingly thriving concert series called "Hotplate," run by SFJazz and featuring local artists. Still, all this relies on the fact that the Bay Area jazz scene will only flourish as a scene if the music is being heard and attended throughout the city. Which, once again, reinforces the importance of funding both SFJazz and the many smaller presenters orbiting around it. [The New York Times: Sleepy Jazz Scene Shows Signs of Awakening]