Kevin Warnock

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SFJAZZ Center opening evening, San Francisco, California USA, January 21, 2013

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SFJAZZ High School All-Stars at opening night for SFJAZZ Center, San Francisco, California, January 21, 2013. Photograph by Kevin Warnock. Left to right: Tracy Fitzsimmons, Jill Ryan, Aneesa Al-Musawwir, Elena Pinderhughes, Matt Wong and Malachi Whitson.

SFJAZZ High School All-Stars at opening night for SFJAZZ Center, San Francisco, California, January 21, 2013. Photograph by Kevin Warnock. Left to right: Tracy Fitzsimmons, Jill Ryan, Aneesa Al-Musawwir, Elena Pinderhughes, Matt Wong and Malachi Whitson.

This evening, January 21, 2013, I had the great pleasure to tour the brand new SFJAZZ Center, at 201 Franklin Street in San Francisco, California USA.

SFJAZZ Center exterior photographed on opening night, January 21, 2013, San Francisco, California USA. Photograph by Kevin Warnock.

SFJAZZ Center exterior photographed on opening night, January 21, 2013, San Francisco, California USA. Photograph by Kevin Warnock.

The SFJAZZ Center is an ambitious center to advance jazz music.

SFJAZZ Center Robert M. Miner Auditorium on opening night, under theatrical lighting, January 21, 2013, San Francisco, California USA. Photograph by Kevin Warnock.

SFJAZZ Center Robert N. Miner Auditorium on opening night, under theatrical lighting, January 21, 2013, San Francisco, California USA. Photograph by Kevin Warnock.

I think the corner of Franklin Street and Fell Street is an outstanding location for the Center — it’s in the trendy and safe Hayes Valley neighborhood, and it’s just two blocks from the Van Ness MUNI station and Market Street.

There was a ribbon cutting ceremony in the morning, which I missed.

SFJAZZ Center second floor reception area on opening night, January 21, 2013. Photograph by Kevin Warnock.

SFJAZZ Center second floor reception area on opening night, January 21, 2013. Photograph by Kevin Warnock.

I went to one of the official tours, in the evening. Attendees got to roam around the facility and admire the building, constructed in 2011 and 2012 to be the new dedicated home for SFJAZZ.

The formal part of the evening featured prepared remarks by Randall Kline, the Executive Artistic Director and Founder of SFJAZZ.

Rebeca Mauleón, the Director of Education, also spoke.

The SFJAZZ High School All-Stars performed in the large music hall, named the Robert N. Miner Auditorium, which features steeply set seats designed to allow the musicians to see the faces of the audience members. This Auditorium also features a glass wall that looks out onto the busy street, which will drum up interest in the performances because passersby will be able to catch a glimpse for free as they walk or drive past. I’ve always thought it is good marketing for martial arts studios and dance studios to have large glass windows at street level. SFJAZZ Center is taking a page out of their public relations book, and I predict good things will happen as a result of doing so.

I was exceptionally impressed with the High School All-Stars. I introduced myself to the members and invited them to read my blog.

SFJAZZ Center, ground floor reception area, on opening night, January 21, 2013. Photographer and blogger Kevin Warnock is standing by the donor names on the wall.

SFJAZZ Center, ground floor reception area, on opening night, January 21, 2013. Photographer and blogger Kevin Warnock is standing by the donor names on the wall.

I was given a lushly produced magazine/program for SFJAZZ during the tour this evening. SFJAZZ Founder Randall Kline had this to say, on page 7:

Welcome to the first season

After 30 years of presenting music in a variety of rented venues throughout the Bay, it is with great joy we begin our first season in our new home, the SFJAZZ Center. It is the first freestanding building for jazz in the country — designed, from concept to concert hall, to create an enhanced setting for experiencing what the esteemed jazz write Whitney Balliett calls “the sound of surprise.”

The SFJAZZ Center is home for all that we do: concerts, education programs for adults and youth, our award-winning SFJAZZ High School All-Star Ensembles, the world-renowned SFJAZZ Collective, and the new SFJAZZ Monday Night Community Band.

Over our three decades, SFJAZZ has grown to become a vital part of the cultural fabric of San Francisco. And in the broader context of the jazz, we have been recognized as one of the top presenters in the world — helping to place San Francisco, with its rich jazz history, among the vanguard of cities where this American-born art form can be best heard.

Kline continued his remarks — I have not typed all of them here — and concluded with:

Jazz has a home in San Francisco. The first season begins. See you at the Center!

Sincerely,

Randall Kline
Executive Artistic Director and Founder

The new Center shows a lot of promise. I am intrigued, so I plan to return soon to the Center to see a show.

I took the pictures that accompany this post with my Canon 5D Mark II camera. I uploaded these images at full resolution of 21 megapixels. Click on them to see the full size versions.

SFJAZZ Center Robert N. Miner Auditorium in neutral, bright light on opening night, January 21, 2013. Photograph by Kevin Warnock.

SFJAZZ Center Robert N. Miner Auditorium in neutral, bright light on opening night, January 21, 2013. Photograph by Kevin Warnock.

Today was a busy day in the United States of America.

Outstanding.

[Edit on January 23, 2013 -- I added two names to the caption of the group photo of the All-Stars, above, once I got the correct spellings.]

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