Congrats to SFJAZZ. After presenting its first concerts in San Francisco 30 years ago, today the nonprofit organization SFJAZZ has built a home and performance venue of its own. Its grand opening occurred on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, January 21, 2013.
According to a press release about the SFJAZZ opening, “The SFJAZZ Center can now efficiently integrate itself under one roof to present world-class artists in concert throughout the year, nurture young musicians’ development and promote music education.”
“After 30 years of presenting music in a variety of rented venues throughout the Bay, it is with great joy we announce our first season in our new home, the SFJAZZ Center,” said Randall Kline, the founder and executive artistic director of SFJAZZ.
He also noted in the press release, “The center is the first free-standing building for jazz in the country — designed, from concept to concert hall, to create an enhanced setting for creating and experiencing what the esteemed jazz writer Whitney Balliett calls ‘the sound of surprise.’”
McCoy Tyner’s January 24 concert at SFJAZZ is already sold out. No doubt there will be some “Tender Moments” come Saturday, March 9 when he plays with his quartet at the Hopkins Center for the Arts in Hopkins. The SFJAZZ Collective is scheduled to return to the Dakota on March 19. They will be performing the music of Chick Corea. For more information on SF Jazz, visit www.sfjazz.org.
Concert for heart health
My Purple Heart and the American Heart Association will kick-off the 2nd Annual Benefit 2 Celebrate Life! on Saturday, March 9, 8 pm, at First Avenue downtown Minneapolis.
Robert Rivkin, a.k.a. Bobby Z, former drummer for Prince & the Revolution, is the founder of the My Purple Heart organization. The Benefit 2 Celebrate Life will feature actress Maya Rudolph, drummer ?uestlove of the Roots, Stokley Williams of Mint Condition, vocalist Alexander O’Neal and many other guests.
This one-of-a-kind event to raise heart-health awareness on the second anniversary of Bobby’s near-fatal heart attack will be an intimate one that will include a variety of great music and lively stories. A portion of the proceeds will benefit My Purple Heart and the American Heart Association for continued heart-health education.
“Life is completely different now,” Z said. “Every moment has a new appreciation. I am so honored and thrilled to be able to give back and hope that my story will help raise awareness and save lives. This will be an intimate and fun show with music and stories.” For more information, visit www.first-avenue.com, www.heart.org/BenefitConcert, or www.my purpleheart.org.
D’Angelo album almost ready
The Roots drummer Ahmir “?uestlove” Thompson is currently at work putting the final touches on D’Angelo’s eagerly awaited new album, which he told Billboard magazine is “99 percent done,” and added, “I would not be far off by saying this is probably my generation’s version of Sly [and the Family Stone’s] There’s a Riot Goin’ On…It’s potent. It’s funky. It’s an extremely hard pill to swallow.” ?uestlove also told Billboard that he hopes D’Angelo will turn in the new album next month.
The album has been delayed several times since 2004. ?uestlove, who produced Al Green’s 2008 Blue Note album Lay It Down, told Rolling Stone that the record marks a “radical 180 turn” for D’Angelo.
D’Angelo’s talented audio engineer for his 2000 Voodoo album, Russell “The Dragon” Elevado, also engineered two songs on Minneapolis-born Jose James’s new Blue Note album, No Beginning No End. Elevado has also worked closely with trumpeter Roy Hargrove on his RH Factor albums from back in 2003. Hargrove has collaborated with D’Angelo, performing and recording with him on Voodoo. Elevado also engineered Erykah Badu’s Mama’s Gun and Common’s Like Water for Chocolate.
Robin James welcomes reader responses to jamesonjazz@spokes man-recorder.com.