SFJAZZ Annual Gala Raises Over $1 Million
City proclaims “Ahmad Jamal Day” as Clint Eastwood, other celebs celebrate
SFJAZZ raised more than $1.1 million in donations at its annual Spring Gala fundraiser May 11. The event, held at San Francisco's Bimbo 365 Club, drew a crowd of celebrities and Bay Area notables, among them the legendary actor-director and jazz supporter Clint Eastwood.
The funds will go toward the capital campaign for the organization’s SFJAZZ Center, opening on January 21, 2013. The evening honored several special guests with awards, including the first NAACP/SFJAZZ Humanitarian Award to Chris Tucker (presented by NAACP President Benjamin Jealous), the first-ever SFJAZZ Photographer Laureate to Jim Goldberg (presented by Robert Mailer Anderson) and the SFJAZZ Lifetime Achievement Award to Ahmad Jamal (presented by Eastwood). Willie Brown also delivered an official proclamation from current San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee, declaring the day “Ahmad Jamal Day in San Francisco.”
Also attending the gala were comedian Robert Townsend; director Philip Kaufman; authors Ishmael Reed (the SFJAZZ Poet Laureate, who also read his poem, “Sweet Pea”), Bobby and Rosemary Hutcherson, Amy Tan, Michael Chabon and Daniel Handler; and former San Francisco mayor and current Lieutenant Governor of California, Gavin Newsom, and California State Attorney General Kamala Harris.
Performing were Jamal, Maceo Parker, the SFJAZZ High School All Stars and the SFJAZZ Collective.