SFJAZZ has launched Are You Listening?, described as an online gathering place “for the jazz community to engage with one another and to contribute their thoughts, perspectives and financial support for the music.
“With Are You Listening?, we want to create an online space for the types of conversations that are going to take place in the SFJAZZ Center itself,” said Kevin Causey, SFJAZZ Director of Development.
The SFJAZZ Center will officially open its doors during the week of Martin Luther King Jr. Day in January 2013. In recognition of his birthday, Are You Listening opens with musicians from around the San Francisco Bay Area presenting Dr. King’s speech “On the Importance of Jazz,” which he delivered at the Berlin Jazz Festival in 1964. Artists who participated include John Handy, Rebeca Mauleón (both past SFJAZZ Beacon Award recipients), Marcus Shelby, Meklit Hadero, Jaz Sawyer and Terrence Brewer. The SFJAZZ Center’s transparent design aims to form a seamless connection with the outside community, a meeting point in which jazz enthusiasts can discuss and engage with the music.
The initial launch also features intimate portraits of McCoy Tyner, Savion Glover and Rebeca Mauleón sharing their thoughts on the music that has shaped their lives. Additional artist videos will be posted on an ongoing basis. Visitors to the site are encouraged to submit their own thoughts on what jazz means to them and extend the conversation their friends and networks. Once a week, a user-submitted response will be selected to receive a $25 gift card from iTunes.
Designed by architect Mark Cavagnero, the SFJAZZ Center will be the first concert hall of its kind in the western United States, featuring 35,000 square feet of performance and rehearsal spaces, learning lab, café, retail shop, box office and administrative offices, all within a transparent structure built to LEED standards.
To learn more about SFJAZZ, visit SFJAZZ.