SFJAZZ Building First Permanent Home

Organizers hope Center becomes go-to location for Bay Area jazz community

Randall Kline
Rendering of new building for SFJazz
Rendering of new building for SFJazz

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SFJAZZ announced this week plans to build a 35,000-square-foot home base for the SFJAZZ Collective and High School All-Stars, which will contain a 700-person auditorium, rehearsal studios, a black-box theater, digital lab and restaurant. The project was initiated after an anonymous donor gave a $20 million donation to the venerable organization.

The SFJAZZ Center will be located at 205 Franklin Street in San Francisco’s Hayes Valley neighborhood and designed by local San Francisco architect Mark Cavagnero. The goal is for the Center to become a central meeting point for the organization’s educational outreach programs for children and adults throughout the Bay Area. A planned lecture series and addition rehearsal spaces will create opportunities for people to interact with various artists.

SFJAZZ is continuing a capital campaign to raise $60 million for construction of the free-standing structure and contributions to the SFJAZZ endowment, and the SFJAZZ Board of Trustees is making an attempt to have the Center achieve LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification.

“The SFJAZZ Center will be distinct from more formal concert halls,” said architect Mark Cavagnero in a recent press release. “Its design elements will capture the creative, non-hierarchical and improvisational spirit of the music form. The building’s concrete frame and translucent skin express the energy and functions within, including the flexible, large main theatre, an intimate 80-seat ensemble room, and a café that features live jazz. The glass-enclosed ground floor will engage passersby along the well-traveled neighboring streets and welcome visitors.”

The Center will feature a dedicated space for educational lectures, panel discussions, clinics, professional development workshops; a digital music lab for rehearsals, recording and production; and practice rooms for musicians and the SFJAZZ High School All-Stars. The Center will also serve as the new home for the SFJAZZ Collective.

For more information visit SFJAZZ or call (415) 398-5655.