San Francisco

SFJAZZ Gala Honors Herbie Hancock Tonight

The SFJAZZ Center will be hoppin' tonight as it honors Herbie Hancock at its biggest party of the year, the SFJAZZ Gala

You may have noticed some unusual activity on the Fell Street side of the SFJAZZ Center building over the past couple days: it's all in preparation for the event's red carpet arrivals, which will proceed through a makeshift structure that spills out onto Fell Street.

The SFJAZZ Gala is honoring Hancock with a Lifetime Achievement Award. This is the musician who played the piano with Miles Davis, composed the soundtrack for Bill Cosby's Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids, and released hits like "Canteloupe Island" and "RockIt". Tonight, the SFJAZZ Center will feature his music on their main stage.

In 2008, Hancock's album River: The Joni Letters took home Album of the Year at The Grammy's, beating Amy Winehouse's Back to Black for the coveted award. It was only the second time a jazz album won Album of the Year with Getz/Gilberto first winning in 1965.

Hancock's music will be the focus of tonight's event, with performances by him and other musical artists. The Center also promises some surprise guests, pointing out that previous Gala attendees have included celebrities such as Dave Chappelle, Robert Redford, Terrence Howard, Clint Eastwood, Amy Tan, Michael Chabon, and Ronnie Lott.

The event begins at 5:30pm at the SFJAZZ Center. Tickets are sold out for the gala but there are still some available for the AfterJam with Charles Bradley, a musical showman in his own right. Feel free to head down and see who makes it to this year's gala, and let us know if you spot any celebrities in the neighborhood.

In the meantime, here are some jazz stylings from Herbie Hancock and high-energy soul from Charles Bradley to get you through your Friday. 


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