SFJAZZ Center Announces Grammy-Winning Resident Artistic Directors, New Lineup

Photo: Jared Schwartz/Hoodline
By Jared Schwartz - Published on July 16, 2014.
The SFJAZZ Center recently announced their lineup for the upcoming season that takes place between September 11, 2014 and May 31, 2015.
The season will introduce a new group of SFJAZZ Resident Artistic Directors who will curate, perform, and participate in a variety of activities while they're in San Francisco. The four individuals are Zakir Hussain, Eric Harland, Terence Blanchard and Esperanza Spalding. 

We thought it would be fun to share a little info about each of them, so here's what we know thanks to information provided by the SFJAZZ Center. 

Zakir Hussain is considered the world's greatest tabla (an Indian percussion instrument) virtuoso. When we Googled "tabla music," his video showed up first.  

Eric Hardland is a Texas-born drummer who's performed with Betty Carter, Joe Henderson, Dave Holland and McCoy Tyner. 

Terrence Blanchard is a Grammy Award-winning bandleader, jazz writer and educator from New Orleans. 

Esperanza Spalding became the first jazz musician to ever win the Grammy Award for Best New Artist in 2011.

These four individuals will be in charge of programming and performances during certain periods of the upcoming season. Speaking of performances, below is a list that highlights different artists and performances in September and October, and all the performances by the Artistic Directors. 

Tickets go on sale next Wednesday, July 23 at 11am and can be purchased over the phone (866-920-5299), in person at the SFJAZZ Center Box Office (201 Franklin Street) or on their website. That link will also direct you to a complete schedule of the entire 2014-2015 season.



Eliane Elias – Bebop to Bossa Nova 
Celebrating Getz/Gilberto - September 11, 7:30pm
Chet Baker Tribute w/Ingrid Jensen - September 12, 7:30pm
Night in Bahia - September 13, 7:30pm
Bill Evans Salute - September 14 7:00pm
Eliane Elias, the lyrical Brazilian-born pianist and singer who plays bop and bossa nova with equal élan, celebrates the timeless collaboration of Stan Getz, João Gilberto and Antonio Carlos Jobim that created the classic 1964 album Getz/ Gilberto and jump-started the international bossa nova craze, with guest tenor saxophonist Harry Allen. 

Calder Quartet - The Bartók Cycle 
Bartók String Quartets Nos. 1 & 4 with Christian McBride, bass - September 24, 7:30pm
Bartók String Quartets Nos. 2 & 3 with Iva Bittová, violin - October 5, 7:30pm
Bartók String Quartets Nos. 5 & 6 - November 11, 7:30pm
Over three incredible nights, one of the most acclaimed ensembles in classical music presents the complete cycle of influential string quartets by legendary Hungarian composer Béla Bartók, joined by guests Christian McBride and Iva Bittová.

Harold López-Nussa featuring David Sánchez
September 25, 7:30pm
A scion of an illustrious musical family, the 30-year-old Cuban pianist Harold López-Nussa is one of the brightest lights on Havana’s thriving jazz scene. Saxophone star and SFJAZZ Collective member David Sánchez joins Nussa’s stellar trio for a virtuoso evening of power and passion.

The Cookers
September 26, 7:30pm
A powerhouse band far greater than the sum of their legendary parts, the Cookers features seven influential jazz masters, all leaders in their own right, including Eddie Henderson, Billy Harper, Craig Handy, George Cables, Cecil McBee, David Weiss and Billy Hart.

Toumani Diabaté & Sidiki Diabaté
September 27, 7:30pm
Malian kora player Toumani Diabaté is responsible for introducing and popularizing the 21-string West African harp around the world. Widely regarded as the instrument’s greatest virtuoso, he performs at SFJAZZ with his son Sidiki, the kora’s rising new star.

John Santos Sextet with Calvin Keys, María Márquez, Ed Reed & Terrie Odabi
September 28, 7:00pm
Three of the Bay Area’s greatest vocalists and local guitar legend join the incomparable John Santos Sextet for a fresh installment of “Unusual Standards,” an evening of classic jazz staples, re-imagined and revitalized with the spirit of Latin jazz.

Thursday, October 2, 7:30pm, $25/35/50
Friday, October 3, Saturday, October 4, 7:30pm, $25/45/65
Sunday, October 5, 3:00pm, $25/35/50
The stirring tenor saxophonist and composer, a deeply communicative improviser with a wide musical frame of reference, leads a trio with bassist Reuben Rogers and drummer Gregory Hutchinson to perform music from his new CD, Trios Live.

Zakir Hussain with Kumaresh Rajagopalan & Jayanthi Kumaresh - October 9, 7:30pm
Sangam with Charles Lloyd & Eric Harland, October 11-12, 7:30pm
Tribute to Armando Peraza, October 12, 7:00pm
Zakir Hussain opens his first week as SFJAZZ Resident Artistic Director with a traditional recital of North Indian classical music featuring violin virtuoso Kumaresh Rajagopalan and Jayanthi Kumaresh, a renowned master of the veena, the ancient Indian lute. Hussain reunites with one of his most astonishing ensembles, Sangam, a telepathic trio featuring tenor saxophone giant Charles Lloyd and drummer extraordinaire Eric Harland. His final performance is an exclusive tribute to the late Latin percussion legend Armando Peraza, renowned for his work with Santana, Cal Tjader and many others. This special show will feature a host of great Bay Area musicians, including John Santos.

Drummer and composer Eric Harland is one of the most acclaimed percussionists in jazz, winning multiple DownBeat’s Critics Polls and working with a sparking roster of greats including Betty Carter, Joe Henderson, McCoy Tyner, Charles Lloyd and the SFJAZZ Collective. This four-night residency showcases the diversity of his musical pursuits.

Tej Trio
January 29, 7:30pm
Eric Harland presents his TEJ TRIO, featuring two virtuoso musicians with deep ties to the Bay Area, keyboardist Taylor Eigsti and guitarist Julian Lage, in an exciting performance combining music and digital video.

January 30, 7:30pm
A quintet of masterful improvisers including pianist Taylor Eigsti and saxophonist Walter Smith III, Voyager focuses on Eric Harland’s stimulating work as a composer, documented on their debut album, Live By Night, and forthcoming follow-up.

Snarky Puppy With Eric Harland
January 31, 7:30pm, ($25 Dance Floor Only, $35/45 Reserved)
An incendiary meeting of the musical minds, as Eric Harland joins one of the hottest jazz/funk/R&B bands on the planet, the GRAMMY-winning Snarky Puppy. They’ll be playing Harland’s compositions for the SFJAZZ Collective as well as Snarky Puppy’s own funk-drenched jams.

Superbowl Video Game Party: Voyager W/ Live Videogamers 
February 1, 7:00pm
Eric Harland’s Voyager band performs live in a Super Bowl video game spectacular, as two of the Bay Area’s best gamers will go head to head alongside live commentators for the first-ever show combining the improvisation of football, sports commentating, and music.

Member Listening Party with Zakir Hussain, Wednesday, April 1, 7:30pm, Members $5, Public $10

Celtic Connections
April 2 – 3, 7:30pm
The Bay Area debut of Hussain’s triumphantly successful project originated during an appearance in Scotland in 2011, combining an ensemble of the greatest Indian musicians with a stellar group of artists from the Celtic tradition to explore their cross-cultural language.

Zakir Hussain with Lionel Loueke and Special Guests
April 4, 7:30pm
April 5, 7:00pm
The duet spotlight with Zakir Hussain and Beninese guitar star Lionel Loueke was a highlight of jazz legend Herbie Hancock’s performances in Season 2. Inspired by the limitless possibilities, the two virtuosos revisit this sublime new collaboration, with special guests to be named soon.

Trumpeter Terence Blanchard is jazz’s foremost Renaissance man. A savvy bandleader, celebrated film composer, brilliant jazz writer, and influential educator, the New Orleans native is a creative force. As an SFJAZZ Resident Artistic Director, he showcases the diversity of his vision.

Terence Blanchard with Kenny Barron & Ambrose Akinmusire
April 9, 7:30pm
An exclusive, multi-generational evening of teachers, students and jazz legacy that pairs Blanchard with his mentor, NEA Jazz Master pianist Kenny Barron and one of Blanchard’s own protégés, trumpet star Ambrose Akinmusire.

Terence Blanchard Electric Band
April 10, 7:30pm
This performance is a CD release party and world premiere performance for the new electric band project by trumpeter Terence Blanchard, featuring pianist Fabian Almazan, guitarist Lionel Loueke, bassist Donald Ramsey and more.

Terence Blanchard Quintet with Strings: “A Tale of God’s Will”
April 11, 7:30pm
April 12, 7:00pm
To mark the 10th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard revisits his transcendent GRAMMY-winning project A Tale of God’s Will (A Requiem for Katrina), a highly personal piece that originated as the score for Spike Lee’s documentary film, When The Levees Broke.

Continuing to embark on uncharted territory, Grammy-winning bassist, singer and composer Esperanza Spalding brings her passion for new sounds with her ever-expanding collage of musical sketches in her debut week as SFJAZZ Resident Artistic Director.
April 30 – May 2, 7:30pm
May 3, 7:00pm
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