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SFJAZZ Announces New SFJAZZ Collective Lineup

United States
Tenor Saxophonist Mark Turner, Trumpeter Avishai Cohen, Pianist Edward Simon Join All-Star Octet And Vibraphonist Stefon Harris Returns

2010 Season Devoted To Repertoire Of Horace Silver Plus New Compositions By Collective Members

(SAN FRANCISCO, CA, January 12, 2010) — SFJAZZ today announced the new 2010 lineup and repertoire for the SFJAZZ Collective. Commissioned exclusively by SFJAZZ, the leading nonprofit jazz organization on the West Coast and the presenter of the San Francisco Jazz Festival and the 11th Annual SFJAZZ Spring Season, running February 19 through June 12, the Collective will welcome tenor saxophonist Mark Turner, trumpeter Avishai Cohen and pianist Edward Simon. Vibraphonist Stefon Harris also returns to the Collective after a one-year hiatus from the band. The all-star roster includes veteran alto saxophonist Miguel Zenón, trombonist Robin Eubanks, bassist Matt Penman and drummer Eric Harland. The Collective’s new lineup strikes a perfect balance among founding members, multi-year veterans and exciting newcomers. In 2010, the Collective will feature new arrangements of the work of legendary pianist Horace Silver and fresh original compositions by each of the eight Collective members.

Miguel Zenón says of Horace Silver, “If I had to describe Horace Silver in one word it would be ‘originality.’ From the early examples of him as a player and composer, we can hear that he is a special voice that is funky, groovy and bluesy. It will be our pleasure to dig into his music and try to make it as much ours as it is his.”

Edward Simon mentions, “Horace Silver is a master of the small jazz ensemble form who has managed to produce a consistent catalog of great tunes. His tunes are a joy to play. His compositions have strong melodies and grooves, two of the elements that excite me the most about music!”

Launched in 2004 by SFJAZZ and named “Rising Star Jazz Band of the Year” in Down Beat’s 2006 International Critics Poll and 2009 Small Group Ensemble of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association, the SFJAZZ Collective is a workshop band unlike any other in jazz. The group features a changing lineup with each member hand-selected to contribute their own unique sounds, styles and voices. They are all distinguished not just by degree, but diversity of talent and each member is a celebrated instrumentalist, an outstanding composer and arranger, and most are among today’s most lauded bandleaders. The Collective also presents a global music perspective with musicians from Puerto Rico (Zenón), Israel (Cohen), New Zealand (Penman) and Venezuela (Simon).

Hailed by The New York Times as “possibly jazz’s premier player,” Mark Turner has been quietly building a reputation as a musician’s musician. He attended Berklee College Of Music in the late ‘80s where he met musicians that would figure prominently in his later work, including Kurt Rosenwinkel and Joshua Redman. Turner has recorded five critically acclaimed albums as a leader and he has also appeared with such luminary artists as Dave Holland, Brad Mehldau, Dave Douglas and Lee Konitz. His latest project is the trio FLY with bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Jeff Ballard. Their new album Sky And Country appeared on ECM in early 2009 and was selected as one of the year’s best jazz albums by The Village Voice Critics Poll.

Trumpeter Avishai Cohen is one of the most sought-after players of his generation and “an assertive and accomplished trumpeter with a taste for modernism” according to The New York Times. Originally from Tel Aviv, Israel, Cohen began performing at age 10 and toured the world with the Young Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra. Relocating to the U.S. to attend the Berklee College Of Music, he placed third in the prestigious Thelonious Monk Trumpet Competition in 1997. After developing his craft at New York’s Smalls jazz club alongside contemporaries such as pianist Jason Lindner and bassist Omer Avital, Cohen has expanded his sonic palette to include African music (with Lionel Loueke), funk (Meshell Ndegeocello), folk/pop (Keren Ann) and effects-laden avantgarde explorations.

Pianist Edward Simon was born in the coastal town of Punta Cardón, Venezuela, where he grew up in a family of musicians surrounded by the sounds and rhythms of Latin and Caribbean music. Settling in New York City in 1989, he played with numerous jazz masters, including Herbie Mann, Paquito D’Rivera, Bobby Hutcherson, Bobby Watson, Terence Blanchard and Don Byron. He has produced seven critically acclaimed albums as a leader, including two New York Times top ten jazz records of the year: Simplicitas (Criss Cross, 2005) and Edward Simon (Kokopelli, 1994). Currently, Simon leads his own trio, Ensemble Venezuela, collaborates with saxophonist David Binney in the quartet Afinidad and also appears alongside his brothers in the group Simon, Simon & Simon.

A member of the Collective in 2008, vibraphonist Stefon Harris returns to the group after a one-year hiatus. Harris has been called “one of the most important young artists in jazz” by The Los Angeles Times. He displays passionate artistry, energetic stage presence, and astonishing virtuosity that have propelled him into the forefront of the current jazz scene. The 36-year-old is committed both to exploring the rich potential of jazz composition and blazing new trails on the vibraphone. A graduate of the Manhattan School of Music, Harris has received numerous accolades including the Jazz Journalists Association’s “Best Mallet Player” for four years running (2000-2003) and “#1 Rising Star Vibraphonist” in the 2006 Down Beat Critics Poll. His string of Grammy-nominated albums for Blue Note includes Kindred, Black Action Figure, The Grand Unification Theory and the latest release, Urbanus, with his group Blackout.

Given the elite talent assembled in the SFJAZZ Collective, it is tempting, on first glance, to think of this ensemble as just another “all-star band.” But as the “Collective” portion of the group’s name suggests, these exceptional artists have come together in pursuit of a larger purpose—namely, the celebration of jazz as a constantly evolving, ever-relevant, quintessentially modern art form.

This conception of the music is shared by SFJAZZ, the San Francisco–based nonprofit institution that is the group’s namesake and producer. The idea for the Collective arose from turn-of-the-millennium discussions between SFJAZZ’s founder and executive director, Randall Kline, and saxophonist and founding Collective member Joshua Redman. While deeply respectful of jazz’s origins and early traditions, SFJAZZ was concerned that the modern side of jazz, from roughly the mid-20th-century to the present day, was often overlooked in the public eye in comparison with the music of jazz’s so-called “Golden Age.” Both Kline and Redman were eager to showcase, in a manner that would resonate with jazz aficionados and newcomers alike, the artistic continuum from modern masters like John Coltrane (2004), Ornette Coleman (2005), Herbie Hancock (2006), Thelonious Monk (2007), Wayne Shorter (2008), McCoy Tyner (2009) and now, Horace Silver, to today’s new generation of players. Much like chamber music, the music is designed for a small group of instruments to be performed in intimate settings and atmospheres including performing arts centers, concert halls and salons.

Past Collective members have included the likes of Joshua Redman, Bobby Hutcherson, Dave Douglas, Nicholas Payton, Joe Lovano, Josh Roseman, Renee Rosnes, Robert Hurst, Brian Blade and other jazz stars.

Each season, SFJAZZ produces a deluxe, limited edition CD set of live performance recordings of the SFJAZZ Collective’s entire repertoire for that year. The current release Live 2009: 6th Annual Concert Tour features the Collective’s 2009 repertoire, including the work of McCoy Tyner and original compositions by group members recorded live on tour dates in the U.S. and Europe. The 2010 tour will be documented and a deluxe, limited edition CD set of live performances will be released in Fall 2010. SFJAZZ Records has released six previous limited-edition CD sets since 2004, documenting the SFJAZZ Collective’s complete annual repertoire in concert, as well as a concert DVD filmed at 2007’s Jazz à Vienne Festival in France. All recordings and more information on the SFJAZZ Collective and SFJAZZ can be found online.

The Collective devotes several weeks each year to a group residency, which includes an intensive rehearsal period and educational workshops. During this time, the Collective members also mentor promising young musicians, including the 20-strong SFJAZZ High School All-Stars ensemble.


The Collective undertakes annual U.S. and international tours. This year’s dates are as follows:

February 25 – 28, Jazz Alley, Seattle, WA
March 2 - Campbell Hall, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA
March 4 - Mondavi Center for the Arts, University of California, Davis, CA
March 5 – SFJAZZ Spring Season, Palace of Fine Arts Theatre, San Francisco, CA
March 6 - Van Duzer Theater, Humboldt State University, Arcata, CA
March 11 - Konzerthaus Mozart Saal, Vienna, Austria
March 12 - Auditori Hall B, Barcelona, Spain
March 13 - Casa da Musica, Porto, Portugal
March 15 - New Morning, Paris, France
March 17,18 - Bimhuis, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
March 19 - Lantaren, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
March 20 - Fasching Club, Stockholm, Sweden
March 21 - International Bergamo Jazz Festival, Bergamo, Italy
March 22 - Auditorium S. Chiara, Trento, Italy


SFJAZZ, founded in 1983, is the largest nonprofit presenter of jazz in the western United States. SFJAZZ presents over 100 concerts a year to over 100,000 fans and is dedicated to advancing the art form of jazz and cultivating new jazz audiences through artistic and educational programming, including: The San Francisco Jazz Festival, SFJAZZ Spring Season, SFJAZZ Collective, SFJAZZ Summerfest, SFJAZZ Education, SFJAZZ Membership and SFJAZZ Hotplate (a new nightclub series featuring the Bay Area’s best musicians, info at sfjazzhotplate.org). SFJAZZ Collective is generously supported by Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation and National Endowment for the Arts.
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