The SFJAZZ Collective started as a nonprofit organization in 2004 with the goal of reinterpreting the works of a chosen jazz composer and experimenting with everyday pop music. The group has played around with the works of Ornette Coleman, Thelonious Monk, Stevie Wonder, and more. This time around, Michael Jackson is their main focus. Each year brings new challenges and exciting new avenues of music to explore.
Since 2004, one LP has been released each year by the group (with a bonus 10th anniversary “Best of” disk being released in 2013). Featured sounds have included live versions of the annual concert tour, songs from Stevie Wonder, and live performances from the SFJAZZ Center. For a full discography list with more album information, click here!
The group convenes for a multiple week residency in San Francisco to cultivate its sound. During this time, the octet works through the new season’s repertoire and interacts with members of the Bay Area community though SFJAZZ-based education programs for youth and adults.
Half of the members of this year’s Collective include a Puerto Rican-born, Grammy®-nominated alto saxophonist, a Venezuelan pianist, a bassist who is originally from New Zealand, and a five-time “Trombonist of the Year,” according to the “DownBeat” Magazine Critics Poll. Follow this link for more information on these four, as well as the other half of the octet!
Every season, the song book includes 16 songs. All 8 members of the octet equally contribute 2 songs to the book – one arrangement and one original piece of music to create something that sounds both familiar and new. Arrangements of Michael Jackson’s songs include “Smooth Criminal,” “Thriller,” and “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough.”
Don’t miss the SFJAZZ Collective’s performance of The Michael Jackson Project at Loeb Playhouse on Thursday, April 7th!