An all-star ensemble comprising the finest performer/composers at work in jazz today, the SFJAZZ Collective has traditionally assembled each year to create fresh arrangements of works by a modern master and newly commissioned pieces by each member of the band. Through this pioneering approach, simultaneously honoring music’s greatest figures while championing jazz’s up-to-the-minute directions, the Collective has always embodied SFJAZZ’s commitment to jazz as a living, ever-relevant art form.
This year is different. Great musicians have always created work that reflects the state of the world around them, and in response to the tumultuous times in which we find ourselves, the Collective has decided to forego a specific tribute artist in order to compose, arrange, and perform original dedicated to who we are as a country and a people in light of the fight for racial justice, the global pandemic, and the unprecedented political polarization and upheaval we are facing in our daily lives. Additionally, the band will debut new approaches to a selection of classic songs associated with peace, freedom, and social commentary, including Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On,” the classic anthem “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” and “Throw it Away” by Abbey Lincoln.
The season also marks the addition of three exciting new additions to the band with vocalist Gretchen Parlato, drummer Kendrick Scott, and saxophonist Chris Potter, who will also assume the role of Music Director for the ensemble — the first time the Collective has had a member in a leadership position in over a decade.
Lift Every Voice & Sing/Vicissitude Warren Wolf
Throw It Away Kendrick Scott
8’46” Edward Simon
What’s Going On? Etienne Charles
The Sower Matt Brewer
Ay Bendito David Sánchez
Can You See/Mutuality Chris Potter
All There Inside Gretchen Parlato
Already Died For Her Martin Luther McCoy
Unity Warren Wolf
Chris Potter tenor saxophone
David Sánchez tenor saxophone
Etienne Charles trumpet
Warren Wolf vibraphone
Edward Simon piano
Matt Brewer bass
Kendrick Scott drums
Martin Luther McCoy vocals/guitar
Gretchen Parlato vocals