Well, here we are again, kicking it in the New Year, that promises to be filled with exciting events; for me, a Jazz lover, the HISTORIC OPENING of the SFJAZZ Center, Franklin and Fell Streets! A dream realized by RANDALL KLINE, SFJAZZ Founder and Artistic Director, who has been booking jazz concerts in a variety of rented venues throughout the Bay for over 30 years, NOW, with his team, announce the first season in their new home, the SFJAZZ Center.

Kline stated, reference this momentous occasion, “We wanted to create a community gathering place around jazz. A place where Jazz can do what its always done - grow and change. Now there’s a permanent place in San Francisco where it can flourish.”

Mark your calendar, January 21, Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, will be an all day FREE SFJAZZ celebration with a ribbon cutting ceremony, tours and street fair. Hopefully the weather will be sunny!

Next Wednesday, plan to attend the Media Preview Event, to tour the stand alone structure...FIRST free standing building for Jazz in the country! So excited! For several years, this writer has covered and donated to SFJAZZ; recall many wonderful concerts. PROUD Kline’s dream has been realized!

Last Friday night down at Yoshi’s, on Fillmore, to hear Multi-Grammy winner, trumpeter ROY HARGROVE, in RESIDENCY through Sunday, with his Quartet that featured the swinging Justin Robinson on Alto Sax. The first show was packed. Hargrove surprised many when he blew a soulful ballad, “Never Let Me Go,” then mesmerized the audience when he sang the lyrics - mellow. The first set ended when Hargrove and Robinson marched around the club blowing their horns, and preceded backstage.

Good to see WALID, legendary personality at both Yoshi’s clubs, but also remembered back in the day at the famed North Beach club - KEYSTONE KORNER.

YOSHI’S celebrates its 40th Anniversary. My experience with the club date back to the days when located on Claremont in North Oakland, enjoyed the sounds of the best; one, vocalist/jazz pianist Shirley Horn - my first intro, opening night - her luggage was lost on the plane, quite comfortable wearing a white pullover sweater and Black pants. So many memories followed to Jack London Square, and the opening of the San Francisco Club.

Saturday will be yelling my head off watching the 49ers BEAT the Green Bay Packers at the ‘STICK! .


E-mail Rochelle at iheard@earthlink.net