SFJAZZ Center continues to brighten the scene as it evolves from its Grand Opening, January 23, and celebrates Jazz as a living art form, built on a constantly evolving tradition. Last Thursday night kicked off the ribbon cutting dedication of the Joe Henderson Lab, located on the first floor of the Center, and SFJAZZ HOT PLATE Festival. A nice turnout of media and others were invited; enjoyed hors d'eouvres, fine wine and conversations that dwelled on the subject of jazz.

Grammy-award winning saxophonist Henderson was featured many times on Founder Randall Kline’s jazz festivals, that started in 1983. The Master musician passed, June 30, 2001, age 64. Kline NEVER forgot him- such loyalty!

Henderson, inspired by the likes of Charlie Parker, Ornette Coleman, Sonny Rollins; his music ranged from bebop, hard bop, post bop, fusion, latin, performed with many groups - Miles Davis for one. Recorded on Blue Note and Verve Records. He was a powerful personality on the music scene. Henderson traveled all over the world but lived in San Francisco for some years.

Kline, excited over the evening, expressed his enthusiasm for what’s to come in the Lab that will feature master classes, workshops, group productions. A place to nurture young musicians. .

HOT PLATE, a four night event, performed by the Bay Area’s most gifted musicians, re-imagine the music of the masters, kicked off Thursday night with The Mitch Marcus group who played the music of Henderson.

Ribbon cutting, prior to entering the ensemble room where workshops will be held and other events. A magnificent portrait of Henderson visible on the wall, off stage, near exit door. Wonderful, Henderson holds a prominent place in SFJAZZ Center, a musician who would have been honored. A legend who played all forms of jazz.

Just a feel good evening! Delighted to join KCSM Jazz radio station (91.1) GANG - Friday night Blues lady - Kathleen Lawton, Saturday afternoon Jazz - Dick Conte...Early morning cup of jazz - Alisa Clancy, joined by her darling 12 year old twins, Wiley and Ramona; both made a fashion statement - Ramona looked like a STAR in early 1900s outfit - loved the bonnett...Wiley, gangsta style - 30s, suit and hat (a feeling of Harry Connick, Jr.). I tell you, those kids were COOL! Introduced Harrison Chastang, who spins jazz on radio station KPOO, especially pleased to meet Conte.

CALENDAR NOTE. Sunday, legendary saxophonist JOHN HANDY, San Francisco Jazz Ambassador (anointed by SFJAZZ) turned 80, February 3. He will be honored in a birthday Tribute concert at Yoshi’s S.F., hosted by Jazz Guru - Sonny Buxton, (KCSM 91.1). Happy Birthday! HARD WORKIN’ JOHN HANDY, STILL WORKING FOR YOU!

Birthday SHOUT OUT to another legend, in a different profession, Barbering! JOE THE BARBER celebrated his birthday Sunday at the Rhythm and Blues Club, held at their usual spot - The famous Verde Club here in the City, surrounded by family and friends. For many years, Joe Herbert cut hair on the Divisadero Strip, near Fell, owner of his shop. A gift of gab and master barber!

During the lively 60s,70s, especially, when the street boasted many jazz clubs and restaurants, Joe did a brisk business. Customers hated to see him retire some years ago, moved back home to Louisiana to do nothing but relax - fishing his main game! Several times a year Barber man back in the Bay Area to visit family, one, his sister ELLA HERBERT. The party, pumped up by the DJ sounds of R&B Founder BOB GRAHAM, celebrated his day. HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOE - you’re looking good!

E-mail Rochelle at iheard@earthlink.net