Spring is here and so, it seems, is a cautious optimism. The lines at vaccination centers are shrinking and it’s almost becoming the norm for people to be and to expect their friends to be fully vaccinated. Dare we plan? Calendar a date in ink? Have a face-to-face meeting with friends? A business meeting with people who are full size and not a tiny square on a ZOOM screen? Hear live music in an actual club or concert setting? Most importantly, hug our grandchildren? And, if so, how far into the future? I say “Let’s do it (with masks and social distancing, of course).”
The California Jazz Foundation is 15 years old. We have grown from seven friends who wanted to help our beloved jazz musicians to a 15 person Board of Directors. We’ve graduated from passing a hat around my dining room table to help out a musician recovering from surgery in the Bay Area to having assisted more than 350 musicians. We’ve developed relationships which allow us a broader reach thereby increasing our ability to serve our applicants.
To celebrate this auspicious anniversary, on January 30 a group of “insiders” who were instrumental in bringing us to this point renewed our friendships via a Zoom celebration, shared our memories with the newer folks and reminisced on our history. We lifted a glass of red wine (or whatever) in honor of those who have left us and those whose support has never waned. This experience has inspired me to memorialize that history and share it with whomever has an interest. Should you wish to visit our roots, watch for the piece elsewhere on this website…coming soon!
In the spirit of moving onward and upward, CJF has some big news to share! After 15 years of operating out of my house, office and garage, and storing materials in other Directors’ houses and garages, we have contracted with Scherr Lillico of The Proper Image to take over our Administration. The transition is almost complete and we are patting ourselves on the back for unwittingly making such a great decision. Scherr and Jamie Lee, who is our designated “boots on the ground person,” have brought so much more to the table than expected that we are pinching ourselves. You will notice a change in address, but the telephone numbers remain the same.
Do not worry…we have not lost our amazing Ann Dobbs, who dedicated most of her energy to CJF for 12 years! I am thrilled to report that Ann has returned to our Board of Directors after a 12 year absence and fully expects to continue serving our cause and supporting our musicians, our members, and our friends. We thank Ann profusely for all of her service for this long stretch…and welcome her back to the Board with open arms.
Finally, plan to join us for our Virtual “Give the Band A Hand” Gala on Sunday, June 6, when we honor Tim Jackson, Artistic Director of the Monterey Jazz Festival, with the Nica Award and, posthumously, Horace Silver, with the Heritage Award. We are excited to have confirmed to date the wonderful Billy Childs, John Clayton, Darryn Dean, Russ Ferrante, and Lee Ritenour, and LeRoy Downs hosting. We are expecting additional surprise guests checking in to honor Tim Jackson and the Monterey Jazz Festival and to pay their respects to Horace Silver by playing his brilliant music.
"In the interim, check out our “Sonic Tonic” interviews hosted monthly by Greg Porée, and our “Applause” concert series, co-produced by Greg and Scherr Lillico (also monthly)." Details of both, as well as past events, can be found on the CJF website.