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Celebrating Jazz at the Blackhawk

Join us March 17th for a celebration of jazz and the history of the Blackhawk featuring Jazz in the Neighborhood and the Community Music Center. Opening the show is a youth jazz band from the Community Music Center under the mentorship of Marcus Shelby from Jazz in the Neighborhood. They’ll be followed by a trio performance by world-class jazz musicians, Marcus Shelby on bass, Dillon Vado on vibes, and Ila Cantor on guitar.

At the corner of Hyde and Turk Streets in San Francisco's Tenderloin neighborhood, the world’s best jazz musicians performed at the Blackhawk Jazz Club from 1950 - 1963. The club’s legacy lives in recordings made here by Miles Davis, Dave Brubeck, Cal Tjader, Thelonious Monk and Ahmad Jamal, among others. Billie Holiday, Dizzy Gillespie, Charles Mingus, Count Basie, the Modern Jazz Quartet and other legends played on its stage.

The Blackhawk in later years accommodated its underage patrons in a special section behind chicken wire. The Tenderloin Museum features an exhibit about these “caged teens.” In the late 1950’s during a Tenderloin moral panic, the police raided the club decrying underage attendance. Splashy newspaper headlines eventually receded, but unable to afford rising artist fees, the Blackhawk shuttered its doors in 1963. Legendary saxophonist John Handy was the last headliner to play the Blackhawk's final concert in late 1962.

Jazz in the Neighborhood brings Bay Area jazz innovators and developing players together to share the joy of improvised music and build community around live performances. Our programs connect professional musicians with students and big band players of all ages, for mentoring in the classroom and on the bandstand. Jazz in the Neighborhood, a nonprofit project with fiscal sponsorship through Intersection for the Arts, supplements salaries and supports local venues to help dedicated artists make a living wage.

Marcus Anthony Shelby is a bandleader, composer, arranger, bassist, educator, an activist who currently lives in San Francisco. Over the past 25 years he has built a diverse biography as a composer. His work and music has focused on sharing the history, present, and future of African American lives, on social movements in the United States of America, and on early childhood music education. From 1990-1996, Shelby was bandleader of Columbia Records and GRP Impulse! Recording Artists Black/Note. Currently, Shelby is an artist in residence with the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival and the Artistic Director of the Marcus Shelby Orchestra. In 2013, Shelby received a commission from the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival to compose “Beyond the Blues: A Prison Oratorio” an original composition for big band orchestra about the “Prison Industrial Complex,” which will premier September 2015. Shelby has also worked extensively in Bay Area Theater, Film, and Dance on a range of productions. In March 2013, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee appointed Shelby to the San Francisco Arts Commission where he serves on the Community Arts Grants and Education Committee and the Street Artists Committee.

This event is sponsored by Jazz in the Neighborhood.

Event Details:
Tenderloin Museum
398 Eddy Street (@ Leavenworth)
Reception at 6:30, Music at 7
Free, donations encouraged

Earlier Event: March 10
"25 Cent Preview" Film Screening
Later Event: March 24
"You Don't Know Jack" Film Screening