AW: It seems to have turned out very well.
RK: It’s a complicated building  that looks very simple — you need a building designer, theater designer and acoustics designer. But we also wanted [it] to be a welcoming part of the neighborhood. That’s why we have in our ground-floor lobby space one really open room that’s all glass. Rehearsals take place there, and it’s a nightclubby room at night. And on the other side is a café … and we have three bars.

Mark Cavagnero
AW: Besides great food and libations, what else can you find here?
RK: There’s a 700-seat auditorium and a smaller room that can hold up to 100 people. There are practice rooms for our educational program and a digital-music resource classroom … . Plus, we’ll have our bookstore.

AW: What upcoming programs excite you?
RK: March 7 to 10 is a week with Indian percussionist Zakir Hussain — he’s kind of the Michael Jackson of Indian music. March 14 to 17, we have a woman named Mariza from Portugal. She performs a style of music called fado. It’s like Portuguese blues, and she’s the reigning diva of that art form. Her voice is incredible.

[To learn more about Mariza and the art of fado, visit and read our Oct. 15, 2007, feature on the songstress.]


McCoy Tyner, The Real ­McCoy: This is among my top 10 favorite jazz records. Joe Henderson, who plays impassioned tenor saxophone on this record, is honored at the SFJazz Center by having one of the performance halls named after him. He was a San Francisco resident, and he made many unforgettable SFJazz performances.

Robert Glasper Experiment, Black Radio: Glasper is melding ­hip-hop and jazz here. Jazz is always evolving, and this record is a beautiful blend of genres — it’s easy to hear jazz’s role in the evolution of black music.

Christian ­Tetzlaff, J.S. Bach: Sonatas & Partitas for Violin Solo: Bach, a great improviser, is at his most beautiful and expressive in these pieces, and Tetzlaff’s interpretation is transcendent.

’70s Groove, My Personal Spotify Playlist: Some ­highlights among the 54 tracks: The Meters’ “Jungle Man,” Al Green’s “Take Me to the River” and Sly and the Family Stone’s “Sing a Simple Song.” These songs are impossible not to dance to.