The SFJAZZ Collective at work. From the left, Warren Wolf, vibraphone; Edward Simon, piano; Gretchen Parlato vocals; Matt Brewer, bass; Chris Potter, sax; Etienne Charles, trumpet; David Sánchez, sax; Kendrick A.D. Scott, drums. (Not pictured vocalist Martin Luther McCoy) Photo by Bill Evans courtesy of SFJAZZ
The SFJAZZ Collective is the composer’s workshop and resident ensemble at SFJAZZ, the San Francisco-based, non-profit organization dedicated to jazz creation, presentation, and education. Founded by SFJAZZ in 2004, the Collective interprets original, newly commissioned pieces by each of its members and arrangements of the music of master artists such as Miles Davis, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Michael Jackson, Ornette Coleman, and Sly and the Family Stone. For its 2020-21 season, the Collective had planned to explore the music of Joni Mitchell.
“But given what was going on at the time,” trumpeter and composer Etienne Charles says, “it was decided that it would be a lot better for us to channel our musical energy and our voices to tell stories about the moment. After all, reflecting on the moment is what jazz does, anyway: We speak to the moment.”