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SF Jazz Gala 2020

Photos by Drew Altizer


On January 30, SFJAZZ hosted the SFJAZZ Gala honoring Mavis Staples with the SFJAZZ Lifetime Achievement Award.

Gala co-chairs, Mick Hellman and Denise Young Smith, helped produce the event, raising proceeds for the SFJAZZ artistic and education programs. The SFJAZZ Center was abuzz with cultural and political leaders, celebrities, artists, and music enthusiasts.

The event celebrates Staples’ artistic vision and contributions to global music over the last 70 years. Staples is Grammy Award winner, a chart-topping soul/R&B/gospel singer, Kennedy Center honoree, and has been hailed as “one of America’s defining voices of freedom and peace” by NPR. Having dedicated her life to being a messenger for love, faith, justice, brotherhood, and joy, Staples was celebrated by several notable attendees, including Mayor London Breed, Joachim and Nancy Bechtle, Molly Coye, Lisa and Ken Jackson, Katie Hall and Tom Knutsen Saori and Mike Kappus, Ann and Roger McNamee, Lisa Pritzker, Rick Swig, Adam Swig, and more!

VIP Gala supporters enjoyed a lively cocktail hour and seated dinner with featured artists followed by the Gala Concert featuring some of the most exciting names in music, including Bonnie Raitt, Rosanne Cash, and SFJAZZ Collective. The performances culminated in the SFJAZZ Gala After Party. Gala-goers and after-partiers celebrated with a plentiful array of the finest cuisine and drinks throughout the evening by Paula LeDuc. Late-night fare was provided by SFJAZZ’s favorite neighborhood spots

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