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The Excitement is building

The campaign for the Jazz Bakery Performance Space

James Carter & Cyrus Chestnut at Jazz Bakery Movable Feast December 13, 2014.
Jazz to me is a living music. It’s a music that since its beginning has expressed the feelings, the dreams, hopes, of the people.
Dexter Gordon

A place of great cultural awareness

The genius of our country is improvisation, and jazz reflects that. It’s our great contribution to the arts.
Ken Burns

The Jazz Bakery is dedicated to growing and nurturing America’s music, and to cultivating new audiences and emerging talent. We are presenters, educators, advocates, and community members, celebrating jazz in all its diversity.

The Jazz Bakery:

  • Presents live performances by the finest musicians from local communities and around the world to diverse audiences.
  • Promotes America’s original art form through the creation of an accessible center for jazz in Southern California.
  • Educates and inspires the next generation of jazz musicians and enthusiasts through youth outreach programs.
Esperanza Spalding at Jazz Bakery Movable Feast, August 21, 2014
I’ve played some of the best music of my life at The Jazz Bakery, with some of the best musicians on the planet
Billy Childs

A haven for musicians

Founded in 1992 by President and Artistic Director Ruth Price, The Jazz Bakery was the first nonprofit performance space in the country to present jazz concerts twice nightly, fifty weeks a year. Originally located in Culver City’s historic Helms Bakery building, The Jazz Bakery has been widely acclaimed as a haven for world-class musicians, local luminaries, and dedicated jazz aficionados.

I hope that one day, America will recognize what the rest of the world already knows, that our indigenous music—gospel, blues, jazz and R&B— is the heart and soul of all popular music. We cannot afford to let this legacy slip into obscurity.
Quincy Jones

Everybody who’s anybody

The Jazz Bakery gives audiences and performers the ultimate creative space to perform, teach, and reflect upon their art. It presents renowned artists, rising stars, and avant-garde innovators. This musical dialogue feeds and grows our community, and forges a vibrant future for jazz in Southern California.

“The Jazz Bakery is the most prestigious jazz space in Los Angeles—a serious, no-frills, seven nights a week nonprofit listening room of international renown, where everybody who’s anybody has played: where iconic musicians turn up as regularly in the audience as on the bandstand; where just ascending the stage is a sure sign that you’ve made it into the music’s highest ranks.” (Reiter, Brandt. “The House that Ruth Built.” LA Weekly 6 November 2003)

A small selection of Luminaries who have performed at the Jazz Bakery

  • Abbey Lincoln
  • Ahmad Jamal
  • Annie Ross
  • Art Farmer
  • Benny Carter
  • Bill Frisell
  • Brad Mehldau
  • Branford Marsalis
  • Cecil Taylor
  • Cedar Walton
  • Charles Lloyd
  • Charlie Haden
  • Chico Hamilton
  • Christian McBride
  • Diana Krall
  • Dianne Reeves
  • Donald Byrd
  • Esperanza Spalding
  • George Coleman
  • George Duke
  • George Shearing
  • Gerald Wilson
  • Hank Jones
  • Hubert Laws
  • Jackie McLean
  • Jim Hall
  • Jimmy Cobb
  • Joe Henderson
  • Johnny Mandel
  • Jon Hendricks
  • Kenny Barron
  • Les McCann
  • Marian McPartland
  • McCoy Tyner
  • Milt Jackson
  • Nancy Wilson
  • Oscar Brown Jr.
  • Pharoah Sanders
  • Robert Glasper
  • Ron Carter
  • Sam Rivers
  • Sheila Jordan
  • Sonny Fortune
  • Stanley Turrentine
  • Terence Blanchard
  • Tommy Flanagan
  • Toots Thielemans
  • Yusef Lateef

The excitement is building

After 23 years of presenting the finest artists in the world at leased and rented venues, The Jazz Bakery is building a permanent home that will become the center for jazz in Southern California.

This new home is designed by architect and jazz enthusiast Frank Gehry, and will be located next to the historic Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City’s burgeoning Cultural Corridor on land provided by the city.

The heart and soul of The Jazz Bakery is our programming, which will blossom and grow in our new building. To ensure that our mission continues to thrive, our endowment will fund critical programs, and pave the way toward new technologies and unique performing opportunities.

The building is excitement

The Jazz Bakery’s new home will amplify Southern California’s jazz culture.

A cultural and architectural landmark

The Jazz Bakery is building an iconic performance space in the heart of Culver City’s Cultural Corridor designed by Frank Gehry, who is known for creating internationally recognizable destinations with exceptional acoustics. This remarkable new building will arise as a cultural and architectural landmark, joining venues like Jazz at Lincoln Center and SFJAZZ, as champions of a treasured American art form.

With its rich history and visionary leadership, The Jazz Bakery will create a global center for jazz in Southern California and a unique gathering place for music lovers of all ages, harnessing the power of music to transform culture across generations.

This new building is a one-of- a-kind place. Nothing like this exists in the world for jazz.
Herbie Hancock

A permanent new home for jazz in Southern California

The Jazz Bakery will serve artists and the public, with year-round performances and youth outreach programs in two state-of-the-art theaters, with two distinctive lobbies, the West Coast Interactive Jazz Museum, an Art Gallery, a Café and a Popup Shop.

The result will be a stunning, architecturally significant landmark composed of glass, metal, and wood that will attract visitors from far and wide, as well as from surrounding communities. Specialized programs like the Urban Jazz Camp, with intimate master classes and powerful education partners will support a resurgence of the art form, while reestablishing Southern California as an epicenter of jazz culture.

A permanent new home for jazz will allow The Jazz Bakery to be sustainable and continue to serve jazz and our community for many years to come.

At the Crossroads of Dreaming and Becoming: The Jazz Bakery Endowment

Our endowment offers long-term sustainability by providing dependable, ongoing support for programming and operations. The following initiatives are among those supported by our endowment.

Youth Outreach and the Urban Jazz Camp

Youth Outreach programs will allow The Jazz Bakery to develop young audiences in its new home. Local elementary, middle school, and high school students will benefit from free performances, artist Q&As, and music appreciation programs sponsored by The Jazz Bakery.

Education partnerships with Southern California colleges and universities will give selected students the opportunity to participate in workshops and master classes with touring artists performing at The Jazz Bakery.

During the summer, The Jazz Bakery will host free, week-long Urban Jazz Camp sessions taught by well known artists and pedagogues. Through these programs, young people will embrace the multicultural and multigenerational language that is jazz. These engaged young audiences will have the joy of experiencing—many for the first time—a thriving and vital American art form.

Innovative Technology and The West Coast Interactive Jazz Museum

The West Coast Interactive Jazz Museum connects audio/video performances of musicians associated with the West Coast cool school both past and present, with historical data about the local jazz scene connecting people and places through musical association. The West Coast Interactive Jazz Museum will be a permanent physical installation with interactive terminals located in the lobbies of The Jazz Bakery.

Other technology programs include telematic performances, (combining live and virtual online performances in real time), audio and video recording, streaming media, and broadcasts to or from any public space in the building. These programs will empower composers, and enable The Jazz Bakery to expand its reach to musicians and audiences in diverse and low income communities through schools, public libraries, and online. Our productions come alive on stage. Our innovative technologies make them available to the world.

Liquid architecture. It’s like jazz—you improvise, you work together, you play off each other, you make something, they make something. And I think it’s a way of trying to understand the city, and what might happen in the city.

Frank Gehry
If you don’t already know about jazz music, how would you be exposed? How would you get an opportunity to find out if it spoke to you?
Esperanza Spalding

We will all benefit from the magnetic effect this cultural center will have on our broader community—it will attract talented people from all walks of life for generations to come.
Joe Walker, Chairman of the board of the Jazz Bakery

Naming opportunities available

With multiple naming opportunities, The Jazz Bakery offers exclusive permanent onsite recognition benefits to donors at commensurate giving levels. All donors will share in creating a vibrant, creative legacy for future generations.

Now's the time

Join a growing list of supporters like you who want to ensure the future of jazz in Southern California.

  • The Herb Alpert Foundation
  • The Annenberg Foundation
  • Chamber Music America
  • The City of Culver City
  • Copland Fund for Music
  • The National Endowment for the Arts
  • Los Angeles County Arts Commission
  • Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs
  • Sony Pictures Entertainment
  • Doris Duke Foundation
I’m very excited about this project. The combination of Frank Gehry and jazz is perfect. Los Angeles deserves a place like The Jazz Bakery and I think it’s going to be very special. Anybody who comes on board will be very happy about what’s happening here.
Herb Alpert

Jazz is about human interaction and ideas; it’s about rhythm and meaning and being in the moment— everything Southern California strives to be. The Jazz Bakery’s going to help us celebrate that, and I can’t think of a better home than Frank Gehry’s uniquely contemporary architecture.

Wallis Annenberg

1836 Benedict Canyon Drive
Beverly Hills, California 90210
phone 310-275-8961