5th Anniversary Jazz Celebration


On September 26, 2016, I received confirmation that my application for a nonprofit organization named the Sacramento Jazz Cooperative Inc. was granted. Besides being a jazz organization, I didn’t have a clear picture of what SJC was going to be. Two nights later, on September 28, 2016, a huge fan, I went to the Mondavi Center in Davis California to hear Wynton Marsalis. The room was packed that Wednesday night, and as I looked around the room, and listening to a marvelous performance, it came to me. No, I wouldn’t be able to book Wynton Marsalis, but I was determined to do something to try and entice people out during the week. I would later decide that weekday would be Mondays to grab the coattails of artists as they were passing by. And that was the motivation for SJC.
Little did I know of the budding challenges, and little preparation had been met to address the wide range of perspectives. With little to no money, I had to then plead with musicians to come and perform. I called my dear friend, Margie Baker, a Bay Area vocalist with whom I had the pleasure of working on the hotel circuit in the 1980s. After exclaiming, “You’re doing what!” She rented a van and brought her whole band down from the San Francisco Bay Area to perform to all of 20 people. It didn’t matter; Margie is a pro, and she put on a show as if she were performing to a sold-out crowd at Jackson Hall. Bit by bit, with the help of folks like Joe Gilman, Dave Bass, Jim Martinez, Vivian Lee, Crilly Butler, Beth Duncan, Jack Stanfill, and Jason Myers, we held on during those early days and months, each year getting a little more known and better equipped to support the mission of preserving classic jazz as a cultural American art form. Growing a dedicated membership base of folks, folks to whom we could nothing more than a tax deduction, along with the presentation of some great artists performing great music, we have kept marching, albeit limping along. From the Clara Auditorium to Antiquite to the Masonic Temple, we have landed at the Dante Club, a place we have called home for the last several years. Through AB5, and COVID-19, we have managed to muddle through, and on Saturday, September 25, 2021, will celebrate our 5th Anniversary. Taking advantage of an offered opportunity, we will hold the performance at the Folsom Amphitheater under the sunny skies of the Folsom California Historic District.
We could not feature all the musicians we wanted this time, but we vow to have them next time. For now, our gratitude is extended to all who have been a part of this amazing journey.
Carolyne Swayze

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