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SFJazz covers empty school with Jim Marshall portraits of Jazz greats

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Hep, man, real hep

What do you do with an empty building that, try as the city might, it just can’t do anything with? If you’re SFJazz, you stick two dozen giant-sized photos of Jazz giants, all the product of the late, great king of recording artist photographers Jim Marshall against it

Previously, SFJazz papered the windows of the long (mostly) abandoned SFUSD building at 200 Franklin with a similar series of photos by Herman Leonard. Now to mark the beginnings of a new season (their fifth), it’s old with the old and in with the new.

Marshall was probably most famous for his portraits of rock stars, but his lens didn’t shy away from Jazz giants either, and some of these newly installed images (the portraits are officially unveiled on Thursday and will display through May 2017 but are already in place now) have never before been seen.

It’s nice that the Jazz center has an adjacent building to serve as a muse and canvas, but the vacancy of the century-plus old 200 Franklin/135 Van Ness compound continues to be something of a headache for the city.

The onetime high school was to become the new home of the Ruth Asawa School, but red tape, cost estimates, its status as a historic landmark, and worries about its seismic safety conspire to keep it almost entirely empty and frequently vandalized.

Well, at least the Franklin side looks good.

Photo IDs, top left to bottom right:

  • Dizzy Gillespie
  • Gerry Mulligan
  • Mary Lou Williams
  • Dave Brubeck
  • Miles Davis
  • Sonny Rollins
  • John Coltrane
  • Horace Silver
  • Charles Lloyd
  • Teddy Edwards
  • Count Basie
  • Joe Henderson
  • Elvin Jones
  • Vi Redd
  • Mary Stallings
  • Jackie McLean
  • Anita O'Day
  • Duke Ellington
  • Thelonious Monk
  • Charles Mingus
  • Nina Simone
  • Bill Evans
  • Nancy Wilson
  • Tony Williams
  • Jim Marshall Installation [SFJAZZ]
  • Ruth Asawa School Stuck in Limbo [Chronicle]
  • Jim Marshall Photograph [Grammys]