Jazz at the Sheraton may no longer exist, but jazz in Salt Lake is far from extinct. When one door closes a window is opened, and the music scene in Salt Lake has found a new home at the Capitol Theatre. The 2011-12 season promises to be just as vibrant as ever, and you can check out the performance schedule below, and click here to purchase tickets.
In March, the beloved annual set of Jazz at the Sheraton shows were unceremoniously dropped by the management of Sheraton Hotel, just as GAM co-founder Gordon Hanks was getting ready to set the dates for his 2011-12 concert series. Uh-oh.
Fortunately, the Capitol Theatre stepped in and saved jazz for Utah. In spite of their own busy calendar, Hanks and his usual lineup of world-class jazz musicians played the Capitol for a slightly abbreviated 18th season starting last fall. This year features only seven shows, down from the usual nine, but Hanks is hopeful the full calendar will return during the 2012-13 season.
Instead of reeling from the "absolute blindside shock," Hanks--a true jazz man--improvised. And, truth be told, the Capitol's classy setting is more appropriate to the world-class musicians Hanks books each winter than the lunchroom-turned-concert hall provided by the Sheraton.
It's not the first time Salt Lake City nearly lost these stellar jazz shows. About eight years ago, Hanks' partner Michael McKay announced he wanted to end his involvement in the program. Only widespread public pleading--everyone from the governor to grassroots jazz fans intervened--kept Hanks involved in the program.
Hanks and McKay had started booking jazz groups in the early '90s after the city had lost virtually all of its jazz-friendly venues.
"We're thrilled to be moving over to the Capitol Theatre," Hanks says. Us, too.
You can also read about the new jazz at the Capitol Theatre in our current issue of Salt Lake magazine, on newsstands now. Or buy tickets to one of the concerts listed below and go see it for yourself.
Jazz at the Capitol Theatre: The 2011-12 Season