SFJAZZ announces the appointment of Denise Young as its new Board Chair commencing September 1, 2020.
Ms. Young has served as a Trustee of SFJAZZ for five years and takes the helm as Board Chair in a year of transition. As SFJAZZ enters its 38th year, the organization recently appointed Greg Stern as CEO and approaches the 10th anniversary of the SFJAZZ Center. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, SFJAZZ has continued to innovate with the initial digital offering, Fridays at Five, a weekly live stream of a SFJAZZ Center concert.
Ms. Young brings experience and leadership to help guide SFJAZZ’S digital transformation and continued excellence. She built an impressive 20-year-career at Apple, holding a variety of executive roles, including establishing the cultural experience in Apple Stores and expanding to a 14 country global footprint. She then took on the Chief Human Resources role at Apple. She is an accomplished artist with a classically trained background and has worked with Pulitzer Prize winner Henry Threadgill and renowned jazz duo Tuck and Patti.
Ms. Young said, “This is a critical moment for SFJAZZ to be not only stewards of music, but to be meaningfully engaged in the kind of conversations that will be world changing through music. Jazz, Black American music, and the social conditions it has narrated will continue to serve as a lens for humanity to see itself more clearly and fully.”
This Board leadership change comes during a time when performing arts organizations and cultural institutions are challenged by the global pandemic. SFJAZZ is a year-round presenter of innovative programming and a leading advocate and practitioner of jazz education. Many education programs, in addition to Fridays at Five, have continued in a digital format. On August 20, 2020, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, SFJAZZ will present the 2020 NEA Jazz Masters Concert. The virtual concert will feature exclusive performances from the new class of NEA Jazz Masters and an all-star group of jazz legends and luminaries.
Founded in 1983, SFJAZZ opened the SFJAZZ Center in 2013. SFJAZZ presents the greatest names in music and numerous education programs. It serves over 200,000 people and students every year and has two award-winning resident jazz ensembles – the world renowned SFJAZZ Collective and the SFJAZZ High School All-Stars.