Executive Artistic Director - San Francisco Jazz Organization

Arts Consulting Group

San Francisco, CA 94012




Jan 09, 2023

Founded in 1983 by current Executive Artistic Director Randall Kline, the San Francisco Jazz Organization (SFJAZZ) is a recognized international leader in jazz creation, presentation, and education. Exploring the full spectrum of jazz performance from the music’s origins to present-day expressions, SFJAZZ’s mission is to develop jazz audiences in the Bay Area and beyond by celebrating jazz as a living, constantly-evolving art form. All SFJAZZ programs reflect a spirit of artistic exploration, embracing the full breadth of jazz and its related music and striving to instill enthusiasm for jazz among all people.

Position Summary
The Executive Artistic Director will represent SFJAZZ as the face of the organization and primary spokesperson to the greater jazz community in the United States and globally. Reporting to the Chief Executive Officer, they will bring innovation to the changing landscape of music in the region, as well as serve as a conduit to musicians and music educators. In collaboration with the Board of Directors, the Executive Artistic Director will implement strategic planning initiatives, and will lead a team of staff to continue to provide excellent music and educational offerings to the community, with a particular focus on equity, diversity, and inclusion. With a deep knowledge of jazz as well as other musical genres, and with an extensive network within the jazz field, the Executive Artistic Director will demonstrate interest in a wide range of programming, both the canonical traditions and innovative and experimental streams, while collaborating regularly across SFJAZZ and its partners.

Roles and Responsibilities
Artistic Vision and Programming
- Develop and implement an evolved, forward-thinking, and comprehensive artistic vision for SFJAZZ, which is in alignment with the organization’s mission, vision, and values.
- Identify and communicate SFJAZZ’s artistic vision, goals, and objectives to internal and external stakeholders, while setting measurable ways of tracking success.
- Curate a varied and broad spectrum of programming, including both traditional jazz performers and local, emerging jazz artists, in order to attract new, diverse, and younger audiences.
- Recognize innovative ways that SFJAZZ can expand and adapt its programming, ensuring that technological approaches are utilized for greater reach and impact.
- Engage actively in the arts and cultural sector, by attending local and national cultural events and participating in relevant local and national arts organizations.
- Embrace other artistic vision and programming responsibilities, as needed.

Community Engagement and Education
- Act as a visible and inspiring spokesperson for SFJAZZ, engaging with a wide range of the community, including donors, civic leaders, community partners, and audience members.
- Develop and cultivate relationships with local organizations to create new strategic partnerships in support of SFJAZZ’s mission.
- Build local, regional, and national awareness of SFJAZZ, strengthening its brand and reputation through participation in media appearances and press interviews, and engaging in arts and cultural events.
- Collaborate in program development for SFJAZZ’s Education programs, including workshops, master classes, digital labs, lectures, clinics, and the SFJAZZ High School All-Stars program.
- Grow and develop educational offerings, helping to make jazz accessible to people from all backgrounds.
- Embrace other education and community engagement responsibilities, as needed.

Fundraising and Organizational Leadership
- Partner with the development department in fundraising efforts, engaging, and increasing the donor base at SFJAZZ, including individual donors, foundations, and corporate sponsors.
- Build a strong working relationship with the Chief Executive Officer to form a transparent executive leadership team, where organizational strategy is clearly communicated, and fiscal responsibility is demonstrated.
- Ensure recruitment and retention of a high functioning team by providing human-centered leadership, where all staff and artists feel safe and a sense of belonging.
- Support and uplift the work of SFJAZZ staff through regular communication, creating a workplace culture that values transparency and respect.
- Collaborate with the board, guiding and supporting board members in governance, strategy, and accountability.
- Embrace other fundraising and organizational leadership responsibilities, as needed.


Traits and Characteristics
A creative, visionary, and passionate musical leader with a respect for and deep knowledge of the history and institution of jazz, the Executive Artistic Director will bring innovative ideas while preserving the history of SFJAZZ. They will understand the relationship between race and gender and jazz, and its role within communities. A strong communicator and relationship-builder, this enthusiastic and inspirational leader will mobilize the greater constituents, staff, musicians, and community to continue to elevate SFJAZZ.

Other key competencies include the following:

  • Leadership and Teamwork – The capacity to organize staff, musical talent, and board members towards one goal or vision, while cooperating with other stakeholders and partners.
  • Negotiation and Influencing Others – The dexterity to listen to a variety of diverse groups and absorb different viewpoints, while building mutual trust as a connoisseur of jazz.
  • Customer Focus – The creativity to continue to attract while expanding the customer base of SFJAZZ in innovative ways, anticipating the current artistic taste and needs of a post-pandemic world.
  • Diplomacy and Interpersonal Skills – The ability to resolve conflicts in a calm and tactful way, while being mindful of cultural differences and communicating across a variety of diverse backgrounds.

No specific number of years’ experience or educational requirements are required. Applications with explicit experience in artistic curation and direction are strongly encouraged to apply. An affinity and/or strong passion for the history and institution of jazz, or a specialty in jazz styles would be highly valued. The ideal candidate will have strong credibility within the jazz community, as well as a respected point of view on new thinking, innovation, and direction of the future of the music. They will have demonstrated successes with academic or educational experience in K12, higher education, or post-doctoral programs, with a track record of programming. This is a full-time position.

Compensation and Benefits
SFJAZZ offers a comprehensive and competitive compensation and benefits package including an annual salary range of $300,000 to $325,000, and a potential annual bonus, based on achieving individual and organizational objectives. Benefits include paid vacation, sick leave, personal days, and holidays; health, long-term disability, and life insurances; and a voluntary 401(k) retirement plan.