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Community Music Center will hold its annual spring gala at the SFJAZZ Center

Pianist Jon Nakamatsu
courtesy of the Community Music Center

Next month the Community Music Center (CMC) will hold its annual spring gala at the SFJAZZ Center. Entitled A Salute to the Joy of Making Music, the special guest performer for the occasion will be pianist Jon Nakamatsu, winner of the Gold Medal at the 1997 Van Cliburn Piano Competition. In addition the event will honor James H. Abrams, a dedicated CMC clarinet student, who has provided invaluable legal expertise and service to CMC and has always maintained a deep love of music.

The main event will be held in the SFJAZZ Center’s Miner Auditorium. The Master of Ceremonies will be KDFC radio personality Dianne Nicolini. In addition to Nakamatsu’s performance, the program will feature the CMC Teen Jazz Orchestra, led by bassist Marcus Shelby.

This concert will be preceded by a reception in the lobby. Guests will enjoy appetizers and a selection of fine wines by Charles Phan, all to the sounds of CMC musicians. There will also be a silent auction for items such as travel packages, tickets to future events by SFJAZZ, the San Francisco Symphony, and the San Francisco Opera, rare wine lots, and a variety of restaurant gift certificates. Bidding for 31 of these items has already begun through a BiddingForGood Web page set up by CMC, and all bids prior to the event itself will be most welcome. In addition there will be a private pre-party in the Joe Henderson Lab featuring a champagne toast to celebrate CMC’s 93 years of making music accessible for the entire San Francisco community.

This event will take place on Monday, May 19, at the SFJAZZ Center, on the northwest corner of Fell Street and Franklin Street. Doors will open for the reception at 6 p.m., and the performance will begin at 8 p.m. The "Friends' Level ticket is $130. Basic or "Gold" admission will be $220. "Platinum" admission at $350 includes the pre-event champagne reception in the Joe Henderson Lab. Tickets may be purchased online through a VerticalResponse Web page.