PREVIEW Known during the '40s and '50s as the "Harlem of the West," the Fillmore District once housed a spirited enclave of West Coast jazz culture. Over time the district has endured periods of struggle. The recently installed Fillmore branch of Yoshi's symbolizes the district's fight to respect its past while staying in step with the present.
The Fillmore Jazz Festival began after much of the current "urban renewal" (i.e., the construction of large apartment buildings) took hold. Now in its 24th year, the popular two-day festival draws nearly 100,000 people as a strong reminder of jazz's prominence in the Fillmore. The musical slate holds many established local performers, including Fillmore veteran Kim Nalley, local favorites Jazz on Mondays, and world-influenced Sila and the Afrofunk experience.
Bruce Forman is one of the prime-time headliners. The longtime guitarist began the JazzMasters Workshop in 2001, a nonprofit focused on giving free jazz lessons to kids. In 2006 he became an artist in residence at University of Southern California's studio/jazz guitar department. With Western-influenced band Cow Bop, Forman recently completed his own Route 66 Challenge, which consisted of Forman and company touring along the length of the famous highway, with the proceeds going toward the JazzMasters Workshop.
FILLMORE JAZZ FESTIVAL With Bruce Forman, Barton Tyler Group, Contemporary Jazz Orchestra, Jazz on Mondays, Randy Vincent Quartet, Sila and the Afrofunk Experience, Kim Nalley, Vinyl, and more. Sat/5Sun/6, 10 a.m. 6 p.m. Fillmore between Eddy and Jackson, SF. Free. 1-800-310-6563, www.fillmorejazzfestival.com