July 6, 2004 was my first day as Assistant Director - Public Relations for Jazz At Lincoln Center. A dream come true. I find myself surrounded by jazz lovers in the Jazz Capital of the World.
Located smack dab in the middle of Columbus Circle in Manhattan, overlooking beautiful Central Park, Jazz At Lincoln Center is at a crossroads in its history. October 18, 2004 marks the Grand Opening of their brand-new facility: The Frederick P. Rose Hall.
"Frederick P. Rose Hall is the home of jazz of America's most important performing arts center," as stated by Building Committee Chairman Jonathan F. P. Rose. The 100,000 square-foot performance, education and broadcast facility is the first-ever facility specifically designed for the acoustics of jazz.
JALC Artistic Director Wynton Marsalis put it this way, "The realization of this facility signifies that our culture has matured to the point of accepting jazz as an art form deserving of an international home. The creation of Frederick P. Rose Hall continues the long line of innovation that is the hallmark of jazz."
The new JALC facility is made up of three rooms. Rose Hall is the largest and seats a little over 1,200. The Allen Room accommodates anywhere from 300 to 600 people with a floor-to-ceiling glass wall for viewing the Manhattan skyline. Across the atrium from The Allen Room is Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola, a 140-seat intimate jazz club.
I took a hard-hat tour of the in-progress facilities this morning with New York's CBS2 News crew. Man, is it going to be incredible! Make it a point to come to New York and check it out.
Jazz At Lincoln Center CEO Hughlyn F. Fierce explains, "When you travel the world, as we do with this organization, you discover that New York is truly the most integrated city in the world. Despite all the tensions, this city has the most amazing mix of people to be found anywhere. That's why Frederick P. Rose Hall represents a great hope for our new century - because this place is dedicated to the integration of the arts, of cultures, and of people." Welcome.