Serious fans will be spoiled for choice, from the Herbie Hancock Quartet to saxophonists such as Ornette Coleman and Joe Lovano. But this being San Francisco, the festival also stretches the definition of jazz. Caetano Veloso has wooed audiences with Brazilian rhythms, Sara Tavares played Carpe Verde–influenced beats that are more Putumayo than Miles Davis.
If you can't make it to the Bay Area during the fall, the festival's parent organization, SFJazz, puts on other events, like the Spring Season concert series. And the all-star SFJazz Collective tours nationally and can be heard on CD. Love might be a summertime thing. But jazz? That happens all year long.