SFJAZZ Gets into the Groove with Facilis TerraBlock

Facilis, a leading international supplier of cost-effective, high performance shared storage solutions for collaborative media production networks today announced that SFJAZZ, is using a TerraBlock shared storage system to help its video production team store and manage hundreds of hours of media ranging from concert videos to educational content.

Billed as a “sanctuary for jazz,” the SFJAZZ Center is the first stand-alone building in the country solely dedicated to jazz. Located only blocks from San Francisco’s City Hall, SFJAZZ Center is the culmination of a vision developed by the SFJAZZ organization, which for 30 years presented year-round concerts, including the San Francisco Jazz Festival in rented venues. Purpose-built from the ground up in 2013, the 36,000-square- foot two story facility presents over 300 performances and events year-round, along with educational programs that reach thousands of students each year.

SFJAZZ Co-founder & Artistic Director Randall Kline's vision was to build a venue where technology serves the music. Thanks to an amazing design and the use of state-of-the-art technology, the center's main performance space seats up to 700 people in close proximity to the musicians with superb sightlines, offering the excellent acoustics of a great concert hall and the relaxed intimacy of a jazz club.

Part of the mission of the center is also to digitally open its doors to jazz fans and students through the creation and production of hundreds of hours of content that range from concert videos to educational videos.

SFJAZZ Director of video production, Jacob Richmond, explains: "From its initial conception, the venue was built with audio and video recording and broadcasting in mind to allow us to extend the walls of our unique center into the digital space, and promote music education for all."

Last year, Richmond and his team recorded 142 shows and educational videos and archived over 20 terabytes of footage. To help them with their growing storage needs, they purchased a Facilis TerraBlock 24EX shared storage system from California-based reseller, Cutting Edge Audio Video Group.

For Richmond and his team, a typical workflow involves capturing a performance with multiple robotic cameras and GoPros that are live switched to create a single line-cut recording. That line-cut is captured on an Aja Ki Pro and brought into the TerraBlock system, ready for editing.

"We shoot everything in 1080 HD and capture to ProRes 422 with our AJA Ki Pro which means that for an hour and a half performance we get about 110 gigabytes per show. We store each show in its native resolution and for quick delivery we also do an H.264 capture at the same time that is backed up in a separate folder.” said Richmond.

As a non-profit organization, SFJAZZ has a large donor base and a robust board of trustees that keep things running. As ticket sales continue to rise, the organization continually re-invests in its education programs and co-sponsoring of special events.

“Since education is a large focus for SFJAZZ , we do a lot of events where parents and their kids are invited to shows where musicians will talk about jazz as a music form, the components of the music itself, and the instruments. Making elements of these events digitally available to people outside of the center will be a key element of our future strategy,” said Amy Heiden, Technical Manager for SFJAZZ.

As they continue to grow their catalog of shows, the SFJAZZ team knows that organization and the ability to quickly search for content in their video libraries will be key. Organizing media in the Facilis system is easy, and knowing that their Facilis TerraBlock offers integrated asset tracking gives them added confidence as they evolve towards new offerings for digital distribution to their members and educators in the future.