Summer Fest Picks from “Jazz Doctor” Brad Stone

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The “Jazz Doctor” is in! This year, KSJS Jazz Program Director Dr. Brad Stone will serve as Summer Fest’s resident music expert! Getting his start in radio at WQAX in Bloomington, Indiana while earning his Ph.D, Stone brings with him over 30 years of jazz programming expertise. Actively involved in the local jazz scene, Stone is a member of the San Jose Jazz Advisory Board. He is also on the Board of Directors for the Jazz Organ Fellowship. This is his 23rd Summer Fest.

An academic by trade, Stone is Chair of the Department of Chemistry at San Jose State University. The pairing may seem odd to some, but Stone insists that music and science have always been a part of his life. “For me, it was always a natural thing. . . Playing my mom’s records, I got exposed to a lot of jazz that way and collecting a lot of records early on, but as a young kid, I was definitely interested in science and knew that that was going to be my career.”

Stone’s tenure as Jazz Program Director has been particularly noteworthy. While at the helm, KSJS has been a 2-time winner (and 7-time nominee) of JazzWeek’s “Jazz Station of the Year – Medium Markets” award. He’s also been recognized six times (and nominated 10 times) as “Jazz Programmer of the Year – Medium Markets.” This year, he and KSJS have once again been nominated by JazzWeek.

Need some advice on who to catch at Summer Fest? Try these choices from the “Jazz Doctor” himself! If you want to talk jazz during the festival, Brad will be available 3:30-5pm Saturday and Sunday near the Main Stage. Saturday, he will be in front of the VIP Concierge Booth. Sunday, he will be at the jazz store. You can also catch him 10am-2pm every Sunday on “The Creative Source” on 90.5 FM, KSJS.

Brad’s Picks: 

Tia Fuller – Tia is a young alto saxophonist who has made a big splash in a very short time. Her most recent album, Decisive Steps, released last year on Mack Avenue, caused quite a stir in jazz radio, and received a great deal of airplay. Recently, she has been on tour with the pop star Beyonce.

Yoshiaki Miyanoue – Yoshi-san is a brilliant guitarist from Tokyo. He brings his trio from Japan each year just to play the San Jose Jazz Summer Fest. If you like jazz guitar a la Wes Montgomery, come out and check him out — and thank him for being here! He plays both Saturday and Sunday.

Delmark Records Chicago Blues Revue – Delmark records is a great independent record label based in Chicago, IL – and their focus has always been on Chicago-based blues and jazz artists. As a Chicago native, how could I not be at the Blues Stage Saturday night? Join me and check out the Chicago blues sound!

Kat Parra Latin World Ensemble – Kat is a jazz vocalist based right here in San Jose, but she has gained an international reputation for her outstanding Latin jazz albums that contain a unique perspective that originates from her Sephardic heritage. Kat is an outstanding vocalist who has an ability to sing in several languages, including the Ladino language of the Spanish Jews. Her new album, La Aventura de Pasion, includes songs from the Separdic tradition, hence the “world” flavor of her music – and her previous album was nominated for Latin Jazz Album of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association.

Vitchev/Tamburr New Quartet – This incredibly talented group is not to be missed. Originally from Bulgaria, Hristo Vitchev is a guitar master who can play in many styles of jazz. Christian Tamburr is a multi-instrumentalist whose main performance instrument is the vibraphone. This quartet will perform original music and will feature instrumentalists of the highest caliber.

Kevin Coehlo – Last year, I had the pleasure of bringing this young organ prodigy on stage at the festival, and he returns again this year after just releasing his debut album on Tony Monaco’s Chicken Coup Records. (Tony, by the way, will also be performing at this year’s Festival, at the TiVo San Jose Rep Stage). Kevin is a 16 year old phenom on the Hammond B3 – you will be amazed at seeing this teenager hold his own on stage with musicians several times his age!

Red Dragon Quintet featuring John Worley and Oscar Pangilinan – Anchoring the Silicon Valley Stage, which features some of the amazing local talent we happen to have in the San Jose area, will be world-class trumpeter John Worley and young tenor sax prodigy Oscar Pangilinan. We’re lucky to have cats like this in our area!

Kristen Strom Quartet – Kris Strom is a “first call saxophonist” when top notch musicians come to town. In addition to her own regular work in the Bay Area, she has toured with a host of great names, including Roberta Flack, The Four Tops and Natalie Cole. Her beautiful new album, Sojourn, will be featured by the Quartet at the Festival, and is currently experiencing national jazz radio airplay. The Quartet will include drummer Jason Lewis, bassist John Shifflett, and guitarist Scott Sorkin.

The Aaron Lington Quartet Plays the Music of Sting – Who doesn’t like Sting’s music? Right, no one – so it should be fun for fans of all musical styles to see Dr. Lington (San Jose State’s Director of Improvised Studies and master baritone saxophonist) interpret this music in a jazz setting.

Terence Blanchard – On the main stage on Sunday, we’ll have an opportunity to see one of the country’s leading young bandleaders and trumpeters, multi-Grammy Award winning Terence Blanchard. Terence is also a composer of some note, including the much-acclaimed A Tale of God’s Will (Requiem for Katrina). Terence has many outstanding albums to his credit, in a variety of jazz styles – so it will be interesting to see what he brings to the stage to perform. This is a chance to see a modern master – not to be missed!

Looking for more Summer Fest picks or just want to talk jazz? Ask the “Jazz Doctor” himself by commenting on our Facebook post — he’ll be actively following the thread!