A Guide to Jazz+ at Summer Fest

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San Jose Jazz Summer Fest is offering hundreds of artists on 11 stages throughout Downtown San Jose in a festival atmosphere, but what if you wanted to watch your favorite artist in a more intimate setting? For the first time ever, San Jose Jazz will be presenting a series of special Jazz+ Concerts. With Jazz+, you have the opportunity to watch a handful of artists in a more intimate, relaxed setting. All Jazz+ events can be purchased here as an added expense to your Summer Fest tickets or you may also buy Jazz+ tickets without buying festival admission.

Here’s a breakdown of the artists who will be performing at the San Jose Rep Theater, Blackbird Tavern, Theatre on San Pedro Square (site of the Swing Stage) and The Pagoda (site of the Jazz Beyond Stage) Friday-Sunday at our Jazz+ events:

Gypsy AllStars
Fri, Aug 9 @ 7pm
Adobe Blackbird Tavern Stage
$10 advance & gate

This is my kind of music group. They are not only a band, but a musical project inspired by the “gypsy” lifestyle and music. The Gypsy AllStars have this unique way of blending Middle Eastern, Indian and Spanish music and has a unique way of triggering the free-spirited gypsy in all of us. Their inspiration comes from culture-rich countries like India, Spain, France and more. Just like how the gypsy lifestyle is based around the freedom to travel, the Gypsy Allstars make an effort to pick up thriving cultures from around the world and immerse the culture into their music.

Enjoying a Gypsy Allstar’s can eventually send one on a musical journey around the world; in just one sitting. In Blackbird Tavern fashion, their performance will be accompanied by some great food and drink pairings. Red wine sangria will be available, as well a special serving of steamed mussels with a house-made Spanish chorizo, roasted garlic, gypsy peppers, white wine and oregano and bistro fries. Estrella beer from group’s home town of Catalan will also be served, which family originally came from northern Spain during the Franco regime.

The Clifford Brown / Max Roach Project
Fri, Aug 9 @ 9pm
Adobe Blackbird Tavern Stage
$5 advance & gate

Acclaimed jazz trumpeter Scotty Barnheart, saxophonist Grant Stewart and drummer Clayton Cameron have come together to offer their version of Clifford Brown and Max Roach’s Quintet. The Brown and Roach quintet has been the definition of traditional jazz since the 1950s. The New York Times described this duo as “perhaps the definitive bop group” and soon after, their first album was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. At this exciting Jazz+ event, you can expect a sincere and untailored performance of bebop to be performed by three extremely talented artists.

Ben Vereen
Sat, Aug 10 @ 8pm
San Jose Rep Stage
$20 advance & gate

How can a one-man-show entertain so well? Ever since Ben Vereen peformed “Magic To Do” in the Tony award-winning production of Pippin, Vereen proved that he was born to sing under the Broadway limelight. With his diverse background as an actor, dancer and singer, Vereen has defined Broadway music as a classical American performer. Now he’s coming to a Jazz + stage during Summer Fest to entertain the way he’s been doing for almost 4 decades.

Arturo O’Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra
Sat, Aug 10 @ 9pm
Verizon Swing Stage
$20 advance & gate

The main purpose of Arturo O’Farrill’s Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra is to preserve Latin jazz music for the masses. As soon as Arturo agreed to direct the band that preserved his father’s music, the Chico O’ Farrill Afro Cuban Jazz Orchestra, he immersed himself into the music genre and never looked back. To this group, what they have is an important cultural treasure and they shine through their music as Latin Jazz experts. With a Grammy award-winning pianist, this band has held on to their classical Jazz roots by incorporating the important musical aspects of Latin music.

Yosvany Terry Quartet
Sat, Aug 10 @ 9pm
Adobe Blackbird Tavern Stage
$10 advance & gate

Here’s your chance to experience some real summer relief. With Terry, you can expect an exciting performance from one of the most acclaimed saxophonists on the jazz and contemporary music scene today. After receiving a classical music education from National School of Arts in Havana, Cuba, Terry has been recognized as “spectacular talent” and has played with some of the tops names in jazz music, including Chucho Valdes, Fito Paez, Roy Hargrove, Eddie Palmieri,  Joe Lovano, Taj Mahal and more.

Derrick Hodge
Sat, Aug 11 @ 8pm
RBC Jazz Beyond Stage
$10 advance & gate

Derrick Hodge is a versatile artist with the perfect amount of freshness. Although Hodge started his music career as a jazz artist, he’s expanded into numerous other genres, including hip-hop, R&B and funk. Hodge has a young and fresh vibe that allows music lovers from any generation to relate to him. With a resume of performance credits that include the likes of Common, Mos Def, Sade and more, Hodge has proved he can work in numerous music genres without any boundaries.

The Cookers
Sun, Aug 11 @ 9pm
Adobe Blackbird Tavern Stage
$15 advance & gate

The Cookers are always considerate of their audience when producing or performing their music. Their main purpose is to make their listeners believe, a term which even became the title of their latest album. Made up of seven musicians, The Cookers take pride in working together and making sure each note has a purpose in the music that they are playing. At this event, expect The Cookers to really celebrate the gracefulness of jazz.

For more info on our Jazz+ events, please visit our Jazz+ page. You can also read Jazz+ artist bios here