Fest Five: Brian Hurst

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Brian Hurst is the CEO of SoulandJazz.com – an internet based music service & platform, representing the genres of soul and jazz from across the decades. Originally based in London, Brian has been a collector of classic jazz, modern soul, and other musical treasures for over forty years. Although once a hobby, he’s enjoyed a career spanning several decades supporting, promoting and working with many fantastic artists. Whilst the thrill of ‘discovering’ an emerging artist is an incredible feeling for Brian, dusting down and presenting recorded gems from 30, 40, or 50 years ago brings him equal amounts of pleasure and, thankfully, also to his many listeners around the world on The Hurst Selection – freshly delivered every Saturday, and free to stream.

Brian is in town for the 2015 JazzWeek Summit and since he’s over 5,000 miles from home, he says it would be a shame for him not to stay and enjoy music from this year’s incredible line-up! Brian’s list of five artists – that he says easily could have been a list of 25 – is a mixture of new talents and established artists; he promises that it will be a magnificent weekend of music.

Kamasi Washington & The Next Step

I saw Kamasi Washington performing with drum legend Harvey Mason in the UK last year; both were incredible. At that stage Kamasi had already recorded ‘The Epic’ –  an album and title that you’d have to be confident in delivering for obvious reasons. No such worries exist here though. Its release sits comfortably as one of 2015’s essential purchases and filling 3 CD’s, fulfills its promise with the music that lies within.  Here then a wonderful opportunity to see one of the ‘new cats’ do what they do best – play live and play jazz. Enjoy!

The Internet

Under the radar but not for much longer!  Fronted by the charismatic Syd the Kid, The Internet have recently released ‘Ego Death’ – their third album and one that should firmly establish themselves as an outfit that offers so much more that a generic ‘soul’ band.  I’m yet to see them live and frankly, I can’t wait.

Tower of Power

On a personal note, I’ve been a fan of TOP since I first heard ‘So Very Hard To Go’ – from their self-titled 1973 LP, which featured splendid vocals from Lenny Williams.  Fast forward 42 years and they’re still at it – and then some!  We may all be getting a little older but good music remains good music, and these chaps have never lost the ability to turn up en masse and perform.  Absolutely unmissable.

Terri Lyne Carrington’s Mosaic Project: Love & Soul, with Ledisi

Terri Lyne – A wonderful drummer in her own right, but joined here by a lady I’ve been a fan of since 1999 – Ledisi.  It’s a combination of two exceptional performers who alongside vocalists Oleta Adams and Jaguar Wright, will bring something quite unique to Summer Fest.

Charenee Wade Group: Offering – Music of Gil Scott-Heron and Brian Jackson

Motema’s recording artist Charenee Wade has this year delivered a wonderful album celebrating the majesty of the late Gil Scott-Heron and partner Brian Jackson. An immense pairing in the 70s, it’s testament to Charenee that she has managed to portray an incredible body of work without making it feel like a covers album. In fact, it’s exactly at the point where soul meets jazz, and when it’s done right…


The lineup of Summer Fest 2015 shows decades of up and coming artists alongside musical masters. Are your top five artists modern voices or more classic sounds? Send your own Fest Five to info@sanjosejazz.org or post your list on our Facebook page. Include a photo of you holding up five fingers, and we may include you on our blog as we count down to the fest.