Fest Five: Janine Santana

◀ Back to blog

Janine Santana is a 40 year veteran of the performing arts industry and comes from a family deeply steeped in film, radio, theater, music and dance.

Born in Brooklyn, Janine has since relocated to the Denver area. She serves as on-air host of Salsa con Jazz at Denver’s KUVO Jazz 89.3 FM every Sunday afternoon. She is also the host of two Latin jazz/salsa mix shows on party934.com and VAYA! on KUHSDenver.com.

Janine has a hand in all different types of musical and performing arts. She is a commercial and film voice-over artist, a recording artist, and a percussionist Conguera – the term for a woman specializing in congas. Janine also leads her own thirteen-piece Latin jazz project featuring stellar international performers and teaches for Sol-Via Modern Arts, a national performing arts to education organization.

Janine was amazed by the extraordinary talent at Summer Fest and took extra time to make her Fest Five. Here is her list.

Bombay Jazz

I had the great pleasure of interviewing Larry Coryell at KUVO and was invited to sit in on Congas at his gig that same night at Dazzle Jazz, a jazz listening room. He absolutely blew my mind! Also, having studied Tablas while in India and having developed a love for classical Indian music and jazz, I believe this will be remarkable performance to experience!


Eddie Palmieri Latin Jazz Band

What’s not to love? Eddie Palmieri is Latin jazz royalty. A celebrated a performer, band leader, arranger, and composer, I never decline an opportunity to see live. He uses outstanding players and is a truly refined artist with a beloved fireball personality that should not be missed. He is one of the last of his kind — the real-deal!


Gary Nuñez & Plena Libre

In all the years they’ve been playing, I haven’t had the chance  to hear Plena Libre live. I can tell you that they have been delighting me for many years with their tight ensemble playing Bomba and Plena – the music of my heritage. Thanks hermanos for keeping it so vibrant and alive, and for spreading the beautiful sounds of Plena and Bomba around the world!


Latin Jazz Youth Ensemble of San Francisco

This group contains the next generation of people who will develop and keep my favorite genre alive. Some of them will record, compose and arrange in the future. Others will educate the following generations. This is so important to me that I make it my business to support, observe and bless these younger players whenever and wherever I can. Who in the Bay Area are the up and coming players; the future masters? I can’t wait to hear them!


Tower of Power

Okay, there is NO WAY I could NOT include these guys. They are THE horn section and have been thrilling me with their performances for many years now. Is there a Dr. in the house? Need a Soul Vaccination? In fact, I just saw them at my hometown in Colorado in July, so I will come ready for another unbeatable performance by one of the best treasures to come from the Bay Area. That’s saying A LOT because so many outstanding projects have been born there!

Janine is most looking forward to experiencing live performances from some of her favorite artists. Are there artists performing this year that you’ve never had the chance to see live? What performances are you most excited to experience? Check out the full Summer Fest lineup here and make your own list. Share it with info@sanjosejazz.org or post to our Facebook page. Send a photo of yourself holding up five fingers, and we may include you on our blog as we count down to the Fest.