SJZ Recommends: International Acts

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This year, Summer Fest welcomes a handful of distinguished artists arriving in San Jose from various destinations throughout the world. Some will be offering a fascinating merger of differing musical styles. Others are a testament to the global impact of American jazz and blues music.

Read on to learn about six artists bringing their international sounds to American audiences.


This group may be from Colombia, but the best reference point for their sound is likely the singer-songwriter Tom Waits. The deep growl of bassist and bandleader Daniel Restrepo instantly evokes Waits’ insightful narratives and seedy characters. fatsO recently played the SFJAZZ Center and stop into Summer Fest as part of an American tour that’s helping to spread their musical light to American audiences. See why Rolling Stone has called them “intelligent and passionate, sophisticated and street-wise” when they perform Sat Aug 12 on the Heritage Bank Cafe Stritch Stage.

Tia Brazda

This Canadian songstress arrives at Summer Fest after her debut record reached number one on the iTunes chart in her home country. She’s brought her sound to the Rochester, Toronto, and Montreal International Jazz Festivals. Her musical style, a fusion of swing sensibility with updated sonics, has been described by No Depression magazine as “polishing old world music to a high sheen.” See her playful co-mingling of old and new styles on our Jade Leaf Stage Aug 12.

Emilio Solla Tango Jazz Quartet

The seductive and romantic undertones of the tango will pair with the American jazz tradition when pianist Emilio Solla performs at Cafe Stritch Aug 13. “Tango-jazz,” a fusion of modern Argentine tango with jazz, folk and other contemporary musical styles, is Solla’s calling card. If you love watching various musical styles and cultures come together with fascinating results, then this performance is a Summer Fest must.

Daymé Arocena

Vocalist Daymé Arocena is the latest musical export from the culturally rich island nation of Cuba. Conservatory trained and groomed for bandleader success after a stint with Jane Bunnett as a member of her all-female jazz group Maqueque, Arocena has released two full albums and earned raves for both. She’s not to be missed on the Silicon Valley Community Organization Hammer Theatre Stage. Learn more about her story and ascent in her artist feature on the blog.

Cyrille Aimée

Cyrille Aimée’s precise vocal acrobatics and joyful attitude carry on the spirit of  gypsy jazz and Django Reinhardt. As her bio shares, those late nights sneaking outside to sing with Django’s descendants undoubtedly seeped into her musical output. See her vocal dexterity Sunday at the Hammer Theatre, one of the finest rooms in the city to hear live music.

Junior Dixieland Czech Republic

This traditional jazz group is travelling halfway around the world to be with us! This student ensemble are a revivalist group of sorts, typically performing dixieland-style jazz in their native Czech Republic. If you’re striving for evidence of jazz’s far-reaching cultural impact, look no further. You’ll have two chances to see this group on Sun Aug 13 — see them on the SJMA Next Gen Stage, followed by an evening performance on the Forager Stage.

For a full listing of this year’s Summer Fest artists, visit our line-up page. Click here to purchase your one and three-day Fest tickets. To keep up with the latest info on SJZ and Summer Fest, follow San Jose Jazz on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram