Each year, it’s a fun challenge sorting out how to provide glimpses of the breadth of Summer Fest in bite-size chunks. With that in mind, we launch the SJZ Recommends series, which will deliver a snapshot of a handful of Summer Fest artists based around a topic or sound.
For our debut SJZ Recommends post, we take a closer look at five Bay Area-based groups who will showcase both the depth and diversity of our region’s musical talent.
Tommy Igoe Groove Conspiracy
San Francisco-based drummer Tommy Igoe, son of acclaimed big band drummer Sonny Igoe, currently holds two residencies with different big bands. In New York, he’s led the Birdland Big Band weekly for nearly a decade; more recently, he’s been holding down a weekly residency at Yoshi’s with his latest project, the Tommy Igoe Groove Conspiracy. Featuring distinguished players from Pacific Mambo Orchestra, Tower of Power, and the Doobie Brothers among others, count on Igoe and his collective of Bay Area heavy hitters to kick off the Sobrato Organization Main Stage with a bang when they open the stage Aug 12.
Bay Area Salsa All-Stars
Last year, this super-group comprised of the region’s finest salsa and Latin jazz talent was a hit on the Salsa Stage. This time, New York trombone titan Jimmy Bosch, a key catalyst in the hard-driving “salsa dura” movement, will be a featured guest. Assembled by Latin jazz flautist John Calloway and Summer Fest Latin music curator Arturo Riera, “MisterLatinJazz,” this year’s all stars will include percussionist Louie Romero, vocalist Alexis Guillen, violinist Anthony Blea, trumpeter Bill Ortega and more. See the Bay Area Salsa All-Stars artist page for full personnel.
JC Smith Band
JC Smith is a Bay Area blues staple and unsung blues ambassador. With his band, he’s brought his sound to Argentina, Russia, and beyond. He’s also been awarded for his musical efforts close to home, earning recognition as “Best Original/Local Band” by Metro in 2012 and being honored as West Coast Blues Band of the Year by the Bay Area Blues Society in 2006. Smith and his band are a guaranteed good time at the Blues & Big Easy Stage, where they perform Aug 13.
Kalil Wilson with Love
Kalil Wilson was the surprise hit of Winter Fest 2017, earning considerable press for his special guest appearance alongside vocalist Kim Nalley. He proved a perfect match for Nalley during her Ella Fitzgeral tribute at the Oshman Family JCC in Palo Alto, ably complementing her during their handful of duets. He’s back by popular demand, and this time he’ll be leading his own group, Kalil Wilson with Love, on Aug 12 when he opens the RBC Silicon Valley Stage.
Claudia Villela Group
If you were recently in attendance for our Anat Cohen & Trio Brasileiro show at Cafe Stritch, you may have been pleasantly surprised by a special guest vocalist who helped the group close out their exceptional show. The guest was vocalist Claudia Villela, a Santa Cruz-based musician by way of Rio de Janeiro who draws deeply from the various musical traditions of her homeland. Based on the reception of her appearance inside Stritch, we expect her to be a Summer Fest sleeper hit when she closes the Heritage Bank Cafe Stritch Stage Sunday Aug 13.
If you haven’t purchased your passes to San Jose Jazz Summer Fest 2017 yet, you can buy one and three-day passes at all ticket levels here. To stay up to date with Summer Fest and other SJZ related events, follow San Jose Jazz on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.