The Sound of Summer Fest 2019

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Before Summer Fest each year we choose a “theme song” for the Fest’s TV spots, video ads and recap video. This year, we asked the SJZ staff to participate in the choice. During the process they recommended a variety of songs, each reflecting a unique take on the Fest experience. With such a variety of music, we decided to sit down with a few of the staff members to discuss the song they chose and why it best reflects this year’s Summer Fest, Aug 9-11.

Check out a full playlist of the nominated songs below–we’ll reveal the chosen track on Thursday, June 13.

Latin & World Music Coordinator Betto Arcos decided on “Let’s Never Stop Falling in Love” by Main Stage act Pink Martini. Betto says “The song encompasses everything I believe about music: it’s like a constantly unfolding, loving relationship between two individuals; there are surprises, exciting and challenging moments, but in the end, it’s always resolved.”

SJZ Progressions Instrument Coordinator Tom Langan threw two songs in the mix with “Little Liza Jane” by Sammy Miller and the Congregation and Gregory Porter’s “Liquid Spirit.” Tom says: “The New Orleans standard “Little Liza Jane” harkens back to the deepest roots of jazz. Sammy Miller and The Congregation have close ties to the Bay Area and give the song a jubilant and energetic treatment that’s sure to get any party started. While Gregory Porter’s “Liquid Spirit” is a call to celebration.  It’s a song of hope and renewal whose infectious and energetic groove draws from the well of jazz’s spiritual and soul traditions.”

Marketing Associate Kelly Quinlan, chose “I Love Music” by The O’Jays. Kelly believes “the song is the embodiment of everything Summer Fest is with an upbeat funky melody that you can’t help but dance to; the song lists all of the reasons why they ‘love music.’ For them, ‘Music is the healing/Force of the world/It’s understood by every man/Woman, boy and girl’ and is the driving force behind happiness with it ‘Makes me laugh/Makes me smile all the while.’ This song is emblematic of Summer Fest because not only does it showcase a wide assortment of genres but it also brings together a diverse community of music-lovers for a weekend of music celebration.”
As SJZ Progressions Program Director Hugo Garcia searched for a Summer Fest song, he knew he wanted to find something fresh and exciting, but he also considered the festival’s diverse music stages. “I chose ‘Tango’ by Dianne Reeves because as I listened to it, I could visualize myself being transported from one Summer Fest stage to another throughout the different sections of this song. I also chose a song of hers that was new to my ears, because I wanted to highlight that the festival is a place to hear your current music favorites, and it can also be an opportunity to discover something new!”
Marketing Director Massimo Chisessi suggested “Brasil” by Pink Martini. For Massimo, the song “conveys the diversity and sheer joy that he experiences at our festival. The band almost always ends with this number. As it builds to its climax, the audience is invited to the front of the stage to dance and play percussion–it’s a magical experience of total abandon and release, and it could only happen at a live concert.”
SJZ High School All Stars Coordinator and SJZ Boombox Truck Project Manager Scott Fulton chose “Dance to the Music” by Sly and the Family Stone. Scott says “Sly and the Family Stone’s concerts were legendary for their frenetic and wild energy. My favorite musician of all time, Stevie Wonder, was inspired to write ‘Superstition’ after attending a Family Stone concert, in the hopes of capturing that feeling. He once said: ‘I went to a Sly and the Family Stone concert, and the whole place was rockin’, super rockin’…and I wanted to have my concerts be like that!’ This is why I think no song better encapsulates that energy than ‘Dance to the Music!'”

Banner photo by Jérôme Brunet