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Fest Five: Brian Hurst

August 9, 2018

As the CEO of SoulandJazz.com, Brian Hurst wants to share the music he loves with the world, offering streamed programming of soul and jazz gems spanning nine decades through his website. Based in the UK, Brian will be running the British Airways Music Lounge this year, a unique listening space hosted in the Hammer Theater’s Hammer 4 venue. The Lounge will feature pared-down performances by Fest headliners, filmed in full HD and VR with audio …

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Fest Five: Brad Stone

August 3, 2018

Balancing a career in jazz radio and teaching chemistry at San José State University, Dr. Brad Stone, AKA the Jazz Doctor, is a modern-day Renaissance man. Every Thursday on SoulandJazz.com, Dr. Stone debuts a collection of progressive new jazz recordings as part of his Creative Source broadcast. His musical knowledge covers 1960s jazz fusion and extends to the cutting edge of today’s music. For this year’s Summer Fest, the Jazz Doctor has prescribed five acts …

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Full Circle: Nachito Herrera Brings Together Cuban and Western Classical Traditions

August 1, 2018

Ignacio “Nachito” Herrera’s trio is opening the Sobrato Organization Main Stage on Sunday, August 12, and the Minneapolis-based pianist couldn’t be more thrilled. “San Jose Jazz (Summer Fest), for jazz musicians, it is one of the most important jazz festivals in the United States,” he declares, by phone from Minneapolis. “And I am so happy we are going to be playing outside. I hope people move their feet and dance a little bit when we …

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Musical Conviction: “Moving Day” Honors Legacy of Bassist John Shifflett

August 1, 2018

“You probably heard about the vocal thing?” asks saxophonist Kristen Strom mid-conversation. She’s referring to what drummer Jason Lewis called John Shifflett’s “yelps,” involuntary shouts he’d make mid-song, whether performing or teaching. Strom, who played with the late bassist for more than 30 years, says she was baffled by the yelps at first. In time, she grew to appreciate them – and even felt a bit anxious when they didn’t appear. “Later I was like …

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Yissy García and Bandancha: At the Vanguard of Cuban Music

July 30, 2018

Anthemic, sustained synth chords that hint at electronic music, glimpses of a sampler and drum machine in the music video, and a verse that begins with rapping in Spanish. That’s jazz, right? As their new single “Universo” shows, drummer Yissy García and her band Bandancha’s eclectic sound may very well point to where contemporary jazz-influenced music may be headed in their native Cuba. Since the release of their album Última Noticia in early 2016, García …

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Summer Fest 2018 Celebrates the Storied History of Jazz and Soul

July 30, 2018

This year, Summer Fest provides listeners two chances to not only hear great music but learn some music history as well.  Saturday on the Sobrato Organization Main Stage, music legend Booker T. Jones revisits the Stax Records catalog with a musical revue that highlights hits and forgotten gems key to the label’s success in the 1960s and ‘70s. On Sunday, saxophonist Vincent Herring leads an all-star ensemble through “The Story of Jazz: 100 years,” his …

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Fest Five: Russell Gatewood

July 30, 2018

Whether he’s behind the turntable or broadcasting over the airwaves, Russell Gatewood has established himself as an iconic DJ and radio personality from coast to coast. One half of the World Famous Rick & Russ Show, holding down the Sobrato Organization Main Stage between sets this year, Russell’s work as a DJ is deeply rooted in the jazz tradition. Here are five of the acts he’s most excited about this year. Lalah Hathaway: “Lalah is …

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Summer Fest Latin Jazz and Salsa Playlist

July 29, 2018

We asked our new Latin and world music coordinator Betto Arcos to create a playlist of songs that convey the spirit of the salsa and Latin jazz at the Fest. The last four selections are from bands that—while not playing this year—are on Betto’s radar for future Fests. “I got to see Colombia’s La Mambanegra a couple years ago in Guadalajara and was simply blown away; their salsa brand is singular, complex and high-level. La …

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It’s All at the Fest: The Past, Present, and Future of R&B

July 17, 2018

This year’s Summer Fest lineup provides a wonderful chance to celebrate the varied story of R&B music. From the genre’s origins in blues, jazz and gospel to its contemporary interactions with hip-hop and electronic music, San Jose Jazz Summer Fest 2018 will be a perfect showcase for the legacy of rhythm and blues, one that exhibits the style’s continued influence on American culture. Much like jazz, modern R&B may seem to have little resemblance to …

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Salsa Stage is in Good Hands with Betto Arcos

May 15, 2018

Always celebratory and frequently familial, the Salsa Stage is one of San Jose Jazz Summer Fest’s musical and social pillars. For 2018, the stage’s bookings are in the good hands—and keen ears—of Betto Arcos. Qualifications-wise, Arcos is top shelf: A radio journalist, DJ, educator and concert producer, the Los Angeles resident has been heard on NPR and PRI. He has taught art, culture and broadcast journalism at Loyola Marymount University and is currently the producer …

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