Oviedo’s exquisite renditions of classic boleros have put him in a unique class of traditional boleristas. Oviedo, now 80, was a longtime member of the legendary Orquesta Estrellas Cubanas (founded in 1959) in Havana. Siempre Clásico is the first and only recording featuring Oviedo under his own name. It showcases his mastery of several genres of traditional Cuban music, including the bolero, son, rumba, bembé, afro and the regal danzón. At this year’s Summer Fest he will perform with the renowned John Santos Sextet.
Far more than a master percussionist, 5-time Grammy nominee, composer and bandleader Santos is an educator and cultural activist. He is a keeper of the Afro-Caribbean flame, steeped in Cuban and Puerto Rican folkloric traditions as well as salsa and Latin jazz. Santos was born and raised in San Francisco’s Mission District amid an extended family of Puerto Rican musicians, and has been at the center of the Bay Area’s thriving Latin music scene for four decades. He’s played an essential role in expanding Latin jazz’s rhythmic lexicon beyond the foundational Cuban grooves. Santos has performed and recorded with Dizzy Gillespie, Tito Puente, Max Roach, Cachao, Eddie Palmieri, McCoy Tyner and Bebo Valdés, and founded the famed Machete Ensemble, which was documented on nine albums from 1985-2006. In 2012 he was honored with the San Francisco Latino Heritage Arts Award and was an SFJAZZ Resident Artistic Director during 2013-14.