2018 Lineup / Straight Ahead

Swing Lessons

Fri, Aug 10 @ 6pm
Swing Stage

The Swing Stage is one of the hottest “scenes” at the Summer Fest, and it’s definitely not a place to just sit and listen! Come before most performances and learn the elements of swing dance with some of the area’s best teachers.

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Swing Lessons

Fri, Aug 10 @ 6pm
Swing Stage

Jane Monheit

Fri, Aug 10 @ 8pm
Silicon Valley Community Foundation Hammer Theatre Stage

Just out of her teens when first introduced to the jazz world, warm-toned vocalist Jane Monheit can toggle between that early innocence and a time-crafted maturity. Those qualities alone make her an ideal artist to explore some of Ella Fitzgerald’s lesser-known repertoire at 2018 Summer Fest.

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Jane Monheit

Fri, Aug 10 @ 8pm
Silicon Valley Community Foundation Hammer Theatre Stage
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7th Street Big Band

Fri, Aug 10 @ 8pm
Sushi Confidential Stage

They’re not your grandparents’ big band—they bring some of the hippest beats and rhythms to the table, and they’re ready to get funky.

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7th Street Big Band

Fri, Aug 10 @ 8pm
Sushi Confidential Stage

Eddie Gale

Fri, Aug 10 @ 8:30pm
Adobe Silicon Valley Stage

Known as the City of San Jose official Ambassador of Jazz, proclaimed by then Mayor Norman Y. Mineta in 1974, Eddie Gale is a world renown trumpeter pillar of the Bay Area jazz scene. As a musician, trumpeter, composer, publisher, recording artist and bandleader, Gale is a multi-faceted artist in the genre. This year, Gale celebrates his 50th year as a recording artist starting with the internationally known jazz label Blue Note Records.

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Eddie Gale

Fri, Aug 10 @ 8:30pm
Adobe Silicon Valley Stage
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Yoshiaki Miyanoue

Fri, Aug 10 @ 10pm
El Taurino Stage

Guitarist Yoshiaki Miyanoue embodies the global nature of jazz having gone full circle from impressionable music student in his native Tokyo to ambassador for the American art form two and a half decades later. With his Wes Montgomery-inspired pick-free playing, he inspires both foot tapping and serious listening.

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Yoshiaki Miyanoue

Fri, Aug 10 @ 10pm
El Taurino Stage
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Sylvia Cuenca Quartet

Sat, Aug 11 @ Noon
Heritage Bank Cafe Stritch Stage

Whether encouraging an instrumentalist from behind the kit or unveiling her own kinetic solo, drummer Sylvia Cuenca is both a steady presence and an all-encompassing force on the bandstand. The San Jose native has played with jazz legends and leads her own all-star quartet at 2018 Summer Fest.

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Sylvia Cuenca Quartet

Sat, Aug 11 @ Noon
Heritage Bank Cafe Stritch Stage
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Organic Trio

Sat, Aug 11 @ Noon
El Taurino Stage

There’s a sense of both deep groove and international flair that emanates from the Organic Trio. Guitarist Brian Seeger hails from New Orleans, organist Jean-Yves Jung from France and drummer Paul Wiltgen from Luxembourg. Together they all speak the international language of virtuosic musicianship and joyous swing.

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Organic Trio

Sat, Aug 11 @ Noon
El Taurino Stage
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San Jose Jazz High School All Stars

Sat, Aug 11 @ Noon
Sushi Confidential Stage

Dr. Aaron Lington, a 2014 Grammy Award winner and director of the Jazz Studies program at San Jose State University, leads this group comprised of young musicians from 10 regional schools. The All Stars have received unanimous “command” performance ratings in both big band and combo formats at the Santa Cruz Jazz Festival.

SJZ High School All Stars on Main Stage.
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San Jose Jazz High School All Stars

Sat, Aug 11 @ Noon
Sushi Confidential Stage

Billy Valentine Big Band

Sat, Aug 11 @ 1pm
Silicon Valley Community Foundation Hammer Theatre Stage

Whether from his time as the singer for Young-Holt Unlimited or as half of The Valentine Brothers, Billy Valentine’s distinct voice is recognizable to generations. Valentine’s singing was featured in the series Sons of Anarchy and Boston Legal, and his crooning is timeless.

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Billy Valentine Big Band

Sat, Aug 11 @ 1pm
Silicon Valley Community Foundation Hammer Theatre Stage
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SJZ Collective Reimagines Monk

Sat, Aug 11 @ 1pm
Adobe Silicon Valley Stage

Silicon Valley is the home to a plethora of talented jazz musicians, and Thelonious Monk has written numerous jazz standards. So it’s a perfect pairing for the locally based musicians of the fledgling SJZ (a.k.a. San Jose Jazz) Collective to explore the rich songbook of this jazz master.

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SJZ Collective Reimagines Monk

Sat, Aug 11 @ 1pm
Adobe Silicon Valley Stage
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Retro Notes

Sat, Aug 11 @ 2pm
Sushi Confidential Stage

Retro Notes are a San Francisco Bay Area jazz band which combines elements of swing and jazz standards with contemporary vocals and rhythms. Alexandra Beltran’s sensual vocals and Bendik Kleveland’s velvety saxophone blend seamlessly to create a bewitching sound.

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Retro Notes

Sat, Aug 11 @ 2pm
Sushi Confidential Stage

Sarah McKenzie

Sat, Aug 11 @ 3pm
Silicon Valley Community Foundation Hammer Theatre Stage

From Perth and Melbourne to Boston and Paris, swinging vocalist / pianist Sarah McKenzie’s geographic journey reflects the international nature of jazz. After graduating from Perth’s West Australian Academy of Performing Arts with a Bachelor’s degree in jazz, she toured as a backing vocalist on Michael Bublé’s Irresponsible Tour from 2007–2008.

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Sarah McKenzie

Sat, Aug 11 @ 3pm
Silicon Valley Community Foundation Hammer Theatre Stage
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Jeff Denson: Outside My Window

Sat, Aug 11 @ 3pm
Adobe Silicon Valley Stage

Enjoying popularity as a leader, sideman and one-third of the San Francisco String Trio, bassist Jeff Denson has recently emerged as a vocalist, as well. His latest album, Outside My Window, showcases his vocal chops via original songs and pieces by Jeff Buckley, Abbey Lincoln, Chris Cornell and Peter Gabriel.

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Jeff Denson: Outside My Window

Sat, Aug 11 @ 3pm
Adobe Silicon Valley Stage
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Monterey Jazz Festival High School All-Star Band

Sat, Aug 11 @ 3pm
SJMA Next Gen Stage

The Monterey Jazz Festival High School All-Stars are a top-flight ensemble of the finest young jazz musicians in Monterey County.

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Monterey Jazz Festival High School All-Star Band

Sat, Aug 11 @ 3pm
SJMA Next Gen Stage

Never Weather

Sat, Aug 11 @ 4pm
Sushi Confidential Stage

Never Weather is a jazz-inspired quintet led by percussionist and composer, Dillon Vado. Dillon’s original compositions borrow influences of free jazz, rock and chamber music to make exciting arrangements that allow for genuine improvisations each performance.

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Never Weather

Sat, Aug 11 @ 4pm
Sushi Confidential Stage

Aaron Lington Plays the Music of Astor Piazzolla

Sat, Aug 11 @ 5pm
Adobe Silicon Valley Stage

Jazz’s international parentage of African, Caribbean, European and native US musical traditions allows for many other of the world’s musical heritages to be interpreted. Grammy winner Aaron Lington delves into tango’s sensual sound with his new Plays the Music of Astor Piazzolla small group jazz project.

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Aaron Lington Plays the Music of Astor Piazzolla

Sat, Aug 11 @ 5pm
Adobe Silicon Valley Stage
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Erik Jekabson Quintet

Sat, Aug 11 @ 5pm
Heritage Bank Cafe Stritch Stage

Whether leading his heralded Electric Squeezebox Orchestra big band or guiding the Young Musicians Program at the California Jazz Conservatory, trumpeter Erik Jekabson dance card is constantly full. For 2018 Summer Fest, he’ll lead his powerhouse quintet focusing on his fierce trumpeting skills.

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Erik Jekabson Quintet

Sat, Aug 11 @ 5pm
Heritage Bank Cafe Stritch Stage
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Barbara Morrison Quintet

Sat, Aug 11 @ 5pm
Silicon Valley Community Foundation Hammer Theatre Stage

Vocalist Barbara Morrison was voted one of the 50 Greatest Jazz Vocalists by NPR in 2010, an achievement she upholds with every performance. Her soulful interpretations of jazz and blues classics are backed by a masterful quintet, pairing Morrison’s astounding three-and-a-half octave range with tenor sax and a swinging rhythm section.

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Barbara Morrison Quintet

Sat, Aug 11 @ 5pm
Silicon Valley Community Foundation Hammer Theatre Stage
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10th Annual Jazz Organ Fellowship with Matthew Whitaker and Brian Charette

Sat, Aug 11 @ 7:30pm
El Taurino Stage

Thanks to Hammond B-3 evangelist Pete Fallico’s world-renowned commitment to the instrument, organ concerts have been a San Jose Jazz staple. 2018 Summer Fest is no exception, with the 10th Annual Organ Fellowship featuring Matthew Whitaker and Brian Charette, a pair of contrasting yet brilliant players.

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10th Annual Jazz Organ Fellowship with Matthew Whitaker and Brian Charette

Sat, Aug 11 @ 7:30pm
El Taurino Stage
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Eugenie Jones

Sat, Aug 11 @ 8pm
Sushi Confidential Stage

Eugenie Jones is a Seattle-based jazz vocalist, songwriter and producer. Described as a performer that makes audiences feel jazz, Jones possess “a voice that covers words like pieces of silk covering precious stones.” (The Stranger)

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Eugenie Jones

Sat, Aug 11 @ 8pm
Sushi Confidential Stage

Theo Croker Quartet

Sat, Aug 11 @ 10pm
Heritage Bank Cafe Stritch Stage

Trumpeter Theo Croker has family and stylistic ties to jazz’s grand history. Combining this deep understanding of jazz tradition with funk, hip-hop and avant-garde approaches, he creates a potent brew of traditional and contemporary sounds.

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Theo Croker Quartet

Sat, Aug 11 @ 10pm
Heritage Bank Cafe Stritch Stage
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Yoshiaki Miyanoue

Sat, Aug 11 @ 10pm
Sushi Confidential Stage

Guitarist Yoshiaki Miyanoue embodies the global nature of jazz having gone full circle from impressionable music student in his native Tokyo to ambassador for the American art form two and a half decades later. With his Wes Montgomery-inspired pick-free playing, he inspires both foot tapping and serious listening.

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Yoshiaki Miyanoue

Sat, Aug 11 @ 10pm
Sushi Confidential Stage

San Jose Jazz Summer Jazz Camp Combo

Sun, Aug 12 @ 11:45am
Sobrato Organization Main Stage

The San Jose Jazz Summer Camp Combo is a hand-selected ensemble made up of some of the brightest high school talents from this year’s Summer Jazz Camp, held at Valley Christian High School.

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San Jose Jazz Summer Jazz Camp Combo

Sun, Aug 12 @ 11:45am
Sobrato Organization Main Stage

Mr. Clifford’s Young Jazz All Stars

Sun, Aug 12 @ Noon
SJMA Next Gen Stage

Directed by musician and educator “Mr. Clifford” Samoranos, San Jose Jazz presents the youngest group of Jazz vocalists, guitarists and pianists at Summer Fest with Mr. Clifford’s Young Jazz All Stars.

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Mr. Clifford’s Young Jazz All Stars

Sun, Aug 12 @ Noon
SJMA Next Gen Stage

SJZ U19s

Sun, Aug 12 @ 1pm
Casino M8trix Boom Box Stage

A select group of the San Jose Jazz High School All Stars Big Band, the SJZ U19s feature our finest young musicians in a small combo setting.

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SJZ U19s

Sun, Aug 12 @ 1pm
Casino M8trix Boom Box Stage

East Bay Jazz High School All-Stars

Sun, Aug 12 @ 1pm
SJMA Next Gen Stage

The East Bay Jazz High School All-Stars are an after-school program for high school jazz musicians interested in high-caliber musical performance.

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East Bay Jazz High School All-Stars

Sun, Aug 12 @ 1pm
SJMA Next Gen Stage

Paula West with the Adam Shulman Trio

Sun, Aug 12 @ 1pm
Silicon Valley Community Foundation Hammer Theatre Stage

From the American Songbook to folk classics, Paula West sings with a creative impulse to make each song her own. Inspired by musicians like Bob Dylan, West adapts a wide variety of music into a jazz context. Both her studio albums and live performances brim with soulful sophistication and imagination.

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Paula West with the Adam Shulman Trio

Sun, Aug 12 @ 1pm
Silicon Valley Community Foundation Hammer Theatre Stage
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Vincent Herring’s Story of Jazz: 100 Years

Sun, Aug 12 @ 2pm
Sobrato Organization Main Stage

Born in Kentucky and raised in Vallejo, soulful post-bop alto saxophonist Vincent Herring has played with jazz giants such as trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie and vibraphone pioneer Lionel Hampton. He now surveys jazz music’s century-plus history with “The Story of Jazz: 100 Years” featuring vocalist and narrator Nicolas Bearde.

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Vincent Herring’s Story of Jazz: 100 Years

Sun, Aug 12 @ 2pm
Sobrato Organization Main Stage

Echoes

Sun, Aug 12 @ 2pm
SJMA Next Gen Stage

Echoes is a collectivist, tri-coastal jazz quartet composed of musicians who met at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. By augmenting its already unorthodox instrumentation with a variety of electronic instruments, the quartet has cultivated a unique and cohesive band sound.

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Echoes

Sun, Aug 12 @ 2pm
SJMA Next Gen Stage

Arnie Co Nonet

Sun, Aug 12 @ 2pm
Sushi Confidential Stage

The Arnie Co Nonet features rising musicians from all around the Bay Area, and looks to celebrate the unique sounds of chamber jazz ensembles old and new. The Nonet will perform compositions by pianist Arnie Co, in addition to arrangements by Miles Davis, Christian McBride, Alan Ferber and many more.

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Arnie Co Nonet

Sun, Aug 12 @ 2pm
Sushi Confidential Stage

Katie Thiroux Trio

Sun, Aug 12 @ 2:30pm
El Taurino Stage

Like juggling while riding a unicycle, singing and accompanying oneself on double bass is a challenging undertaking. Katie Thiroux does both with such a seemingly effortless joy that her innate sense of swing and buoyant stage presence can belie countless hours of sacrifice and study.

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Katie Thiroux Trio

Sun, Aug 12 @ 2:30pm
El Taurino Stage
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Jemal Ramirez Group with Warren Wolf

Sun, Aug 12 @ 2:30pm
Heritage Bank Cafe Stritch Stage

Educator and musician, Jemal Ramirez has been a life-long promoter of music in the Bay Area. As a rhythm section player, Ramirez always appreciated more contemporary roles for the rhythm section that followed in the footsteps of Weather Report, Brecker Brothers and the Billy Cobham/George Duke bands.

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Jemal Ramirez Group with Warren Wolf

Sun, Aug 12 @ 2:30pm
Heritage Bank Cafe Stritch Stage
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Kristen Strom: Moving Day–The Music of John Shifflett

Sun, Aug 12 @ 3pm
Adobe Silicon Valley Stage

Saxophonist Kristen Strom has been one of the mainstays of the Bay Area jazz scenes for nearly two decades, playing with leading bands and helming the Kristen Strom Quintet. In this new project, she interprets the compositions of a legendary local hero: bassist John Shifflett, who passed in 2017.

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Kristen Strom: Moving Day–The Music of John Shifflett

Sun, Aug 12 @ 3pm
Adobe Silicon Valley Stage
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Christian Tamburr and Dominick Farinacci Quartet

Sun, Aug 12 @ 3pm
Silicon Valley Community Foundation Hammer Theatre Stage

Joining forces on the Summer Fest bandstand, vibraphonist Christian Tamburr and trumpeter Dominick Farinacci form a potent duo whose music is forward-thinking and emotive. Both musicians represent the future of jazz as a globalized artform, performing and teaching everywhere from Qatar to Tokyo.

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Christian Tamburr and Dominick Farinacci Quartet

Sun, Aug 12 @ 3pm
Silicon Valley Community Foundation Hammer Theatre Stage
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Ratatet

Sun, Aug 12 @ 4pm
Sushi Confidential Stage

Ratatet is an electro-acoustic sextet from the San Francisco Bay Area which features a front line of bassoon, trombone and vibraphone led by drummer and composer Alan Hall. The group’s all original music is a combination of jazz, American pop, impressionism, blues, and various South American styles and rhythms.

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Ratatet

Sun, Aug 12 @ 4pm
Sushi Confidential Stage

Emmet Cohen Trio

Sun, Aug 12 @ 5pm
El Taurino Stage

Bassist Christian McBride and drummer Herlin Riley both snatched up Emmet Cohen for their respective bands, recognizing the Florida native’s deep knowledge of jazz history and awe-inspiring playing. Now the pianist leads his own trio as a quickly rising star on the straight-ahead scene.

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Emmet Cohen Trio

Sun, Aug 12 @ 5pm
El Taurino Stage
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Mason Razavi Nonet

Sun, Aug 12 @ 5pm
Adobe Silicon Valley Stage

Jazz guitarist and composer/arranger Mason Razavi returns to the San Jose Jazz Summer Fest with his nonet to perform selections from the Quartet Plus and Quartet Plus Volume 2 albums and to debut all new music. 

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Mason Razavi Nonet

Sun, Aug 12 @ 5pm
Adobe Silicon Valley Stage
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Marcus Roberts and the Modern Jazz Generation

Sun, Aug 12 @ 7pm
Silicon Valley Community Foundation Hammer Theatre Stage

One of the premier jazz pianists of his generation, Marcus Roberts is familiar with playing solo and with big bands and even symphony orchestras. For 2018 Summer Fest, he leads the Modern Jazz Generation, a lush-sounding medium-sized multi-generational ensemble that will perform his always thoughtful original compositions.

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Marcus Roberts and the Modern Jazz Generation

Sun, Aug 12 @ 7pm
Silicon Valley Community Foundation Hammer Theatre Stage
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Eric Alexander

Sun, Aug 12 @ 7pm
El Taurino Stage

With a fierce tone and unwavering swing, tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander has both played in bands led by legends and recorded his own substantial body of work with peers and some of those same jazz titans. Known for his fierce lines, he can also whip up a sublime ballad.

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Eric Alexander

Sun, Aug 12 @ 7pm
El Taurino Stage
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