Fresh from San Jose Jazz Summer Camp, the SJZ Camp Octet features the next generation of emerging young jazz performers here in the Bay Area. A joining of forces from this year’s Camp, these students share music honed during SJZ’s 2-week learning lab, centered in Valley Christian Conservatory of the Arts.
Simply put, Oakland’s Tower of Power is the very definition of funk — as well as one of the most durable and iconic bands of all time. TOP’s musical odyssey began in 1968 when tenor saxophonist Emilio Castillo met baritone saxist Stephen “Doc” Kupka. The first incarnation of the band that would become Tower of Power soon built a reputation as one of the most exciting and virtuosic outfits in the country. And they haven’t stopped since!
Piano giant Eddie Palmieri has a musical career that spans over 50 years as a bandleader of salsa and Latin jazz orchestras. With ten Grammy Awards and a discography that includes 36 titles, Palmieri is a living legend known for his bold charisma and electrifying performances.
The Mosaic Project, created by drummer extraordinaire Terri Lyne Carrington, consists of some of the finest female instrumentalists and vocalists in the world, “women with voices,” coming together to support and celebrate each other from a musical and social perspective. Performing at Summer Fest with Terri will be a triple threat: Ledisi, Oleta Adams and Jaguar Wright.
We’re having a parade, led by samba-style “Second Line” Bloco Del Soul and Mas Makers Massive and Flavaz of the Caribbean, accompanying community dance groups and general festival revelers.
Founded by musicians Jerome Nehemiah, Mike Bottini, and Mark Schwartz, the Los Gatos Saratoga Big Band (LGS Big Band) is a community band sponsored by the Los Gatos/Saratoga Community Education and Recreation Agency. The band focuses on all styles of jazz, with an emphasis on driving swing.
After two critically acclaimed albums — Purple Naked Ladies in 2011 and Feel Good in 2013 — The Internet is poised to break out with Ego Death, released in late June. Led by singer Syd the Kid and producer Matt Martians, The Internet makes neo-soul music that brings to mind great artists from Pharrell Williams to Davina, Groove Theory and the Soulquarians.
The Dixie Dominus Traditional Jazz Band of Fremont Christian School was formed in 2007 under the direction of Thomas Banuelos. Mr. Banuelos draws upon his personal experience performing traditional jazz to help inspire a new generation of musicians. The band can be heard performing an eclectic repertoire ranging from traditional jazz standards to pop and show tunes.
South Bay Big Band Jazz started as a community ensemble 15 years ago. This lively eighteen-piece ensemble performs a variety of jazz tunes ranging from blues, Latin, swing, and standards.
Opening the Summer Fest is Cuban percussionist Jesus Diaz, who will present a real Cuban rumba! Rumba is a Cuban song style relying on the African tradition of call-and-chant singing to the beat of congas, palito and clave. The entire community participates by dancing and singing. If you can’t make it to Havana this year, hear Diaz bring authentic Cuban rumba to Summer Fest. FREE!
Footnotes Big Band originated at Foothill College over 18 years ago, and continues today as an independent Bay Area band under the leadership of trombonist Lori Stotko. This talented group showcases local composers such as John Gove, Howard Cespedes, Rick Walsh, Wayne Wallace, and Erik Jekabsen. Our pianist Paul Mernyk is our resident composer.
Multi-instrumentalist Brian Culbertson took up the piano at age 8 and went on to master the drums, trombone, bass, trumpet and synthesizer. Since then he’s become an instrumental superstar whose memorable recordings and high-energy performances are known worldwide.
Blue Note recording artist Chihiro Yamanaka is one of the most exciting jazz pianists and composers to come out of Japan. After making a worldwide impression with her Blue Note debut, Somethin’ Blue, Yamanaka now raises the bar with a new album, Syncopation Hazard.
For over 40 years, the Lyratones have delighted Bay Area dancers with their authentic renditions of the most popular hits from famous big bands of the 30s, 40s and 50s, with recent big band hits mixed in as well.
Saxophonist Kamasi Washington has long aligned himself at the intersection of jazz and hip hop, collaborating with everyone from Quincy Jones to Lauryn Hill. Washington brings two of his current projects to this year’s Summer Fest, the Next Step and the West Coast Get Down.
Mazacote is the hard-swinging, old school salsa group of legendary percussionist Louie Romero. Based in San Francisco, the ensemble plays a crowd-pleasing, high-energy mixture of classic salsa favorites and original Latin jazz tunes.
Composer, arranger, recording artist and educator Etienne Charles is one of the most compelling and exciting young jazz artists on the scene, ushering the genre into groundbreaking new territory. The young trumpeter and bandleader performs the world premiere of his San Jose Suite, borne of influences from San Jose, CA; San Jose, Costa Rica; and Charles’ native St. Joseph, Trinidad.
The Ron Gariffo Big Band was formed in September of 2001 with the idea of creating a compact jazz orchestra. As the band progressed, it was apparent that there was a lack of standard arrangements to choose from, so Ron set to work writing arrangements for this new group.
Ernesto Oviedo is one of the preeminent boleristas (singers of romantic ballads) in the world today, emanating from a royal Cuban musical family of soneros. In 2013, he wowed the crowd at the SFJAZZ Center as a featured guest with John Santos’ Filosofía Caribeña project, and a subsequent CD release concert there for Siempre Clásico, produced by Santos, sold out.
Zydeco Flames has gained a reputation as the West Coast’s premiere zydeco band. Their sizzling roots rhythms are timeless and the execution is relentless, with a stunningly powerful groove. The ensemble delights fans with hot zydeco in the tradition of masters like Clifton Chenier, Buckwheat Zydeco, and Queen Ida.
Directed by musician/educator “Mr. Clifford” Samoranos, San Jose Jazz presents the youngest group of Jazz vocalists, guitarists and pianists. These young musicians were selected from Mr. Clifford’s after-school music programs in the South Bay, and from his private teaching studio in Santa Clara. The gifted young performers embody the enduring American legacy of Jazz as they perform their interpretations of timeless musical compositions.
Grammy Award winner Doug Beavers is widely recognized as a cutting-edge trombonist, composer and arranger. His new project, Titanes del Trombón, brings some of New York’s greatest Latin jazz legends to Summer Fest! This is our Salsa Dance Party, being held at the Miami Beach Club at 417 S. First St.
Talented clarinetist, improviser, and composer Oran Etkin‘s unique sound in world music emanates from an openness to discovery in the world, in himself, and within his music. For our 2015 Motéma Records showcase, the musician presents a unique and creative homage to the classic music of the Benny Goodman Quartet.
Bandleader, vocalist and cornetist Bob Schulz is the foremost exponent of the Bob Scobey trumpet style and is an outstanding vocalist in the tradition of Clancy Hayes. Leading the Bob Schulz Frisco Jazz Band, the musician draws upon years of performing in the Dixieland jazz tradition. He has released several albums with the band and appeared on dozens more with other collaborators.
What happens when you put together four of the world’s best saxophonists? A jazz supergroup! Sax Appeal features tenor man Javon Jackson; NEA Jazz Master Jimmy Heath; legendary altoist Gary Bartz; and New Orleans-based Donald Harrison, each one a headliner in their own right. This show will be jazz history in the making.
Will Sessions is a high-energy group from Detroit whose influences run the gamut between funk, hip hop, soul, jazz fusion, boogie, disco and more. This deeply funky show will be a centerpiece of the South FIRST FRIDAYS event on Aug 7.
John Pizzarelli, the world-renowned guitarist and singer, has been called “hip with a wink” by Town & Country and “madly creative” by the Los Angeles Times. His latest album release, John Pizzarelli Salutes Johnny Mercer, continues the artist’s long-standing tradition of paying tribute to the classic compositions of the past century while giving them a contemporary twist.
Bay Area vocalist and songwriter Jessica Johnson has the audience held in the palm of her hand from the moment she walks on stage. With her rich, sultry voice and R&B stylings she will melt your heart.
Top Shelf Big Band brings the swinging sounds of live jazz and ballroom dancing to life. Enjoy vintage jazz and standards made famous by groups like Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Glenn Miller and Les Brown with this 17-piece orchestra. From swing to ballads to Latin staples, their music crosses generations, cultures and musical tastes.
DJ and producer Ali Shaheed Muhammad is known around the world as one-third of one of the most legendary hip hop groups of all time, A Tribe Called Quest, alongside Queens, N.Y., natives Q-Tip, Phife Dawg and honorary member Jarobi. Muhammad will be performing a DJ set for this concert.
Clark, Blades & Niswanger, the new organ trio with incredible credentials, has no comparison. When drummer Mike Clark, B-3 organist Wil Blades and saxophonist Hailey Niswanger stalk the stage with authenticity, it defies genre. They play a diverse mix of American music’s roots — embracing jazz, blues, funk and soul. The music always sizzles, burning red hot.
Guitar god Larry Coryell, saxophonist George Brooks, bamboo flute master Ronu Majumdar and tabla virtuoso Aditya Kalyanpur join forces to conjure Indian-inspired jazz raga with Bombay Jazz. These world music visionaries blend the ancient improvisational art of Indian classical music with America’s jazz tradition to create a soul satisfying, original music filled with rich melodies and dynamic rhythms.
As part of its year-round education programs, the Monterey Jazz Festival sponsors a Monterey County High School Honor Honor Vocal Jazz Ensemble. Selected by musicians and educators participating in the festival’s Traveling Clinician Program, the high school all-star band is comprised of thirty-two of the top young jazz musicians in the Monterey County area.
Con Brio is dirty funk, R&B, groove and neo-soul combined, propelled by young phenom Ziek McCarter, an ultra charismatic, undeniably gifted showman channeling the legendary James Brown. The band’s experimental and improvisational style pushes music headlong into the future.
The Le Boeuf Brothers have developed a unique and intelligent sound by fusing their firm jazz roots with a fresh, forward-thinking blend of indie-rock, classical and electronic music. Identical twin brothers Remy and Pascal Le Boeuf (playing saxophone and piano respectively) are best known for their innovative compositional projects.
Letieres Leite & Orkestra Rumpilezz is an award-winning 20-piece big band from Bahia, Brazil, that plays an intoxicating mixture of the percussive rhythms of candomblé and the big-band jazz tradition. Orkestra Rumpilezz is touring North America this summer through a partnership between four major jazz institutions including San Jose Jazz, SF Jazz and Jazz at Lincoln Center.
Trombonist, composer and vocalist Natalie Cressman has assimilated the full range of her sonic influences into a startlingly mature, strikingly original voice. Melding the sophistication of modern jazz with captivating storytelling and intoxicating melodies reminiscent of indie rock’s most distinctive songwriters, Cressman has worked with everyone from Trey Anastasio to Peter Apfelbaum.
On Descarga for Monk, gifted Spanish pianist Alex Conde has his way with some of the bebop classics, drawing upon the rich flamenco tradition to craft a stirring Monk tribute. Now based in the Bay Area, Conde is joined on this date by veteran bassist Jeff Chambers (Ahmad Jamal, Gonzalo Rubalcaba), drummer Timothy Angulo, percussionist John Santos and flamenco dancer Melissa Cruz.
Storm Large: musician, actor, playwright and author. Best-known fronting the band Pink Martini, she performs with them internationally and was featured on their CD, Get Happy. Her career also continues to blossom as a bandleader, playing sold-out halls throughout the country. Not content with that success, Storm has made her mark in a variety of stage and film productions.
The Villalobos Brothers are widely recognized as one of today’s leading Contemporary Mexican ensembles, delivering an intoxicating brew of brilliance, cadence and virtuosity that awakens and mesmerizes. Recently featured on NPR, their original compositions masterfully blend the richness of Mexican folk music with the intricate harmonies of jazz and classical.
Native New Orleans vocalist and trombone player Glen David Andrews has made a compelling case for his own deliverance with a powerful new project that correlates his own reclaimed life to his reclaimed city. Produced by Leo Sacks and recorded at the Living Room, a converted church just outside the Big Easy, Redemption is the calm after a very personal storm.
Canadian trumpeter, vocalist and composer Bria Skonberg is a fast-rising star on the modern music scene. Best known for her knowledge of straight-ahead jazz, she is now creating an eclectic mix rooted in New Orleans, blues, world percussion, soul and cabaret.
Saxophonist Greg Johnson is a promising young figure on the jazz scene. Equally at home in multiple genres, he has developed a unique musical style that combines jazz, classical and pop.
Whether she’s singing a haunting, slow blues ballad or a lowdown shuffle, Adrianna Marie is a mesmerizing performer. She digs deep into blues and roots music with a sense of timing and soulful delivery that draws listeners in and leaves them spellbound.
Forming his New Orleans Jazz Band in 1990, multi-instrumentalist Clint Baker has long been a notable member of the Northern California jazz community. Whether appearing at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival or performing by special invitation from legendary trombonist Frank Demond alongside Willie and Percy Humphrey, Baker continues to bring traditional jazz to audiences nationwide.
Charenee Wade, a first runner-up in the 2010 Thelonious Monk International Vocal Competition, is a notable singer, composer, arranger and educator. In this project for our 2015 Motéma Records showcase, she pays tribute to Gil Scott-Heron, a revolutionary artist who merged spoken word with soul and funk-jazz grooves.
Composer, arranger, recording artist, and educator Etienne Charles is one of the most exciting young jazz artists on the scene, ushering the genre into groundbreaking new territory. The trumpeter and bandleader, still in his twenties, has already recorded three impressive albums for his own label, Culture Shock Music.
Joseph “Zigaboo” Modeliste is a master drummer, rhythmic innovator, percussionist, and New Orleans legend. His inventive work as a member of R&B group, The Meters, as well as his status as a master of funk grooves and syncopated rhythms, has garnered him an unparalleled level of respect among musicians and fans.
Grant Geissman is a guitarist and composer with 14 albums released under his own name, the latest being 2012’s BOP! BANG! BOOM! Geissman also co-writes the music for the hit CBS series Mike & Molly, and recently concluded a 12-year run co-writing the Emmy Award-nominated music for the hit CBS series Two and a Half Men.
With influences ranging from Fats Domino and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band to Aretha Franklin and Tom Waits, Davina and the Vagabonds have created a stir with their high-energy blues performances, sharp-dressed professionalism and the commanding stage presence of Davina Sowers.
With a take-no-prisoners live attack and lyrics speaking of the torment of the times, it’s no wonder the Chicago Tribune calls JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound “the real deal.” This is a soul band connecting with people the old-fashioned way — by whipping them into a frenzy!
As part of its year-round education programs, the Monterey Jazz Festival sponsors a Monterey Jazz Festival High School All-Star Big Band. Selected by musicians and educators participating in the festival’s Traveling Clinician Program, the high school all-star band is comprised of thirty-two of the top young jazz musicians in the Monterey County area.
Trio Balkan Strings (Zoran Starcevic and sons Nikola and Zeljko) creates original guitar music by fusing several Balkan styles — Serbian, Gypsy, Macedonian, Romanian, Moldavian, Bulgarian, Hungarian, Mediterranean and Greek — with jazz, Gypsy swing, classical music, asymmetrical rhythms and original guitar interpretation. The three virtuosos together make music that is rich, unconventional, fresh, spontaneous and brimming with energy.
Guitarist Dave Haskell’s stealth status over the past two decades isn’t hard to explain. He’s spent most of that time on the move as a commercial pilot. But now, his new CD Pivot Point, produced by world-renowned bassist Jimmy Haslip of the Yellowjackets, is yet another inflection in his unique lifetime journey.
The 2015 Summer Jazz Camp Combo is a talented group of high school students who excelled at San Jose Jazz’s 2015 Summer Jazz Camp @ Valley Christian. The musicians selected represent the spirit of the camp, which is to “Play the Possibilities.”
San Francisco salsa sensation Orquesta Bembé was formed by GRAMMY® Award-winning percussionist Christian Pepin and pianist Erick Peralta. A 10-piece band with the sophistication of a large orchestra, the ensemble brings a bold sound inspired by salsa, tropical, Latin jazz, traditional Cuban and Puerto Rican music.
Bay Area septet The Hitmen Funk Party has been delivering high-energy funk and R&B dance music to audiences at benefits, festivals, fairs, concerts, nightclubs, corporate events and other venues for over 20 years. The group has performed with the likes of Cameo, the Ohio Players, ConFunkShun, Harold Melvin’s Blue Notes, Pete Escovedo and with members of Santana and Tower of Power.
Fondly referred to as the “smallest big band on the planet”, Marina & The Kats revive the spirit of 1940s jazz with hot grooves, enchanting melodies, driving beats, and the utterly gorgeous voice of the charming Marina Zettl.
Sylvia Cuenca is a skillful, hard-swinging post-bop and hard bop jazz drummer, best known for her 17-year collaboration with trumpet legend Clark Terry and four years with saxophone icon Joe Henderson. Her spirited performance style will be on full display with the Sylvia Cuenca New York Jazz Quartet featuring Teodross Avery.
Somos el Son is a Bay Area salsa orchestra led by the master Peruvian percussionist, singer, composer and dancer Braulio Barrera. Launched in 2013 and quickly becoming one of the Bay Area’s hottest salsa orchestras, the band combines classic material with original compositions designed to make dancers move!
Liv Slingerland, a guitarist and singer-songwriter based in Los Angeles, has a distinct sound inspired by a fusion of modern rock and blues. A past winner of the San Jose Jazz Youth Blues Band Competition, the musician’s songwriting is altogether catchy, gritty, and mature.
Hailing from Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico and formed in 2005, Sonex plays Mexican son jarocho roots music with a contemporary touch. The band fuses elements of traditional African, Afro-Peruvian and Venezuelan music with a wide variety of genres including flamenco, salsa, jazz, funk, hip hop, rock and reggae, among others.
Accomplished producer and bassist Frank “Tebo” Thibeaux brings his signature blend of funky blues with a Zydeco twist to Tebo’s Howlin’ Wolf Revue. Working with a vast range of artists from Herbie Hancock to MC Hammer to John Lee Hooker, Jr., the artist has earned two GRAMMY® nominations.
Wee Willie Walker’s music comes from a different time, a different place and a different point of view. With more than five decades of experience belting out the gospel-soaked R&B and gritty blues that came from Memphis (his birthplace) and Chicago in the heady days of the ’60s, Walker is a living tribute to a great tradition.
Current Personae is a Stockton, CA collective of musicians led by songwriter/composer Joshua Washington. In addition to releasing their debut EP December Jane in the summer of 2015, they have opened for the Grammy Award winning artist, Anthony Hamilton, and backed Juno nominated artist Joanna Borromeo.
Saxophonist Anton Schwartz has earned a national name for his big tone, smart compositions and soulful improvisations. Each of Schwartz’s five CDs has earned sterling reviews and strong airplay; his most recent release, Flash Mob, was one of the 25 most played albums of 2014 on jazz radio and one of DownBeat Magazine’s “Best CDs of 2014.”
Guitar Fest 2015 presents three of the leading jazz guitarists in the Bay Area on one stage–Hristo Vitchev, Terrence Brewer, and Rick Vandivier. Joined by a stellar rhythm section, the ensemble’s colorful interaction and improvisational interplay serves as a tribute to modern jazz guitar master Pat Metheny.
After three successful years of re-imagining the music of Sting, Stevie Wonder, and most recently Paul Simon, Grammy® Award-winning baritone saxophonist and composer Aaron Lington will present new arrangements of the classic works of one of the most successful American songwriters, Burt Bacharach.
No trip to the Bay Area is complete without seeing Kim Nalley perform. The San Francisco Chronicle raved, “Kim Nalley has pipes to burn and works the stage like she means it,” while DownBeat praised her “irresistibly sexy sense of swing, rhythmic dexterity and beautiful sound.”
Four-time Grammy® nominee Plena Libre has captivated and moved audiences over the course of their eighteen-year, thirteen-album career. This fine-tuned 12-piece Puerto Rican ensemble of virtuoso musicians has only gotten better with age, serving as the torch bearers of Puerto Rico’s plena and bomba traditions.
Johnny Summers is truly a multi-faceted musician — trumpeter, singer, songwriter and arranger. Whether he’s fronting an 18-piece band or sitting solo in front of a piano, Summers delivers something far beyond entertainment: an unforgettable experience. He is a master of versatility. Summers’ latest album is Piano Sessions, Volume 1, a collaboration with pianist Chris Andrew.
Israel-born, New York-based jazz pianist Shai Maestro developed his musical chops as a former member of Avishai Cohen’s group. As part of our 2015 Motéma Records showcase, Maestro presents trio music that is altogether dynamic, explosive and virtuosic.
Bay Area jazz guitarist Mason Razavi brings his thoughtful and evocative style to his critically acclaimed release Quartet Plus. A longtime composer, educator, and bandleader rooted in jazz, Razavi’s diverse musical background inspires compositions that are altogether familiar and innovative.
For over three decades, the Cuban-born sonero Fito Reinoso has made the Bay Area his home, performing in a variety of styles, from the most recent urban Havana grooves to timba to the classic son and cha cha cha, all with a voice reminiscent of the late and beloved legendary Cuban singer, Beny Moré.
Rumbaché is the voice of youth in San Francisco’s salsa scene. Fronted by the Grammy-winning timbalero Omar Ledezma Jr., Rumbaché is a hard-hitting group that blends interpretations of the classic Cuban repertoire with fresh originals, fusing salsa, timba, bomba, funk and whatever else they find to spice up the mood.
Celebrated Bay Area vocalist, educator, and recording artist Gail Dobson brings her musical dynasty, the Dobson Family Band, whose work highlights the “Dobson” philosophy of allowing music to flow naturally through player interaction and soloing.
The New Flamingo Swing Orchestra is well into its third decade of offering music from the swing era to savvy party people. The band plays the unforgettable tunes from both sides of World War II, featuring 11 musicians and the vocal stylings of Anthony Jones and Stella D’Oro.
JUNO Award nominees and “Canada’s ambassadors of musical diversity”, Sultans of String thrill their audiences with their global sonic tapestry of Spanish Flamenco, Arabic folk, Cuban rhythms, and French Manouche Gypsy-jazz, while celebrating musical fusion and human creativity with warmth and virtuosity.
The Latin Jazz Youth Ensemble of San Francisco (LJYE) is a performing group of talented musicians ranging in age from 10-18 years old. Their mission is to preserve the traditions of Latin jazz and Afro-Cuban music by teaching it to youth and to create role models for aspiring student musicians.
Now in its 17th season, San Jose Jazz High School All Stars are earning impressive reviews for their performances while providing some of the Bay Area’s most gifted high school jazz musicians with advanced opportunities to grow and develop.
Jamie Dubberly is a first-call trombonist, composer, arranger and educator who has established a strong reputation within the Bay Area jazz and Latin music communities. A versatile performer and arranger, Dubberly formed Orquesta Dharma in 2008 to record original Afro-Cuban jazz material.
Conjunto Karabali is another of the Bay Area’s best, smoking hot Latin dance bands. Featuring some of the finest talent in the Latin music field, this ensemble is full of hard-driving swing and joyful energy.
Dr. Marcus Wolfe’s sound on the tenor saxophone might be described as a combination of that of his biggest influences, Stan Getz and Eddie Harris. A relative newcomer to the Bay Area, Dr. Wolfe is the Director of Jazz Studies at the Valley Christian Conservatory of the Arts in San Jose. The Valley Christian Jazz Band was named the Best High School Jazz Band by DownBeat magazine.
The Alum Rock Jazz Program was started in 1973 by music teachers Bill Nicolosi, Jerry Saxon, Ted Powell and Phyllis Grant. The band is made up of 5th – 8th grade Alum Rock School District students who competitively audition each year for instrumental and vocal positions in the group. The group performs a dozen times during the school year and has performed for thousands of audiences throughout the years.
Vocalist Quinn DeVeaux has packed houses and astounded audiences in the Bay Area for years with his smooth, soulful voice and cool, melodic songwriting. His acclaimed Blue Beat Review has been thrilling the lovers of rollicking roots and blues lovers for years.
VibraSON is widely recognized as the Bay Area’s newest salsa and Latin jazz band, playing both classic and contemporary favorites. Dancers and listeners alike cannot resist the driving rhythms of these genres, or the alluring sound of the vibraphone.
Round Midnight is a four piece instrumental jazz group, based in San Jose, that was formed by four musicians who had played together for years in top 40 and vocal bands, and wished to play their own style of jazz and jazz fusion.
Rickey Woodard is a killer seasoned saxophonist. Born in Nashville, Tennessee, his musical travels led him to tour with Ray Charles, joining classic band The Juggernauts and the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, and recording for Concord Records.
Amy Sarver is a local musician who has dedicated herself to keeping the blues tradition alive, by focusing her musical career on reviving classic blues tunes. Along with her band The Bluesers, these San Jose locals bring fun and good feelings with their good ol’ down home blues sound.
Selwyn Birchwood, Florida’s rising young blues fireball, is a guitar and lap-steel-playing bundle of pure energy. He delivers his original songs with a revival tent preacher’s fervor and a natural storyteller’s charisma, made all the more impactful by his raw, unvarnished vocals. Birchwood plays high-octane blues – at once deeply rooted, funky and up-to-the-minute – with true passion and honest emotion.
The San Jose Jazz Summer Fest All Star Big Band is a veritable who’s who of San Francisco Bay Area jazz musicians, led by Gordon Biersch founder Dan Gordon. Formed to help keep the big band legacy alive, their repertoire features classic and modern compositions from several illustrious composers such as Bill Holman, Slide Hampton, Bob Florence, Horace Silver, Thad Jones, Tom Kubis and Gordon Goodwin.
Someday Sweethearts is San Francisco’s sweetest chorus girl dance troupe. Performing routines inspired by the 1920’s, 30’s, and 40’s, they are dedicated to bringing all forms of vintage entertainment to life!
Wally Schnalle is well known in the Bay Area music scene, an explosive drummer who moves seamlessly from a straight-ahead pocket to experimental fusion. IF3 — an offshoot of Schnalle’s Idiot Fish group — is a new iteration of the electronic outfit that features Schnalle on drums and electronics, Hristo Vitchev on guitar and Dan Robbins on bass.
Synchronicity is a group of nine alumni from various Bay Area big bands, in the tradition of Kai Winding, J.J. Johnson, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock and Quincy Jones. Calling themselves a “classical jazz ensemble” and “a little brass big band,” Synchronicity is led by flugelhornist Jerry Kroth, a professor at Santa Clara University.
Captain Supernova is an American Astronaut and a multi-instrumentalist. In 1979, He was mission commander on a top secret US government mission “Project IO”. The objective of the mission was to interact with extraterrestrial life with synthesizers in outer space. He set out on this mission in the specially designed space shuttle “Imaginary Voyager”.
Astralogik is an eclectic soul duo residing in San Jose, California. Their eclectic taste in music takes you on a journey where you’ll hear performances that include tinges of neo-soul, R&B, roots, hip-hop, electronic, world, and indie.
Triple threat Katie Thiroux has garnered considerable attention for her bravura bass playing, assured singing and compelling compositions. Lending contemporary flair to mainstream stylings, Thiroux carries on the hard swinging tradition of bass masters Ray Brown and John Clayton, while channeling the buoyant vocal finesse of iconic singers Anita O’Day, and Chet Baker.
Lincoln High School is the visual and performing arts magnet for San Jose Unified School District. The school’s mission is that students will experience the challenge of pursuing excellence in academics while gaining an appreciation for the visual and performing arts. Recently, the Lincoln High School Jazz Band has performed De Anza College and the Tech Museum and we’re excited about their Fest performance.
Combo A is the top jazz combo at Valley Christian High School. Historically, Combo A has won numerous awards at various Jazz festivals one example being 1st place in the combo division at the Reno Jazz Festival earlier this year. The group has alumni in schools such as Juilliard, Manhattan School of Music, New School, and the Berklee School of Music, to name a few.
Performing and promoting the music that began with the West Coast Birth of the Cool – and the innovations of Gerry Mulligan, Chet Baker, Shorty Rogers, Bud Shank, among others – Octobop’s music mission centers around making cool jazz hot again.