San Jose, Calif. -- Internationally renowned for presenting buzzy emerging stars pushing the boundaries of jazz, soul and hip-hop, San Jose Jazz curates a special artist lineup for one of San Francisco's premier art and technology events If So, What? taking place at the Palace of Fine Arts from April 26 - 29, 2018. The leading edge musicians include Brooklyn's live house music actTortured Soul, Richmond, CA's 23 year-old R&B/soul sensation Rayana Jay, Woodstock, NY's electronic dance producer Photay, and a slew of the South Bay production house Universal Grammar's mainstay DJs: THE C.M.E., Sake One, SheaButter, and Chale Brown. Interviews and hi-res photos are available upon request.
The inaugural edition of If So, What? in San Francisco features some of the finest galleries from Europe, Asia and the US presenting works ranging from the most innovative global design to the latest trends in contemporary art, as well as immersive multimedia installations, such as projection mapping, Augmented Reality digital sculpture garden, interactive media art and works created using Artificial Intelligence. A panel series with executives from the fields of art and technology and eclectic music performances will round up the programming. For more info, please visit https://www.ifsowhat.com
For information regarding the artists performing at If So, What?, see the bios listed below and for a performance schedule, please visit: https://www.ifsowhat.com/music
Photay -- Thursday, April 26, 2018
Photay (Evan Shornstein) uses keyboards, sampling and loops to create future/electronic/funk that tells a story of the future of the global environmentalist movement. Photay's debut full-length album Onism is a reflection of tension in an age of climate change and social media addiction. The album's name comes from the term "onism," invented by pseudo-linguist John Koenig as signifying the frustration of being stuck in just one body that inhabits only one place at a time. Photay has been highlighted in Pitchfork, Tiny Mix Tapes, Business Insider, and other publications.
Rayana Jay -- Friday, April 27, 2018
Rayana Jay is a 23-year old R&B/soul singer-songwriter originally from Richmond, CA. With velvet smooth vocals and airy harmonies, Jay's music carries a confessional, old-soul storytelling nature rooted in honesty. From love and heartbreak to womanhood and self-discovery, Jay's music is a reflection of her innermost thoughts and feelings. As KQED wrote, "her music is instantly danceable R&B, with an unconventional edge: her voice bounces between melding to the grooves and breaking into its own rhythm -- something like a slow, sensuous rap."
The Bay Area born singer's influences span from Organized Noize, all the way to the raw emotions of Amy Winehouse and sultry tones of Anita Baker. Rayana Jay's acclaimed debut EP, 2016'sSorry About Last Night along with 2017's Morning After, serve as proper introductions to her penmanship, relationships, and changing world. Jay has been highlighted in such influential media outlets as The Fader, MTV.com, NPR, The Verge, among others.
Tortured Soul -- Saturday, April 28, 2018
Tortured Soul is 100% live, modern, deep, soulful, house music. The band's frontman and songwriter John-Christian Urich can be seen simultaneously drumming and singing with effortless mastery, while bassist Jordan Scannella and keyboardist Isamu McGregor virtuosically generate the pulsating accompaniment that has been making bodies sweat for years and continues to be what Gille‚Äôs Peterson called "The future of house music." Influenced by the classic songcraft of Prince, Heatwave and Kool & The Gang, and likened to The Roots of house music, Tortured Soul‚Äôs sound is reminiscent of neo-soul groups like Jamiroquai or Brand New Heavies, while also being deeply saturated in the contemporary freshness of house purveyors like Joey Negro, Louie Vega, Soul Clap and Disclosure.
Spinning under the pseudonym of DJ Chale Brown, Tommy Aguilar is the force behind Universal Grammar, a boutique production house focusing on future soul, jazz and R&B. The San Jose outfit presents quality artistry from emerging contemporary voices. An ambassador for modern cultural creativity, UG's curated offerings reveal a devotion to authentic artistry that both challenges modern convention and respects its given craft.
The visionary company has brought many breaking artists to Silicon Valley, including Robert Glasper, Thundercat, Jos√© James, Ali Sheheed Muhammad (A Tribe Called Quest), Hiatus Kaiyote and Flying Lotus. In his role as ringleader of Universal Grammar, DJ Chale Brown currently produces The Changing Same, a weekly residency of DJs and live performance each Thursday at San Jose's Continental Bar & Grill.
A true veteran of the Bay Area hip-hop and music scene, DJ Sake One is a born and raised renaissance man, known to doing anything from community projects to opening up for big acts such as Mos Def or Kanye West. Whether it‚Äôs soulful lounge tracks or bass-filled remixes, his talent and musical palate does not discriminate.
The man who "speaks with his hands" can be seen spinning in the South Bay, Santa Cruz to Purist Boutique in SF, to cross town parks where his music is enjoyed just as much as the Senorita Bread. SheaButter reflects on his style remembering "getting woken up by his mom's tunes from the Afro Cuban Rhythms and Santana to Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder." Those early morning wake up calls became embedded in the mind and soul of SheaButter as heard through his eclectic, free flowing genre crushing mixes showered with "green" smooth(ie) blends. He connects genres similar to the way the Bay Bridge connects land.
Since he became a DJ, THE C.M.E has co-founded The Slapnasties (a premiere hip-hop & event planning collective) and THE C.M.E Agency. He has served as resident to some of the most prestigious parties such as: Good Muzik, D1ME, Brown Sugar, and the legendary Pacific Standard Time with DJ Sake1. He's shared the stage with legendary music acts including Robert Glasper, Diplo, The Roots, Talib Kweli, Mos Def, and Kendrick Lamar.
About San Jose Jazz
Founded in 1986, San Jose Jazz is a public benefit corporation celebrating jazz as a dynamic, evolving art form and is producer of the annual San Jose Jazz Summer Fest and Winter Fest. With its singular music programming and innovative educational offerings, San Jose Jazz preserves the jazz tradition while actively supporting the next generation of performers within the genre and beyond. For more information, please visit sanjosejazz.org.