SAN JOSE, CA -- Embarking on the 30th Anniversary of their signature Summer Fest, the iconic Bay Area institution San Jose Jazz kicks off 2019 with dynamic arts programming honoring the jazz tradition and ever-expanding definitions of the genre with singular concerts curated for audiences within the heart of Silicon Valley. San Jose Jazz Winter Fest 2019 features some of today's most distinguished artists alongside leading edge emerging musicians with an ambitious lineup of more than 20 concerts from February 14 - 27, 2019. The Jazz Beyond series, co-curated in partnership with San Jose Jazz and local production house Universal Grammar, presents buzzy young stars pushing the boundaries of jazz, soul and hip-hop and the Next Gen performances showcase top regional student jazz ensembles. Tickets to San Jose Jazz Winter Fest 2019 are now on sale ranging in price from $15 - $38; a Fest Pass is available for $260, and an array of shows at Cafe Stritch are free admission. For detailed ticket information as well as updates on the artists and performance schedule, please visit: sanjosejazz.org/winterfest.
Artist Lineup Announcement -- San Jose Jazz Winter Fest 2019:
San Jose Jazz Winter Fest 2019 encompasses the South First Street arts district in downtown San Jose as well as The Hammer Theatre and Art Boutiki. With premier performance venues, bars and restaurants joining many existing cultural institutions, Winter Fest 2019 showcases San Jose's vitality as an arts mecca.
San Jose Jazz proudly announces today the addition of acclaimed jazz innovators The Bad Plus to its Winter Fest 2019 artist lineup that includes: Gilles Peterson (DJ Set); Catherine Russell With the SJSU Jazz Orchestra; Charles McPherson; Anton Schwartz and Kenny Washington; Aaron Diehl; Bells Atlas; La Dame Blanche; Tiffany Austin with Leon Joyce, Marcus Shelby and Adam Shulman; JC Smith Band All-Star Blues Blowout Featuring Fillmore Slim, Kid Anderson and Rick Estrin; The Rad Trads; Kathy Kosins; SJZ Collective plays Mingus; Chéjere; and Richie Goods.
Maintaining a focus on the future of jazz, San Jose Jazz Winter Fest 2019 offers its own Next Gen Stage at Cafe Stritch, featuring five of the foremost regional youth jazz ensembles. Highlighted are the SJZ U19s led by GRAMMY® Award-winning saxophonist, composer and educator Dr. Aaron Lington. Other youth ensembles include: Kuumbwa Jazz Honor Band, Folsom High School Jazz Band, Berkeley High School Jazz Combo, Rio Americano and The Inner Circle.
At the heart of the evolving local arts scene, San Jose Jazz is steadfast in its commitment to moving the jazz art form forward with innovative initiatives engaging and entertaining the South Bay community and beyond. Debuting at Winter Fest 2018, San Jose Jazz's mission-driven project SJZ Collective returns to this year's festival to premiere its latest endeavor, SJZ Collective plays Mingus. San Jose Jazz is keen to support the vision of Silicon Valley drummer and DRUM! Magazine contributing editor Wally Schnalle who established SJZ Collective out of the success of San Jose Jazz Summer Jazz Camp -- where he has worked as a facility member for 20 years and its director since 2013.
SJZ Collective plays Mingus brings its latest live show to Winter Fest 2019 featuring Silicon Valley's top tier jazz musicians who last year released their first EP, SJZ Collective Reimagines Monk, in celebration of the centennial of Thelonious Monk. At Winter Fest 2019, the same stellar line-up of the ever-evolving mix of players will perform original arrangements of Charles Mingus compositions. SJZ Collective features drummer Schnalle, trumpeter/flugelhorn player John L. Worley, Jr., organist Brian Ho, guitarist Hristo Vitchev, saxophonist Oscar Pangilinan, and bassist Saúl Sierra. Each an acclaimed bandleader in their own right, SJZ Collective is a powerhouse of a sextet representing the sound of San Jose.
"Winter Fest is a microcosm of our Summer Fest programming that truly represents the richness of the South Bay community," said SJZ Executive Director Brendan Rawson. "In addition to presenting jazz icons, international artists and some of today's great instrumentalists, we couldn't be more thrilled to have one of the world's most influential music tastemakers Gilles Peterson as the pinnacle artist of this year's Jazz Beyond programming, which explores how jazz is evolving in our time. Our efforts to program inspiring artists has a simple goal of bringing the community together through the power of music."
"This year's Winter Fest artist lineup is truly a cross section of internationally renowned legends such as Charles McPherson (who worked with Charles Mingus from 1960-74) and the Bay Area's brightest emerging acts Tiffany Austin and Bells Atlas," says Bruce Labadie, Artistic Director of San Jose Jazz. "Winter Fest always serves as a platform for marquee names (The Bad Plus, Gilles Peterson, Catherine Russell) and artistic gems moving the boundaries of jazz into more contemporary arenas (Anton Schwartz, Aaron Diehl). We're fortunate to have such great venues to partner with in San Jose, ones that anchor Silicon Valley's growing jazz scene. Winter Fest presents much of this year's programming at the intimate jazz club Cafe Stritch and the stellar Hammer Theatre."
Highlights of Confirmed Artists @ San Jose Jazz Winter Fest 2019:
The iconic trio The Bad Plus has always dared to be different, challenging all preconceived notions of jazz. The Bad Plus' kaleidoscope of arrangements ranging from experimental jazz, indie rock, pop to classical music has earned this "audacious, rule-breaking jazz trio" (Billboard) a reputation as one of the most well-respected bands in jazz today. 2018 heralded a new chapter for the band consisting of founding members Reid Anderson (bass), Dave King (drums), and new member Orrin Evans (piano). Never Stop II is the first full-length release from this new lineup, comprised entirely of original music with each member contributing singular compositions. The New York Timescalls it "an exhilarating document" that sparks an exciting journey for the iconic group. The BBC summed up the band best when they said, "from album to album, The Bad Plus continues to evolve and improve." They will never stop doing just that.
Co-presented by San Jose Jazz and their Jazz Beyond partner Universal Grammar, internationally renowned BBC 6Music radio host Gilles Peterson will perform a DJ set alongside frequent collaborator MC General Rubbish, AKA Earl Zinger. Peterson's Brownswood label along with his collaborative projects worldwide have pioneered a new generation of artists blurring the barrier between live jazz and club culture. Peterson is revered as an early champion of many essential contemporary artists who have found their way into San Jose Jazz's Jazz Beyond programming throughout the past five editions of Winter Fest: Robert Glasper Experiment, Thundercat, José James, Kris Bowers, Taylor McFerrin and Miguel Atwood-Ferguson. Brownswood has also explored collaborations between DJs and more traditional artists from Cuba, including 2017 Summer Fest sensation Daymé Arocena.
Featured on the soundtrack for HBO's hit TV series, Boardwalk Empire, two-time GRAMMY Award-winning vocalist Catherine Russell is amongst the greatest interpreters of American Popular Song. At Winter Fest 2019, Russell will be accompanied by the SJSU Jazz Orchestra, conducted by Dr. Aaron Lington, who is director of SJSU's Jazz Studies Program.
Russell was born into musical royalty. Her father, Luis Russell, was Louis Armstrong's long-time musical director while her mother, Carline Ray, was a pioneering vocalist/guitarist/bassist who performed with International Sweethearts of Rhythm, Mary Lou Williams and Sy Oliver. To universal acclaim, Russell was nominated for a GRAMMY Award for her 2017 recording, Harlem On My Mind, in the "Best Jazz Vocal Album" category. She's performed at major jazz festivals such as Monterey, Newport, North Sea, Montreal, and Tanglewood, and has shared the stage with Steely Dan, David Bowie, Cyndi Lauper, Paul Simon, Rosanne Cash, among others.
For more than 50 years, saxophonist Charles McPherson has been one of the most highly regarded voices in jazz. His rich musical style, rooted in the blues and bebop, has inspired generations of musicians and listeners. McPherson has toured throughout the globe and/or recorded with jazz greats such as Charles Mingus, Nat Adderley, Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, and many others. McPherson is also a respected educator who has been honored with the Don Redman Jazz Heritage Award, as a guest coach with the Juilliard Jazz Artist Diploma Ensemble.
Vocalist Kenny Washington joins saxophonist Anton Schwartz for a powerhouse performance with bassist Ron Belcher, drummer Lorca Hart and pianist Randy Porter, a 2018 GRAMMY Award nominee. Based in Oakland, Washington has appeared with Wynton Marsalis and The Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra, alongside vocalists Gregory Porter and Paula West. Washington performs internationally as a solo performer and with The Joe Locke Group.
Anton Schwartz has earned a national reputation as a soloist with the Boston Pops at Symphony Hall and performances at Jazz at Lincoln Center. His five CDs as a leader have each drawn sterling reviews and strong airplay. His latest, Flash Mob, earned a four star DownBeat review and a long run on the jazz radio Top 10 chart. Schwartz is a longtime faculty member of the California Jazz Conservatory and is an artist-in-residence at Harvard University and the Brubeck Institute.
Pianist Aaron Diehl is one of the most sought after jazz virtuosos who consistently plays with what The New York Times describes as "melodic precision, harmonic erudition, and elegant restraint." The Bespoke Man's Narrative (2013), Diehl's first album on Mack Avenue Records, reached No.1 on the JazzWeek Jazz Chart and was hailed by JazzTimes for displaying "precision and polish." Diehl's whirlwind career includes a stint as music director for Jazz at Lincoln Center's New Orleans Songbook Concert Series; a performance of Philip Glass' complete Etudes at the Brooklyn Academy of Music; and tours of the U.S. and Europe with GRAMMY Award-nominated vocalist Cécile McLorin Salvant. As the 2014 Monterey Jazz Festival Commission Artist, Diehl became one of the youngest artists to receive this honor. He is also the 2013 recipient of the Jazz Journalists Associations Award for Up-And-Coming Artist.
Described by Afropunk as "Eminently chill and sexy in equal measure but with out of this world complexity and musical sophistication," Bells Atlas is a surreal blend of R&B, psychedelia, jazz and pop, rooted in the cultural bellwether of Oakland. Bells Atlas' latest album Salt and Soap, showcases lead singer Lawson-Ndu's experimental vocals atop a new songwriting process with bassist Doug Stuart and Lawson-Ndu writing over grainy drum recordings from Geneva Harrison and recording their most natural, immediate responses. With degrees in classical theory and jazz studies, the group's new found methodology strikingly contrasts to the band members formal music backgrounds. Bells Atlas is the touring band for NPR's "Snap Judgment" (since 2016), and has shared the stage with Hiatus Kaiyote, Badbadnotgood, Bilal, Meshell Ndegeocello, W. Kamau Bell, and Angelique Kidjo.
Cuban singer and instrumentalist Yaite Ramos Rodriguez, who performs as "La Dame Blanche," delivers an irresistibly danceable sound that summons the spirits of her Afro-Cuban religion as she showcases a multitude of African diasporas in the Americas. A master of the flute following her studies at the Escuela Nacional de Arte de Cuba in Havana, Rodriguez has recently released her 2018 album, Bajo El Mismo Cielo. The album overflows with the Cuban rumba and son of her family's traditions, as well as potent dancehall and reggae music that she perfected in tours backing up French-Spanish reggae artist Sergent García.
Vocalist Tiffany Austin's latest album, Unbroken, has cemented her reputation as one of the fastest rising jazz stars in Northern California. If you missed her intimate performance during Summer Fest 2018, now's your chance to catch her with an all-star trio of instrumentalists, including drummer Leon Joyce, bassist/composer Marcus Shelby, and pianist Adam Shulman. Austin draws upon influences such as Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone and Aretha Franklin, yet she also infuses songs with her own signature style. Her arrangements vary from classic swing to contemporary R&B à la Robert Glasper or José James. With Unbroken, Austin makes it clear she's an artist drawing nourishment from all of jazz's roots.
A cornerstone of the San Francisco Bay Area blues community, JC Smith brings together a "who's who" of the blues world for Winter Fest 2019 featuring Fillmore Slim, Kid Anderson and Rick Estrin. Whether wowing audiences across the world or in his own backyard, Smith has shared the stage with the pillars of American blues: Hubert Sumlin, B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Buddy Miles, and others. Also joining the band for this epic blues showdown are two members of Summer Fest favorite Legally Blue (vocalist Cheryl Scales and guitarist Aart de Geus), West Coast Blues Hall of Fame Blues Harmonica Player of the Year and Blues New Artist of the Year Kyle Rowland, R&B vocalist Xymphoni, and guitarist and founder of the West Coast Blues Society Ronnie Stewart.
New York City's The Rad Trads boast five distinct lead vocalists intertwined in their unique blend of indie rock, Americana, and soul. Their newest release, On Tap, explodes into completely new territory with walls of horns, psychedelic guitars, and lush acoustic arrangements. The Rad Trads have shared the stage with artists such as Lake Street Dive, Tom Jones, Charles Bradley, Taj Mahal, Buddy Guy, and the Lone Bellow.
ASCAP award-winning vocalist Kathy Kosins has recorded for both Carrere (Sony) and Quality Records, and has toured with Was/Not Was. Kosins has recorded and shared the stage with many well-known artists including Don Was, Cyrus Chestnut, and Bernard Purdie. Named "Jazz Composer of the Year" by the Michigan Council for the Arts, Kosins has received grants from Michigan's ArtServe advocacy group for her workshops teaching performance skills alongside business strategies for independent artists across the U.S.
One of Mexico's leading interpreters of traditional "son" music, Chéjere is anchored on the syncopated rhythms of Son Jarocho from Veracruz and other Latin American genres. Driven by complex Mexican rhythms, Chéjere's album Ojos De Luna incorporates music from all over the Latin world, including festive Caribbean and Afro-Peruvian traditions, developing a Pan-American sound that has become Chéjere’s hallmark. Chéjere has performed at prestigious festivals and venues across the globe, including Festival Internacional Zacatecas; Cumbre Tajin; Expo 2010 Shanghai; World Song Festival, Beijing; Festival del Caribe, Cuba and the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.
New York bassist Richie Goods has made a name for himself with a variety of jazz and pop artists including Chris Botti, Sting, the Headhunters, and Christina Aguilera. His lengthy discography also includes GRAMMY Award-winning and platinum selling albums of Alicia Keys and Common. Goods received critical acclaim for his first recording with his band Nuclear Fusion, 2009's Richie Goods & Nuclear Fusion Live at the Zinc Bar. His latest, Three Rivers, "is a generous slab of in-your-face funky jazz-rock that takes you back to the mid-1970s in the best possible way," (All About Jazz).
Special Concert Announcement -- The Havana Cuba All-Stars -- Hammer Theatre -- April 11, 2019
Following Winter Fest 2019, San Jose Jazz is thrilled to partner with the Hammer Theatre to present The Havana Cuba All-Stars on April 11, 2019. On their "Asere" -- or "Friendship" -- tour, the All-Stars feature three of Cuba's finest dancing couples. Featuring Banda Asere and some of the greatest dancers and musicians of Cuba working in tandem, the American encore of the Havana Cuba All-Stars' tour brings an unforgettable high-energy celebration of Cuban music and dance to downtown San Jose. From the cha cha to the rumba, from "Son Cubano" style to the salsa, the All-Stars showcase a wide variety of Cuban rhythms. Times Enterprise describes The Havana Cuba All-Stars live concert as a performance where "toes were tapping, hands were clapping and hardly an audience member could find the discipline to sit still as delightful, fun and infectious rhythms took effect."
Tickets are on sale now at https://sanjosejazz.org
Sponsors and supporters of San Jose Jazz Winter Fest 2019 include: KCSM, Metro, City of San Jose Office of Cultural Affairs, Hammer Theatre, San José State University, Fusicology and Jan De Carli.
San Jose Jazz Winter Fest 2019
When: Thursday, February 14 - Wednesday, February 27, 2019
Where: Downtown San Jose, CA
Admission: Concert tickets are $15(Advance)/$18(Door) - $35(Advance)/$38 (Door)
All Concert Fest Pass: $260; Next Gen student ensemble shows are free.
More Info: sanjosejazz.org/winterfest; (408) 288-7557
Ticket Info: Cash and credit accepted at door
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.