SAN JOSE JAZZ SUMMERFEST 2015: ETIENNE CHARLES, BOMBAY JAZZ & ERNESTO OVIEDO & THE JOHN SANTOS SEXTET

San Jose Jazz is celebrating its 26th Summerfest (Aug 7-9, 2015). With a dizzying array of shows spread across 12 stages it is always a challenge to figure out which ones to attend. I ended up watching about 5 shows today that included a wonderful world premiere of Etienne Charles‘s San Jose Suite. The piece pays homage to 3 San Jose’s located in Trinidad, Costa Rica and USA. I was unsure what to expect of this show, and was pleasantly delighted by the suite. It was intriguing to discover how Charles found and wove a common theme around these cities.

Bombay Jazz fused American jazz with North Indian classical music. This was the first time that I listened to them and it was quite an experience to watch how American and Indian musicians worked together to create this fusion music.

The grand finale of the evening was the delightul Cuban bolerista Ernesto Oveido and The John Santon Sextet. Oveido was a consummate and elegant singer. He sang a handful of well-known boleros including my favorite Bruce Manigua. Oviedo is 80 years old and yet he sang in an effortless manner.

Besides these three shows, I also watched Canadian singer Johnny Summers and John Pizzarelli Quartet from  New Jersey.

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SAN JOSE JAZZ SUMMERFEST CELEBRATES ITS 26th YEAR AUG 7-9, 2015

San Jose Jazz

San Jose Jazz

San Jose Jazz Summerfest celebrates its 26th year from August 7-9, 2015. The 3 day celebration will see over 100 performances spread across 12 stages in downtown San Jose. There is something for every one from jazz to blues to salsa to soul to zydeco music.

The opening night features San Francisco Bay Area’s Con Brio and Chicago’s JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound in the main stage.

Here are some of the guests featured in this year’s jazz festival: Eddie PalmieriOran Etkin, Javon Jackson, Jimmy Heath, Gary Bartz and Donald Harrison,  Bob Schulz Frisco Jazz Band; Dave Haskell Group,  Jamie Dubberly & Orquesta Dharma, Fito Reinoso y su Ritmo y Armonia, Bombay Jazz and others.

The festival always features local musicians and high school bands. Sylvia Cuenca New York QuartetNatalie Cressman, Aaron LingtonLe Boeuf BrothersSan Jose Jazz High School All Stars and San Jose Jazz Summer Camp Combo are some of the musicians from the bay area. You can catch most of them in the Silicon Valley stage during the festival.

Brazil’s award winning 20-piece jazz band Letieres Leite & Orkestra Rumpilezz will play at this year’s festival. The band is also playing at New  York’s Lincoln Center.

Trumpeter Etienne Charles will have his world premiere of “San Jose Suite.”  The piece explores stories, rituals, native chants, rhythms, and other cultural elements of 3 different San Jose’s – in Trinidad, Costa Rica and California.

For tickets  and information about San Jose Jazz Summerfest visit their website.