Did You Say Free? A Rundown of SJZ Winter Fest Community Events - San Jose Jazz

Did You Say Free? A Rundown of SJZ Winter Fest Community Events

Kaiser Permanente San Jose Jazz Winter Fest presented by Metro isn’t just an opportunity to see world-class jazz talent converge on the South Bay. It’s also a great chance for SJZ to shine a spotlight on the year-round activities that provide a glimpse into San Jose’s creative culture. With over 25 separate events scheduled between February 25 and March 8, SJZ Winter Fest has never presented so much music. It's also never included so many FREE events for the public. With no less than 12 events you can attend at no cost, where to begin? Read on for a brief rundown of some of the free community events you can check out without breaking the bank. A Taste of the Local: Jazz Jam and Wax Wednesdays One constant in SJZ’s commitment to supporting the local community through its education and performance efforts has been the bi-weekly Jazz Jam at the Hedley, which will take place on March 2. Held inside Hotel De Anza's gorgeous Hedley Club and led by drummer Stephen Marley, the jam provides audiences the chance to watch students and aspiring musical voices the opportunity share the bandstand alongside veterans of the scene. Later that evening, stroll a few blocks to the SoFA District to enjoy a special SJZ edition of Wax Wednesdays. We open our Winter Fest programming at Cafe Stritch with a curated evening soundtrack sure to set the musical tone for performances by Marquis Hill Blacktet and Kneedelus, both slated for later in the week. Our Winter Fest edition will be hosted by two Wax Wednesdays residents, local musician/avid record collector Mr. Derek See and Swellmax, better known as Stritch's Artistic Director, Maxwell Borkenhagen. Throughout the night, See and Borkenhagen will explore jazz’s extensive – and eclectic – history. After kicking off the jazz jams at the Hedley, be sure to stop by Cafe Strich on Sunday, March 6, to catch the Eulipions Jazz Jam, hosted by trumpeter Al Molina. Better yet, hang around after vocalist Jackie Ryan closes out her tribute to Duke Ellington earlier that evening! SJZ and First Fridays: Nosotros at MACLA For those unfamiliar, First Fridays is a monthly collaboration where several art galleries throughout the SoFA District open their doors to the public for free. The gatherings can get especially lively during the summer when San Jose's DIY celebration SubZERO Festival rolls around in June. For the March edition of First Fridays, happening March 4, San Jose Jazz will team up with MACLA to present all-female ensemble Nosotros inside MACLA's black box space. The group was founded in 2007 to help raise money for Peruvian earthquake victims. After the benefit, the ensemble remained together, and in the years since have continued to promote the beauty and warmth of women in the arts. Their eclectic performance, which will showcase both music and dance from Latin America, will perform works from Peru to Mexico, Cuba to Bolivia and beyond. Two Free Chances to Dance Attention all Lindy hoppers and salsa fiends: during the final weekend of Winter Fest, we'll be hosting two active evenings of high-energy music that will keep you moving inside the Fairmont San Jose Lobby Lounge. On March 4, Roberta Donnay and the Prohibition Mob Band will be playing both classics and originals in their notable style, which hearkens back to the swinging sounds of of 20s and 30s era jazz.  Donnay's most recent release, Bathtub Gin, was named by DownBeat as one of 2015’s best albums. All About Jazz added that Donnay "injects enthusiasm into her chosen material, shows respect for her musical primogenitors, and conjures thoughts of a different time." The next evening, we shift our focus to danceable Latin rhythms with a salsa dance party featuring the Rolando Morales Ensemble. In addition to these events, SJZ will be presenting two free afternoons of jazz music inside Cafe Stritch. From 2-5 pm on March 5 and 6, step inside to watch student performances by the San Jose Jazz U19s, San Jose State University Jazz Combo, SFJAZZ High School All-Stars Combo and more. Once again, did we mention that all of these events are free? Come out and discover a slice of SJ life as part of #SJZWinterFest!

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