Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

2018 SJZ Holiday Playlist

December 20, 2018

Let’s face it, hearing the same seasonal classics covered by the usual suspects can get, well…a bit boring.  So we put together a different kind of playlist for your holiday listening pleasure. You’ll find chestnuts performed by jazz greats and New Orleans artists and original songs by some new discoveries. Happy Holidays from San Jose Jazz. 

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José James’ Meeting with Bill Withers Sparks a National Tour

April 6, 2018

José James is no stranger to San Jose Jazz. As an eclectic artist James combines blues, spoken-word, hip-hop, contemporary R&B and jazz to form a genre all his own. One of the first artists featured in our Jazz Beyond programming stream, James has been on the rise since his debut on our stage for Winter Fest  2013. Having seven albums to his credit, James’ latest project Lean On Me: José James Celebrates Bill Withers came out of …

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Wealth of Drummers at Winter Fest 2018

February 9, 2018

This year’s Winter Fest is a drummer’s fest, of sorts. Drummers lead no less than six of the groups performing February 15–28. Leading off on opening night will be drummer Will Calhoun in a free performance on the Sonic Runway, a sound-responsive art installation direct from Burning Man to San Jose’s City Hall Plaza. Will has performed with many A-list musicians after coming to fame in the rock group Living Colour. This outdoor performance of …

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In Memoriam: Summer Fest Volunteers Bob Gardner & Ray Winans

April 27, 2017

Bob Gardner (right) pictured alongside fellow Summer Fest volunteer Steve Pollock. This is a guest post from SJZ’s Artistic Director Bruce Labadie, who was familiar with the contributions both Bob Gardner and Ray Winans provided the organization over the years. We have been lucky to have some of the best long-term volunteers who fill in critical roles, without which we would not be able to present Summer Fest, a quality festival  we’ve presented for close …

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Returning Home: A Conversation with Donny McCaslin

January 31, 2017

Though saxophonist Donny McCaslin made his name in the jazz world after moving to New York, he still has fond memories of growing up in the greater Santa Cruz area, where he cultivated his musical foundation. He recalls traveling over the hill to San Jose to participate in summer workshops, of sitting in with the late Smith Dobson at Garden City, then a South Bay hotbed for jazz. Back in Santa Cruz, he recalls watching …

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Fall Update from Progressions Director Julie Rinard

November 17, 2016

 This fall, Progressions officially launched its fourth site, an advanced track at Bridges Academy. It includes participants who have been a part of Progressions for three-plus years, bringing together 20 students from Meadows Elementary School, Santee Elementary School, Bridges Academy, CCA (College Connection Academy) and Ace Franklin-McKinley. Instrumentation for the new track includes saxophone and baritone (in addition to the existing clarinet, flute, trombone and trumpet). We look forward to seeing how the new instruments …

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SJZ Fall Concert Series Preview: Mariachi Flor de Toloache

October 25, 2016

San Jose Jazz closes out its first Fall Concert Series with an SJZ Boom Box performance by Mariachi Flor de Toloache as part of La Ultima Parada, a day-long Dia de Los Muertos celebration at Mexican Heritage Plaza. Like Rudresh Mahanthappa and Rez Abbasi, Mariachi Flor de Toloache represents a new musical vision of an old tradition, one in pursuit of a more open mariachi sound that incorporates elements of bachata, jazz, pop and soul. …

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SJZ Fall Concert Series: Get to Know Rez Abbasi & Junction

October 23, 2016

Celebrated guitarist Rez Abbasi performs with his latest project, Junction, as part of the San Jose Jazz Fall Concert Series on October 28 at Cafe Pink House. The series kicked off last Sunday with a frequent collaborator of Abbasi’s, saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa and his quintet, who performed selections from his acclaimed release, Bird Calls. Before Abbasi & Junction take the stage at the end of the month, get up-to-speed with his latest project making its Bay Area debut. …

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Rudresh Mahanthappa: Bird Calls Engages and Challenges

October 19, 2016

Over a two-set, nearly two-hour show, alto saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa and his quintet showed why they may be one of the best live bands on the national jazz scene today. Spurred on by the ever-changing rhythms of chameleon drummer Dan Weiss, the band showed themselves immensely capable of transforming mood and melody at a beat’s notice. Such quick changes showcased how deep these musicians listen to each other, as anything on the bandstand seemed likely to dissolve …

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The Shape of Jazz to Come: Next Gen Performances at SJZ Winter Fest 16

March 4, 2016

This year, as part of our dedication to featuring great student groups alongside world-class jazz talents at Kaiser Permanente San Jose Jazz Winter Fest presented by Metro, we will be bringing our Next Gen programming to the heart of downtown’s SoFA District. During the final weekend of San Jose Jazz Winter Fest, the top student jazz combos in the region will be showcased over two full afternoons at Cafe Stritch, a venue that has previously hosted SJZ events …

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