The Fest’s third performance night gets underway with Ten Spencer, a fresh new soul singer from Oakland that we think you’ll soon be hearing a lot more about. It continues with Vân-Ánh Võ, an Emmy Award winning Vietnamese artist of stunning virtuosity whose deceptively traditional music is infused with the rhythms and improvisation of jazz; and Javier Santiago, a straight ahead pianist whose work is steeped in a diverse set of influences, ranging from classical and jazz to hip-hop and world music. We end the night with one of the living masters of the blues, Chris Cain, who will treat us to a first performance of his new work “I Miss My Friends” along with music from his new album, Raisin’ Cain, set to drop on April 9.
Segment start times are approximate, due to variations in set lengths—plan on arriving a little early to make sure you see the entire performance by your favorite artist. If you miss the premiere stream, you’ll have the chance to watch the archived concert until May 31. Once you begin watching, you have 48 hours to finish playback.
Ten Spencer is a rising, Oakland-based vocalist and visual artist. Whether it’s hip-hop, modern jazz, R&B, soul, rock or indie pop, her sultry, honey-sweet voice captures the minds of her audience and invites them into her world. Ten works with musicians on both coasts and has opened for artists including Joe, Alex Isley and Mario. Her music is original and healing, and expands upon a wide appreciation of the Black American improvisational music that guides her work today. She’s the recipient of various vocalist awards and was the 2019 Jazz Search West Award winner.
Ten Spencer – vocalsMarcus Phillips – bassDame the Drummer – drumsNathan Bickart – keysLidia Rodriguez – bari sax, fluteDavid McKissick – trumpetJimmy Kraft – alto sax
Ten Spencer “Greenah” (Commission Excerpt)
Ten Spencer “It’s a Shame”
A fearless musical explorer, Vân-Ánh Võ is an award-winning performer of the 16-string đàn tranh (zither) and an Emmy Award-winning composer who has collaborated with Kronos Quartet, Alonzo King LINES Ballet, and Yo-Yo Ma. She has performed her music in 14 countries, at prestigious venues including Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, Houston Grand Opera, WOMAD Festival (UK), and the 2012 London Olympic Games. A prolific composer, she co-composed music for the Oscar® nominated documentary Daughter from Danang and the Emmy® Award winning film and soundtrack for Bolinao 52. In 2021 she premieres Songs of Strength at Cal Performances and Mekong: SOUL, commissioned by the Kennedy Center.
Vân-Ánh “Vanessa” Võ – 16-string đàn tranh, vocalsJoel Davel – marimba luminaJimi Nakagawa – taiko, percussion
Vân-Ánh Võ “Fire” (Commission excerpt)
Vân-Ánh Võ NPR “Tiny Desk” Concert
Javier Santiago is one of the most prolific young pianists in the Bay Area and a notable force in the jazz, beat and hip-hop scenes. He has played with top rising international stars including Theo Croker, Kenneth Whalum, John Raymond, Yosvany Terry and Irwin Hall. Javier’s debut album, Phoenix (2018) on Ropeadope Records was named the #1 Jazz Album of the Year by Vinyl Me, Please. In addition to being a pianist and sideman, Santiago is also an accomplished educator, arranger and producer. He is alumnus of The Brubeck Institute Fellowship Program and The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in NYC.
Javier Santiago – pianoGiulio Xavier – upright bassMichael Mitchell – drums
Javier Santiago “The Light That Awaits Us” (Commission excerpt)
Javier Santiago “Wavy”
Chris Cain offers up a soulful stew of Memphis style electric blues. His powerfully deep vocals and jazz inspired, blues guitar riffs are unforgettably his own, while reminiscent of legends like BB King and Albert King. When Chris burst onto the blues scene with the first of 12 albums, 1987’s Cuttin’ Loose, he found himself sharing the stage with a few of those legends including Albert King and Albert Collins. The combination of his blues upbringing and his jazz studies melded to form the searing guitar style that has moved Chris Cain to the top ranks of the blues music scene.
Chris Cain – guitar, vocalsGreg Rahn – keysSteve Evans – bassSky Garcia – drums
Chris Cain “I Miss My Friends” (Commission excerpt)
Chris Cain ”I’m Going Through a Love Detox”
Performances will stream on the San Jose Jazz website. Your ticket and emailed confirmation will include a “Watch” button that allows you to access the stream.
Blues, Hip-Hop, International, Soul, Straight Ahead
The New Works Festival, April 29–May 8, features four nights of performances by some of the most exciting artists in jazz, blues, R&B, soul and electronic music in the SF Bay Area and New York. The festival is an outgrowth of SJZ’s Jazz Aid Fund initiative, which provided crucial funds to 33 artists, each to produce a new work.
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