Summer of 2010 marked a turning point for the San Jose Jazz Festival, with some out-of-the-box thinking by its organizers taking it to a new level of success. San Jose Jazz’s former executive director Geoff Roach understood that forward-thinking festivals have begun booking iconic jazz instrumentalists from across genres, including the once-verboten world of dance and pop music.
This understanding led to a funk-infused flavor with headliners like George Clinton, Maceo Parker and Tower of Power. This year is perhaps even more eclectic, with New Orleans jazz-funk sensation Trombone Shorty, R&B queen Mavis Staples, Cuban legend Arturo Sandoval and superstar saxophonist David Sanborn. In one evening, guests can enjoy the sounds of Cuban new-wave—Fito Reinoso y Su Ritmo y Armonía performs on Sunday—and blues guitar as “Girls with Guitars” tours through San Jose. Ramsey Lewis, Marcus Miller, and George Duke top off the already-impressive roster.
The festival will feature over one thousand artists on nine different stages within walking distance of each other around downtown San Jose from Friday, August 12 to Sunday, August 14. The festival is largely held outdoors, and guests are encouraged to bring blankets or chairs. General admission tickets range from $15 (for Friday only) to $45 for a three-day pass. Children under twelve years old are free at all stages.