Back for its 26th year, San Jose Jazz Summer Fest draws music fans from around the world to Downtown San Jose for three days of jazz, R&B and funk.
The festival returns August 7 with more than 100 performances on 13 stages. Headliners this year include Tower of Power, Brian Culbertson, Eddie Palmieri and JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound with support from numerous emerging artists and local groups.
The festival traditionally puts an emphasis on Latin jazz artists, and this year is no exception.
“The festival is 20 percent traditional jazz and 80 percent other styles such as Latin jazz,” says Bruce Labadie, artistic and festival director, and a founding organizer of the festival. “This event, without traditional jazz music, is the largest Latin jazz festival in the west.”
Headliner Eddie Palmieri brings more than 50 years of jazz pianist experience to the stage with compositions influenced by his Puerto Rican heritage and jazz greats such as Thelonious Monk and Herbie Hancock. The festival will mark the debut of jazz trumpeter Etienne Charles’ “San Jose Suite,” a composition influenced by the music of San Jose, Calif., Costa Rica’s capital city San Jose, and St. Joseph, Trinidad. The lineup also features Afro-Cuban arrangements from acts like Ernesto Oviedo and Jesus Diaz and Brazilian jazz from Letieres Leite & Orkestra Rumpillez.
The festival serves as an opportunity for local students to show off their chops with the San Jose Jazz High School All Star Band, featuring student musicians who participated in the San Jose Jazz summer camp.
“Building community means a lot to the people of San Jose,” Labadie says. “This event is well respected and brings a sense of pride to the city. People come from all over the country and world to experience the San Jose Jazz Festival.”
General admission tickets are $20 for one day and $65 for a three-day, all-stage pass if purchased online before August 4th. Several local venues will also participate with a “Club Crawl” after the festival ends each night.
Visit the San Jose Jazz Summer Fest official website for schedule details and more information.