San Jose Jazz Summer Fest 2018


Silicon Valley’s premier annual music event, San Jose Jazz Summer Fest 2018 returns for its 29th festival season from Friday, August 10 through Sunday, August 12 in and around Plaza de César Chavez Park in downtown San Jose, Calif.  A showcase for jazz, blues, funk, R&B, salsa, world and related genres, SJZ Summer Fest is nationally recognized as one of the biggest Latin festivals in the country. Always guaranteed to be an ecstatic annual celebration of diverse Latin styles, the Salsa Stage is one of San Jose Jazz Summer Fest’s musical and social pillars. For 2018, the stage’s bookings are in the incredible hands of beloved national radio personality, Betto Arcos. Whether it’s the traditional sounds of Changüi Majadero, the modern timba styling of Rumbankete or the Stage’s titular salsa courtesy of Orquesta Son Mayor, Arcos has San Jose Jazz Summer Fest patrons covered for the most anticipated epic Latin dance party of the year.



A radio journalist, DJ, educator and concert producer, the Los Angeles-based Arcos can be heard on NPR’s “All Things Considered,” PRI’s “The World,” and he’s hosted the influential “Global Village” program on Pacifica Radio’s KPFK for nearly two decades (1997- 2015). Arcos was recently a professor at Loyola Marymount University (teaching art, culture and broadcast journalism in 2016 and 2017) and is the host of the popular podcast, The Cosmic Barrio. His work as a scholar led to contributing to the anthology, The Tide Was Always High: The Music of Latin America in Los Angeles (University of California Press, 2017).


“None of the bands I’ve booked have performed at Summer Fest before, so it’ll be a first for them and Northern California fans of Latin music,” says Betto Arcos. “The common denominator here is dance music, but each of the artists are so different and very representative of what’s hot right now in L.A. We’re bringing these bands north to interweave with the amazing acts on the Bay Area salsa and Latin music scene.”

Orquesta Son Mayor


Bruce Labadie, Artistic and Festival Director, adds, “Betto and I met some years ago and I’ve always been impressed with his knowledge of Latin artists and expertise as a renowned radio host. He brings knowledge from the potent Southern California music scene and an intense curiosity about Northern California acts and tastes. His point of view will be invaluable as we continue to present as many artists from Spanish speaking countries into our programming as possible across all Fest stages.”


Foundational to the roots of Afro-Cuban styles of salsa and timba, changüí is an Eastern Cuban musical form that originated in the 1800s in the Guantanamo region. Led by Los Angeles native Gabriel Garcia, the foremost Changüí Majadero brings an urban – and urbane – 21st Century perspective to this traditional genre. Changüí Majadero has appeared on many of the world’s greatest stages including Lincoln Center, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, and at Dodger Stadium.

Boogaloo Assassins


Whereas Changüí Majedero performs vintage Cuban dance music from hundreds of years ago, Rumbankete presents an eclectic mix of modern dance music. Emerging in Cuba in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, timba was formed with the amalgamation of funk, jazz, improvisation, and musical styles such as rumba. The two primary singers/composers of Rumbankete grew up in Havana during the heyday of timba. Along with eight powerhouse musicians, Rumbankete’s 10-piece ensemble makes it impossible to stop dancing once the music starts.


The most revered Los Angeles-based salsa band, the 10-piece Orquesta Son Mayor have performed at prestigious venues such as the Hollywood Bowl and have shared concert billings with the likes of Celia Cruz, Tito Puente and Chucho Valdes. Led by Southern Californian dance institution Eddie Ortiz, Orquesta Son Mayor features Ortiz along with his three brothers who’ve consistently headlined the biggest salsa events for more than two decades across Los Angeles, Las Vegas and the Bay Area.


Born in New York in the early 1960’s, boogaloo is the alchemy of Cuban rhythms and R&B. Boogaloo Assassins are a next generation phenom writing original music inspired by 60’s classics. After releasing their debut album, Old Love Dies Hard (2013) Boogaloo Assassins quickly garnered airplay from tastemakers such as KCRW 88.9 FM and DJ/producer/label head Giles Peterson. In 2016, they signed a licensing deal with the famed Fania Records salsa label.


Together with many Bay Area acts including East Bay native and recent GRAMMY Award nominee Doug Beavers, the Salsa Stage remains one of the cornerstones of San Jose Jazz Summer Fest. The featured acts are sure-fire artists ready to keep spirits high, feet moving and good will flowing at Summer Fest 2018. The three-day event includes 120+ performances on 12 stages, attracting tens of thousands of visitors to downtown throughout the weekend.

28th Annual Summer Jazz Fest & A Farewell to Mr. Latin Jazz


For the past 28 years, the San José Jazz Summer Fest has brought a vibrant and exciting music festival to the San José community. What started out as a small party with a rather limited budget and mostly conventional jazz acts has now evolved into one of the most anticipated and comprehensive three-day jazz festivals going. One of the principal collaborators in shepherding the growth of the festival over the past thirteen years has been Board Chair Emeritus Arturo Riera, also known as Mr. Latin Jazz.

Riera is and has been a champion in the Latin Jazz movement for what seems to be a life time and that is what attracted him to San José Jazz over thirteen years ago. During his tenure with SJZ, he has been the Latin Curator of the San Jose Jazz Summer Fest. Through this role, he has spearheaded the growth of the number of Latin acts to twenty throughout the festival. You’ll be hard pressed to find another festival that offers close to twenty diverse and exciting acts in a three-day span. Maestro Riera has been active in cultivating key relationships for SJZ as well as securing key grants with the Packard and Castellano Family Foundations. His reach and influence have been an integral part of San José Jazz. So, if you see Mr. Latin Jazz this weekend at Summer Fest you may want to say “thanks” for his contributions the festival as this appears to be his last year with SJZ.

As for the Latin acts we are anticipating at this year’s festival, they include our friend Oscar Hernandez and Alma Libre, Bay Area Salsa All-Stars featuring Jimmy Bosch: A Tribute to “El Timbalero” Louie Romero, Angelique Kidjo’s Tribute to Salsa with Pedrito Martinez, Lily Hernandez Orquestra featuring Calixto Oviedo, Eddie Gomez & Jimmy Cobb and of course the Pacific Mambo Orchestra.

Silicon Valley Latino and our community also appreciates the tireless work the San José Jazz family (SJZ Board, staff and volunteers) dedicates to this exceptional festival each year. Additionally, we would also like to thank and acknowledge the contributions from our Silicon Valley Latino Cultura Ambassadors and SVL Honorees such as Tommy Aguilar, Mia Perez and of course the Castellano Family Foundation. We look forward to seeing you this weekend!

If you attend the festival go ahead and tag us (twitter @SVLatino/Instagram#SVLatino) to have your photos highlighted #SVLatino


The Rugby Player

“You can get used to being hit in the face,” says high school coach Dan Smith, “Once you get used to it, it’s not a big deal.”

No one ever imagines a story quite like this one, about a person with such zest for life and selflessness. The Rugby Player, a documentary film by Director Scott Gracheff, is an eye opening, heartfelt film about the athlete and hero, Mark Bingham.

Born Jerry Bingham in Ariz., his mother Alice Hoagland, quickly changed his name to Kerry at age two, when his parents divorced. The single mother and son moved one more time to Monterrey, Calif. but unhappy with his first name, he asked if he could change his name to Mark.

This documentary introduces us to a very rambunctious and charismatic boy through the stories told by his mother, family, and friends along with film clips taken by Mark himself. He attended Cal State Berkeley on a scholarship in 1988, and in 1991 while playing for the rugby team won the championship for the first time.


“You can achieve anything you want to achieve,” Cal Rugby Coach Jack Clark tells the team.

Bingham was so Cal proud that in 1992, he attacks the Stanford Tree mascot during a game; he doesn’t quite get away since he runs up the stadium and gets arrested and fingerprinted.

This masculine, popular, fraternity president comes out to his friends first and then tells his mother, who shamefully admits that she didn’t take it well at first. She says she heard, “Words … I’m gay … whole bunch of words.”

Dubbed as his gay parents, Bill Hollywood and Steven Gould share that they took to Bingham immediately because he was an, “infectiously happy young man.”

He, Paul Holm (his partner at the time), and a friend were attacked on the Castro in San Francisco, Calif. while walking home one night. They say Bingham went into flight or fight mode and fought off the attacker. Everyone remembers him as sticking up for others many times.

“Mark was very hungry for life.” Holm describes him as “a human Labrador Retriever.”

Bingham starts his own business, travels, even goes to Spain to run with the bulls, and joins San Francisco’s gay Rugby team, The Fog.

Mark Bingham was on Flight 93 on 9/11; he was part of the group that struggled with the hijackers who eventually crashed in Shanksville, PA., captured on the flight data recorder his friends and family recognize his voice.

This movie is more than a collage of a man captured on film, it doubles as a beautiful memorial and it advocates support for LGBTQ athletes.


A Movie Review of MAPA

What does one do after a serious break-up?

By Eydie Mendoza

While working as a children’s television show director, he had suppressed his dream of being a filmmaker, so he shot short films with a floundering plan to make a short film diary. Most clips contain, his ex-girlfriend Ainhoa so his inspiration was stumped. Then he loses his job.

Jobless and broken hearted, 37-year-old Elías León Siminiani listens to 90s music, in search for a time where he felt invincible as a youth. 


In MAPA, a film by León Siminiani (Spanish and English with English subtitles), the comedic hopeless romantic, travels to India in 2008 to make his movie called Donde. Camcorder in hand, he backpacks through India inspired his friend, Luna.

1_STILL_MAPA_The keen cinematography and split screen scenes capture this man’s lonely journey unlike any other documentary. Coincidentally the short films create a beautiful diary if his search for companionship and finding himself. From the moment he lands in India, he attempts to drown out the hustle and bustle by listening to his iPod. After overcoming vertigo, he struggles between reason and emotions, filming buildings and people.

Only six weeks into his trip, he realizes that he is lonely and obsesses with finding love, a female travel partner. While he encounters some self-rewarding moments on a plane, in the trains, in the mountains, and in the city, he continually asks, “¿Podria ser ella mi compañera?

Experience the humbling clips of a man running through a monsoon, another swimming in the Ganges, a child’s innocent joy of seeing himself on camera, the poverty and architecture. It is natural to identify with the director, in these shared moments of self-discovery.

Throughout his travels León Siminiani struggles between his inner busy and calm extremes, and when he is on the verge of embracing an answer, he returns to Spain in search of Luna. His intent is to return to India with her by his side to finish his film.

Learn what happens when he returns Madrid. This humorous film about the journey of self-discovery is a must see with friends and family.

The first showing is on Wed, Mar. 5, 2014 at 2:30 PM at Camera 12 – Screen 10. leon siminiani

“’MAPA’premiered last November at the Festival de Cine Europeo de Sevilla, where won the prize to the Best European Documentary. Then travelled to international film festivals such as IDFA, Mar del Plata, Festival du Cinéma Espagnol de Nantes, was opening film in Cali Int. Film Festival, among others. We have been also nominated as Best Documentary in the Goya (Spanish Film Academy) Awards.”


El Santo: A Movie Review of The Man Behind the Mask

The Father, the Son, and El Santo: A Movie Review of The Man Behind the Mask

By Eydie Mendoza

Meet the father, the son, and learn about the legend of El Santo.

“Will you hand down your mask?” El Santo was asked in a television interview, and he confessed that although his son was well prepared having learned Judo, Karate, and trained in la Lucha Libre, he did not want his son to be a wrestler.


El hombre detras de la Máscara/The Man Behind the Mask, a film by Gabriela Obregón, (Spanish with English subtitles) truly captures the story of El Santo, the Mexican icon and legend in the documentary filled with historic wrestling footage, posters, photos and familial love.

Once he discovered that his father was El Santo as at 8-years-old boy began to dream about being in the ring. By age 13 he grew obsessed and imagined himself wrestling in the costume.

In 1978, El Hijo entered the ring for the first time and was introduced to fans but El Santo lost against Bobby Lee that day.  At the following match, he leant another wrestler one of his masks and the audience loved it.  And so started the matches with masked man against masked man, and the rest was history.


When El hijo del Santo was training, he met Ringo Mendoza, El Fantasma, Blue Demon, Lizmark y Mascara año 2000.

As mentioned previously, El Santo did not want his son to be a professional wrestler who feared he would be hurt, but the strong willed aspiring athlete was already planning to be called Acuario. He entered the ring for his first match in 1982 as Korak, the name chosen by a manager.  He took his father’s tights, shoes, knee pads, a cape and a black mask.

He was wounded so his father demanded that he give up wrestling.  He defiantly said he was going to make it his profession and would win the titles, so his finally agreed to test him in the ring, observed for 5-minutes, and left in tears. After having fought as Korak only twice, El hijo del Santo was born.

With massive media coverage in Sept. 1982, El Santo retired from the ring but the icon continued performing on the silver screen.

El Hijo encountered a great deal of envy and criticism by the older wrestlers. They wanted to break him but he used his own techniques and amazed them.

On June 26, 1986, El Santo, in a moment of spontaneity, revealed himself in an interview on the Jacobo Zabludovsky show. Captured on television, one can hear the shock and gasps from the studio audience. Zabludovsky says it was one of the most memorable moments in his career.

At age 66, and only 10 days after that interview, Rudolfo Guzman, died. El Santo reigned for over 40 years.

“Hijo recuerda que muchos querrán quitarte la máscara … ,” from the film El Hijo Del Santo, “pero no cualquiera puede llevarla.” It’s true that many wanted to remove his mask but not just anyone is worthy to wear it.

The profession in Mexico suffered division and grew less popular creating a rough time for wrestlers.

Lo que pasa en el ring,” he explains that they are a family outside of the arena, “… y lo que pasa afuera del ring.” Basically, the fight that happens in the ring stays there.

Learn how El hijo del Santo continues on after his father’s passing, a divorce involving an ugly custody battle, and losing the wresting champion title.

He began traveling, went to Europe, where he discovered a whole new market and he took the team. They held the first ever wrestling match in Le Louvre. El Santo’s trophies and artifacts traveled and were exhibited around the world. He also traveled to the United States, South America, Japan, and the two placed that affected him the most were Vietnam and Manila where he saw children eating off the floor, like in Mexico.

Santo! Santo!” audiences cheer around the world for their hero of this blood sport fought in a classic wrestling ring, where strong men in costume are tossed around like rag dolls. El hijo del Santo, who has one over 80 tournaments, bleeds humanity so his silver mask turns red. El Santo’s son cares about global issues, helps children and is and activists for a cleaner ocean.

Meet el hijo del Santo in The Man Behind the Mask. It’s more than just a film about a legend; it’s magical, like El Santo say, “Esta máscara tiene majia.”


Cinequest Latino Showcase

Cinequest Film Festival returns to Downtown San Jose from March 4-16. Be ready for two spectacular weeks full of 300+ events, world premiere films, groundbreaking innovations, forums and parties. For a short time only we invite you to enjoy $5 tickets for this year’s Latino movie highlight, The Man Behind The Mask. Join us and connect with the worlds of film and innovation and meet wonderful artists, leaders and film lovers.


THE MAN BEHIND THE MASK (Mexico) – THURS 3/6 6:45 P.M. A must watch for all wrestling fans, this documentary narrates the journey of the renowned masked hero: El Hijo del Santo, heir to the legendary El Santo.


Manos Accelerator launch event at Google

Manos Accelerator launch event at Google

Silicon Valley Latinos came together at Google for Manos Accelerator's launch event and to welcome the 7 start-ups that make up the inaugural class.

Interview with Sheriff Munks of San Mateo County

Sabor del Valle 2013

Sabor del Valle is a magical evening of wine and food tasting, art, live music and dancing under the stars. This year it will take place on Friday, July 12, 2013, at History San Jose, Kelley Park. The fundraiser will benefit youth educational and medical programs:

~Rotaplast –
~Jose Valdes Math Institute –
-Teen Challenge Women and Children’ Center

Early Bird (Before June 15) $49.00
Pre-Sale Tickets are $60.00 per person
Tickets at the door will be $80.00 if available


SVL’s Latino Trailblazers & Emerging Leaders event

Save the date for Silicon Valley Latino’s Latino Trailblazers & Emerging Leaders event being held at Cisco Headquarters in San Jose, CA
We will be honoring 20 Trailblazers & 20 Emerging Leaders in the following categories:
Art & Culture
Health Care
Sciences & Technology
Small Business