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.

Rumbankete

 

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.