Silicon Valley's premier annual music event, San Jose Jazz Summer Fest 2023 returns for its 33rd festival season from Friday, August 11 through Sunday, August 13 in and around Plaza de César Chavez Park in downtown San Jose, Calif. Renowned as one of North America's foremost music events with its dynamic three-day programming, San Jose Jazz presents a thrilling artist lineup for one of the summer's major San Francisco Bay Area outdoor music festivals. SJZ Summer Fest 2023 features 100 acts across eight indoor and outdoor stages with acclaimed headliners on The Sobrato Organization Main Stage including just announced acts the Afro-Cuban Rockstar Cimafunk and his nine-person Havana-based band La Tribu and legendary '90s conscious hip-hop super producer Pete Rock & The Soul Brothers. Cimafunk and Pete Rock join a star-studded Sobrato Organization Main Stage roster featuring multi-GRAMMY Award-winner and Blue Note Records recording jazz artist Gregory Porter, renowned funk/jazz bassist and a UNESCO Artist for Peace Marcus Miller, GRAMMY-winner and platinum-selling Anthony Hamilton Featuring The Ton3s, buzzy rock-inspired traditional African music group W.I.T.C.H., and eight-member NOLA brass sensation The Soul Rebels.
Grammy Award-nominated Afro-Cuban rockstar Cimafunk (Erik Iglesias Rodriguez) takes the funk of James Brown, George Clinton and Prince, the soul of Al Green and Bill Withers, and incorporates his native Cuban "Trova" and "Songo" to present one of the best live performances currently touring at SJZ Summer Fest 2023 on Saturday, Aug. 12 at 4pm. The name Cimafunk refers to his heritage as a "cimarrón," a Cuban of African descent who resisted and escaped slavery. Along with his nine-person band La Tribu, Cimafunk celebrates with a dynamic live performance overflowing with grooves that's redefine contemporary Cuban music, Afro-Latin identity and the fusion of black cultures. Following years in bands such as Los Boys and the Hermanos Saiz Association, Cimafunk began an illustrious solo career with his latest album, El Alimento, receiving a nomination at the 2023 GRAMMY Awards for "Best Latin Rock or Alternative Album."
Widely recognized as one of the greatest hip-hop producers of all time, Pete Rock headlines the Sobrato Organization Main Stage on Friday night (Aug. 11 @ 9:30pm) with his group The Soul Brothers for a raucous throwback to the conscious '90s hip-hop scene. Rock's Midas touch as a super producer has garnered a whopping 25 million in global album sales and billions of streams for tracks and albums he's produced. In the early '90s, Rock rose to prominence as one half of the critically acclaimed group Pete Rock & CL Smooth. Rolling Stone ranks their 1991 hit, "They Reminisce Over You," among its 500 greatest songs. Along with groups such as Gang Starr, A Tribe Called Quest and The Roots, Rock played a major role in the merging of jazz into hip-hop music. Rock is often mentioned alongside DJ Premier, RZA, and Q-Tip as one of the mainstays of '90s East Coast hip-hop production.
San Jose Jazz Summer Fest 2023 also officially announces today its second round of artists including Latin Tropical Stage artists Telmary & Friends, VibraSon, Chika Di, Óskar Ly & Rumbalú, Gabriel Gonzalez Y La Verdad, Club Mambi, San Miguel, as well as other festival performers on various stages: Connie Han Trio, Blaque Dynamite, MAE.SUN, Bee Taylor, DK Harrell, Mitch Woods and His Rocket 88s, The Blues Defenders with Mz. Dee & Willy Jordan, Noah & The Arkiteks, Marcel Smith, Chicken Bone Slim & The Biscuits featuring Laura Chavez, Maxx Cabello Jr., Billy Iuso, Yvonne Flores, and Malachi Whitson. Artists appearing on the SJMA Next Gen Stage and Tabard Theatre Swing Stage are listed below.
The latest announced artists at SJZ Summer Fest 2023 are additions to its stellar lineup featuring acts such as The Bad Plus, Grace Kelly, Veronica Swift, Marcus Shelby New Orchestra Featuring Tiffany Austin, Shayna Steele, Sunny War, Vanessa Collier, Patrice Rushen, Billy Childs, Vocal Gents of Jazz with Kenny Washington, Nicolas Bearde & Jamie Davis, Luca Stricagnoli, Halie Loren, Ronit Widmann-Levy & Angel Romero, Benny Benack III, Isaiah Collier & the Chosen Few, Soul Message Band, Orquesta La Moderna Tradición & Orlando "Maraca" Valle, Lalin St. Juste, Basi Vibe, Ian Santillano, Ensemble Contratiemple Afrovenezuelan Jazz, Mr. Clifford's Young Jazz All Stars, among other exciting artists.
SJZ Summer Fest 2023 serves as a platform honoring the vibrancy of the jazz art form. For over three decades, the beloved festival has been celebrated for presenting marquee performances by lauded artists, as well as musicians on the verge of breaking into the mainstream, international artists from across the globe, regional gems including SJZ Jazz Aid Fund artists (SJZ has commissioned local musicians for singular new works with over $100,000 being granted over the last three years), and influential trendsetters pushing the genre into new territories. SJZ Summer Fest 2023 has something for everyone with its unbelievable value for a low-ticket price. Three-day festival passes are now on sale at Advance Purchase prices at summerfest.sanjosejazz.org at four levels of access. The Priority Access level offers special seating with comfortable folding chairs at the front of the Main Stage with an exclusive attached bar, access to skipping lines at indoor venues and access to special events to be announced. VIP experiences are better than ever with up-close seating, exceptional food and drinks, shady viewing areas, exclusive bar and entrance gate, and "first-in" venue access. More info is available at summerfest.sanjosejazz.org/ticket-levels.
Free Community Latin Tropical Stage @ San Jose Jazz Summer Fest 2023
Latin jazz remains a pillar of San Jose Jazz Summer Fest 2023 with Latin and salsa music lovers traveling to downtown San Jose from the far stretches of the West Coast for a chance to dance to many of today's most distinguished acts. For 2023, the Latin Tropical Stage is once again in the hands of curator and radio journalist Betto Arcos -- who can be heard on NPR, BBC Radio 3, KCRWs Global Beat Mexico and through his book, Music Stories from the Cosmic Barrio (Fogra Editorial). Whether it's the traditional sounds of San Miguel's Cuban son quintet; the modern timba stylings of Club Mambí or the forward-thinking, infectious music of Telmary & Friends, Arcos has San Jose Jazz Summer Fest patrons covered for the most-anticipated epic Latin dance party of the year. And, its free for the community to enjoy!
A woman led-band opens the Latin Tropical Stage and a woman-powered band will close out the stage on Sunday. On Saturday, SJZ Summer Fest presents the debut of singer Chika Di, whose innovative blend of Cumbia, electronic, Afro, pop and Colombian flavors will get people movin' and groovin' on Saturday afternoon. SJZ Summer Fest sees the return of beloved Bay Area group VibraSon (who also performs a separate Latin jazz set at Montgomery Theater Stage on Saturday) as well as the premiere of popular Bay Area salsa band Oskar Li & Rumbalú. Bringing down the house on Saturday night is one of Los Angeles' top salsa bands, Gabriel Gonzalez & La Verdad.
Sunday is exclusively showcasing an array of Cuban music with three smokin' bands: Club Mambí, San Miguel, and Telmary & Friends. Club Mambí is led by trumpeter and multi-instrumentalist Onier Bacallao who ignites the stage with blistering Cuban timba sounds. One of Cuba's top Tres players (tres is the Cuban lead guitar played in traditional music), San Miguel performs Cuban dance music from all over the island. To close out Sunday night, Telmary & Friends returns to SJZ Summer Fest with a nine-piece band powered by five women, shares their modern, eclectic mix of Cuban dance music.