San Jose Jazz Announces "SJZ New Works Fest 2023" Featuring 6 Artist Grantees from SJZ Jazz Aid Fund

Article Contributed by JP Cutler Media | Published on Wednesday, March 22, 2023

San Jose Jazz announces today the SJZ New Works Fest 2023 featuring World Premieres of commissioned works from six standout SF Bay Area artist grantees of the SJZ Jazz Aid Fund. In December 2022, San Jose Jazz provided a new round of funding in the form of $20,000 in individual grants ($1,000/artist) to 20 local musicians. The SJZ Jazz Aid Fund initiative helps to offset the tremendous financial hardships the SF Bay Area arts community has faced due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. To celebrate local artistry at the highest level and the annual International Jazz Day (April 30), the SJZ New Works Fest 2023 takes center stage at San Joe Jazz's state-of-the-art downtown San Jose performance venue, The SJZ Break Room, from April 14 - 29, 2023.

SJZ New Works Fest 2023 spotlights the latest generation of exciting SF Bay Area jazz artists with a premier platform for their commissioned compositions over the course of two weeks of live concert programming on South 1st Street. In the heart of downtown San Jose, the SoFA District has thrived as an entertainment hub for two decades. The SoFA District has kept music alive and thriving as a pivotal locale for arts and culture at more than 20 nightclubs throughout the years with the SJZ Break Room being among its latest additions.

The SJZ New Works Fest 2023 lineup includes musicians residing in the far stretches of the SF Bay Area. The SJZ New Works Fest 2023 features live concerts by B. Deveaux, Destiny Muhammad, Frunkyman, Kira Hooks, Oddity, and Tony Peebles. General admission tickets are $10 for the live shows, and free live streams of each concert will be available on Facebook and YouTube.

SJZ Executive Director Brendan Rawson comments, "An extension of our SJZ Jazz Aid Fund, the SJZ New Works Fest offers the opportunity for San Jose Jazz to provide $1,000 grants as well as additional performance fees to the six artists we've selected to showcase. It brings their commissioned works alive in a great performance setting for the community to experience and appreciate. Our role as a cultural ambassador in the South Bay is to inspire the discovery of new artists among music fans across the region and our SJZ New Works Fest serves that purpose."

The Break Room Project Manager Scott Fulton adds, "The SJZ Break Room parallels the best jazz clubs around. We're really excited to present dynamic performances on a vibrant live stage as well as offer each show for people to watch virtually. This year's lineup is evidence of the vitality of the live music community, many of whom go on to perform at our Winter and Summer Fests. This year's lineup is a real cross-section of what's hot on the scene right now."

Housed inside San Jose Jazz's downtown office with a multi-media digital video wall featuring the latest in HD technology, The SJZ Break Room hosts nine leading-edge jazz artists on stage while all performances are projection-mapped with Ultra-Short Throw Projectors onto high-end projection fabric mounted on motorized rollers. Sound from outdoor speakers and projections fill a 35 x 14 feet bank of floor to ceiling windows, providing a unique outdoor concert experience on San Carlos Street and an immersive quality to the live indoor shows (100-person capacity).

For detailed information regarding the artists performing at the SJZ New Works Fest 2023, please see the artist bios listed below.

Artist Bios:

Tony Peebles (Fri, Apr 14, 8pm)
A founding member of Pacific Mambo Orchestra, Oakland-based Tony Peebles is a multi-genre and explosive saxophonist in the jazz and fusion idiom. Peebles performs on every track of PMO's 2014 GRAMMY Award-winning ("Best Tropical Latin Album") debut album, including a solo on the composition "Muevete Con Prisa." Peebles has performed with Fred Wesley, Karl Denson, John Lee Hooker Jr., Wil Blades, Kenny Washington, and many others. In addition to touring Europe, Africa, and North and South America with reggae legend Don Carlos, he's currently touring New Zealand with the band Katchafire.

B. Deveaux (Sat, Apr 15, 8pm)
A 21-year-old non-binary, queer, Oakland native and rising singer B. Deveaux trained at Oakland School for the Arts and has gone on to perform with the likes of Daveed Diggs, Ledisi, Kehlani, and many more. They use their music to voice the issues that the Black community faces and to portray their experience in this world. They held the top spot in OSA's premier ensemble, Vocal Rush (International Competition for High School Acapella, 4x champions).

Kira Hooks (Fri, Apr 21, 8pm)
SF Bay Area-based Kira Hooks is a Filipina-Caucasian singer/songwriter. As a child growing up in the U.S., The Netherlands, Nigeria, Scotland, and China, Hooks developed a multifaceted notion of home and is reflected in her fluid blend of jazz, contemporary R&B, and folk. Hooks' harmonic arrangements reflect a sense of romantic idealism while her voice and gentle acoustic guitar work create a comfy living room atmosphere in any venue she performs in. Hooks has been highlighted in The New York Times, Insider, and Shout Out LA.

Frunkyman (Sat, Apr 22, 8pm)
Bassist/composer Frunkyman is a graduate from SJSU's Jazz Studies Masters program and has worked as a studio musician for several series including Genius: Picasso, FIFA 2018, Drifting Dragons, and the Video Game Awards 2018. He has performed at the Blues and Brews Festival, San Jose Museum Of Art, and San Jose Jazz Summer Fest.

Destiny Muhammad (Fri, Apr 28, 8pm)
Harpist Destiny Muhammad has curated concerts for Grace Cathedral's Christmas Concert Series, SFJAZZ
s Tribute to jazz harp legend Alice Coltrane, SF Symphony's SOUNDBOX Series, and has shared the stage with Jazz Masters Denise Perrier, Omar Sosa, and Blue Note Artist Ambrose Akinmusire. In 2022, Destiny was named the "Artist in Residence" at the Healdsburg Jazz Festival.

Oddity (Sat, Apr 29, 8pm)
Hailing from the East Bay, Oddity is a sonic storyteller seeking refuge in the intersections of jazz, hip-hop and neo-soul. A transgender woman of color, Oddity's story is one of resiliency and rebirth where she/her discovers beauty and cultivates peace by centering love, against all odds.

About San Jose Jazz
Founded in 1986, San Jose Jazz is a public benefit organization celebrating jazz as a dynamic, evolving art form and is producer of the annual San Jose Jazz Summer Fest and Winter Fest. San Jose Jazz innovates trend-setting initiatives to foster artistic ingenuity and preserve the jazz tradition as a forward-thinking movement. Through diverse music and educational programming, San Jose Jazz offers singular content and events by investing in the SF Bay Area ecosystem of exceptional talent for local and national audiences to enjoy.

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