San Jose Jazz announces today the SJZ New Works Fest 2022 featuring World Premieres of commissioned works from nine standout SF Bay Area artist grantees of the SJZ Jazz Aid Fund. In March 2022, San Jose Jazz provided a new round of funding in the form of $27,000 in individual grants ($1,000/artist) to 27 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 2022 takes center stage at San Joe Jazz's state-of-the-art downtown San Jose performance venue, The SJZ Break Room, from April 21 - May 8, 2022.
SJZ New Works Fest 2022 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 2022 lineup includes several San Jose artists as well as musicians residing in the far stretches of the SF Bay Area. The SJZ New Works Fest 2022 features live concerts by Kim Nalley with Tammy Hall; ASTU; Sylvia Cuenca Group; Mike Blankenship with Spooky Fox, Sy Smith, BLACKLONDON & Dame Drummer; Cava Menzies; David Lechuga; Kristen Strom Quartet; Michael "Tiny" Lindsey; and Brian Sheu and Huney Knuckles. 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 nine 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 is a vibrant, vibey space that parallels the best jazz clubs around. We're really excited to bring dynamic performances to the 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).
Immediately following the SJZ New Works Fest 2022, San Jose Jazz will stream (via Facebook & YouTube) a two-hour concert special with highlights from each week of the Fest. On May 13, 20-minute live performance excerpts will feature Brian Sheu and Huney Knuckles, ASTU, and Michael "Tiny" Lindsey. On May 14, the stream will include 20-minute excerpts from Mike Blankenship with Spooky Fox, Sy Smith, BLACKLONDON and Dame Drummer; Kim Nalley with Tammy Hall; and Sylvia Cuenca Group. On May 15, the stream will include 20-minute excerpts from Kristen Strom Quartet, Cava Menzies and David Lechuga.
On Wednesday, April 20 (10pm-12am), radio host Greg Bridges leads a special KCSM broadcast of highlights from the SJZ New Works Fest 2021 on his "Beyond the Oasis" show on 91.1FM.
SJZ Summer Fest 2022 -- Kickoff Fundraiser Alert
This Friday, April 15, San Jose Jazz will open ticket sales for its 2022 fundraising event for SJZ Summer Fest 2022 taking place at downtown San Jose's premier event space, Blanco Urban Venue (12 N San Pedro Street, San Jose, Calif.). Located in the historic downtown San Pedro Square neighborhood of San Jose, Blanco Urban Venue will transform its 12,000 square feet of immaculate design into a special benefit event raising money for the SJZ Jazz Aid Fund. San Jose Jazz curates the event in place of its annual SJZ Gala. The SJZ fundraiser will have silent and live auctions, four-star food and drinks from Homestead Catering (who catered the Summer Fest 2021 VIP section), performances from the SJZ High School All Stars U19s and 2022 Jazz Aid Fund grantee Bennett Roth-Newell, and a reveal of newly confirmed acts for SJZ Summer Fest 2022. Tickets are $75 (GA) and $150 (VIP: includes early entry with dedicated food station, reserved seating, exclusive meet-and-greet with Jazz Aid Fund artists, and additional drink tickets). For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit: sanjosejazz.org/sjzkickoff.