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SoFA On Fire! Cinequest, SJ Jazz & Andre Nikatina

In Music
Taylor McFerrin blended jazz, hip-hop and downtempo electronics into a head-bobbing set at The Continental.

Taylor McFerrin blended jazz, hip-hop and downtempo electronics into a head-bobbing set at The Continental.

Downtown San Jose has done a lot of growing up in the past two years. Since 2013, the city has enjoyed a growing craft-cocktail scene—with the combined opening of 55 South, SP2 and Paper Plane. Great beer is everywhere: just head to the recently transformed Good Karma, ISO Beers, or the newly expanded Original Gravity. And we haven’t even gotten to SoFA yet.

With the promise of a brand new alternative rock club—helmed by Blank Club co-founder Corey O’Brien—the upscale libations and smooth house music of The Continental, all the great jazz and indie music at Cafe Stritch, and the regularly on-point hip-hop shows at Back Bar and Agenda Lounge, the South First Street Area is beginning to look like the Once and Future King of music and nightlife in San Jose.

It sure fit that bill last Friday, when this intrepid arts editor found himself bouncing between a Cinequest red carpet event featuring New Girl star Hannah Simone at The California Theatre, the incredible virtuosity of the Charnett Moffett NeTTwork trio at Stritch, a genre-melding solo performance by DJ-producer-pianist-vocalist Taylor McFerrin, who kicked of San Jose Jazz Winterfest at The Continental, and wrapping up the night by dancing to a blistering set from underground Bay Area hip-hop icon, Andre Nikatina.

So, if you don’t know, now you know. Be sure to keep an eye on the SoFA district in the coming weeks and months. It’s the new place to be. And if you missed out on this weekend’s action, check out the photos:

Hannah Simone

Hannah Simone walked the Cinequest red carpet prior to the screening of her new film ‘Miss India America.’ Photo: Greg Ramar.

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