FRESH FACES: Rising alt-R&B singer Reva DeVito has worked with a number of hot left-field producers, including Kaytranada and Com Truise.
Starting this week, San Jose Jazz Winter Fest returns with three weekends of great jazz, both old and new. With shows scheduled in downtown San Jose and in Palo Alto, the annual celebration has its sights set on bringing all of Silicon Valley into the fold. As is the case with all San Jose Jazz lineups, Winter Fest will feature veteran musicians as well as emerging artists just making a name for themselves. Here are five sets we’re looking forward to.
Sun, Feb 19 5pm, $30-$35
Cafe Stritch, San Jose
A native San Franciscan, Mary Stallings first rode her multi-dimensional voice to fame in the ’50s. Known for her exceptional long tone vocal control—which she often deploys to great effect in ballads—she often is likened to a sharper, grittier Nancy Williams. Her 2012 album, Don’t Look Back, blends touching lyricism with Stalling’s personal, raspy tone. The record caught the attention of The New York Times—with music critic Ben Ratliff declaring the collection to be “wicked, up and down” and praised the singer’s ability to “laser deep into emotional zones.”
Thu, Feb 23, $15-$20
The Continental, San Jose
While she may wear her heart on her sleeve, Reva DeVito keeps ice in her veins. The alt-R&B singer’s vocals are a swift and chilling—like a sharp inhalation on a cool day. On “Friday Night,” she delivers a breathy, funky vocal over elastic bass and a minimalist beat. Her 2016 EP, The Move, is a six-song set of future disco, featuring production help from Kaytranada, Birthday Boy, Com Truise and B Bravo. It is a paradoxical collection—at once ethereal and foggy, yet simultaneously warm and intimate.
Fri, Feb 24, 7:30pm, $40-$70
Oshman Family JCC, Palo Alto
With a generations-spanning career, Roy Ayers is undoubtedly a living legend. The jazz vibraphonist first broke out in the ’60s with a post-bop sound, before going on to help pioneer jazz-funk, acid jazz and neo soul. His music has influenced the likes of Mary J. Blige, Tupac and A Tribe Called Quest. He scored one of his biggest commercial hits with “Hot” in 1986, and has continued to keep his mallets on the pop culture pulse ever since—making cameos on the Grand Theft Auto IV soundtrack and on Tyler The Creator’s 2015 record, Cherry Bomb.
Fri, Feb 24, 10pm, $20-$25
Cafe Stritch, San Jose
Based out of Brooklyn, this outfit of young horn players draw inspiration from jazz, funk, hip-hop, R&B and rock. The Huntertones met at Ohio State University—and in true college marching band fashion, they continue to work up innovatively arranged covers of pop and hip-hop songs. Only now, without a drumline to back them up, they sometimes resort to beat-boxing when they are in need of a slapping rhythm.
Fri, Feb 24, 8pm, $15-$20
MACLA, San Jose
Six talented musicians with diverse backgrounds and tastes come together to form this tripped-out fusion ensemble. Weaving together strains of, hip-hop, funk, electro and cumbia, the Guadalajara-based Troker craft killer tunes at punk rock speed. Thumping bass, screeching guitar, retro keys, explosive horns and electronic flourishes come together in spastic, energetic bursts—calling to mind the kind of music The Mars Volta might have made if they’d been born south of El Paso.
San Jose Jazz Winter Fest
Thru Mar 3
San Jose & Palo Alto