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George Clinton & Parliament at SJZ Summer Fest

In Music
HE GOT THE FUNK: George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic are coming to San Jose Jazz Summer Fest.

HE GOT THE FUNK: George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic are coming to San Jose Jazz Summer Fest.

Winter Fest is barely in the rear view mirror, but San Jose Jazz is already announcing it’s preliminary lineup for its flagship Summer Fest. This year, things are gonna be funky; George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic are topping the bill, along with Chris Botti, Maceo Parker, and The Whispers.

Tickets for the festival—which runs from Aug. 11-13—will unfold across 10 stages, with more than 120 performances at venues all over San Jose and around Silicon Valley. Early bird tickets are on sale now through April 24. For more details, read the press release below:

San Jose, Calif. — Silicon Valley’s premier annual music event, San Jose Jazz Summer Fest 2017 returns for its 28th festival season from Friday, August 11 through Sunday, August 13 in and around Plaza de César Chavez Park in downtown San Jose, Calif. A showcase for jazz, blues, funk, R&B, salsa and related genres, SJZ Summer Fest is also nationally recognized as one of the biggest Latin festivals in the country. A standout summer destination for music lovers, concert-goers and families alike, the three-day event features 120+ performances on 10 stages, attracting tens of thousands of visitors to downtown throughout the weekend.

Three-day passes and single tickets are on sale at Early Bird prices now through April 24. Four distinct levels of access are offered to best experience SJZ Summer Fest. VIP, Priority and All Stages levels allow access to all outdoor stages plus four indoor venues: the beautiful Hammer Theatre, intimate Cafe Stritch and Jade Leaf Lounge, plus iconic Club Regent at the Fairmont San Jose, offering many of the festival’s premier world-class jazz and global artists indoors in air-conditioned, acoustically-rich environments. General Admission (GA) gives basic access to all outdoor stages only. Three-day passes: GA: $45 early bird through April 23, $60 advance April 24-July 31, $70 gate; All Stages (includes all indoor venues): $70 early bird through April 23; $90 advance April 24-July 31, $100 gate; Priority Access (skip-the-line privileges and more): $140 early bird through April 23, $160 advance April 24-July 31, $170 gate; VIP (exclusive main stage seating, complimentary food and wine, garage parking): $285 early bird through April 23, $325 advance April 24-July 31, $345 gate. Single day tickets, ranging from as low as $15 to $150 for a VIP experience advance, April 24-July 31; see website for benefits and pricing. All ticket prices will increase to Gate Price on August 1.

For nearly three decades, San Jose Jazz has embraced its steadfast commitment to presenting today’s most distinguished acts from around the world and homegrown Bay Area talent at one of North America’s foremost festivals: GRAMMY® Award-winning artists, the hottest salsa and Latin bands, classic jazz pioneers, world music stars, top local emerging musicians, and genre-busting hip-hop, R&B, and soul artists.

The 28th Annual San Jose Jazz Summer Fest 2017 features an acclaimed lineup, and today San Jose Jazz announces its initial round of confirmed artists including Main Stage headliners: Chris Botti; George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic; Maceo Parker; The Whispers; Angélique Kidjo’s Celia Cruz Tribute with Pedrito Martinez; Dr. Lonnie Smith Trio; Jazz By Five with Javon Jackson, George Cables, Randy Brecker, Eddie Gomez & Jimmy Cobb; San Francisco String Trio with Mimi Fox, Mads Tolling and Jeff Denson; Cyrille Aimée; The Seshen; Pacific Mambo Orchestra; Danny Green Trio; Carmen Lundy; Sasha Masakowski; Emilio Solla Quartet; Dmitri Matheny Jazz Noir; Tia Brazda; Gregory Page; Kavita Shah; Ray Obiedo; Tommy Igoe Groove Conspiracy; Brian Andres Afro Cuban Cartel; Somos el Son; and additional artists to be announced!

Not only will SJZ Summer Fest 2017 transform downtown San Jose into an explosive hub of jazz, it’ll be the nation’s epicenter of Latin jazz, drawing on both a mix of internationally renowned Latin artists and top Bay Area salsa bands, co-curated by Mister Latin Jazz. The 2017 Salsa Stage includes featured sets by Pacific Mambo OrchestraBrian Andres Afro Cuban CartelSomos el Son, and many other acts to be announced in the coming weeks.

Brendan Rawson, executive director of San Jose Jazz, comments about this year’s Summer Fest: “Summer Fest 2017 is gearing up to be an incredible weekend celebration of jazz in all its forms as well as jazz’s influence on so many contemporary styles of music including R&B, Latin, electronic, world and funk on 10 different stages. In addition to the outdoor Plaza Park setting for our Main Stage and the shady San Fernando and Post streets for our Salsa and Blues/Big Easy stages, we also have a couple of excellent new indoor venues involved this year including the newly revitalized Hammer Theatre. We’re also excited to welcome back the JazzWeek Summit conference (Aug 10-11) on the front end of Summer Fest that will bring broadcasters, artists, agents and label representatives together for two days of industry meetings before the Fest kicks off.”

Bruce Labadie, one of the founders, is the Artistic and Festival Director, and with the help of locally-based co-curators programs the artists for the San Jose Jazz Summer Fest.

Highlights of Confirmed Artists @ 28th Annual San Jose Jazz Summer Fest 2017
Among the very few American trumpeters who’ve garnered the status of becoming a “household name,” Chris Botti won a GRAMMY® Award for his latest album, Impressions. Winning the GRAMMY® for “Best Pop Instrumental Album,” Impressions features Botti with special guest artists Andrea Bocelli, Vince Gill, Herbie Hancock, Mark Knopfler, and others in a warm, intimate celebration of melodic balladry. Botti is one of the world’s largest selling jazz instrumentalists; he has had four albums reach the No. 1 position on the Billboard jazz albums chart.

From revolutionizing R&B during the ’70s with three platinum albums and over 40 R&B hits to performing on Kendrick Lamar’s 2016 GRAMMY®-winning album To Pimp A ButterflyGeorge Clinton has remained a constant musical icon. He has received an MTV Music Video Award, a Gospel Music Association Dove Award and has been recognized by BMI, the NAACP Image Awards, and Motown Alumni Association for lifetime achievement. Clinton’s Parliament Funkadelic was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997.

It’s nearly impossible to separate which came first, Maceo Parker or the funk as he’s played with each and every leader of funk, including James Brown, George Clinton and Prince. He’s collaborated with Ray Charles, Ani Difranco, James Taylor, De La Soul, Dave Matthews Band and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. In 2012, Maceo Parker was presented with Les Victoires du Jazz in Paris: Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to music and with an Icon Award at the North Sea Jazz Festival in Rotterdam.

As one of R&B’s most beloved vocal groups, The Whispers produced a string of hits throughout the ’70s and ’80s. Their biggest hit, “And The Beat Goes On” was featured on their most successful album, The Whispers, which went double platinum. The Whispers’ 1987 release, Just Gets Better With Time, went platinum and featured R&B number one hit and US Top 10 pop entry, “Rock Steady.” The Whispers were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2003 and were presented with the prestigious Governors Award by the San Francisco Chapter of the GRAMMY® Awards in 2005.

GRAMMY® Award-winning singer Angélique Kidjo is a definitive 21st century world artist who’s come to world acclaim through her recorded catalogue and collaborations with the likes of John Legend, Lionel Loueke, and Dianne Reeves. At Summer Fest 2017, Kidjo alongside Latin jazz percussionist phenom Pedrito Martinez pay tribute to the Queen of Salsa, Celia Cruz. The BBC included Kidjo in its list of the African continent’s 50 most iconic figures, and she’s the first woman to be listed among “The 40 Most Powerful Celebrities In Africa” by Forbesmagazine.

With a career spanning over five decades, Dr. Lonnie Smith is an unparalleled artist who stands as the preeminent Hammond B-3 organist in jazz today. At the age of 73, he’s still growing as an artist, as witnessed by his remarkable new Blue Note Records album, appropriately titled EvolutionThe New York Times recently wrote that Smith “really seems to be up to something bigger than music, and older, and deeper.”

The quintet Jazz By Five is made up of established jazz musicians Javon JacksonGeorge CablesRandy Brecker,Eddie Gomez, and Jimmy Cobb. Tenor saxophonist Javon Jackson has been a highly sought out composer, live performer and jazz educator since coming into international prominence through his work with the legendary Art Blakey. As a major voice in modern jazz, George Cables has performed and recorded with many jazz greats including Joe Henderson, Roy Haynes, Dizzy Gillespie, Bobby Hutcherson and more. Jazz trumpeter and composer Randy Brecker has helped shape the sound of jazz, R&B and rock for more than four decades and his music has graced hundreds of albums by a wide range of artists such as James Taylor, Bruce Springsteen, Frank Sinatra, Steely Dan and Frank Zappa. Legendary bassist and two-time GRAMMY® Award-winning Eddie Gomez has performed and recorded with artists in all genres including Art Garfunkel, Jennifer Holliday, McCoy Tyner, and Nancy Wilson. Jazz drummer and elder statesman of all of Miles Davis’ bands, Jimmy Cobb has collaborated with an array of musicians and is an active performer in New York City, Japan, China, Netherlands, France, Germany, Italy and South Africa with his group Jimmy Cobb’s Mob.

Two-time GRAMMY® winner violinist Mads Tolling, six-time DownBeat Magazine International Critics Poll Winner guitarist Mimi Fox, and internationally acclaimed bassist and composer Jeff Denson, have forged their musical talents in a new group, the San Francisco String Trio. An all-acoustic ensemble defying categorization, the San Francisco String Trio provides its audiences with a poignant and compelling musical experience. Together, these singular artists have developed The Sgt. Pepper Project to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the release of the groundbreaking Beatles album.

French-Dominican vocalist and actress Cyrille Aimée and winner of the Montreux Jazz Festival’s Vocal Competition, the Sarah Vaughn International Jazz Vocal Competition and finalist in the Thelonious Monk Vocal Competition, she is – in the words of Will Friedwald of The Wall Street Journal – “one of the most promising jazz singers of her generation.” The New York Times?referred to Aimée’s major label release, It’s a Good Day, as “a bravura turn, presented with a smile.”?Featuring originals as well as covers of classics, the band is the result of Aimee’s unique musical vision: bass, drums and three guitars (Brazilian, gypsy and jazz).

The San Francisco Bay Area-based six-piece, The Seshen, released their debut studio album, Flames & Figures, in 2016. They’ve garnered the attention from OkayPlayerThe Fader, and EarMilk. The Seshen remains in high demand and has performed alongside Hiatus Kaiyote, tUnE-yArDs, Thundercat, and Petite Noir.

The GRAMMY® Award winning 20-piece band hailing from San Francisco, Pacific Mambo Orchestra (PMO) is known for leading the rebirth of the Latin Big Band sound. Band members and contributors bring forth decades of collective experience playing with a variety of musical greats, from Dizzy Gillespie, Carlos Santana, Herbie Hancock and Tito Puente, to Art Garfunkel, Blood Sweat and Tears, Jerry Garcia and Mariah Carey.

Canadian-born Tia Brazda has a sparking presence on the jazz scene in Canada and beyond through performances in major international cities and at notable festivals including Bestival, Toronto International Jazz and Vancouver International Jazz. Her debut album, Bandshell, debuted at #1 on the iTunes Jazz Chart in Canada, was ranked #5 by Jazz FM 91 in Toronto on their list of Top 10 Canadian jazz albums of 2015, and it ranked at #24 on the CMJ national jazz radio chart in the U.S.

Pianist and composer Danny Green‘s music engages listeners with evocative melodies and infectious rhythms. Hailed as “one of the important up-and-comers on the scene today” by All About Jazz, Green hails out of the San Diego area and he’s performed at The Blue Whale, The Blue Note (NYC), TEDxUCSD and KSDS Jazz 88.3 Ocean Beach Jazz Festival.

Highly regarded for her innovative musicianship and songwriting, jazz singer Carmen Lundy has received noteworthy praises from The New York Times, Village Voice, Los Angeles Times and Washington Post. As a composer, Lundy’s music has been recorded by artists Kenny Barron, Ernie Watts and Straight Ahead (with Regina Carter), among others. On her 2009 release, Solamente, Lundy arranged, produced, recorded, mixed and played every instrument on the entire album.

Listed as one of Vanity Fair’s top jazz musicians in the world, Sasha Masakowski‘s music is playful, charismatic and as spontaneous as her personality. She has earned a reputation internationally as a fearless improviser working often alongside other progressive musicians such as Jason Lindner, Zach Danziger, Cliff Hines and Aurora Nealand. She has performed at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival consecutively for five years and has toured across the United States, Asia, Europe and Central America.

GRAMMY® Award-nominated Argentina born and NY based pianist and composer Emilio Solla‘s first band Apertura was praised by Astor Piazzolla as “one of the most interesting sounds in the Buenos Aires scene since 1986.” Solla has arranged for and performed with Paquito D’Rivera, Arturo O’Farrill, Edmar Castañeda, Pablo Aslan and Cristina Pato. In addition to touring worldwide with his Barcelona based quartet, Emilio Solla & Afines, he is currently a faculty member at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music and has given clinics in Jazz Composition at Emory University, Gotemburg Music School (Sweden), and Jazz & Pop Conservatory (Helsinki, Finland).

All About Jazz notes the Dmitri Matheny Group as, “an all-star jazz band featuring some of the most accomplished musicians in the western United States.” Matheny became the protégé of the legendary Art Farmer, and it was Farmer who encouraged him to devote himself exclusively to the “Big Horn.” Matheny has toured extensively throughout the United States, Europe and Asia and has performed with The Temptations, Martha Reeves, The Four Tops, Frankie Avalon and the O’Jays.

Songwriter and producer Gregory Page was born into a family of musicians in London, England. Page has worked with an eclectic array of artists such as Jason Mraz, John Doe, Jewel, Tom Brosseau and more. He has earned love from audiences from California to the Southern Hemisphere and throughout Europe. Mraz praises Page by saying, “He’s the real deal, a rare gift.”

Praised by NPR for her “amazing dexterity for musical languages,” native New Yorker of Indian origin Kavita Shah is fluent in Spanish, Portuguese and French. She incorporates her in-depth knowledge of diverse cultural traditions into her jazz-based repertoire, placing seemingly dissimilar songs, instruments, and artists in dialogue with one another. She is a member of the Steve Newcomb Orchestra, and has collaborated with Lionel Loueke, Wilson, Greg Osby, Peter Eldridge, Yacouba Sissoko and others.

Contemporary jazz guitarist Ray Obiedo has steadily emerged as a standout Bay Area talent. He has played with many of the jazz community’s most celebrated musicians, including legendary jazz organist Johnny “Hammond” Smith, trombonist Julian Priester, Azteca featuring Pete & Sheila Escovedo and Fourplays’ Harvey Mason, and performed on a world tour with jazz superstar Herbie Hancock.

The son of acclaimed big band drummer Sonny Igoe, Tommy Igoe has worked with an impressive range of artists including Dave Grusin, Art Garfunkel, the New York Voices, Stanley Jordan and more. His most recent project, Tommy Igoe Groove Conspiracy, boasts many of the Bay Area’s finest instrumentalists, including Pacific Mambo Orchestra leader Steffen Kuehn, Tower of Power’s tenor saxophonist Tom Politzer, and Doobie Brothers’ alto saxophonist Marc Russo. The group’s self-titled debut features guest artists Randy Brecker, Carlos Santana’s Karl Perazzo, and Snarky Puppy’s Michael League.

Brian Andres has shared the stage with Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Little Anthony and the Imperials, Tony Award winning Broadway star Faith Prince, Leroy “Sugar” Bonner from The Ohio Players, blues greats Sam Myers and Lonny Mack, and television and movie star Woody Harrelson. His interest in Latin music and culture brought him to the Bay Area. Not only does he perform with Dr. Loco’s bands The Rockin’ Jalapeño Band and Los Tiburones Del Norte, but in 2007 he stepped into a new role as bandleader for the Afro Cuban Cartel.

Since it’s inception in 2013 by Peruvian percussionist, singer, composer and dancer Braulio Barrera, Somos el Sonis quickly becoming one of the Bay Area’s hottest salsa orchestras. As a self-taught percussionist and drummer, Barrera has composed jingles for various Peruvian commercials, toured with Cecilia Barraza’s ensemble through Europe, Costa Rica and the U.S., and performed with various Peruvian dance companies and salsa bands including Chino Espinoza, Tabaco Eron and the GRAMMY® Award-winning Pacific Mambo Orchestra. His work can also be heard on the Motorcycle Diaries soundtrack and in the 2007 NBC film, Cane.

Get ready for an electrifying lineup of acclaimed artists appearing at the 28th San Jose Jazz Summer Fest 2017! Additional artists will be announced in the coming weeks.

28th Annual San Jose Jazz Summer Fest 2017
When: August 11 – 13, 2017
Where: Plaza de César Chavez Park, San Jose, CA
Admission: summerfest.sanjosejazz.org/buy-now
More info: summerfest.sanjosejazz.org; 408.288.7557

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