San Jose Jazz Summer Fest 2023

A three-day music festival featuring a diverse lineup of artists from across the musical spectrum.

Silicon Valley's Premier Summer Music Festival to Feature Latin Funk Sensation Cimafunk and Hip-Hop Pioneer Pete Rock
Silicon Valley’s Premier Summer Music Festival to Feature Latin Funk Sensation Cimafunk and Hip-Hop Pioneer Pete Rock

The 33rd annual San Jose Jazz Summer Fest takes place from Friday, August 11 through Sunday, August 13 at Plaza de César Chavez Park in downtown San Jose. This San Francisco Bay Area outdoor music festival features one of the most exciting artist lineups of the summer and is recognized as one of North America’s premier music events. In addition to Cimafunk, La Tribu, and Pete Rock & The Soul Brothers, the Sobrato Organization Main Stage will feature acclaimed headliners. There will be 100 acts across eight indoor and outdoor stages at the SJZ Summer Fest 2023. As part of the Sobrato Organization Main Stage lineup, Cimafunk and Pete Rock will join multi-GRAMMY Award-winning and Blue Note Records recording jazz artist Gregory Porter, renowned funk/jazz bassist Marcus Miller, UNESCO Artist for Peace Marcus Miller, and GRAMMY-winning Anthony Hamilton. An exciting mix of rock-inspired traditional African music group W.I.T.C.H., as well as the eight-member NOLA brass sensation The Soul Rebels.

The Grammy-nominated Afro-Cuban rockstar Cimafunk (Erik Iglesias Rodriguez) blends the funk of James Brown, George Clinton and Prince with the soul of Al Green and Bill Withers, and presents one of the most captivating live performances currently touring at SJZ Summer Fest 2023 on Saturday, Aug. 12 at 4pm with his native Cuban “Trova” and “Songo”. Cimafunk is the name of a Cuban of African descent who escaped slavery as a cimarrón. Performing live with his nine-piece band La Tribu, Cimafunk redefines contemporary Cuban music, Afro-Latin identity, and black cultural fusion. With his latest album, El Alimento, Cimafunk received a nomination for “Best Latin Rock or Alternative Album” at the 2023 GRAMMY Awards after years in Los Boys and the Hermanos Saiz Association.

Pete Rock, one of the greatest hip-hop producers of all time, headlines the Sobrato Organization Main Stage on Friday night (Aug. 11 @ 9:30pm) with his group The Soul Brothers. With his Midas touch as a super producer, Rock has sold 25 million albums worldwide and accumulated billions of streams. As one half of Pete Rock & CL Smooth, Rock rose to prominence in the early ’90s. One of Rolling Stone’s 500 greatest songs is their 1991 hit, “They Reminisce Over You.” Rock helped merge jazz and hip-hop with groups such as Gang Starr, A Tribe Called Quest and The Roots. As one of the mainstays of East Coast hip-hop production during the 1990s, Rock is often compared to DJ Premier, RZA, and Q-Tip.

San Jose Jazz Summer Fest 2023 also officially announces today its second round of artists including Latin Tropical Stage artists Telmary & Friends, VibraSon, Chika Di, Óskar Ly & Rumbalú, Gabriel Gonzalez Y La Verdad, Club Mambi, San Miguel, as well as other festival performers on various stages: Connie Han Trio, Blaque Dynamite, MAE.SUN, Bee Taylor, DK Harrell, Mitch Woods and His Rocket 88’s, The Blues Defenders with Mz. Dee & Willy Jordan, Noah & The Arkiteks, Marcel Smith, Chicken Bone Slim & The Biscuits featuring Laura Chavez, Maxx Cabello Jr., Billy Iuso, Yvonne Flores, and Malachi Whitson. Artists appearing on the SJMA Next Gen Stage and Tabard Theatre Swing Stage are listed below.

The latest announced artists at SJZ Summer Fest 2023 are additions to its stellar lineup featuring acts such as The Bad Plus, Grace Kelly, Veronica Swift, Marcus Shelby New Orchestra Featuring Tiffany Austin, Shayna Steele, Sunny War, Vanessa Collier, Patrice Rushen, Billy Childs, Vocal Gents of Jazz with Kenny Washington, Nicolas Bearde & Jamie Davis, Luca Stricagnoli, Halie Loren, Ronit Widmann-Levy & Angel Romero, Benny Benack III, Isaiah Collier & the Chosen Few, Soul Message Band, Orquesta La Moderna Tradición & Orlando “Maraca” Valle, Lalin St. Juste, Basi Vibe, Ian Santillano, Ensemble Contratiemple Afrovenezuelan Jazz, Mr. Clifford’s Young Jazz All Stars, among other exciting artists.

SJZ Summer Fest 2023 celebrates the vibrancy of jazz. It has been celebrated for over three decades for featuring renowned artists, as well as musicians on the verge of becoming mainstream, international artists from around the world, regional gems including SJZ Jazz Aid Fund artists (over $100,000 has been awarded to local musicians over the last three years to commission unique new works), and influential trendsetters who are pushing the genre forward. There is something for everyone at SJZ Summer Fest 2023, thanks to its incredible value. At summerfest.sanjosejazz.org, three-day festival passes are now available at Advance Purchase prices. Priority Access provides special seating with comfortable folding chairs at the front of the Main Stage, access to skip lines at indoor venues, and access to special events. VIP experiences are better than ever, with up-close seating, exceptional food and drinks, shady viewing areas, exclusive bars and gates, and “first-in” access to the venue. Summerfest.sanjosejazz.org/ticket-levels has more information.

San Jose Jazz Summer Fest 2023: Free Community Latin Tropical Stage

Latin jazz remains a pillar of San Jose Jazz Summer Fest 2023, with music lovers traveling from all over the West Coast to dance to today’s most distinguished acts. Betto Arcos will once again curate the Latin Tropical Stage for 2023. Arcos can be heard on NPR, BBC Radio 3, KCRW’s Global Beat Mexico, and in his book, Music Stories from the Cosmic Barrio (Fogra Editorial). Whether it’s the traditional sounds of San Miguel’s Cuban son quintet; the modern timba stylings of Club Mambí or the forward-thinking, infectious music of Telmary & Friends, Arcos has San Jose Jazz Summer Fest patrons covered for the most-anticipated epic Latin dance party of the year. The community can enjoy it for free!

On Sunday, a woman-led band will open the Latin Tropical Stage and a woman-powered band will close it. SJZ Summer Fest presents the debut of singer Chika Di, whose innovative blend of Cumbia, electronic, Afro, pop and Colombian flavors will get people groovin’ on Saturday. Aside from VibraSon (who play a separate Latin jazz set at Montgomery Theater Stage on Saturday), SJZ Summer Fest will also feature the premiere of Bay Area salsa band Oskar Li & Rumbalú. Gabriel Gonzalez & La Verdad, one of Los Angeles’ top salsa bands, will perform on Saturday night.

This Sunday, we’re showcasing three smokin’ bands: Club Mambí, San Miguel, and Telmary & Friends. Club Mambí is led by trumpeter and multi-instrumentalist Onier Bacallao, whose blistering Cuban timba sounds ignite the stage. Cuban musician San Miguel is regarded as one of the best Tres players in the world. Tres is an instrument used in Cuban traditional music as the lead guitar. SJZ Summer Fest closes out with Telmary & Friends, a nine-piece band powered by five women, playing an eclectic mix of Cuban dance music.

The San Jose Jazz Summer Fest is a three-day festival that features live music, food, and drinks. Tickets for the festival are on sale now.

Here are some of the things you can expect at the San Jose Jazz Summer Fest:

  • Three days of live music from a diverse lineup of artists
  • A variety of food and drinks from local vendors
  • A family-friendly atmosphere
  • A chance to see some of the best jazz musicians in the world perform live

If you’re looking for a fun and festive way to spend a summer weekend, the San Jose Jazz Summer Fest is the perfect event for you. Tickets are on sale now, so be sure to get yours today! For more information, please visit sanjosejazz.org

ByMichelle Mitchell

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