SFJAZZ Announces 2014 Summer Programming


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SFJAZZ today announced summer programming for the 32nd Annual San Francisco Jazz Festival running June 12 to June 22, 2014 and the 2014 Summer Sessions running July 17 to August 24, 2014. The Festival will present a nonstop celebration of legendary performers and up-and-coming artists at the SFJAZZ Center’s Robert N. Miner Auditorium, Joe Henderson Lab, and at the Church of the Advent of Christ the King. The Summer Sessions continues the organization’s expanded ability to present concerts in order to create a context for conversations between audiences and artists.

Festival and Summer Sessions tickets go on sale to the public on Wednesday, April 23 at 11:00AM PST and to SFJAZZ Members on Wednesday, April 9 at 11:00AM PST.


After founding the original Buena Vista Social Club, Juan de Marcos and the Afro-Cuban All Stars, performing June 11 to 14, have become a sensational showcase for Cuba’s most prodigious young musicians, drawing on both classic Cuban styles and contemporary dance rhythms.

On June 15, four-time Grammy-winner Dianne Reeves celebrates the release of her Concord Records debut, Beautiful Life, a scintillating session that combines R&B, Latin jazz and pop and is her first new album in six years.

Dr. Lonnie Smith is a seminal figure in the soul-jazz movement who has mined the funky potential of the Hammond organ more than any other artist. His newest album, In the Beginning, revisits his early compositions, revitalized for his exciting horn-heavy octet featuring saxophonists John Ellis and Ian Hendrickson-Smith on June 16.

Two forces of nature reunite on stage on June 17 as jazz guitar giant John Scofield joins the endlessly inventive organ trio Medeski Martin & Wood for an incendiary evening of funky grooves.

José James is a hip and deeply soulful young vocalist, known as “a jazz singer for the hip- hop generation.” He seamlessly blends jazz, hip-hop, rock, dance music and R&B, and returns to SFJAZZ on June 18 in support of While You Were Sleeping the follow-up to his acclaimed Blue Note debut.

Son of celebrated Nigerian afrobeat originator Fela Kuti, Sean Kuti has expanded the mix of Yoruban folk music, jazz and horn-driven funk to include contemporary influences with his group Egypt 80 on June 19.

Zoë Keating creates a universe of music with just a cello, a laptop computer, and her own boundless imagination on June 20.

Pacific Mambo Orchestra, the West Coast’s premiere Latin dance big band, fresh from winning the 2014 Grammy for Best Tropical Latin Album, features a stunning lineup of musicians drawn from the Bay Area’s most renowned Latin jazz ensembles. The dance floor will be open on June 21.

Hypnotic Brass Ensemble is one of the most acclaimed and pulse-pounding brass groups on the scene. This Chicago-based ensemble freely mixes the brass band tradition with generous doses of hip-hop, soul and funk, creating an intoxicating and boisterous blend. San Francisco’s own Bourbon Kings Brass Band will open the show on June 22.

The Festival will present a series of special performances in the intimate Joe Henderson Lab. The all-star trio on June 11 was assembled by Brad Mehldau drummer Jeff Ballard and features Beninese guitar star Lionel Loueke, SFJAZZ Resident Artistic Director and SFJAZZ Collective member, Puerto Rican saxophonist Miguel Zenón.

Cuban pianist and composer Aldo López-Gavilán, on June 12 and 13, is an artist acclaimed for both his mastery of the Afro-Cuban jazz tradition as well as his stunning interpretations of the classical piano repertoire.

Diana Gameros on June 14 performs songs of love, longing, and hope with her dynamic band featuring Patrick Wolf, Gameros transfixes listeners with her soaring vocals and captivating stage presence.

Bay Area saxophonist and composer Sheldon Brown and his 10-piece all-star ensemble presents the world premiere of a new work on June 15 dedicated to the poems of Beat Generation-era surrealist writer Philip Lamantia, featuring spoken word by poet Andrew Joron.

On June 16, renowned San Francisco trombonist and composer Wayne Wallace brings his hard-hitting Latin Jazz Quintet to the Joe Henderson Lab on the heels of the Grammy nomination for his new release, Latin Jazz – Jazz Latin.

Ester Rada, on June 17 and 18, presents an unique cross-cultural approach to music reflecting her Ethiopian heritage and Israeli upbringing. Her unique sound is a mix of R&B, Ethio-Jazz, reggae and classic soul. She has opened for Alicia Keys, who is one of Rada’s most outspoken champions.

One of the most revered B3 Hammond organists alive, Chester Thompson recorded and performed for four decades with Tower of Power and Santana before returning to his first love, jazz. He’s joined by saxophone great Howard Wiley on June 19 and Robert Stewart on June 20.

Norwegian guitarist Jacob Young presents the West Coast premiere of his stimulating new project on June 21 and 22 with Polish pianist Marcin Wasilewski and Oslo-born saxophonist Trygve Seim, supporting their new ECM Records release.


Principal San Francisco Symphony percussionist Jacob Nissly on June 14 and Principal San Francisco Symphony bassist Scott Pingel on June 21 play a series of 30-minute solo shows in the Joe Henderson Lab for $10.


The festival pays tribute to its long history of presenting solo concerts at Grace Cathedral by having Bay Area artists perform solo in the intimacy of the 100-seat Church of the Advent of Christ the King on Fell Street across from the SFJAZZ Center. Jazz Mafia leader and trombonist Adam Theis performs on June 15 and guitarist Mimi Fox performs June 22.


SFJAZZ brings the soulful, swinging and diverse music of Cuba, Brazil, Yemen, 1930s New York and the Louisiana bayou – as well as a four-night tribute and dedication of the Joe Henderson Lab—to our stages in July and August for the second annual summertime concert series, Summer Sessions.


Celebrating the popular music of the Americas, from the Deep South and timeless jazz standards to the soulful tunes of Cuba and Brazil. American roots music – the singing guitarist Eric Bibb and vocalist Maria Muldaur – come together on July 17 for a stirring night of duets encompassing country blues, gospel, folk and the swinging sounds of New Orleans and the bayou.

San Francisco vocalist and songwriter Jacqui Naylor is equally at ease singing music by Cole Porter and David Byrne as she is her own original music. Naylor’s new show on July 18 pays tribute to the hipsters and hepcats of songwriting who have inspired her, from Johnny Mercer and Herbie Hancock to Prince and Amy Winehouse.

The Grammy-nominated Cuban pianist Omar Sosa on July 19 plays his singular style of Afro-Cuban jazz – infused with Monk and hip-hop – with an entrancing mix of harmonic daring and rhythmic drive. His quartet features two other Cubans, drummer Ernesto Simpson and woodwind ace Leandro Saint-Hill, and Mozambique- born bassist Childo Tomas.

On July 20, Brazilian-born vocalist Claudia Villela and renowned San Francisco saxophonist Harvey Wainapel and special guests revisit the classic 1963 Stan Getz collaboration with Joao Gilberto that defined the bossa nova sound and became one of the best selling jazz recordings of all time, Getz/Gilberto.

Benny Green, the one-time Berkeley High wunderkind who developed his propulsive and lyrical playing in the star-making bands of Betty Carter and Art Blakey, returns to SFJAZZ for four nights with his trio, July 17 to 20 in the Joe Henderson Lab.


This week is devoted to the sublime music of Canadian pop legend Joni Mitchell, given fresh interpretations by masterful jazz singer Tierney Sutton from July 24 to 27 in the Joe Henderson Lab.


Cuban pianist, bandleader, composer and arranger Chucho Valdés appears July 31 to August 3 with the Afro-Cuban Messangers.

Gaining fame in the late ‘70s for his work with Brazilian music icon Caetano Veloso, Vinicius Cantuária is a bossa nova poet who accompanies his light, João Gilberto-like vocals with caressing guitar work and gorgeous melodies from July 31 to August 3 in the Joe Henderson Lab.

DANCE TO THE MUSIC – August 7-10

The Crown Prince of Zydeco CJ Chenier & The Red Hot Louisiana Band is a rollicking, Cajun-fueled experience of Creole dance music on August 7.

Lavay Smith & Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers perform a Lindy Hop dance party on August 8 in tribute New York’s legendary Savoy Ballroom in the 1930s.

One of the hottest fusion bands on the planet, Snarky Puppy, which won the 2013 Grammy for Best R&B Performance, plays fresh groove music with an irresistible mix of funk, fire and finesse on August 9.

Yemen Blues on August 10 is the passionate and magnetic Yemeni-born Israeli singer Ravid Kahalani’s roaring group of brass, string and percussion players making intoxicating music that merges West African rhythms and ancient Jewish Yemeni melodies, mambo and funk.


Formally dedicating the Joe Henderson Lab, this celebration of Joe Henderson’s music focuses on four of the greatest jazz albums of all time, performed by several of the Bay Area's finest artists. Martin Plays Page One on August 14, Matt Clark Plays The Real McCoy on August 15, Adam Shulman Plays Song For My Father on August 16, and Michael Zilber Plays Lush Life: The Music of Billy Strayhorn on August 17.


A modern trumpet double bill on August 21 with two of the brightest lights in jazz trumpet, celebrated New Orleans trumpeter Christian Scott and his stellar band share a bill with the group headed by former Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra trumpeter and acclaimed bandleader Sean Jones.

The latest project from the seriously brilliant trumpeter, Tom Harrell’s Colors of a Dream, on August 22, is a captivating piano-less sextet with two bassists—one played by the stellar Esperanza Spalding.

Miles Electric Band with Etienne Charles, DJ Logic, Darryl Jones, Blackbyrd McKnight, Antoine Roney and Vincent Wilburn Jr. is the all-star, 11-piece group of Miles Davis alumni celebrating Davis’ electric jazz of the ‘70s and ‘80s from Bitches Brew to Tutu.

Grammy-winning trumpeter Doc Severinsen, leader of the Tonight Show Orchestra for 25 years, makes a special appearance with the hard-hitting Tommy Igoe Big Band on August 24.

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