The Caribbean Basin Songbook is the featured theme for week two of the SFJAZZ Summer Sessions, and Dominican singer and songwriter Joan Soriano is just the man to get things off on the right note.
Known as ‘the Duke of Bachata’ for his complete immersion into this lilting, Caribbean style of music and dance, Joan Soriano has been the subject of two documentaries – Alex Wolfe’s Santo Domingo Blues and Adam Taub’s The Duke of Bachata. He has released four albums on the iASO label, the latest of which is Me Decidí, brimming over with what the Dominicans refer to as el amargue – the somewhat melancholy language of bachata.
Joan Soriano is in the Miner Auditorium on Thursday, July 20 – with an open dance floor. For more information and tickets, visit the SFJAZZ website.
Rio-born singer, pianist and composer Claudia Villela – a Bay Area resident since 1984 – has been blessed with a “…. Remarkable, beautiful, towering voice ….” says the New York Times. Her repertoire – a blend of samba, jazz, blues and songs from around the world – comes, she says, from memories of “all the music I’ve heard, from Brazilian baroque, to bossa nova, to free jazz, the nostalgic and modern”. In addition to some of her own compositions, her performance at SFJAZZ this week features the music of two Brazilian artists – vocalist Elis Regina and composer Heitor Villa-Lobos.
Claudia Villela, with her remarkable five-octave voice, appears in the Miner Auditorium on Friday, July 21st, with Vitor Gonçalves on piano and accordian, guitarist Jeff Buenz, Celso Alberti on drums and percussion, and bassist Gary Brown. For tickets and further information, visit the SFJAZZ website.
In her performance at SFJAZZ on Saturday evening, Bobi Céspedes – regarded as the Queen of Cuban Music in the Bay Area – pays tribute to the artistry of Celia Cruz, one of the most popular salsa performers of all time. Aside from her success as a performer, Bobi is a priestess of the Yorùbán diaspora, and says that this “doesn’t just mean being a religious person, it means being a folklorist…… Everything I do has to do with the legacy my people left me,” she explains.
Bobi Céspedes appears in the Miner Auditorium on Saturday, July 22, with Marco Díaz (piano, trumpet and vocals), Morris Amaya on trumpet, José Roberto Hernández (guitar, vocals), Saúl Sierra-Alonso on bass, Julio Pérez on bongo, Carlos Manuel Caro (congas) and Elizabeth Fuentes (vocals, chekeré, guiro). For tickets and more information, visit the SFJAZZ website.
Sunday at SFJAZZ features the Guadalajaran sextet Troker performing their live soundtrack to the screening of Enrique Rosa’s 1919 silent film El Automóvil Gris (The Grey Car). Describing their sound as “funkadelic jazz from the tequila land”, Troker is a group of six musicians who come from different parts of Mexico, each bringing to the party influences from his own particular region of the country. The result, says All About Jazz, is “Noisy, chaotic, sprawling, messy, and altogether wonderful”. Alt. Latino says: “Saying Troker is a jazz band from Mexico doesn’t even begin to cover the musical punch these guys deliver.” Having acquired an international following from appearances on the global festival circuit, the group has released four albums, the latest being 1919 Música para cine, which goes some way towards explaining their choice of program this week. It promises to be a fascinating experience.
Troker – Diego Franco Chico (saxophones), Isaías “Chay” Flores (trumpet), Christian Jiménez (keyboards), Samuel “Samo” Gonzalez (bass), Juan Carlos “Frankie” Mares (drums) and
DJ Sonicko (turntables) – is in the Miner Auditorium on Sunday, July 23. Tickets and more information are available from the SFJAZZ website.
In the Joe Henderson Lab this week, we have fatsO – described by Rolling Stone Columbia as “A timeless sound, intelligent and passionate, sophisticated and street-wise, all at the same time “. See the SFJAZZ website for more detail.
There’s Flor de Toloache, Latin GRAMMY-nominated, and New York’s only all-female mariachi band, described by NPR Music as “Top-notch musicianship, mariachi swagger for days, and a performance style that captures all the power and emotion you’d hope for”. More information on the SFJAZZ website .
And there’s another all-female group to bring the week to a close – Femina, an Argentinian trio from San Marin de los Andes, making their debut at SFJAZZ. With a style that blends Latin American folkloric rhythms, soul, funk, and reggae, their music promotes themes of love and equality, and included in their performance will be songs from their forthcoming release. Find out more on the SFJAZZ website.