This week’s Fridays At Five session from SFJAZZ features John Santos, with his acclaimed sextet and a line-up of special star guests, in an exclusive one-time broadcast of Santos’ 60th birthday celebration, recorded live at SFJAZZ on November 1, 2015.
Fridays At Five is a membership-based online series – for SFJAZZ members and digital members – established by SFJAZZ to support musicians in need during the current pandemic, and to keep SFJAZZ alive for the future. Each event features real-time chats with artists, jazz fans, and SFJAZZ Members, and becoming a digital member is easy, costing just $5 a month (or $60 a year).
Santos is joined in this celebratory concert by an illustrious roll-call of guests, including Santana trombonist Jeff Cressman, violinist Anthony Blea, vocalist Destani Wolf and timbales legend Orestes Vilató – salsa pioneer and member of the Fania Allstars, and who helped found Santos’ GRAMMY-nominated Machete Ensemble.
San Francisco born, Santos was raised surrounded by the music of his Puerto Rican and Cape Verdean family, and has played an important role in the expansion of Latin jazz in the Bay Area . Master percussionist, historian, producer, composer, vocalist, lecturer and instructor, he is an integral part of the SFJAZZ family. He performed at the very first Jazz in the City festival of 1983, and as one of the first Resident Artistic Directors of SFJAZZ, he was there when the SFJAZZ Center opened in 2013.
Acknowledged as one of the foremost exponents of Afro-Latin music in the world, Santos is a seven-time GRAMMY-nominated percussionist, and a US Artists Fontanals Fellow. He is widely respected as one of the top writers, teachers and historians in his field and was a member of the Latin Jazz Advisory Committee of the Smithsonian Institution. He is currently part of the faculty at the California Conservatory of Jazz in Berkeley, Laney College in Oakland and the College of San Mateo. He has conducted workshops, lectures and clinics in the US, Latin America and Europe, at institutions which include the Smithsonian, the Adventures in Music program of the San Francisco Symphony, the Berklee School of Music in Boston, at UCLA, Yale and Stanford.
John has performed and/or recorded with legendary masters such as Dizzy Gillespie – who describes him as “…… one of the best. He knows our music and everything that puts it together”, with Chucho Valdes and Zakir Hussain. He’s also the founder and director of the internationally renowned – and GRAMMY-nominated – Machete Ensemble with whom he released nine CDs.
In addition to appearing in this week’s Fridays at Five session, John Santos will also be celebrating the release of his new album Art of the Descarga, which will be released this Friday, August 7, on Smithsonian Folkways Records.
For this broadcast, Tip Jar donations will be split 50/50 between the featured artists and SFJAZZ.
The SFJAZZ All-Star Latin Jazz Concert, with John Santos, takes place on Friday, August 7, at 5.00 pm PT, 7.00 pm New Orleans, 8.00 pm New York City, 8.00 pm Puerto Rico, 1.00 am London and 2.00 am Paris (both August 8). Remember to sign up and login at least 30 to 45 minutes prior to the broadcast by visiting the SFJAZZ website.
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