The 19th Annual Comcast San José Jazz Festival, presented by Southwest Airlines, took place around Plaza César Chavez in downtown San José on August 8 to 10. The headliners on the main stage this year included Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, David Sanborn and The Manhattan Transfer. There was a little something for everybody though, with ten stages of entertainment that included blues, R&B, salsa and Latin jazz.
Personally, I had the distinct honor of co-hosting the Comcast television broadcast of the festival on Saturday, along with the renowned San Francisco Bay Area journalist Aimee Allison. It was a great experience and the broadcast provided exposure to various local Latin groups--Orquesta Borinquen, Rumbache, the Brazilian duo of Chico Pinheiro and Marcos Silva, and Yosvany Terry.
One of the reasons the salsa-Latin jazz connection is so prominent at the festival is the musical advocacy of SJJF Board Chairman, Arturo Riera. A co-founder of The Latin Jazz Youth Ensemble of San Francisco, Riera is a community music activist who calls himself "Mister Latin Jazz" and has a website by the same name. There is no one...