Mike Johnson was grooving on the vibe from the instant he arrived at the San Jose Jazz Summer Fest.
“You can truly feel the enjoy walking in,” said the Sacramento resident, who was making the most of the first of 3 days — Aug. 12-14 — of dwell music in and about Plaza de Cesar Chavez in downtown San Jose. “It’s just enjoyable. It is a celebration.”
Thousands of others appeared to be comprehensive in arrangement with Johnson’s evaluation of opening evening of the pageant. Songs enthusiasts crammed the plaza to dance and sway to tunes from Friday’s primary phase artists — such as soul wonderful Lee Fields — as perfectly as take pleasure in performances by a lot more than a dozen other functions on other pageant phases. Highlighted acts provided R&B-soul band Durand Jones & the Indications and nearby blues fantastic Chris Cain.
The occasion is set to continue on on Saturday with funk-soul star Charlie Wilson, vocalist-guitarist Raul Midón, Afro-Cuban outfit Sabor de Mi Cuba, versatile vocalist Kim Nalley, R&B singer Leela James and jazz music’s famed Brubeck Brothers between the acts established to show up.
The 2022 festival is scheduled to conclude on Sunday with performances from Grammy-winning Oakland R&B vocalist Ledisi, jazz bassist extraordinaire Stanley Clarke, San Jose bluesman Aki Kumar, Orquesta Latin Heat and many other notable artists.
It’s the initial whole-scale Summertime Fest considering the fact that 2019. The competition was canceled in 2020, thanks to COVID, but held very last calendar year with restricted capability.
Longtime attendees appeared certainly thrilled to have Summertime Fest again — and functioning in a style approaching what they bear in mind from the pre-COVID a long time.
San Jose resident Rudy Rodriguez was hanging out at the Blues/Massive Quick Phase, taking pleasure in still one more extremely energetic showing from just one of the Bay Area’s ideal blues acts — the J.C. Smith Band. Attending Summer season Fest is annual custom for Rodriguez and his wife — 1 that he suggests he appears to be ahead to all yr very long.
“We’ve been coming considering that Working day A person,” he says between blistering guitar solos from Smith. “We cherished it when it was cost-free, but we do not thoughts spending.”
Rodriguez and his spouse were being listening to the new music with a quantity of good friends, which includes two that experienced to travel sizable distances to get to the festival.
“One arrived from Arizona and just one arrived from L.A. — just to be below,” he spelled out.
The bash was in complete effect above at the Blues/Huge Easy Stage, which was web hosting an all 408 lineup on opening evening — with each the JC Smith Band and Chris Cain hailing from San Jose. Smith was up initially and, like usual, wowed the admirers with his excellent vocals and guitar operate as well as his topnotch band featuring powerhouse saxophonist Noel Catura.
“(Smith) is a great showman,” mentioned East Palo Alto resident Sherri Jones. “He genuinely requires the viewers.”
This stage need to continue to be one of the festival’s leading spots throughout the weekend, thanks to sets from such acts as Aki Kumar, Memphissippi Sounds and the Marina Crouse Band.
For a lot more facts, stop by summerfest.sanjosejazz.org.