Features & Columns

San Jose Jazz Winter Fest 2015

The 'cool' counterpart to Summer Fest, San Jose Jazz Winter Fest
features more experimental artists, youth performances

Intro | Essential Picks | Marc Cary | Youth Jazz Ensembles

San Jose Jazz Winter Fest

After kicking off last Friday with a "future jazz" set from Brooklyn-based producer, pianist and DJ, Taylor McFerrin—a Flying Lotus and Thundercat collaborator—San Jose Jazz Winter Fest is set to really take off with a glut of performances from traditional jazz players as well as boundary-pushing artists like McFerrin.

The so-called "cool" counterpart to SJ Jazz's Summer Fest, organizers of this, the fifth annual Winter Fest, have made it clear that they want to use the darker, drearier months of the year as a "lab," where they can bring in artists who challenge ideas about exactly what jazz can be and should be.

This year's Winter Fest is not only making an effort to provide a stage for younger, more experimental artists—such as McFerrin, Kris Bowers, Marc Cary and Kendrick Scott Oracle—the festival is also bringing a cohort of high school jazz musicians into the fold.

"There is a lot of exceptional young talent out there," says Brendan Rawson, San Jose Jazz's executive director. Giving the youth a stage is an important part of his organization's educational mission.

Read on to learn more about the genre-bending Marc Cary Focus Trio, Winter Fest's youth performances and five must-see shows over the coming week. San Jose Jazz Winter Fest runs through March 8.

Intro | Essential Picks | Marc Cary | Youth Jazz Ensembles