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JCJF: The John Santos Quartet

Piedmont Piano Company is pleased to present


Jazz Camp Jazz Fest:
The John Santos Quartet - The Art of Jazz Latino

The Latin Roots of Jazz are deep. The parallel evolution of traditional and popular Latin American music with that of Jazz has greatly informed both streams and has produced some of the most exciting and moving music of the last 120 years. The JS Quartet always takes us on an imaginative musical journey that encompasses an astounding variety of rhythms and styles.

$20 General Admission

The John Santos Quartet is one of the premier Afro-Latin Jazz groups in the world. They present original compositions and arrangements, and Latin American and Jazz Classics with a contemporary twist. Multi-Grammy nominee, SFJAZZ Resident Artistic Director (2013 & 2014), and 2012 San Francisco Latino Heritage Arts Awardee John Santos and his stellar Quartet are some of the most creative musicians in the field. They illuminate the aesthetic characteristics of Latin Jazz pertaining to rhythm, interpretation and improvisation.

Santos wears many hats - he is a respected producer, bandleader, composer, percussionist and educator who sits on the advisory or trustee boards of SFJAZZ, the Afro-Latin Jazz Alliance (NY), Oaktown Jazz (Oakland, CA), and Living Jazz (Oakland, CA). His legacy includes recording and performing with giants of the Latin and Jazz genres such as Dizzy Gillespie, Tito Puente, Max Roach, Cachao, McCoy Tyner, Eddie Palmieri, Bobby Hutcherson, Omar Sosa, Joe Henderson, Jerry Gonzalez, and countless others. For well over four decades, Santos has been well known for consistently presenting exciting new projects that speak to issues of cultural and social significance. 

The Quartet's various recordings are a musical banquet celebrating the Afro-Latino roots of jazz through imaginative writing and playing in collaboration with dozens of the greatest players in the field from various countries. They validate and manifest the fact that jazz was born in a Caribbean environment (New Orleans) and organically draws from the rich cultural expressions of the region. They effectively exemplify the wide world of creativity that is a vital and natural extension of traditional rhythms and forms throughout the Americas.

The members of The JS Quartet are:
Saul Sierra - bass
Marco Diaz - piano
David Flores - drums
John Santos - percussion

Bassist, Saul Sierra, graduated from the prestigious Berklee School of Music in Boston before moving to the San Francisco Bay Area around 1998. He is currently the most in-demand bassist on the local scene in the Latin Jazz and Salsa fields, having added his rock-solid rhythmic and harmonic foundation to recordings and performances with Jackeline Rago, Fito Reinoso, Charanson, Maria Márquez, Jesus Diaz, and John Santos and the Machete Ensemble among many others. Saul is a founding member of Visión Latina.

Dynamic pianist, Marco Diaz, is also among the busiest musicians in the San Francisco Bay Area. His understanding of the Jazz and Latin idioms and how they work together defies his age. Marco's exciting playing can be heard with some of the most popular groups on the scene including Charanson, Jesus Diaz, and Mazacote. He is also a founding member of Visión Latina and an excellent trumpet player !  Marco will be releasing his second CD as a bandleader in July of 2019.

Versatile drummer/percussionist, David Flores, is an active local teacher and has performed and recorded with Lauryn Hill, Donna Summer, Francisco Aguabella, Pete Escovedo, Jesus Diaz, John Santos, Steve Turre,  Peter Erskine, Bobi Céspedes, Mark Levine, Ray Vega, John Calloway, Marc Bamuthi Joseph, Mary Wilson of the Supremes,  and Ska Cubano.

Multi-percussionist, John Santos, is a major exponent of Afro-Latin music through innovative use of traditional forms and instruments with contemporary music. He was a member of the Latin Jazz Advisory Committee of the Smithsonian Institution and has conducted countless workshops, lectures and clinics in the US and Europe since 1972 at institutions of all types including the Adventures in Music program of the San Francisco Symphony, the Berklee School of Music in Boston, UCLA, Yale, Stanford, Duke, the Universities of Wisconsin at Madison and Milwaukee, the University of Michigan, Cal State Monterey Bay, Cal State Hayward, Cal State Sonoma, Cal State Sacramento, Cal State San Jose, Tulane University of Louisiana, The Jazz School in Berkeley CA, Jazz Camp West, the Los Angeles Music Academy, College of San Mateo, and La Universidad Inter-Americana in San Germán Puerto Rico. He was the founder and director (1985-2006) of the internationally renowned, Grammy-nominated Machete Ensemble, who released nine CDs with special guests from Puerto Rico, Cuba, NY, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, mostly on John’s Machete Records label. 

Earlier Event: July 5
JCJF: Matt Jenson’s MIX UP MIX UP
Later Event: July 9
Manuel Valera / John Ellis Duo