The San Jose Jazz Winter Fest brings established and rising stars to the South Bay every year. The big names include pianist Cyrus Chestnut and his trio with its bluesy brilliance; Tony and Grammy winner Dee Dee Bridgewater, fresh off an album devoted to the songs of her home town of Memphis; and Berkeley-born Benny Green returns to the Bay Area with his piano trio to back young singer Veronica Swift, whose scat-saturated bebop style channels Sarah Vaughn.
Those should be terrific shows, but I'm most excited for the cumbia-meets-punk-sound of Oakland’s La Misa Negra. Guitarist, accordionist, and songwriter Marco Polo Santiago leads this eight-member band that includes an upright bass, heavy percussion and horns. "You know I’m a rock guy," Santiago says, "a punk guy, a metal guy. And I wanted to have that dynamic, latin orchestra thing on stage, and then a mosh pit kind of dynamic in the audience." La Misa Negra's show will feature a dance floor, so be ready to sweat.
Details for the San Jose Jazz Winterfest (also in Palo Alto) February 15-28 are here.