New hotel revives old venue for San Jose Jazz – The Mercury News

When Signia by Hilton opened in downtown San Jose last month, it revived not only a venerable hotel property but a longtime venue for the San Jose Jazz Summer Fest.

One of 12 stages at this year’s Summer Fest, set for Aug. 12-14 in downtown San Jose, the PG&E Silicon Valley Stage will set up at the hotel’s Club Regent. San Jose Jazz hosted artists at the club for many years when the hotel was under the Fairmont’s auspices. But the Fairmont had declared bankruptcy and closed by the time the first post-pandemic Summer Fest was held last August.

The Hilton hotel chain bought the downtown landmark and reopened it in May. Signia by Hilton is serving as Summer Fest’s official hotel partner, and its Club Regent will again play host to festival musicians. Nine acts, all of whom have Bay Area connections, are set to perform there for ticket holders with All Stages or higher access.

“The partnership with San Jose Jazz is a longstanding tradition, and it’s one we want to carry on,” says Jimmy Sarfraz, general manager of Signia by Hilton San Jose.

“We are so thrilled to have the Club Regent back at Summer Fest at the newly opened Signia by Hilton San Jose hotel,” says Bruce Labadie, artistic and festival director of San Jose Jazz. “While the Main Stage (at Plaza de Cesar Chavez) hosts the biggest headliners of the fest, the nearby Club Regent is a showcase for stellar local talent.”

The Brian Andres Quartet will kick things off at Club Regent Aug. 12 at 6 pm with a set featuring Mexico City-born vocalist Sandra Aran. A drummer, Andres joined the iconic Dr. Loco and his Rockin’ Jalapeno Band in 2000, stepping into the role of bandleader in 2007 with the Afro-Cuban Jazz Cartel. His current Latin jazz project is Trio Latino.

Jazz Mafia featuring Adam Theis is next up on Aug. 12. The Bay Area jazz collective will hit the PG&E Silicon Valley Stage at 8 pm Theis, an Oakland-based multi-instrumentalist, serves as Jazz Mafia’s director and in that capacity has assembled more than 100 different live projects over the past 20 years. He was among more than two dozen local musicians awarded $1,000 grants last year through San Jose Jazz’s Jazz Aid Fund to create a new work.

The Aaron Germain Chance Quartet opens the PG&E Silicon Valley Stage on Aug. 13 with a 1 pm set. Bassist Germain started playing salsa and Afro-Cuban music when he moved to the Bay Area in 2000. He has collaborated with a variety of artists, including Andres’ Afro-Cuban Jazz Cartel.

The Howard Wiley Show as a reputation for presenting jazz shows you can dance to, fusing jazz, soul, gospel and funk. As a member of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz’s All-Star Band, Berkeley-born saxophonist Wiley performed with jazz greats including Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock. His show is set for Aug. 13 to 3 pm

As dean of instruction, bassist Jeff Denson spent the first 18 months of the pandemic keeping the Berkeley-based California Jazz Conservatory running online. For Summer Fest, Denson’s quartet is sharing the PG&E Silicon Valley Stage with multi-instrumentalist and composer Paul McCandless. Their set is Aug. 13 to 5 pm

San Francisco native Ray Obiedo’s Latin Jazz Project, featuring Peter Michael Escovedo, follows at 7 pm Aug. 13. Guitarist Obiedo’s latest release, “Latin Jazz Project Vol 1,” features artists including the Yellowjackets’ Bob Mintzer, percussionist Sheila E and two current Santana members: percussionist Karl Perazzo and keyboardist David K. Mathews.

Where Aug. 14 vocalist Kenya Moses takes the PG&E Silicon Valley Stage with Bossa e Bossa at 1 pm for some Brazilian bossa nova. Moses began her professional vocal career in the opera world, while simultaneously studying and performing with dance companies including Alvin Ailey in New York City.

Featuring a band of Bay Area jazz veterans, “With Love to Geru” will revisit material from Chet Baker’s quartet and quintet work on Pacific Jazz, Gerry Mulligan’s legendary pianoless quartet, and their later recordings together in the 1970’s for the CTI label. This celebration of West Coast jazz titans is set for Aug. 14 to 3 pm

Fremont-bred saxophonist Tim Lin will close the stage at Club Regent with a 5 pm set on Aug. 14. The Taiwanese-American sax player will perform progressive jazz along with drummer Billy Drummond.

The 32nd annual San Jose Jazz Summer Fest is set for Aug. 12-14 at various venues in downtown San Jose. Tickets are $30-$170 per day, or $75-$495 for three-day passes; children ages 5-12 are $10. For tickets and a full performance schedule, visit

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