Celebrating its 25th festival season this year,
San Jose Jazz kicks off 2014 with its popular Winter Fest concert series, set for February 28
through March 2, 2014 in
downtown San Jose.
An invigorating follow-up to last year's wildly
successful Winter Fest and Summer Fest (this year's Summer Fest — number 25, if you're counting — is set for August
8-10, 2014), San Jose Jazz continues its steadfast commitment of presenting artists at the bleeding edge of jazz with an ambitious
line-up. Among the artists confirmed for this year's concert series are Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, the Anton Schwartz
Quintet with special guests Taylor Eigsti and Dominick Farinacci, Jeffery Broussard & The Creole
Cowboys, Nikki Hill, Kim Nalley, and Grupo Samba Rio.
Additional national headliners will be announced in
the coming weeks.
Leading this year's Winter Fest 2014 line-up is
multi-instrumentalist and composer Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, christened a "One Man Orchestra" by
will.i.am and hailed by the LA Weekly as "one of L.A.'s most revered instrumentalists." He's set to release his
highly anticipated debut album later this year.
The Anton Schwartz Quintet, led by the renowned
jazz saxophonist and composer (who divides his time these days betwen Oakland and Seattle), has landed in the Top Five on the U.S.
jazz radio charts. Schwartz released his fifth studio album, " Flash Mob," in January, 2014, and pulls out all the stops
for his Winter Fest appearance with special guests Taylor Eigsti (piano) and Dominick Farinacci (trumpet) as part of
Jeffery Broussard & The Creole Cowboys
present Creole classics and their signature brand of contemporary zydeco music with soul, flair, and expert musicianship. One of
the most influential accordionists around, Broussard is a past recipient of Zydeco Music & Creole Heritage Awards'
"Accordionist of the Year."
Founded in 2004 by world-class Brazilian percussionist
Jorge AlabÍ and sure to offer an extremely danceable performance at Winter Fest, Grupo Samba Rio brings the spirit
of authentic samba from Rio de Janeiro to the Bay Area.
Powerhouse vocalist Nikki Hill has earned
comparisons to songstresses Etta James and Billie Holiday, while keeping the rock 'n soul attitude that earned her
the nickname, "The Southern Fireball." She released her full-length album, "Here's Nikki Hill," to critical
acclaim in 2013.
Rounding out the line-up at Winter Fest is the
legendary San Francisco vocalist Kim Nalley. The singer has performed alongside the San Francisco Symphony, was
short-listed for a Grammy nomination in 2006 and dubbed "Best Jazz Diva" (7x7 Magazine) and
listed among the "Most Influential African Americans in the Bay Area" (City Flight Magazine).
On Friday and Saturday nights, the music continues
with the popular "Club Crawl," featuring music at several venues on San Pedro Square and throughout the San Jose metro
area. The Club Crawl performances are all free and open to the public.
Maintaining a focus on the future of jazz, Winter
Fest 2014 will present the San Josť State University Jazz Orchestra and the San Jose Jazz High School All Stars,
both led by noted saxophonist, composer and educator Dr. Aaron Lington. Other youth ensembles performing at this year's
Winter Fest are the Folsom High School Jazz Band Big Band, the Santa Teresa High School Big Band, the Valley
Christian High School Big Band, and the Archbishop Mitty High School Big Band, all distinguished ensembles composed of
students of the art form. San Jose Jazz continues its efforts in youth education throughout Winter Fest with master classes by
Atwood-Ferguson and Eigsti.
Brendan Rawson, Executive Director of San
Jose Jazz says, "We are excited about the mix of artists we have pulled together for Winter Fest 2014. Each year, Winter
Fest provides us the opportunity to present some great up and coming acts as well as key influential artists in wonderfully
intimate settings. We are fortunate to have an audience base here in Silicon Valley that this hungry for such programming. In
addition, this year we have expanded our free programming on both Saturday and Sunday afternoons at San Pedro Square Market with
some of the regions best youth big bands. It is going to be a great few days of music."
Adds artistic and Festival Director Bruce
Labadie, "The fourth annual San Jose Jazz Winter Fest offers artists reflecting the diversity of programming at the
San Jose Jazz Summer Fest, our commitment to education and our desire to continue our connection and development with a younger
audience for jazz. The programs include master classes, performances by outstanding high school and college artists, dance parties
and presentation of nationally-recognized artists in very intimate settings."
In 1987 San Jose Jazz produced its first Winter
Jazz Series, in 1990 it produced its first jazz festival, and in 1993 it produced its first youth education program. San
Jose Jazz is a dynamic, region-wide organization that presents more than 160 live music events a year.
More information about the annual Winter Fest
concert series — including extended artist bios, full ticketing details, sponsor info, and related links — is