New Faces Of The San Francisco Jazz Festival
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On The Corner Masthead


May 3, 2018 | by SFJAZZ

Guitarist Mary Halvorson

The San Francisco Jazz Festival has always welcomed new blood, and this year's no exception. Here's a look at 8 young artists debuting at SFJAZZ as a leader in the 36th Annual Festival, running June 5-17.

Monsieur Periné (June 6)

The 2015 Latin GRAMMY winner for Best New Artist plays a fresh hybrid of French gypsy jazz with Latin American cumbia, bolero, tango, and samba – a big reason why the dance floor in Miner Auditorium will be open!

Diana Purim & Eyedentity (June 7)

Eyedentity represents a passing of the torch within the rich Brazilian music tradition – founded by vocalist Diana Purim, daughter of percussion legend Airto Moreira (featured in the video below) and iconic vocalist Flora Purim, and percussionist/rapper Krishna Booker, son of longtime Cannonball Adderley bassist Walter Booker and nephew of Wayne Shorter.

John Brothers Piano Company (June 10)

Technically, John Bros. debuted in last year's Festival with an especially rambunctious set at the annual Block Party kickoff that had the whole neighborhood dancing. The Berkeley-based group now brings its blend of ragtime, blues, stride, swing and punk into the SFJAZZ Center.

Thumbscrew w/ Mary Halvorson, Michael Formanek & Tomas Fujiwara (June 14)

New York-based collective Thumbscrew is a power-trio composer’s project made up of maverick guitarist Mary Halvorson (recently on the cover of DownBeat), bassist Michael Formanek (a veteran of work with Tony Williams, Joe Henderson and Stan Getz), and drummer Tomas Fujiwara (whose résumé includes Red Baraat, Anthony Braxton and Taylor Ho Bynum). Here, Mary breaks down free improvisation in a educational video with Jazz at Lincoln Center.

Marius Neset (June 14)

“Chief heir to the tenor tradition of Jan Garbarek and Michael Brecker,” (All About Jazz) Norwegian saxophonist Marius Neset has seen his profile explode on the European jazz scene and is now making serious waves in the States.

Soweto Kinch (June 16)

The explosive British jazz scene has produced a number of the most exciting and forward-thinking artists working today, and London-born saxophonist and rapper Soweto Kinch stands at the vanguard of this revolution, now firmly established as a leader at the intersection of jazz and hip-hop.

The JuJu Exchange w/ Nico Segal (June 17)

GRAMMY-nominated trumpeter and composer Nico Segal, a versatile artist who made a name collaborating with hip-hop star Chance the Rapper in the group The Social Experiment, leads this Chicago-based quartet that combines his wealth of jazz experience with a passion for hip-hop culture.

Howard Wiley & Extra Nappy (June 5 / Block Party)

Bay Area saxophonist Howard Wiley has played SFJAZZ many times, but his newest project, Extra Nappy has yet to perform in the Center. That'll wait until the SFJAZZ 2018-19 Season, but the group headlines the Festival Kickoff Block Party on June 5 – free to all!