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Arts + CultureMusicFive can't-miss Jazzfest picks: They're pretty dang cool, mang

Five can’t-miss Jazzfest picks: They’re pretty dang cool, mang

Red-hot harpists, Latin Big Band revivalists, Ethio-jazz devotees, Hammond organ specialists, more on tap for 39th extravaganza

What began as a two-day event in 1983, dubbed Jazz in the City, has grown into one of the country’s—and probably the world’s—premier jazz festivals. The 39th San Francisco Jazz Festival takes place this year from June 8 to June 19, with 40 performances spread across 12 days in the SFJazz Center’s Robert N. Miner Auditorium, Joe Henderson Lab, Herbst Theatre, and Paramount Theatre in Oakland.

Events sell out quick, so we wanted to get this to you early so you could dig in. This year’s lineup includes Gregory Porter, Pacific Mambo Orchestra, Brandee Younger, Nubya Garcia, Rhiannon Giddens, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Edna Vazquez, Christian McBride, Dianne Reeves, Chucho Valdés, Joe Lovano, and many more.

You can view the complete lineup and get tickets, which are now on sale, here.

Festival organizers have created a sense of balance across the lineup by including Grammy-winning local game changers and international contributors, all of whom are shepherding in a worldwide rebirth of the art form. The two-week event promises to swoon jazz aficionados of all ages, therefore we’ve highlighted several artists you can’t miss.

Let’s get started!

Pacific Mambo Orchestra

Wednesday, June 8, 7:30pm, Miner Auditorium

Pacific Mambo Orchestra (aka the PMO) is a 20-piece San Francisco-based musical ensemble and 2014 Grammy winner that is leading the revival of the Latin Big Band sound.

Sun Hop Fat

Wednesday, June 8, 7:00pm & 8:30pm, Joe Henderson Lab

This Bay Area band combines traditional American funk and jazz with the music of East Africa, Ethiopia especially.

Brandee Younger; Nubya Garcia

Monday, June 13, 7:30pm, Miner Auditorium

Representing London and New York City respectively, two sublime, ascending instrumentalists, reshaping how jazz sounds and looks in the 21st century, will share a limited one night only double-bill.

Grammy-nominated harpist Brandee Younger will perform with bassist Dezron Douglas and drummer Marcus Gilmore.

Saxophone star Nubya Garcia “soloist with whom the eclectic, danceable, political London jazz renaissance is now synonymous” according to The Guardian, will bring her insular sound to The Bay.

Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio

Wednesday, June 15, 7:30pm, Miner Auditorium

“Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio—or, as it is commonly known, DLO3—specializes in the forgotten art of “feel good music,” according to their label website. I’d simply add that they’ve made a new generation aware of how powerful a fully loaded Hammond B-3 trio can be.

Con Brio

Sunday, June 19, 7:00pm, Miner Auditorium

Wildly beloved Bay Area outfit returns after the deeply funky 2021 release Nonsense.

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John-Paul Shiverhttps://www.clippings.me/channelsubtext
John-Paul Shiver has been contributing to 48 Hills since 2019. His work as an experienced music journalist and pop culture commentator has appeared in the Wire, Resident Advisor, SF Weekly, Bandcamp Daily, PulpLab, AFROPUNK, and Drowned In Sound.

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