If you follow Bay Area jazz with any regularity, you've probably heard master percussionist John Santos in one of the many contexts in which he is beyond fluent. What you may not be aware of, however, is A) His encyclopedic knowledge of all things Latin jazz. and B) How many talented, influential and just plain cool friends he has.
SFJAZZ gives Santos a welcome chance to highlight both with a week of shows touching on myriad facets of Latin jazz. On Thursday, singer/guitarist Pavel Urkiza and reeds player Ricardo Pons explore the multicultural filin style. On Friday, trombonist Pap Vazquez and the Might Pirates Troubadors light a fire with traditional Puerto Rican forms. On Saturday, Santos, his sextet and special guests offer a grand tour of the islands with the second part of his "Filosofia Caribean" project. Santos wraps it up Sunday with a multicultural percussion throwdown featuring congas, Japanese taiko drumming, Indian tabla and the piano glue of Omar Sosa. All shows start at 7:30 p.m. at SFJAZZ Center, and tickets are $20 to $50.
Also worth noting this week:
- The NYJAZZ Quartet takes jazz tradition down exciting new trails, 8 p.m. Tuesday at Yoshi's San Francisco. $21
The University of the Pacific in Stockton celebrates one of its most famous alumni, the dearly missed Dave Brubeck, with a weekend of shows featuring Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, hard-driving trumpeter Tom Harrell and the Brubeck Brothers Quartet. The Brubeck Institute has the full schedule and more.
- Irish singer/songwriter Melanie O'Reilly and her quartet mix jazz and Celtic influences, 8 p.m. Friday at Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse in Berkeley. $20.50-$22.50
Trumpeter Kermit Ruffins, one of the great modern celebrators of New Orleans brass music, raises the roof with the BBQ Swingers, 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Brick & Mortar Music Hall. $15-$20
- The Afro-Cuban Jazz Project is sure to fill up the dance floor, with shows at 8 and 10 p.m. Saturday at Yoshi's San Francisco. $25-$30
Tenor sax ace Scott Hamilton joins Bay Area piano icon Larry Vukovich and his trio for an 8 p.m. Saturday show at Piedmont Piano Company in Oakland. $20
- Rising-star vocalist Jackie Ryan, a lavishly gifted talent with a stunning range and a dynamic sense of phrasing, performs with her quintet (featuring trumpeter Erik Jekabson) 6 and 8 p.m. Sunday at Yoshi's Oakland. $16-$18
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