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News and notes: Yerba Buena Gardens series and Jazz on Fourth

Pacific Mambo Orchestra
Pacific Mambo Orchestra
Pacific Mambo Orchestra

Yerba Buena Gardens Festival has announced its 2014 lineup, which you can see here.
Per usual, there is plenty of jazz and Latin jazz among the series’ diverse artists.
Who’s on my must-see list? Eddie Palmieri Salsa Orchestra (May 4), Pacific Mambo Orchestra (May 15), André Thierry and Zydeco Magic (June 7), John Santos Sextet (June 14), Tom Rigney and Flambeau (July 26), AfroSolo’s Jazz in the Gardens, (August 2), and Shotgun Wedding Quintet and Associates (September 13).

Pencil the 19th annual Jazz on Fourth into your schedule right now. The festival set for noon-5 p.m. May 18 at Fourth and Hearst in Berkeley is free to the public and benefits the Berkeley High jazz. Indeed, the event has generated more than $165,000 for the program over the past 18 years.
The afternoon’s musical lineup includes the Berkeley High School Jazz Ensemble and Combos, Ed Reed, Sista Monica Parker and Tito y so Son de Cuba.

I often note the dearth of smooth jazz shows in the region, so let me call your attention to a particularly pleasing run of gigs at Yoshi’s in San Francisco, all featuring the genre’s top guitarists.
First up is Peter White, who is in town April 18-19. The British-born but U.S.-based performer is the gold standard in smooth jazz guitar as far as I’m concerned – melodies to the fore, certainly, but there’s no mistaking his technical talent either.
Later in April, the 30th to be precise, Yoshi’s is showcasing Tizer, a group featuring guitarist Chieli Minucci. This ensemble is billed as a “multi-cultural jazz-fusion band led by keyboardist-composer Lao Tizer.”
Finally, June 5 brings Acoustic Alchemy to the City. The veteran guitar-dominated outfit has been performing for going on three decades and remains genre favorites.

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