San Jose Jazz

When you get into the machinery, there’s a real respect that you gain from seeing the hard work that people put into this. You see that it takes a real mix of different kinds of people who share the same desire and appreciation for what Summer Fest is.

—Brendan Rawson, Executive Director

It’s all about the jazz. Bruce Labadie and Brendan Rawson of San Jose Jazz discuss the highly anticipated Summer Fest and the organization’s community involvement in Silicon Valley. Labadie, Artistic and Festival Director of Summer Fest, has been in charge of everything from logistics to booking acts since the first festival in 1990. Rawson, on the other hand, became Executive Director in 2012. While he and Labadie may differ on their ideas and approach, they have agreed that these disagreements are integral to keeping their creative process fresh and exciting. Summer Fest, San Jose Jazz’s largest event, has kept prices affordable (only $25 per day), yet has drawn attention from all over the world. This year on August 7-9, the lineup includes Con Brio, Ali Shaheed Muhammad, Tower of Power, and the New Flamingo Swing Orchestra. However, San Jose Jazz doesn’t just produce Summer Fest—it is working on furthering its community involvement, from programs like Progressions, a school program, and Music at the Market at San Pedro Square Market.

Full Article Originally appeared in Connect Issue 7.2

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Article by Brandon Roos
Images by Daniel Garcia

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