Women are front and center in San Jose Jazz Winter Fest acts

Musically, the two acts performing this month at SLG Art Boutiki as part of the San Jose Jazz Winter Fest are pretty far apart. One thing that connects Knower and La Misa Negra, though, is the strong roles played by the women in the band.

Knower, a Los Angeles-based duo, plays funky electronic jazz. For their San Jose gig, Singer Genevieve Artadi and drummer Louis Cole will be joined by Dennis Hamm on keyboards, Sam Gendel on saxophone and Sam Wilkes on bass.

The gig is part of a tour that has already seen Knower cross the country for shows in the past month and will have the band touring Europe from mid-March to early April.

“It’s going to be insane,” Artadi says, adding that she and Cole will perform as a duo for some shows. “We like doing the duo show because we synch insane animations of dancing pizzas and our heads getting blown up in space to the music.”

La Misa Negra is planning its first U.S. tour this summer; the Oakland-based band has developed a Bay Area following since it formed in 2011.

Founder Marco Polo Santiago serves as guitarist, composer and accordion player for the seven-piece band, which is known for its high-energy Latin-infused dance music.

“The main job of the band is to make people move,” Santiago says, although some of the songs he and lead singer Diana Trujillo write have lyrics with political or social gravitas.

“Our audience in the Bay Area is about 50 percent Latin,” Santiago says. “If people understand the (Spanish) lyrics, they get a little something extra.”

In addition to Trujillo, La Misa Negra features two other female musicians: sax and clarinet player Morgan Nilsen and percussionist Elena De Troya. Santiago says it was important to him that the women in the band were more than eye candy.

“I …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


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