Acción Latina presents First Annual Mission Latin Jazz Festival Oct. 13-14

Come celebrate exceptional local, national and international Latin Jazz artists at Brava Theater, 2781 24th St., San Francisco

by Camilo Landau

The long overdue First Annual Mission Latin Jazz Festival features a showcase of exceptional musicians and bands from the Mission District, the Bay Area, California, the U.S., Latin America and beyond. An all-star band of Mission District musicians from the 1970s will be paired with the Latin Jazz Youth Ensemble – the next generation of San Francisco Latin Jazz musicians. The 20-piece big-band Pacific Mambo Orchestra will be paired with VL Trio.

Latin-Mission2, Acción Latina presents First Annual Mission Latin Jazz Festival Oct. 13-14, Culture Currents This festival will strive to open several dialogues within the Latin Jazz community, among them: a dialogue regarding the recent Grammy restructuring decisions and re-instatement of the Latin Jazz category; and a discussion on the questions “What is Latin Jazz?” and “What does it mean?” With the inclusion of Laura Rebolloso and Ensemble Marinero from Mexico playing a version of Mexican-Jazz, we invite people to discuss whether Latin Jazz includes Cuban and Puerto Rican mixtures of jazz only, Caribbean jazz only or influences from all over Latin America.

Friday, Oct. 13, 8-11 p.m.

The ‘70s Mission All-Stars will headline Saturday night’s concert, paying homage to the amazing musical scene that sprouted in San Francisco’s Mission District in the 1970s. Featuring renowned San Francisco musicians from that era, this all-star band of veteran players will pay tribute to the music that they themselves began pioneering during the late ‘70s. Members of the band include Karl Perazzo from the Carlos Santana band; Dr. John Calloway, recipient of the 2012 “Jazz Hero” award; master bassist David Belove; renowned producer Dr. Greg Landau; legendary singer Linda Tillery; violin virtuoso Anthony Blea; and more.

In contrast to this veteran group, the next generation of exceptional Latin Jazz musicians will be represented by the Latin Jazz Youth Ensemble of San Francisco, under the musical direction of Dr. John Calloway. Composed of young musicians aged 10 to 18, the LJYE has gained a reputation of excellence based on the group’s high standards of musicianship and musicality. This group of talented youth is sure to be a highlight of the Mission Latin Jazz Festival.

The Josh Jones Latin Jazz Ensemble will perform a special tribute to Latin Jazz great Ray Barretto, featuring top local musicians including Danilo Paíz, Marty Wehner, Chloe Scott, Saul Sierra, Marco Diaz and more.

Sunday, Oct. 14, 2-5 p.m.

VL Trio, composed of three master musicians – pianist Marco Diaz, bassist Saul Sierra and percussionist Carlos Caro – will show that a small group can make an extremely big sound. The stripped-down trio opens up space for each musician to shine with his unique talents, in a world-class trio that will knock your socks off.

Pacific Mambo Orchestra is a full 20-piece Latin Big Band, complete with fat sax, trombone, trumpet and percussion sections. The sound of the old-school Mambo band is back, but with a modern twist.

Laura Rebolloso, one of the founders of legendary Son Jarocho group Son de Madera, is coming in from Mexico with her Ensemble Marinero, an excursion into Mexican jazz and an exploration of the boundaries of the very meaning of Latin jazz. Her haunting poetic decimas are accompanied by piano, contrabass, violin and leona, a member of the family of Jarocho instruments.


Tickets are available at

• Brava Theater Box Office, (415) 641-7657, ext. 1

• Accion Latina offices, 2958 24th Street, San Francisco

Tickets are $18 and $15 for students; advanced purchase discounts and group discounts are available. For more information, visit our website:

This event is wheelchair accessible.

Camilo Landau can be reached at