June 7 – John Santos Quartet with Rico Pabón

Dinner Shows with John Santos Quartet

Featuring Marco Diaz, Saul Sierra, David Flores, and guest spoken word artist Rico Pabón

Spoonbar, 219 Healdsburg Ave.

Wednesday, June 7 – Two shows, 6 and 8 p.m. $65 includes dinner

TICKETS: Ticket price includes show, dinner and gratuity, excludes beverages.

One of today’s most versatile, innovative and admired percussionists and bandleaders, John Santos has brought a tough and authentic Latin jazz sound to the San Francisco scene. Bringing his fierce quartet to the festival for the first time, Santos is looking forward to unleashing the funky city street grooves that the Bay area knows and loves up north.

The evening will feature Santos’ propulsive ensemble (with Marco Diaz on piano, Saul Sierra on bass, and David Flores on drums), as well as a special guest, Rico Pabón, a poet and spoken word artist who Santos calls, “a radical young voice.” A socially conscious artist whose political and cultural concerns echo those of Santos, Pabón will bring the additional urgency and pointed commentary that Santos feels is a crucial element of urban Latin jazz.

An eight-time Grammy nominee, John Santos has performed and recorded with such titans of the jazz and Latin jazz as Tito Puente, Eddie Palmieri, Cachao, Dizzy Gillespie, McCoy Tyner, Max Roach, Joe Henderson and Bobby Hutcherson. In addition, Santos is a revered educator who sits on the advisory board of San Francisco’s SFJazz, New York’s Afro-Latin Alliance and Oakland’s Oaktown Jazz.

As JazzTimes has said of this committed musical polymath, “John Santos has been faithfully carrying the Latin jazz torch [on the West Coast] for years. He has generally been a spark plug for a wave of musical invention at the vortex where jazz, Latin and other ideas meet” or as Dizzy Gillespie plainly asserted, “[Santos] is one of the best. He knows our music and everything that puts it together.” Santos’s artistic mission is straightforward: to bring wider attention to the rich heritage and bright future of Latin music in a country where it rightfully belongs.

Born into a family of musicians, dancing and playing music was just an every day part of living. Rico Pabón found his voice as an emcee at the age of 15 and has since released 5 full length albums and has appeared on numerous compilations and collaborations garnering him much critical acclaim. A natural performer, Rico’s vocal stamina, clarity and rhythm combined with the passionate delivery of his “true to life” lyrics make his energy on stage explosive and captivating. On one of his songs, Pabón says “I’m only trying to be above the average emcee and speak for people like Albizu and Garvey,” but to hear and see him perform live it’s obvious that he’s orbiting a few universes past standard and you know immediately that you are not listening to your average MC, but something very special.