Stanford Jazz Workshop

SJW Artists

Peter Apfelbaum Sextet
Kenny Barron / Terrell Stafford / Dayna Stephens / Matt Wilson
Alan Broadbent Trio
Jimmy Cobb Quartet featuring Kenny Barron
Ruth Davies Blues Night featuring Barbara Morrison
Basie and Beyond: Jamie Davis and the Fred Barry Jazz Orchestra
Sasha Dobson Trio
Lou Donaldson Quartet
Madeline Eastman / Dena DeRose
Taylor Eigsti / Julian Lage Group
Eddie Gomez Trio / Frank Wess Quartet
Wycliffe Gordon Presents the Jazz Mentors
Wycliffe Gordon Quartet featuring Matt Wilson
Albert "Tootie" Heath
Jimmy Heath
Bobby Hutcherson
Nancy King
Lee Konitz
Maria Marquez Quintet
Jeb Patton Trio featuring Tootie Heath
Nicholas Payton Quintet
Kurt Rosenwinkel Group
John Santos Quintet
The Latin Side of the Great American Songbook with Peggy Stern
(New) Standards Night wtih Peter Stoltzman
Patrick Wolff Trio

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Maria Marquez Quintet
Born in Caracas, Venezuela, Maria fi rst tasted success in partnership with pianist / composer Vytas Brenner (a Lithuanian), known for his inventive mixing of native folk with rock and pop. Maria relocated to the United States to attend the Berklee College of Music, and, after graduation, came to the San Francisco Bay Area to study with famed vocal coach Judy Davis. Collaborations with guitarist Joyce Cooling, percussionist John Santos, and electronic musician and producer Frank Harris soon followed. Returning to Caracas for several years, she hosted her own radio program, “Emisora Cultural de Caracas,” promoting world music. Since coming back to San Francisco, she has recorded with Omar Sosa, produced a CD of all Venezuelan popular songs and has been a member of jazz world music group Wild Mango.

Maria describes her music as “a real marriage between Venezuelan pop and folk music with jazz: from waltzes, tonadas and working songs steeped in the folklore, to popular and beloved boleros and tunes written by Venezuela’s greatest composers infused with Caribbean flavors."

In order to get to know her better, we asked Maria to answer a few questions. Here’s what she had to say:

Who is your greatest musical influence?
As a child growing up in Caracas, I heard so much variety of music, from Venezuelan folklore, like the joropos, all the great artists from Venezuela, to vallenatos from Columbia, to Daniel Santos singing his passionate boleros and Puerto Rican music, Trio Matamoros from Cuba, and also European music—Edith Piaf, Jacques Brel, Mina from Italy—so much music from everywhere. In that sense Caracas receives it all, because of its geographic location and the diverse communities that come from Europe.

Who is your favorite jazz musician under the age of 30?
I am I guess old fashioned in that sense. I mean for me there is no one that can compare
to the singers from the 40’s, like Ella, Billie, Peggy Lee etc. I learned from them, the mastery in their instrument. There are I am sure very good singers now who are younger than 30, but the voices don’t have the stamp and grand style as the singers we all look up to. I don’t know if she is younger than 30, but Elis Regina’s daughter from Brazil, Maria Rita, I like her expressive voice and her creativity, also like her mom she takes chances. I like to see that in a singer, her mother’s voice was unforgettable.

What’s the most exotic place you’ve traveled to as a musician?
I had the blessing of being able to go to Japan for 2 months with a Brazilian group, and that to me was the most exotic and wonderful experience, we were able to live there with the Japanese people in a small town and also visit the great cities, just beautiful.

What’s your favorite jazz venue?
A favorite jazz venue for me is that place which is large enough where it still feels very
intimate, I don’t like huge venues, so inpersonal. But when you can see and feel the artists
close to you is the best, one feels they are singing or playing just for you.

How much do you practice each week?
I try to practice as much as possible, I feel the best when I can do it every day, everything
becomes easy, right at your fingertips if you will.

If you could play with any other musician, living or dead, who would it be and why?
I would love to play with Herbie Hancock, he has been sharing his wisdom and beautiful
chops with younger artists, singers who come from different backgrounds and he seems so
open minded and generous, not to mention how beautifully he plays. I find him so inspiring.

What hobbies do you have?
My favorite hobby is gardening, I absolutely love planting, weeding not as much, but
watching plants grow everyday, and flowers bloom. What a joy it is to work with your hands touching the earth.

To find out more about Maria, go to


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