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

  36th Season
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John Santos Quintet
Percussionist, composer, teacher and four-time Grammy nominee John Santos draws upon his Puerto Rican and Cape Verdean heritage to illuminate the historical and cultural significance of Latin Jazz. Santos, a Bay Area favorite who has played with masters such as Tito Puente, Max Roach, McCoy Tyner and Dizzy Gillespie and is known as founder of the Machete Ensemble, brings together styles, rhythms, concepts and artists from different generations in a vibrant and uplifting blend that appeals to listeners of all ages. Recognized not only as a heavyweight player but also for his scholarship and deep understanding of the history of Latin jazz, his SJW concert will feature original compositions from his quintet’s debut CD, “Raices Al Cielo” (“Roots to Heaven”), along with exciting“not so standard” standards from Latin America and the U.S.

In order to get to know him better, we asked John to answer a few questions. Here’s what he had to say:

What’s the strangest experience you’ve ever had on the bandstand?
Being scolded and then fired by certified loon Yma Sumac during her comeback about 15 years ago after she forgot the lyrics to the song (which had been in her repertoire for some 40 years) and stormed off stage in a fit as the sold out house cheered.

What’s your favorite food?
Fresh organic fruit (in season of course).

What’s the most exotic place you’ve traveled to as a musician?
I wouldn’t use the word exotic to describe any of the places in the Americas or Europe to which I’ve been, but Cuba is a most fascinating place for the vitality and vibrancy of her people and especially as expressed through the arts, despite considerable obstacles.

What’s the last book you’ve read?
“Nationalizing Blackness” by Robin Moore.

If you could be any other type of artist other than a jazz musician, what would you be and why?
A poet—to hopefully touch people deeply and make them think in different terms.

When did you become interested in music, and what circumstances or events led to your becoming a professional musician?
My earliest childhood memories are of my grandfathers on both sides of the family playing music to the delight of family and friends. My first professional work was with my grandfather’s band at the age of 13.

To find out more about John, go to


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