Jazz In the Bay

The best live jazz in San Francisco Bay Area

A curated calendar of the best jazz shows in SF Bay Area

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Orquesta Akokán

  • SFJAZZ Miner Auditorium 201 Franklin St San Francisco, CA, 94102 United States (map)
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Tickets ($25 - $45)

“The vocalist Pepito Gómez has a siren sound that reaches right back into the 1940s, when the punchy pop music known as mambo overtook Cuba. He’s embracing that affinity with a new 16-piece band, featuring some of the island’s greatest instrumentalists” (The New York Times). Brainchild of pianist and arranger Michael Eckroth, producer Jacob Plasse and vocalist José “Pepito” Gómez, this loving salute to the Cuban mambo revolution of the 40s and 50s, and in particular the work of legendary vocalist and bandleader Beny Moré, began with a recording project at Havana’s historic Areito Studio in 2016.

Named for the Yoruba word meaning “from the heart,” the multi-generational big band assembled for the recording was culled from the ranks of Cuba’s finest, including members of Irakere and Los Van Van, and the alchemy they created inspired Eckroth, Plasse, and Gómez to transition the band from a one-time assemblage for the recording studio to a working band for the concert stage. Their self-titled 2018 debut was recorded live to tape in the historic studio, and features all original material by the three prime movers — songs that feel both fresh and timeless in performances that, in the words of the All Music Guide, make “the dancefloor burn.”

An homage to the great mambo music of the ‘40s and ‘50s, this big band of seasoned Cuban musicians makes the dancefloor burn.
— All Music Guide
Earlier Event: June 14
Mark de Clive-Lowe
Later Event: June 14
The Mattson 2 ft. Calvin Keys