San Jose Jazz Summer Fest has a dizzying lineup of musicians playing on a dozen stages in downtown San Jose this weekend, a group that includes Jimmy Bosch, the Gypsy All Stars, Andre Thierry, Catherine Russell and Akira Tana. But there are some extras lined up, too, to help fans get in the proper celebratory mood for festival's 25th anniversary.
A commemorative book is available to read online, with 72 pages of stories, photos and memories of the festival's first quarter-century. Go to www.summerfest.sanjosejazz.org and look for it under the "Learn" tab.
Inside the festival gates this weekend, you can also take a stroll through 25 years of festival posters featured in a sidewalk gallery at the corner of San Fernando and Market streets, on the walkway between the main stage and the salsa stage. San Jose Jazz isn't only celebrating its own history this weekend, either: Festivalgoers can take in two movies at Camera 12 on Saturday. "Our Vinyl Weighs a Ton," looks at the rise of Stones Throw Records, and "Take Me to the River," celebrates the musical influence of Memphis.
And San Jose Jazz literally will have its flag flying at City Hall during the festival. You can get more information and still buy a wristband for the weekend at www.sanjosejazz.org.
BY THE NUMBERS: I had a fantastic time taking the family to see the Beatles-themed "Classical Mystery Tour" concert at Symphony Silicon Valley's Target Summer Pops series last Saturday. And from the numbers I've gotten from the symphony, it sounds like a lot of you enjoyed the free series, too.
Over five evenings at San Jose State, about 20,200 people attended the diverse slate that included classical, opera, mariachi, Broadway show tunes and the Beatles tribute. People brought their own chairs, blankets and picnics, though 500 plastic seats were set out for each show.
More than 8,200 bottles of water were given out, and volunteers from the Kiwanis Key Club and the Rotaract Club helped dish out 192 gallons of free ice cream. And there also was a huge turnout of volunteers, with more than 100 people helping to direct the crowd, pass out programs and collect surveys.
FIESTA TIME IN LOS GATOS: If you're not heading to the San Jose Jazz Summer Fest, there's also the Los Gatos Fiesta de Artes in the town's civic center on Saturday and Sunday. The festival, which has been going for more than four decades, draws about 20,000 people and features live bands, brewers, winemakers, artists and other vendors.
It's also the biggest fundraiser for the Los Gatos Kiwanis Club, which brings in about $40,000 with the event for its Turnaround Scholarship program.
For more information, go to www.lgfiesta.com.