Apr 10, 2024 - News

SkateJazz is growing across San Diego

Ruben Hernandez of SkateJazz

Ruby Hernandez of SkateJazz. Photo: Courtesy Ruby Hernandez

After starting as the house band for a Barrio Logan jazz night that quickly outgrew its space, SkateJazz is now busy filling up music clubs all over San Diego.

Why it matters: SkateJazz is drawing crowds and promoter attention, drummer Ruby Hernandez told Axios, because they "play songs people want to hear, not songs musicians want to play to improve their chops."

  • "It's dope musicians playing dope music that people can relate to — deep cuts, and songs people didn't know they wanted to hear until they hear it," Hernandez said.
  • That includes tunes by artists like Erykah Badu, Roy Ayers and Kool & the Gang.

What's next: SkateJazz's next show is Friday at Soda Bar in City Heights.

Driving the news: SkateJazz sold out Soda Bar earlier this year without an opener and has packed gigs at Moniker General, the Che Cafe and the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego in La Jolla.

  • "SkateJazz needs a bigger space," Hernandez said. "Seventh-grade me would be very proud."

State of play: Hernandez is the only regular member of SkateJazz, but he said the rotating cast is part of the appeal.

  • "Spontaneity and rawness is where the magic happens in jazz," he said. "Sometimes, it's better if we don't rehearse."
  • "What crowds are responding to is jazz skills, but with taste and style," Hernandez said.
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