2018 Countdown | Javier Santiago

Introduced to us through the renegade, yet pedigreed, cat from (U)nity - Axel Tosca and Amaury Acosta, Javier Santiago is a pianist from Minneapolis was selected by the great Dave Brubeck and a panel of judges to study music at the Brubeck Institute in Stockton, CA - where he studied with some of the greatest musicians in the world such as Christian McBride, Robert Glasper, Nicholas Payton and Joshua Redman. While it is a challenge to be noticed in the digital age, Santiago’s debut album, Phoenix, caught the eyes and ears of many, including being named the top Jazz album of 2018 on the curator’s site Vinyl Me Please.

"It's really too bad that Javier Santiago didn't have a music career in the '70s. He would have filled theaters in every major city with a band like this.” — PopMatters

Phoenix features some badass musicians - Dayna Stephens, Nir Felder, Nicholas Payton, Corey Fonville, Zach Brown, J Hoard and more as Javier takes his place in the vanguard of progressive Jaz players who are reinvigorating the genre with sheer will and fearless creativity.