Venissa Santi

Acclaimed Afro-Cuban jazz singer Venissa Santi will perform next Wednesday, July 11, on Pastorius Park’s outdoor stage. The show will begin at 7:30 p.m.

Santi’s performance is the latest act in the ongoing Pastorius Park Summer Concert Series. The series is organized every year by the Chestnut Hill Community Association and is made possible by grants from Chestnut Hill Hospital and the Chestnut Hill Community Fund.

Santi moved to Philadelphia after high school to attend the University of the Arts and majored in jazz vocal performance.
It was here that she reconnected with her Cuban roots and began immersing herself in the local Latin music scene. After graduation, she began working as a vocal instructor at Asociación de Músicos Latino Americanos and performed with a number of Latin, jazz and other world groups.

Now a wife and mother, Santi won a prestigious Pew Fellowship, for Folk and Traditional Arts in 2008. In 2009, she released a solo record,  “Bienvenida” on Sunnyside Records. That album earned her the attention and praise of noted Latin jazz musicians, such as  Ruben Blades and pianist Danilo Perez, who called her treatment of the classic tune, “Como Fue,” “audacious.”

In a review of “Beinvenida” in All About Jazz, Raul d’Gama Rose raved about Santi’s talents.

“On the face of it Santi is a Latin artist who reaches across diverse universes to pluck idioms from Afro-Cuban and Afro-Caribbean music, swishing them across and melding them with blues and jazz,” he wrote. “The musicians rise above themselves for this session. A debut record? How about a musical miracle?”

All concerts begin at 7:30 p.m. The rain location for all concertswill be at the lower school auditorium of Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, 8000 Cherokee St.

Decisions to move the concerts will be made after 6 p.m. Call 215-248-8810 to check on the day of the concert.

The next concert in the series will be the Celtic band Runa on Wednesday, July 18.