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Elevar y Celebrar Chat: Building a Vibrant Community Through Music

The fourth and final week of Hispanic Heritage Month brings another engaging Elevar y Celebrar chat featuring Jesús Díaz, an accomplished Cuban-born percussionist and vocalist. Jesús has been Elevate’s featured musical artist of the month, performing for our Happy Hours each Thursday and finally we get to hear from the man himself. Relocating from Habana, Cuba to the Bay Area in 1980, Jesús has worked and performed with world-renowned artists including Stevie Wonder, Carlos Santana, Dizzy Gillespie, Bobby Womack and many more. In this enlightening conversation, Jesús speaks on why musicians are always marketers but don’t often realize it, some of the creative ways he’s partnered with other brands and businesses, how community and music go hand-in-hand, and he even delivers advice for Elevate musicians and creators to build a name for themselves. Join host Alex Espolet for this fantastic chat to wrap up Hispanic Heritage Month on the Elevate Facebook Page on Thursday October 15th at 10AM PT.

Serie de entrevistas Elevar y Celebrar: Construyendo una vibrante comunidad a través de la música.

En la cuarta y última semana de nuestra celebración de la Herencia Hispana, te presentamos a Jesús Díaz, percusionista y vocalista de origen cubano. Jesús ha estado tocando durante toda la serie de Elevar y Celebrar en nuestros exclusivos Happy Hours, y finalmente le toca su entrevista. Jesús llegó al Área de la Bahía en 1980, procedente de La Habana, Cuba, y ha estado tocando desde ese momento con artistas de renombre mundial como Stevie Wonder, Carlos Santana, Dizzy Gillespie, Bobby Womack y muchos más. En esta edición, Jesús nos contará cómo los artistas son en muchos casos as su vez sus propios agentes de marketing, algunas de las formas creativas en que ha establecido alianzas con otros artistas y empresas y como la comunidad y la música van de la mano. Además compartirá consejos para otros artistas emergentes de la comunidad latina. El evento será conducido por Alex Expolet y será transmitido en la Página oficial de Facebook Elevate este jueves 15 de Octubre a las 10am PT.

Jesús Díaz | Guest Speaker

Cuban born percussionist and vocalist Jesus Diaz arrived in the United States from Habana in 1980. He quickly identified the Bay Area music scene as the grounds to establish his new home. His local and worldwide performances in collaboration with world-renowned and acclaimed artists are recognized for their contributions to the richness of an ever-expanding musical genre.

A multi-instrumentalist, arranger, and vocalist, Díaz has established himself as one of the most in-demand performers and studio musicians worldwide. As an educator, he has participated in several prominent clinics and workshops including Berklee College of Music, SFJAZZ, Stanford Jazz Workshop, Drummers Collective NY, and Jazz Camp West to name a few.

In collaboration with his group Talking Drums, which includes fellow percussionists Michael Spiro and David Garibaldi, he has contributed to various Warner Brothers instructional books and videos. For more instructional videos, please visit

Jesus Diaz has performed, toured or recorded with such artists as, Stevie Wonder, The Dave Mathews Band (DMB), Carlos Santana, Andy Narrell, Dizzy Gillespie, Bobbie Womack, Steve Coleman, Caribbean Jazz Project, Mickey Hart Planet Drum, Talking Drums, Pete Escovedo / Sheila E, José Luis Quintana "Changuito", Giovanni Hidalgo, Rebecca Mauleón & Round Trip, Omar Sosa, Columna "B", among many others.

Jesus Diaz is endorsed by Pearl Drums and Percussion, Innovative Percussion sticks, and Remo Drum Heads.

Alex Espolet | Host

Alex Espolet is a freelance Sound Engineer and has worked with Jesus Diaz and his band, QBA, at La Peña Cultural Center in Berkeley in 2007. “I was an Audio Engineer there and we hit it off. And their music simply blew me away. I had heard of this band for many years but the moment I experienced them live I was hooked. As the years have gone on I’ve worked with QBA or Jesus Diaz with other groups and collaborations at La Peña, The Brava Theater and more recently at SFJAZZ. It has been a collaboration of music and friendship.”