Brendan Rawson

Executive Director, San Jose Jazz

San Jose native Brendan Rawson has worked to support the performing arts for more than 20 years. He joined San Jose Jazz as executive director in 2012 and has presided over significant growth of the organization’s signature event, the San Jose Jazz Summer Fest, which celebrated 30 years in 2019. He has also driven many of the organization’s most successful engagement initiatives including the creation of the SJZ Boombox Truck, which brings high-quality performance to audiences in their own neighborhoods; and its Jazz Beyond programming stream which presents artists pushing the boundaries of the jazz art form. He has also driven the growth and effectiveness of its education programs, including the El-Sistema based youth development program Progressions, which now works with more than 1,000 students at six Title 1 schools. In recent times he has overseen the pivot of SJZ’s activities to the online space, with the Live From Home live-streamed concert series and the Jazz Aid Fund, both benefiting musicians struggling during Coronavirus lockdowns. These initiatives reflect Brendan’s conviction that San Jose Jazz’s greatest strengths lie in its resourcefulness and adaptability, and that one of its most important measures of success is cultural relevance in a rapidly growing and changing city.