Alameda Jazz Concert to Celebrate Community Spirit

What: Passion for Compassion Concert & Fund-Raiser
When: 3-8 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4
Where: Bayside Pavilion, 2203 Mariner Square Loop
Cost: $22
Info: 510-689-4621, www.seedartistusa.com

Alameda-born Santo Prieto was down on his luck and living in his car in a parking lot near the High Street Bridge, about two years ago. His pockets were empty, and one of his knees needed surgery.

“But then I was lucky enough to receive unemployment benefits,” said Prieto. “I was able to get through this time by realizing how much we all need to help each other and wanted to host a concert to give back to the community that supported me.”

Prieto’s dream will become a reality this Sunday afternoon at Bayside Pavilion on Mariner Square Loop, when he hosts a concert entitled “Passion for Compassion” to benefit the Bay Area chapter of the American Red Cross. “I hope to get people in the holiday spirit. We can kick it off with music and understanding,” said Prieto.

The concert will feature a variety of jazz and Latin music, as well as dancing and refreshments. It will also launch a music CD by the group Mirage, also called “Passion for Compassion.”

“The Red Cross helped me when I was in need,” said Prieto, who now works and lives near the San Francisco Bay in Richmond. “The organization gave me permission to give the concert and use their name for it, so I’m hoping to help raise donations for its Bay Area chapter.”

“It’s really a dream come true to celebrate how lucky I’ve been and to share the stage with some special guest musicians and friends,” Prieto added. “It’s a beautiful thing to do — to help each other. It’s something we can all do, so I wanted to spread the word that we can survive by supporting each other – with compassion.”

In addition to the East Bay-group Mirage, there will be performances by Latin Overdrive of Oakland, playing smooth jazz, and N Rumba of Salinas, which includes about 11 musicians and plays salsa. “Mirage has musicians – including one of my brothers — playing bass, drums, keyboards, saxophone, horns, timbales, conga drums and some Brazilian instruments,” said Prieto.

“We will have some guest musicians join us for an all-star jam at about 7 or 7:30 p.m.,” he explained. These musicians include Chazz Ally, Gabriel Del Rosario, Juan Escovedo, Mio Flores, Tony Flores, Moe Prieto, Gibby Ross and Bobby Simcox. The emcee for the show is Carlos Prieto, another brother of Santo.

Tickets are $22 and can be bought at the door or online.

Janet Levaux