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John Santos Sextet 

When: Fri., March 2, 8 & 10 p.m. and Sat., March 3, 8 & 10 p.m. 2012
Price: $26, $22

Known as an indefatigable launcher of bands and maker of albums, Oakland-based Latin percussionist John Santos has refashioned himself as a political activist over the past year, with his vociferous campaign against the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, after it axed 31 categories from the Grammy Awards. (The cuts disproportionately affected Latino and world musicians.) With the awards ceremony over, Santos seems to have redoubled his efforts to bring fantastic pan-Latin ensembles to local audiences. His latest project, which features songs of Brazil and the Caribbean, combines Santos' Sextet with two reputable guest musicians, violinist Anthony Blea and pianist Jovino Santos. Like every Santos concert, it should be a high-energy affair with a little pedagogy sprinkled in. A born educator, Santos can seldom pass up the opportunity to school his audience on the virtues of son clave. He'll play at Oakland Yoshi's (510 Embarcadero, Oakland) Friday and Saturday, Mar. 2-3, 8 p.m. ($26) and 10 p.m. ($22).

— Rachel Swan


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