Santos—Skin to Skin

In Person

  • Ashley James is the producer and director of photography of Santos—Skin to Skin.


John Santos, Raul Rekow, Eddie Palmieri, Aida Salazar,

Bay Area music legend and activist John Santos takes center stage in this documentary thrumming with rhythm, passion, and cultural reflection. Known as a “keeper of the Afro-Caribbean flame,” the seven-time Grammy nominee percussionist and bandleader grew up on the rhythms of his Puerto Rican and Cape Verdean heritage. Charting his rise from early gigs to a short-lived stint with Santana to the formation of his own prolific sextet and his collaboration with a host of international Latin jazz greats, Santos—Skin to Skin builds a brilliantly energetic portrait of a hardworking musician and educator as dedicated to preserving and expanding Afro-Latin music as he is to navigating the politics of culture, social equality, and racial injustice. Live performances, archival footage, commentary by jazz luminaries, and an intimate glimpse of his family bring Santos and his life’s mission into vital focus.

Deanna Quinones
  • Ashley James
  • Lenny Levy
  • David Flores
  • Robert Pacelli
  • Martin Bessoni
Print Info
  • Color
  • DCP
  • 75 mins
  • Mill Valley Film Festival