To be released in 2022!


Produced and Directed by
Kathryn Golden & Ashley James


SKIN TO SKIN is a feature documentary about master Latin Jazz percussionist and community activist John Santos. An urban legend, Santos is acknowledged as a “keeper of the Afro-Caribbean flame,” using music to navigate the politics of culture, global migration, and his Puerto Rican heritage.

SKIN TO SKIN is saturated with music and features concert performances with Santos, his Sextet and a cadre of international jazz luminaries. The camera follows him through the streets of San Francisco – from rehearsals in his garage to performances at local community centers.  And we see Santos in demonstrations supporting housing rights, and gigs with “Congueros” in the barrios of Puerto Rico. Ultimately SKIN TO SKIN is a portrait of an artist who juggles the daily challenges of life: supporting family, creating art and the quest to propel Afro-Caribbean culture onto the world stage.

Starring seven-time Grammy nominee John Santos with appearances by a host of international Latin Jazz musicians.

“Santos is respected as one of the top writers, teachers and historians of Latin Jazz. An expert of Afro-Latino music, he is known for his innovative use of traditional forms and instruments in combination with contemporary music.”

Newsdesk – Smithsonian Institution

“…a spark plug for a wave of musical invention… A vortex where Jazz, Latin and other ideas meet. He’s spent a goodly amount of time considering the cultural, historical, spiritual and, of course, musical origins of Latin jazz, honoring its creators and traditions and linking the then to the now.”

Jazz Times

“The Latin Music Renaissance man”

Jesse Hamlin – San Francisco Chronicle


SANTOS~SKIN TO SKIN made possible through the generous support of:

The National Endowment of the Arts, BEACON, The Berkeley Film Fund, SFJAZZ

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