As many of you know, jazzdelapena.com was recently hacked. Thus, the delay in getting the article to you in a timely manner.
By the time you read this, Ruben Blades run at Jazz at Lincoln Center will probably be over. Nevertheless, I feel compelled to share the experience with you.
I’m a long-time fan of Ruben Blades. I grew up listening to his hits with Ray Barretto, Willie Colon and Fania All-Stars among others. I’m also an avid follower of his music outside of the salsa realm – rock, jazz and more recently, tango.
But until I attended the rehearsal I’d never heard Blades perform a straight-ahead jazz standard, in English. Suffice it to say, I was impressed by his timing, phrasing and the ease with which he switched from one genre to another.
There’s an interesting story behind the choice of material that dates back to Blades’s childhood, which I will share with you in an upcoming performance review of the show at JALC.
Without giving too much away, it’s a night of jazz and salsa, in Spanish and English, a fascinating “mixtura” that presents Blades in a way that he has never been seen before.
Much of the credit goes to bassist and musical director, Carlos Henriquez who does a masterful job of arranging, conducting and transforming the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra into a hard-driving salsa band as the situation demands (like me, he was weaned on the music of Ruben Blades).
Joining Blades, Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra will be vocalists Eddie Rosado and Luba Mason and percussionists Bobby Allende and Marc Quiñones.
As for the rehearsal, at times it felt more like a party, with family, friends and supporters rallying around the everyone thoroughly enjoying the atmosphere and the music.
The event was followed by a reception for the artists, members of the press and JALC staff.
Kudos to Jazz at Lincoln Center for reaching out to the Latino community through its diverse array of concerts and programs, such as the “Jazz through the Americas” series, which explores how jazz has both integrated and influenced the rich musical traditions of the Caribbean and North, South, and Central America.
Thus far, the 2014-2015 season has certainly lived up to its promise!
For those who are unable to attend, here’s a direct Link to the November 15 live webcast:
For additional information visit: www.jazz.org