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Sunday, 19 April 2015, 01:41 PM

Some Important Upcoming US Performances

Omar Sosa; Melvis Santa; Jane Bunnett and Maqueue

Spring is here, and some dont'miss  performances are coming up in different cities in the United States: 

I. Omar Sosa y Cuarteto AfroCubano

Omar's newest group is currently on tour in multiple cities in the United States in support of their new release ilé, a return to Omar's Cuban musical roots. You can read my review of that album (in English) here.  I will have the good fortune to be able to catch them live during one of their many performances at the Jazz Showcase in Chicago from April 23-26; they also have dates in LA on the 19th, Washington DC on the 29th and Brooklyn NY on the 30th before heading off to Europe.  You can see the full tour schedule here. 


II. Melvis Santa

Melvis Santa already has an impressive resume - a founding member of Sexto Sentido, work with Interactivo as well as many Cuban Jazz artists, film work in Siete días en la Habana and her own projects Santa Habana and Achedi.  This Chicago performance (At Sabor a Cafe on May 9) has her collaborating with a hand-picked ensemble, three of whom took the roof off the place a few weeks ago when they played there with Eliel Lazo:  Cuban saxophonist and keyboardist Orlando Sanchez "Cubajazz",  bassist Joshua Ramos and guitarist/keyboardist Rob Block.  Melvis' voice is one of those that I would listen too even if she were singing the Chicago telephone directory.  But don't take my word for it - her YouTube channel is here. This is also an opportunity to buy her CD Santa Habana, which I have heard (I love it) and will be reviewing soon.  This is a small venue (with wonderful Colombian food incidentally), so make your reservations now.      

III.   Jane Bunnett  and Maqueque

This is hardly Jane Bunnett' s  first rodeo with top-tier Cuban artists, nor is it the first time that an excellent all-female ensemble has come together to perform Cuban music.  What is new is that the lineup includes heavy hitters like drummer Yissy Garcia, who recently stood a few US cities on their ears during a tour with her own project, Bandancha, and this group draws on the strengths of Yissy, Yusa and others to throw down an interesting mix of Cuban music, Jazz and Soul.  The group will be touring Canada and the west coast of the United States in May at the following locations: 

Jazz Bistro – Toronto Canada – Wednesday May 6 to Saturday May 9
PDX Jazz @ Jimmy Mak’s – Portland Oregon – Monday May 11
Jazz Alley – Seattle Washington – Tuesday May 12, Wednesday May 13
Piedmont Piano Company – In-Store Concerts – Oakland CA – Thursday May 14
Jazz Bakery Presents at Moss Theater – Santa Monica CA – Saturday May 16
MIM Music Theater (Musical Instrument Museum) – Phoenix AZ – Sunday May 17
Kuumbwa Jazz Center – Santa Cruz CA – Monday May 18



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