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NYC's newest Latin supper club - Live music nightly - dinner & dancing - In the heart of NYC's meat-packing district

Report From Chicago

REPORT FROM CHICAGO

See our Events &  Reviews Section for an extensive Calendar of Events that shows what's happening in the Chicago area and within driving distance for Chicagoans. See also our Nuestros Primos Musicales page for other Latin music items of interest that don't quite fit in this section and our Sin Clave No Hay Na'  blog for items of national and international interest. (All photos used in this section that are watermarked with the "TIMBA.com" logo  are by Bill Tilford unless otherwise specified, all rights reserved.)

14  July 2015

TODAY:  TIEMPO LIBRE AT SQUARE ROOTS FESTIVAL,  SUNDAY, JULY 12, 8PM


This edition of TL is back to basics as a Timba dance band, and Square Roots generally is a fun outdoor festival with multiple bands at a low price 

Last year's Square Roots (OTS stock photo)

THIS WEEK: 9th Annual Chicago Latin Jazz Fest, Humboldt Park, Fri-Sat, July 17-18

Includes a lot of excellent local talent as usual.  The must-see from out of town is Papo Vázquez Mighty Pirates Troubadours on Friday.  Hard Bop meets Bomba. Victor Garcia's ensemble closes the Fest on Saturday For more details, see the Jazz Institute of Chicago's page. 

SAVE THE DATE:  LOS VAN VAN, THALIA HALL, AUGUST 9, 2015, 8PM

Long overdue for Chicago, LVV is finally scheduled to come.  Their new CD, La Fantasia, is killer, and they are in top form live.  For more information and tickets, see
Thalia Hall's event page. 
A few of Chicago's presenters have banded together to make this happen, and it is nice to see them cooperate on something that  most probably none of them could have handled by themselves for financial reasons. 


7 July 2015

TIMBA ALERT:  TIEMPO LIBRE AT SQUARE ROOTS FESTIVAL,  SUNDAY, JULY 12, 8PM

Tiempo Libre
is back to serious Timba, and they are playing the closing hour of this three-day festival in Lincoln Square:

You can read my review of their new album, Panamericano, here


23 June 2015

6TH ANNUAL FESTIVAL CUBANO ANNOUNCED


At a press conference at 90 Miles Cafe today, the organizers of Festival Cubano announced the main acts for the Festival, which will take place August 14-16 at Riis Park.  The big news this year is that the Sunday lineup includes two performers from Cuba, Pedrito Calvo and Miguelito Cuni.   I'm glad that the festival has finally crossed the bridge - if Miami can have regular performances by acts from Cuba without major incidents, Chicago can certainly do the same.   The press conference featured local Cuban-American songstress Sureya for live music., and Alderman Ariel Reboyras was on hand to express support.  A few pictures from the conference: 



Although I doubt that this means that there's a Media McNoche in our future (and Ronald was not at the press conference to ask him), McDonald's Hispanic Owner-Operators Association has signed on as one of the key sponsors this year.  Smile the next time you pass by those arches.  

Advance tickets are now available at www.thecubanfestival.com.

THIS WEEK:

Miguel Zenón is doing a 4-night stand at the Jazz Showcase.  See my Sin Clave No Hay Na' blog for more....


7 June 2015:

Yeah, this page was quiet for a while - I was in La Habana, Cuba and came back with recordings, interviews, pix and more.  You'll be seeing a lot of the results in the Sin Clave No Hay Na' blog, the From The Studios report, and the reviews section.  Also tune into The Afro Cuban Jazz Edition every other Tuesday morning on WSLR at 9am Central, and you'll hear some interviews and music. 

TONITE:  

Pedrito Martínez is in town but not with the PMG - he's getting into a Salsa bag with Willy Torres and Manolo Mairena at Live Salsa Sundays at the Cubby Bear.   Doors are open by the time you read this.  For complete details, click HERE

SAVE THE DATE: 

Tiempo Libre, which has been placing a renewed emphasis on its very serious Timba roots of late, will be at the Square Roots Festival on Lincoln Avenue between Montrose and Wilson on Sunday, July 12.   It has a new album coming out soon, and we'll be reviewing it in these pages.  If you are a hard-core Timbero who felt that they were getting too experimental for your tastes, give them another listen now.  They have been reaching out to you in some recent performances. 

MEANWHILE..

The Melvis Santa performance was great - you can read about it and see a photo gallery in my Sin Clave No Hay Na' blog.   We'll be playing an interview with her on The Afro Cuban Jazz Edition on June 16.  
On May 29th, I dropped into the Mayne Stage to check out a joint concert by the Cecy Santana Band (Brasilian music)  and the Hector Silveira Orchestra (Cuban music).  The show ended with Hector and Cecy in duet backed by Hector's group.   I like the idea of mixing these genres, and both groups gave very enthusiastic performances.   Perhaps pairing Musica Popular Bailable with Brasilian, Funk etc. would help bring more people to the music here. 


2 May 2015:

THIS WEEK: 


Melvis Santa, Sabor a Cafe Steakhouse, 9 May 2015, 9PM 
Melvis is working in New York right now with her new project, Achedi, but her resume includes Sexto SentidoInteractivoSanta Habana, work with several other important Cuban musicians, and film appearances including 7 días en La Habana.  Three of the musicians who are backing her on this date recently wowed Chicagoans in a smoking performance at the same club (Sabor a Café) with Eliel Lazo: Orlando "Cubajazz" Sanchez, Joshua Ramos and Rob Block.  With Melvis in front, a $10 ticket is practically robbing the owner. This is a don't-miss event in a venue that is also serves superb Colombian food (including some vegetarian items). Plan on eating here too, and it's worth getting early reservations - this is a small venue, especially considering who is playing in it. If you still have any doubts check out Melvis' You Tube channel here -  you'll be in love (musically speaking) before you know it. 


19 April 2015

THIS WEEK: 

Omar Sosa and Cuarteto AfroCubano 
The Jazz Showcase, April 23-26 (multiple options)
With two shows per night (three on Sunday), if you are in town and like Cuban Jazz,  this is a must-see. This tour is in support of the excellent new album ilé (you can read my review of the album here)
Omar has been to Chicago before but this is a debut in two senses - it is his first time and the Jazz Showcase, and it is his debut performance here of this ensemble.   .
There are nine shows to choose from - if you are too busy to catch one, it's time to slow down, my friends. 

COMING SOON: 


Melvis Santa, Sabor a Cafe Steakhouse, 9 May 2015, 9PM 
Melvis is working in New York right now with her new project, Achedi, but her resume includes Sexto SentidoInteractivoSanta Habana, work with several other important Cuban musicians, and work in film.  Three of the musicians who are backing her on this date recently wowed Chicagoans in a smoking performance at the same club with Eliel Lazo:- Cuban saxophonist/keyboardist Orlando Sanchez "Cubajazz", guitarist/keyboardist Rob Block and bassist Joshua Ramos.  

In the Chicago-based groups dept., also happening around town is a series of concerts the next few weeks by Lise Gilly's Grupo Cha Cha called "Lovely Ladies of Latin Jazz - Mujeres Unidas!"  including the Oak Park Library on April 26, The Ravisloe Country Club on May 18 and the Round Lake Library on June 19.  Lise went to Habana for Jazz Plaza last fall with a group that included flautist Andrea Brachfeld (Lise kindly wronte about here experience , which you can read here), and Grupo Cha Cha's most recent recording has been getting a lot of love from radio. For more details, see the group's website here.   


13 April 2015

A very busy March with the new recording, but a couple of events are coming up that you need to be aware of:

Omar Sosa and Cuarteto AfroCubano
The Jazz Showcase, April 23-26 (multiple options)
With two shows per night (three on Sunday), if you are in town and like Cuban Jazz,  this is a must-see. This tour is in support of the excellent new album ile (you can read my review of the album here)
Omar has been to Chicago before but this is a debut in two senses - it is his first time and the Jazz Showcase, and it is his debut performance here of this ensemble.   .
There are nine shows to choose from - if you are too busy to catch one, it's time to slow down, my friends. 


Melvis Santa, Sabor a Cafe Steakhouse, 9 May 2015, 9PM
Melvis is working in New York right now with her new project, Achedi, but her resume includes Sexto Sentido, Interactivo, Santa Habana, work with several other important Cuban musicians, and work in film.  Three of the musicians who are backing her on this date recently wowed Chicagoans in a smoking performance at the same club with Eliel Lazo:- Cuban saxophonist/keyboardist Orlando Sanchez "Cubajazz", guitarist/keyboardist Rob Block and bassist Joshua Ramos.  But don't take my word for that - check this out: 

Which brings us to Melvis.   A beguiling voice and an excellent composer to boot.  She is bringing her recent CD Santa Habana to the performance.  Here's a taste of that:

Still aren't sold?  There's more on her YouTube channel here.  
This gets better - a $10.00 ticket and wonderful Colombian food and drink,  The owner, Elio Erraez, is very committed to the music.  
BUT:
This is not a large place, and right now there is only one show on the calendar.  My advice? Get your tickets now and make it enough of you to make it necessary to have two shows. This is one of the Midwest's best-kept secrets for Cuban music, but it's time to lose the "secret" part. The last few months have seen some epic sessions in there. 


28 February 2015

I've been horribly busy with the new release of Pure Mezcla by Pablo Menéndez and Mezcla.  I'm happy to share that it is already getting rave reviews in the Jazz, Latin Jazz and World Music Press (especially since it would be a little hard for me to review it, being the Producer; were it not for that, I would be writing a glowing review of it myself). Click here for the album page, which includes sample videos, audio samples and review clips. 

Also, Chicago's own Lise Gilly, flautist/saxophonist and leader of Grupo Cha Cha,  went to Jazz Plaza in Havana in December with several other musicians and sent us a very interesting writeup of her trip.  You can read all about that here.   

 

15 February 2015

TONIGHT (SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 15)
Pedrito Martinez Group
 is doing two shows (5 and 8pm) at City Winery.  We aren't positive, but we think this may be the PMG's first visit to Chicago featuring their new lineup. PMG is a regular visitor here, and the winery has named one of its selections after them. Those of you doing the CISC later should note that there is a 5pm show here tonight.

SAVE THE DATE:  

Melvis Santa at Sabor a Cafe, Saturday, May 9, 9pm

Melvis Santa already has an impressive resume in both music and acting - a cofounder at age 14 of Sexto Sentido, more recent recordings with Interactivo and Santa Habana. an acting role in 7 días en La Habana (7 Days in Havana) and work with several other artists.  At the moment, she is working in New York, and Elio Erraez, who just brought us a smoking performance by  Eliel Lazo, tells me that he will be bringing in Melvis in May.  Mark your calendars - Sabor a Café may be a small room, but it is doing big things.  

Finally......

Mezcla, which has performed at Millennium Park and the Old Town School of Folk Music in recent years,  has just released a new album,Pure Mezcla, which contains the best parts of a live concert at Yoshi's Oakland in 2013.  The album is already getting airplay across the planet (literally, from Canada to Australia) and is drawing favorable reviews in the music press. Best of all, the intial release is an exclusive download with bonus content on Latin Pulse Music. Don't wait for something to turn up on Amazon or I-Tunes - those are fine services, but the label (Tilford Productions, run by yours truly) has no plans of putting it there in the near future because we were able to load liner notes, bonus content etc. on LPM, and these things matter to us. 
Click here for the album page, which includes sample videos, audio samples and review clips. 


8 February 2015

Eliel Lazo''s performance was solid - you can see photos and a summary here
For this week's Chicago International Salsa Congress, see our Nuestros Primos Musicales page. 


1 February 2015

THIS WEEK:   Eliel LazoSabor a Café, February 6 (concert and  7 (workshop). 2015. 



Eliel Lazo
 is coming to Sabor a Café for a concert on February 6 and a master class on February 7. Eliel recently released a killer album, Eliel Lazo and the Cuban Funk Machine, and you can see of video of some of his material in my SIn Clave No Hay Na' blog.  The concert is a don't miss for listeners, and the master class is a don't miss for percussionists.  
He'll be using some locals for the show, but they are not scrubs - there's CubaJazz (Orlando Sanchez) on sax, Rob Block on guitar for example), so this may be epic. Plan on eating there too- excellent Colombian food. 


25 January 2015

So I saw Orlando Sanchez and Danae Blanco at Sabor a Café last night.  Excellent show.  Danae is back to Cuba soon, so catch her like, NOW, if you can.   Wonderful voice and presence and can handle straight ahead Jazz, Cuban music, Brasilian music, probably whatever you might throw at her. The show tonight is at 8pm, the place was packed last night, plan on eating supper there too.

Save the Dates:   

1.  Eliel Lazo, Sabor a Café, February 6-7. 2015. 



Eliel Lazo
 is coming to Sabor a Café for a concert on February 6 and a master class on February 7. Eliel recently released a killer album, Eliel Lazo and the Cuban Funk Machine, and you can see of video of some of his material in my SIn Clave No Hay Na' blog.  The concert is a don't miss for listeners, and the master class is a don't miss for percussionists.  
He'll be using some locals for the show, but they are not scrubs - there's CubaJazz (Orlando Sanchez) on sax, Rob Block on guitar for example so this may be epic. 

2. Pedrito Martínez Group at City Winery, Sunday, February 15, 2015, 5 and 8 PM.  
This has become a regular stop for PMG during the year, and I beliee this may be their first trip to Chicago without Ariacne Durand, who left last year to focus on solo projects.   It will be interesting to hear how the group sounds now. I'm not posting a promo pic yet because the ones on the website still use her. 


18 January 2015

CUBAN JAZZ IN CHICAGO:   

One of Chicago's best-kept secrets is that one of Cuba's best saxophonists, Orlando Sanchez Soto, aka Cubajazz, has been hanging out in Chicago, and he has some dates coming up at Sabor a Café, a Colombian restaurant that has become a favorite haunt of Jazz musicians from Cuba. Cubajazz now has upcoming dates there on January 24, 25 and 31. Orlando has performed with a number of the top groups in Cuba and also worked in Bulgaria with Milcho Leviev for a time. The Saturday dates are from 9-12, and the Sunday date is from 8-10.  Plan on eating there too, the Colombian food is spectacular. 

AND, 



Eliel Lazo
is coming to Sabor a Café for a concert on February 6 and a master class on February 7. Eliel recently released a killer album, Eliel Lazo and the Cuban Funk Machine, and you can see of video of some of his material in my SIn Clave No Hay Na' blog.  The concert is a don't miss for listeners, and the master class is a don't miss for percussionists. 

AND, CUBAN JAZZ ON THE RADIO......


Frankie Pineiro
has had one of the best Jazz programs on radio for years with The Afro Cuban Jazz Edition, which airs every other Tuesday on WSLR in Sarasota Florida on alternate Tuesdays. I recently joined the show for a 15-minute segment called Bill's Bag which focuses on new Jazz from Havana and the diaspora with a special emphasis on recent recordings made in Cuba.  Here's the best part - the first hour of this 2-hour show is subsequently posted up as a podcast here. 
Come check out some mind-blowing music. 


4 January 2015

Happy New Year!   Check out my Sin Clave blog for the Haila concert review and an interview in English with bandleader Edel Roque of the band that backed her, the Kentucky Salsa All Stars along with information about the January 9 Gente d'Zona concert in Louisville.


21 December 2014

THIS WEEK: 

See the Sin Clave blog for more information including a cool video greeting from Haila.  

December 14 was my last involvement with the Domingos Felices radio show.  It was fun, but next year brings new things including a short Cuban Jazz segment in English on an excellent program on an FM station. More details in a week or two, but the host and I are both very excited about what this will mean.     All the best to Frank Camacho and the gang at WCEV.  


14 December 2014:

Today's don't miss is Domingos Felices, which will include Steve Roitstein of Palo!  and also more music by Eliel Lazo & The Cuban Funk Machine plus other good things. 


7 December 2014:

SAVE THE DATE:  Haila in Louisville, KY
26 December 2014


As a Chicagoan, it pains me to say this, but I don't know if this concert could have happened here - she will be backed by the Kentucky Salsa All Stars, led by Edel Roque, and believe it or not, this group, the core of which is ISA and ENA types, has the chops to play Haila's music well.  I have seen them twice, and just as Mayito Rivera can draw a capable backing band from musicians living in New York and New Jersey, it is possible to do the same with the Louisville bunch - a lot of young talent that grew up with the real thing.  The KY Salsa All Stars opened for HdP once, and it takes stones to be able to do that well.  
The venue has hosted Charanga Habanera before.  From Chicago, Louisville can be anywhere from 4-6 hours by car depending on where you start and traffic.  
Keep your ears tuned to the Domingos Felices radio show on WCEV 1450AM  Sunday afternoons at 2-4 Chicago time the next couple of weeks for more information, some music and maybe a couple of surprises as the date approaches. 


30 November 2014

This week in Chicago is more of a regular Salsa week, but that doesn't make it boring.  Check out our picks on our Nuestros Primos Musicales page. 


23 November 2014

Tiempo Libre and Alfredo Rodriguez gave great performances a couple of weeks ago.  You can see the Alfredo Rodriguez gallery here and the Tiempo Libre gallery here

Today on Domingos Felices (WCEV 1450 AM, Cubadisco winner Rene Avich, a phenomenal tresero, and his music will be featured.  More details here


9 November 2014

THIS WEEK:

I. Quincy Jones Presents: Alfredo Rodríguez Trio 
(Alfredo Rodríguez, piano; Peter Slavov, bass; Henry Cole, Drums)
Logan Center, Performance Hall, University of Chicago
Friday, November 14, 2014, 7:30pm
Alfredo Rodriguez is another of Cuba's piano virtuosos, most recently known for his release The Invasion Parade. He came to the attention of Quincy Jones in 2006.   This looks to be a mesmerizing Jazz performance.  The following clip has him with Bulgarian bassist Peter Slavov, who will be performing with him along with New York-based drum virtuoso Henry Cole:

For more information and tickets, click HERE

II. Tiempo Libre
Old Town School of Folk Music
4545 N. Lincoln Av, Chicago, IL
November 15, 2014, 7:00pm and 10:00pm
Three-time GRAMMY nominee Tiempo Libre is one of the first and best bands in the United States to perform serious, authentic Timba. In recent years, they have frequently been seen in collaboration with orchestras, but for this performance, they will be by themselves throwing down some very heavy dance music.   A video clip from their last album:

III. Arturo Sandoval
Evanston SPACE, 1245 Chicago Avenue
Evanston, IL 60202
November 15, 2014, 7pm and 9:30pm 
Decisions, decisions. Legendary 10-time GRAMMY winner and trumpeter/bandleader Arturo Sandoval needs no introduction, he always delivers in concert, and tickets are selling fast.

Our recommendation:  Friday is easy.  For Saturday, if you can, catch both Arturo AND Tiempo Libre.  But if you only do one, remember that Arturo is here every year at some venue, and Tiempo Libre, a don't-miss, is not. If you need another tie-breaker, Tiempo Libre is the dance band, Arturo is for the Jazz. 

FINALLY:  Yes, it's a little ironic writing about a Spanish-language radio show in English here, but if you haven't been tuning in to Domingos Felices, you have been missing great music and interviews (including Tiempo Libre's  leader Jorge Gómez last Sunday for example).  For more information, check out the Domingos Felices page here


2 November 2014

COMING SOON:

I. Quincy Jones Presents: Alfredo Rodríguez Trio
(Alfredo Rodríguez, piano; Peter Slavov, bass; Henry Cole, Drums)
Logan Center, Performance Hall, University of Chicago
Friday, November 14, 2014, 7:30pm
Alfredo Rodriguez is another of Cuba's piano virtuosos, most recently known for his release The Invasion Parade. He came to the attention of Quincy Jones in 2006.   This looks to be a mesmerizing Jazz performance.  The following clip has him with Bulgarian bassist Peter Slavov, who will be performing with him along with New York-based drum virtuoso Henry Cole:

II. Tiempo Libre
Old Town School of Folk Music
4545 N. Lincoln Av, Chicago, IL
November 15, 2014, 7:00pm and 10:00pm
Three-time GRAMMY nominee Tiempo Libre is one of the first and best bands in the United States to perform serious, authentic Timba. In recent years, they have frequently been seen in collaboration with orchestras, but for this performance, they will be by themselves throwing down some very heavy dance music.  Don't miss this. AND, barring unforeseen events, bandleader Jorge Gómez will be on the radio program Domingos Felices (WCEV 1450am, Chicago) with yours truly and host Frank Camacho to converse and play some of their music on Sunday, November 9 at 3:30pm. Don't miss that either (the show, from 2-4pm Chicago time on Sundays, includes a lot of great Cuban music every week in addition to other things).  A video clip from their last album:

III. Arturo Sandoval
Evanston SPACE, 1245 Chicago Avenue
Evanston, IL 60202
November 15, 2014, 7pm and 9:30pm 
Decisions, decisions. Legendary 10-time GRAMMY winner and trumpeter/bandleader Arturo Sandoval needs no introduction, he always delivers in concert, and tickets are selling fast.  Our recommendation:  If you can, catch Arturo AND Tiempo Libre.  Arturo is here every year at some venue, Tiempo Libre, not. 

Finally, Roberto Fonseca gave a great concert in Chicago a week ago - read all about it here


19 October 2014

THIS WEEK: 

Roberto Fonseca
Mayne Stage,  1328 W. Morse, Chicago, IL
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
7:00pm and 9:30pm 
One of Cuba's most important young Jazz and Fusion pianists and composers and a half-brother of Chuchito Valdés.  Roberto gave a phenomenal performance at the Lotus Festival in Bloomington, Indiana last year.  You can read reviews of that performance and his recording Yo elsewhere on this website. 



12 October 2014

COMING SOON: 

Roberto Fonseca
Mayne Stage,  1328 W. Morse, Chicago, IL
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
7:00pm and 9:30pm 
One of Cuba's most important young Jazz and Fusion pianists and composers and a half-brother of Chuchito Valdés.  Roberto gave a phenomenal performance at the Lotus Festival in Bloomington, Indiana last year.  You can read reviews of that performance and his recording Yo elsewhere on this website. 


5 October 2014

The Harold López-Nussa Trio concert was wonderful - you can see a writeup and photo gallery here. 

If you haven't tuned into Domingos Felices on WCEV am 1450 yet, you are missing some great programming.  Today, for example, in addition to playing some Los Reyes '73, we had a live interview with Ricardo Delgado, one of the original members of that band.  We also premiered new songs by Rumbankete and Klimax. I'll be putting together a longer article about Los Reyes '73 in the future.  That band is one of the reasons why I am doing what I am doing today - listening to them over shortwave helped get me hooked on the music back in the day.  

COMING SOON: 

Roberto Fonseca, October 22, 2014, 7:00pm and 9:30pm
Mayne Stage, 1328 W. Morse, Chicago, IL
More next week, but get your tickets or at least save the date in the meantime.  I heard him live at the Lotus Festival, and this is a don't-miss.   


28 September 2014

THIS WEEK:   

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 7:30PM
Harold López-Nussa Trio 
Evanston SPACE 
1245 W. Chicago Av, Evanston, IL 
Harold, a nephew of Ernán-López-Nussa and an excellent pianist/composer in his own right, has won two Cubadisco awards (their version of the GRAMMY® awards) and had four nominations for that.  One of the best of the new generation of Cuban Jazzistas, he is performing in trio with his brother, Ruy-Adrian, on drums, and bassist Sawa Perez, known to those in the know about Cuban and Cuban-American bassists. Don't miss this.  For more info, click here.  

Un nuevo programa de radio en español, Domingos Felices, que se transmite todos los domingos entre 2-4pm hora de Chicago por la tarde, cuenta con nueva música cubana y lo mejor de la otra Salsa incluyendo entrevistas con artistas destacados e interesantes.  Este domingo, por ejemplo, el programa ofrece un par de canciones del nuevo album de El Niño y La Verdad y una entrevista en directo con ganador del GRAMMY Marlow Rosado además de una entrevista grabada con ganador del premio Cubadisco Harold López-Nussa. Marlow tiene una nueva grabación, Salsanimal.   Un video:  



Domingos Felices (también conocido informalmente como Tu Radio Secreta porque la emisora todavía no ha publicado el show en su página web) está disponible alrededor de Chicago en WCEV AM 1450 y via Internet entre 2-4pm hora de Chicago los domingos aquí:
http://www.wcev1450.com/


21 September 2014

See the Sin Clave No Hay Na blog about Harold López-Nussa's upcoming concert in Evanston on Monday, September 29.  This is a don't-miss event for lovers of Jazz from Cuba. A link to our review of New Day is included in the blog. 

During the weekend, Chuchito Valdés and Joaquin "El Pulpo" Pozo were in town.  You can see a photo gallery and read a capsule here

ALSO:  Angel D'Cuba's Septet is performing at the Hyde Park Jazz Festival on Saturday, September 28.  I have to confess that as much as I enjoy this band, at first I lifted an eyebrow when I saw that they are doing a Jazz set - this is normally more of a dance band.  However, I'm told they will have monster saxophonist Orlando Sanchez in the lineup, and I would gladly go hear this guy play variations on "Happy Birthday" or "Chopsticks" - he's that good.  Even if they do play their dance book, if they turn Orlando loose, anything can happen. 


14 September 2014

THIS WEEK:   

Chuchito Valdés and Joaquin Pozo "El Pulpo" are coming to town this weekend at Sabor a Café. See our Events and Reviews page for details. 
Mezcla performed at Millennium Park Friday night.  For a photo gallery, click here


After the show, they settled into an informal jam session at Sabor a Café, which has become  one of the most important hangouts for Cuban musicians when they are in town. 

7 September 2014

THIS WEEK:   

Mezcla, Friday, September 12, 2014, 6pm

World Music Festival, Millennium Park
(Jay Pritzker Pavilion)
Chicago IL 

This is is raw footage from Mezcla's 2013 concert at Yoshi's in Oakland.:

This tour will be using the same personnel as this concert. This edition of the group relies more heavily on Pablo's guitar than most previous versions  of the group, and he delivers.  For the complete tour itinerary and more, visit Mezcla's website.  And stay tuned for Pure Mezcla, a new album release coming in November. 


After the concert, our other pick for this week is at Sabor a Cafe Restaurant, where Cuban saxophonist Orlando Sanchez (aka Cubajazz)  has been hanging out the last couple of weekends. The music will start around 8:30pm.   Orlando is one of Cuba's best Jazz saxophonists, and he won't be here forever, so check him out while you can...

Finally, Chicago  has a Cuban music radio option that includes the newest releases along with the best of the past.:  Frank Camacho and I now are playing a fair share of Timba, Cuban Fusion, new releases from the island and great stuff from the past (along with other music not from Cuba) on a brand new radio show, Domingos Felices, every Sunday afternoon from 2-4pm Chicago time. In metro Chicago, you can hear it on WCEV 1450am.  The rest of the planet can listen to it via Internet here.  Hablamos español, pero la música es pa' todo el mundo. Tenemos entrevistas y otras cosas buenas también.  Tenemos una nueva página en Facebook:  Domingos Felices Radio1450.   Our first show on the new station was last weekend.  We had a lot of fun, and you will too if you tune in. 


31 August 2014

See my Sin Clave No Hay Na' blog for reviews and photo galleries from the weekend, which included a surprise visit to Sabor a Cafe by monster Cuban saxophonist Orlando Sanchez (aka Cubajazz).  

UP NEXT:

Mezcla, Friday, September 12, 2014, 6pm
World Music Festival, Millennium Park
(Jay Pritzker Pavilion)
Chicago IL 
This is a don't-miss concert by one of Cuba's foremost Fusion bands. This edition of the group will heavily feature Pablo's guitar along with a monster Jazz violinist, Julio Valdes Fuentes.  It's your favorite price (free), and the sound in the park is usually perfect.  Save the date!

And there's more:  see our Events and Reviews page for 5 other Cuban music events coming up soon:


24 August 2014

THIS WEEK:  



Aruán Ortíz Orbiting Quartet.  In Chicago on August 29 at 8pm at the Beverly Arts Center and Detroit on August 30 at The Detroit Jazz Festival.  This Santiago-born piano virtuoso is now an internationally-famous Jazz artist who has performed with multiple names including Wallace Roney, and he represents part of the new generation of Cuban-born musicians that is helping to move the music forward in New York.   The Chicago Jazz Festival may be getting most of the PR oxygen right now, but this is worth attending too. Check out his website, which includes audio samples and videos, here.    

Festival Cubano was a blast - you can read our synopsis, which includes three photo galleries, here. 


10 August 2014

THIS WEEK:  


Now in its 5th year, the festival features a special tribute to Juan Formell on opening night and one of this writer's personal favorite groups, Palo! on the closing night:  For more info, click here.

I was really hoping to tell you that the Havana d'Primera concert was wonderful.  And it could have been if it had been produced and promoted properly.   Here are the unfortunate details, written fairly and objectively.   I would like to see HdP come back and do the concert that should have happened, but never this way again.  Ever.  Ditto any other bands from Cuba. 


3 August 2014

THIS WEEK:  

One of Cuba's most important Timba bands.  I saw then live in New York a couple of years back, and they put on a high energy show than galvanizes audiences.  A don't-miss.   If you are new to this group, here's a taste:

COMING UP:  


Now in its 5th year, the festival features one of this writer's personal favorite groups, Palo! on the closing night:

Cuban-American artist Alex Bia is also on the bill during the weekend:

Fajardo Jr (son of Charanga legend Jose Fajardo)  is also on the bill:

We'll share more next week.  This is a Festival that you don't want to miss.



27 July 2014

THIS WEEK:  

A. Chucho Valdés and the Afro Cuban Messengers at Ravinia,  Wednesday, July 30, 2014, 8pm
A concert by the Afro Cuban Messengers and Bebel Gilberto.  Chucho is one of the Dinastia Valdés and is one of Cuba's premier Jazz pianists, composers and bandleaders. Ravinia's schedule page for purchasing tickets is https://www.ravinia.org/Calendar

Border-Free, Chucho's latest album, was nominated for a Latin GRAMMY and won a Cubadisco.

Kevin Moore - domingo, 12 julio 2015, 09:59 am