NJPAC Presents Latin Jazz Weekend

NEWARK – NJPAC’s Alternate Routes Series presents its annual fiery weekend of Latin jazz with three performances from Friday, October 30 through Sunday, November 1, 2009.  The culminating event on Sunday, November 1 at 5:00pm brings together on Prudential Hall’s stage the legendary Latin jazz ensemble the Spanish Harlem Orchestra and the familiar sizzle of timbales from the Tito Puente Jr. Orchestra, an NJPAC-exclusive and Puente’s NJPAC debut.   Tickets are $18-$60.

Opening the ¡Encuentro! Latin Jazz Weekend on Friday, October 30 at 7:30pm will be Baila me Gente, a Latin Jazz dance party on the Victoria Theater stage featuring traditional Cuban dance orchestra Cubanoson, led by Leonel “Papo” Ortegaa, along with music from DJ Jose Rodriguez.  Dance instruction will be offered.  Tickets are $28.


On Saturday, October 31 at 7:30pm, renowned composer and multi-instrumentalist/composer Paquito D’Rivera will take the Victoria Theater stage with his quintet in “Cuban Jazz, the Next Generation,” Joining him will be Dave Samuels on vibes and marimba, Pedrito Martinez on percussion & vocals, Richard Padron on guitar, Alex Brown on piano, Charles Flores on contrabass, and Eric Doob on drums.  Tickets are $39.

The all-star Spanish Harlem Orchestra, comprised of 13 veterans of New York’s most legendary salsa bands, is led by world-renowned pianist-arranger Oscar Hernández. Their 2008 CD, United We Swing, just earned them a second Grammy for “Best Salsa Album.”

In addition to being Rubén Blades’ pianist, arranger and musical director, Oscar Hernández has enjoyed recording and  performing with such world renown artists as Tito Puente,  Celia Cruz and Julio Iglesias.  The orchestra is comprised of Hernandez on piano; Ray De La Paz, vocals; Marco Bermudez, vocals; Willie Torres, vocals; Maximo Rodriguez, bass; Lusito Quintero, percussion; George Delgado, percussion; Jorge Gonzalez, percussion; Jimmy Bosch, trombone; Dan Reagan, trombone; Pete Nater, trumpet; John Walsh, trumpet; and Mitch Frohman, sax/flute.  www.spanishharlemorchestra.net

Tito Puente Jr. proudly walks in his father’s footsteps. He and his orchestra are making their NJPAC debut with a program drawn from In My Father’s Shoes, their recent CD of classic Puente tunes.  Tito Puente, Jr. has become a favorite artist in performing arts centers and jazz festivals nationwide and his tribute to his father’s music was seen on NBC’s two hour special—“The Apollo at 70: A Hot Night in Harlem.”  www.titopuentejr.net

Paquito D’Rivera was a recipient of a 2005 National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Jazz Master Fellowship.   In 2005, D’Rivera was also one of ten artists awarded the 2005 National Medal of Arts by President Bush.  D’Rivera has won six Grammy® Awards and was the first artist to win Latin Grammys in both Classical and Latin Jazz categories for Stravinsky’s Historia del Soldado and Brazilian Dreams.  He has done countless recordings and performances in both jazz and Latin music, but he has just as prestigious a list of accomplishments in the classical realm.  www.paquitodrivera.com

Cubanoson is a traditional Cuban dance orchestra created by pianist Leonel “Papo” Ortega.  Their debut CD, Recordando A Cuba, was rated as the #1 Son CD for 2006 in Germany, Italy and England and #3 in New York by Latin Beat Magazine. They have performed multiple times at NJPAC’s Sounds of the City.  www.cubanoson.com/

Philadelphia-based salsa DJ Jose Rodriguez has been spinning records for over 20 years and has been featured at major events such as the Miami Mambo Project, FLAVA Invasion, NYC Salsa Congress, and the 2008 Washington DC Salsa Congress.  He opened for some of the biggest names in salsa music, including El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico, Willie Rosario, Spanish Harlem Orquestra, Jimmy Bosch, Lebron Brothers, Adalberto Santiago, Domingo Quinones, and La Selecta.

All tickets are available by telephone at 1-888-GO-NJPAC (1-888-466-5722), at the NJPAC Box Office at One Center Street in downtown Newark, or by visiting the NJPAC website at www.njpac.org.

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