Friday night saw an exciting take on Latin jazz come to the Logan Center. Fourteen-time Grammy award winning Paquito D' Rivera brought his quintet to the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts for an evening of jazz that featured work from his 2014 album, Jazz Meets the Classics. On the bandstand were Diego Urcola (trumpet and valve trombone), Alex Brown (piano), Oscar Stagnaro (electric six-string bass), and Mark Walker (drums). Sitting in as a guest from Alejo Poveda on congas.
The conceit was casting works by Beethoven and Chopin as Latin jazz. It worked. Along the way we also heard some Cuban music, with homage to Dizzy Gillespie. I was particularly enamored by Stagnaro's bass work. A solo late in the program was the standout of the concert. Also notable was the Stagnaro's duet with D'Rivera on saxophone.
D'Rivera is a very congenial host, who added flavor to the evening with his stories and remarks between numbers. "Deportation" and "Immigration Status" were running themes throughout the evening. Not hard to figure out who D'Rivera and the band are supporting--Not Trump.
Earlier in the evening, we were treated to some subtle jazz in the Logan Cafe by drummer Gustavo Cortinas' Snapshot, featuring Justin Copeland (trumpet), Joaquin Garcia (piano), and Kitt Lyles (bass).
As for the Logan Cafe: It has a new operator. The food is much improved, with a wider variety of selections.
I was the only photographer present this evening. The cover photograph makes my effort look easy, but once I was up close, the mikes and music stands were fighting me all night. The two boom mikes over drummer Mark Walker were particularly meddlesome--Diego Urcola looked like he had wires and booms growing out of his head. D'Rivera's music stand hid most the bells on his clarinet and saxophone throughout the evening. I got lucky, managing to capture the few times he stepped out from behind the stand while playing.