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Latin Jazz Ensemble performs at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater


The Latin Jazz Ensemble's rhythm section keeps the group in time during their performance. The 10 members of the ensemble performed at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater Oct. 9 along with Soneros la Caliza. Buy Photos

Theodora Fogarty and her daughter took to the dance floor at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater Monday night. The Latin Jazz Ensemble performed at the venue, showcasing Cuban music. 

Fogarty said she used to play violin with another jazz band, Yerbabuena, and that her album was produced by Michael Spiro, one of the directors of the Ensemble.

“Dancing here with my daughter is like the next chapter in the story,” Fogarty said.

As an opening to the Latin Jazz Ensemble's performance, select members of the Jacobs School of Music Latin American Ensemble, Soneros la Caliza, took the stage. Its band members said that the name Soneros la Caliza loosely translates to "limestone players," and Son is a style of Cuban music. 

“It seems an appropriate name for where we are,” guitarist Matthew Kilby said.

The band members played a unique combination of instruments. Rather than a normal size guitar, Kilby played a three quarter size guitar, while his acoustic counterpart Joe Galvin played a tres cubano, an instrument similar to a guitar but with a slightly different sound. 

Trombonist Matthew Waterman plays a solo during "Paso a paso" by Wayne Wallace. The Latin Jazz Ensemble performed at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater Oct. 9 along with Soneros la Caliza. Ty Vinson Buy Photos

The band played three pieces, “El carretero,” a Cuban Guajira piece by Guillermo Portables, “Suavecito,” a Son Cubano piece by Ignacio Piñeiro and “Chan chan,” a Trova piece by Francisco Repilado.

The audience began to dance during the last song of Soneros la Caliza’s set, “Coco mai mai.” The first person to dance was a middle aged woman to the right of the stage. As she moved to the latin beat of the music, other young women began to join her on the dance floor in front of the stage. Some of the last dancers to join in were Fogarty and her daughter.

The pair headed back to the front of the theater to dance during the Ensemble’s set as well. The ensemble played in the big band style, with four or five players per section.

The group played pieces from three composers, including one of the directors for the ensemble, Wayne Wallace. Michael Spiro was the first conductor of the evening and opened the set asking for support of Caribbean nations. 

“The music of the Caribe has so much joy, and so much power, and so much spirit in it, but we would be remiss to not think of the people of the Caribe tonight,” he said. “Particularly, but not exclusively, the people of Puerto Rico. They very much need our help, so any way you can help to bring the Caribe back to life, please do so.”

The ensemble opened with Wallace’s piece “Paso a paso” conducted by Spiro. Spiro said Wallace graciously allowed him to conduct the tune. 

The longer the band played, the more audience members, young and old, parents and their children, left their seats and followed the rhythm to the dance floor.

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