85 West Newton St.
Boston, Massachusetts 02118

Contact: Allen Bush, Office of Public Information, 617-747-2658.

Latin Music Concert Series and Dance Party

Outside in the South End

Returns for Fourth Year on Four Thursdays in July

Free Music from Berklee College, La Casa de La Cultura,
and ParkARTS

Boston, MA, June 16, 2008 - Summer afternoons in Boston can sizzle, but evening respites in a neighborhood park listening and dancing to tropical sounds and syncopated beats can be even hotter. The fourth-annual Tito Puente Latin Music Series - presented by Berklee College of Music; La Casa de La Cultura /Center for Latino Arts, IBA; and ParkARTS - combines the Latin rhythms of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Costa Rica, with influences from far-flung corners of the world, reflecting Berklee’s sonic melting pot.

The FREE music series takes place over four Thursday evenings - July 10, 17, 24, and 31 - outdoors at O’ Day Park, next door to the Jorge Hernandez Cultural Center, 85 West Newton St., in Boston’s South End. Concerts are from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

For more information call 617-927-1707, e-mail [email protected], or click berklee.edu/events. The park is wheelchair accessible.

This year’s program:

July 10 - The wildly danceable Gregorio Uribe Big Band is a 15-piece group that plays Gregorio Uribe’s original songs and traditional Colombian music. With Berklee alum Uribe sometimes squeezing an accordion and nine horn players soaring over the percussion, the Orquesta is reminiscent of Columbian porro groups, similar to New Orleans second line bands, but with updated harmonies and arrangements. Uribe was born in Bogota, Colombia, and started his musical life playing drums and guitar in traditional Colombian music and punk/rock bands. His current projects reflect the energy of his teenage years; he also plays drums in Pop Filter, rocking out on music from the Caribbean coast of Colombia.

July 17 - The Berklee Latin Jazz All-Stars is six top scholarship students from Puerto Rico, Israel, and the United States. Members coalesced around their love for the polyrhythm and joyful precision of Latin jazz. The group was named this year's Best College Jazz Band by Down Beat magazine, under the name La Timbistica, and recently performed in the Monterey Jazz Festival's Next Generation Festival in Monterey, California. The All-Stars are led by conguero Paulo Stagnaro, and include trumpeter Niv Toar, flutist Enrique Trinidad, pianist Abraham Olivo, bassist Juan Maldonado, and timbalero Marcos Lopez. This summer, the group will also perform at the Duke Ellington Jazz Festival in Washington, D.C.

July 24 – Manolo Mairena is a sonero (salsa singer) and percussionist from Costa Rica who has fused Afro-Caribbean and Latin music with an array of styles he learned since moving to the U.S. at 16. He began his career stateside performing traditional Puerto Rican music. His playing drew attention from some of the major Latin bands in New England, and he played or recorded with Tropical Sound, Mango Blue, Manguito, Obini Tumbao, and Combo Sabroso, among many others. He started his own band called Curubandé, which he still performs with today. Mairena has toured Spain and Mexico and has also performed in Australia, Cuba, India, and Puerto Rico. Currently, he is working on Mi Oportunidad, an album of original music featuring a cast of top performers including Alex Alvear, Angel Subero, and Gonzalo Grau, among others.

July 31 – Eguie Castrillo, who will perform with his orchestra, is a native of San Juan and an authority on the rhythms of Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and Trinidad and Tobago. The timbale and conga player has performed or recorded with such Latin luminaries as Arturo Sandoval, Ruben Blades, and Michel Camilo, and American pop and jazz stars including Michael Brecker, Steve Winwood, and Jennifer Lopez. Among his greatest influences is Tito Puente, whose spirit lives in Castrillo’s orchestra performances that salute the 1950s Palladium Ballroom scene in New York City, where dancers went wild for Puente’s mambo music. The 18-piece orchestra includes a large horn section, congas, bongos, and lots of energy. He has been teaching in Berklee's percussion department since 1999.

About the presenters:

Now in its 12th year, ParkARTS began as Mayor Thomas M. Menino’s initiative to present a yearlong program of arts and culture related programs and events in Boston's park system. ParkARTS, the Boston Parks and Recreation Department's multi faceted arts program incorporates the visual, performing, and participatory arts. The 2008 ParkARTS performing arts program will present concerts in Boston neighborhood parks that range from jazz to symphonic music.

The Center for Latino Arts/La Casa de la Cultura is a cutting-edge, multi-functional community arts complex that conveys to both Latinos and non-Latinos from all over New England, the vitality of contemporary and traditional Latino cultural expressions, including folk dance and music, Latin jazz, film, poetry, and theater. The Center joins our Jorge Hernandez performance space (converted into a 450-seat venue from a historic church in 1986) with a new community arts center (renovated from the adjacent parish house in 2003) that includes a gallery, dance studio and visual arts studio. Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción (IBA) is a dynamic community building agency dedicated to increasing the social and economic power of individuals and families through education, economic development, technology and arts programming that build safe, vibrant and culturally diverse affordable housing communities.

Berklee College of Music was founded on the revolutionary principle that the best way to prepare students for careers in music was through the study and practice of contemporary music. For over half a century, the college has evolved constantly to reflect the state of the art of music and the music business. With over a dozen performance and nonperformance majors, a diverse and talented student body representing over 70 countries, and a music industry "who's who" of alumni, Berklee is the world's premier learning lab for the music of today — and tomorrow.

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Added by Berklee MR on June 17, 2008

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