Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Happy Hour

PrimeraJazz, a new Latin jazz project of pianist Eric Hirsh and friends, will play a free "Sabor Latino" happy hour concert at the North Carolina Museum of Art this Friday (10/24).

"Sabor Latino" takes place Friday from 5:30-8:00 pm at the Museum on Blue Ridge Road in Raleigh. The Latin-themed event is part of the Art in the Evening series, meant to highlight the museum's extended Friday hours. Admission to both the museum and the music event is free.


Spanish wines and Latin American food will be available for purchase, but don't expect PrimeraJazz's music to be watered down for the cocktail circuit.

"It's good to challenge ourselves," says Hirsh, a three-time winner of the ASCAP Foundation Young Jazz Composers Award. Hirsh is rehearsing the quintet to perform his original charts, as well as "salsified" jazz standards, such as his guaguanco arrangement of a Wayne Shorter tune.

As a student, Hirsh rocked Latin rhythms with UNC's Charanga Carolina. Today he plays with hip hop group The Beast and co-leads the salsa band Orquesta GarDel. He is employed by the music software company Zenph Studios, Inc.

In this incarnation of PrimeraJazz, he will be joined by Peter Kimosh, bass, Al Strong, trumpet, Steve Coffman, drums, and Brevan Hampden, congas.

"I'm looking forward to it, and hopefully getting to book this group many more times, so we can really play out instead of have to hold back and play restaurant/wedding jazz."

UPDATE: Eric blogs about the history and resurgence of PrimeraJazz here.

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