Thursday, August 20, 2009

Latin Beat: August Edition

As Onda Carolina celebrates its first anniversary, this month is turning out to be one of the busiest on record for Latin music in the Triangle. I have a lot of catching up to do, so here's a digest of recent news and upcoming events.

First order of business: It's the third Thursday (8/20) of the month, and Tambor Vivo is headlining again at Mosaic's free, no-cover Cuban night. Mosaic's adventurous programming creates a win/win proposition for our music and dance community. Just show up, no classes, no covers, no pretense. Just the call of live drums. This party scene is burgeoning and a little different every time. Truly cultural, yet open-ended, you can dance how you want to, from straight-up rumba to whatever shakes your bootay.

Thursday appetizer: Did you know that a free bomba dance class is held every Thursday at Havana Grill in Cary? Time: 6:30 pm - 8ish, depending on attendance. Instructor Miriam Rivas is a Puerto Rican native and a researcher at Duke. Ladies, wear a wide skirt if you have one, and sneakers or shoes appropriate for dancing on concrete. Havana Grill serves Cuban food with nightly specials.

Next on the agenda: This Saturday (8/22) is Durham's Latino Festival, 3:00 - 8:00 pm at Rock Quarry Park. This free festival will highlight local Mexican regional music by Leno y sus Compas, and two of our best salsa bands: The Latin Project and Carnavalito. For the full schedule, see poster below or visit the Durham Latino Festival website.

August has been a packed month for festivals, from Ritmo Latino, to La Ley's 6th anniversary last weekend, which I unfortunately had to miss because I was out of town. It looked to be a humdinger, with return appearances by Domenic M (the bachata singer and his supertight band played the festival 3 years ago) and Grupo Control (spandex cowboys whose sexy show kicked off this blog a year ago).

Further jamming the festival calendar, this August will wrap up with La Fiesta del Pueblo on August 29-30 (which traditionally has taken place in early September). Currently they are looking for volunteers; if you would like to volunteer, fill out this online form. Their stage schedule isn't out yet, but check back soon for more details. (Let me get through one festival at a time...)

Finally I want to congratulate all the members of the NCCU Jazz Ensemble and director Ira Wiggins on a triumphant set of performances at the Newport Jazz Festival. From what I understand, this was a project several years in the making, and NCCU artist-in-residence Branford Marsalis was instrumental in creating the showcase. The ensemble is really getting out and about these days; they will play the Detroit Jazz Festival this Labor Day weekend.

We are tremendously lucky to have high order jazz education in our midst. It's nothing to take for granted, and has had a tremendous impact on our salsa scene, when you look at the number of musicians to come out of Central who also play "our Latin thing." Kudos to NCCU Jazz, it's on my list of great things about living in Durham.


Got news or calendar items for Onda Carolina? I would love to hear from YOU. You can leave a comment, or email me by clicking on "Sylvia P." in the contributors box (sidebar, right) to reach my Blogger profile.



Andy said...

Great job Sylvia. I love the blog and it is extremely informative! I'd love for you to check out the Guillo Carias Trio at Sullivans every Wednesday from 8-12. Myself and Ramon Ortiz complete the trio and it's a total Caribbean vibe. Congrats on the blog!


Sylvia P. said...

Red meat for jazz lovers - love it, Andy! Thanks for the tip, I've added it to the calendar. I would like to hear more of what Guillo can do.

(Thanks for the kind words, also!)


Eric said...

happy one year anniversary!