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Latin Jazz Orchestra

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If I were to use one word to describe the "Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra" that word would be astonishing. At first, hearing that I was required to attend a Jazz concert I was completely turned off. I am very closed minded and automatically thought to myself that the kind of music would be dreadful. That is not the case anymore. This genre of music is amusing and very pleasing to the ears. The band members are some of the most talented musicians that I ever saw or heard.

Standing room tickets were sold out when we arrived at Mc Carter Theater. For ten dollars we purchased box seats right near the stage. My friend Kevin and I were thrilled with our seats which allowed the beat view of the whole stage. The theater it self was beautiful. The stage was set up well with nice a nice lighting. The entire band consisted of eighteen musicians. There were seventeen males and one female. In the front of the stage was the pianist and director Arturo O' Farril. Also in the front was the musician on bongos. To the left of the stage was the saxophone players and to the right the trombone players. In the rear were the trumpet players with the musician on bass in front of them as well as the drummer. I believe this setup allowed for their superb sound. Over all our seats were incredible and made the performance much more enjoyable.

Between songs the pianist and director Arturo O' Farril would give a short introduction and history behind the songs. He used mild comedy which added a nice amount of laughter amongst the audience. After each song he would introduce the soloists that performed in the last song that was played. They would then stand up and take a bow. The female member, Erica von Kleist, was very good at the alto saxophone. I also liked Mario Rivera who played the tenor saxophone. The soloists' that would perform during each song would stand when it was time for there solo. My favorite song of the night was entitled "Wild Jungle". Before the song Arturo gave us a brief introduction on what to expect. He mentioned a saxophone duo solo between Mario Rivera and one of his fellow band members that he taught. Arturo referred to the solo as "the master vs. the apprentice." When the solo began my jaw dropped. It was so fast and lovely to listen too. Both musicians went back and forth playing. I could not tell who was a better saxophone player. Mario Rivera must have taught his student really well because they were both remarkable. In this song there was also a bongo solo that really caught my attention. The musician played so fast and kept a perfect beat.

Another song that I enjoyed was entitled "Humility". There was also some mild humor in the introduction to this song. The trumpet soloist took off Mario Rivera's jacket and put it on creating laughter when Arturo said it's a good look for him. I too found his outfit rather funny. He was wearing leather pants, and chain wallet, and a nice button down shirt. He stood in the front of the stage for about 3 minutes until it was time for his solo. It was indeed a fine solo on the trumpet.




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