Seattle is home to a number of very talented musicians whose focus is Latin Jazz. Here are three bands well worth searching for in the clubs and concert halls of the Emerald City:
One of the longest-running Afro-Cuban Jazz groups in the area is Sonando, led by multi-instrumentalist by Fred Hoadley. The bands’ interpretations of the compositions of Charles Mingus were a highlight of the 2011 Earshot Jazz Festival. Sonando’s three recordings have all received critical acclaim around the country. Catch Sonando live on the third Thursday of each month (tonight) at Tula’s jazz club (214 2nd Ave, Seattle).
Percussionist Lary Barilleau was a co-founder of Sonando, and has gone on to become a first-call percussionist on the regional scene, the West Coast and in New York. His latest band is the Latin Jazz Collective, and they’ll be at Tula’s on Saturday, March 2. The band’s new CD is “Carmen’s Mambo.” Lary also teaches performing arts at Hamilton International Middle School in Seattle, and he received a Golden Apple Award in 2011 for his outstanding work there.
Known in the Northwest for their joyful and energetic performances, Tumbao combines traditional Salsa with modern Cuban Timba and Latin jazz. Leader and vocalist Carlos Cascante grew up in a musical family in Costa Rica. In Seattle, he joined the group Latin Expression, performed with Fania All Star pianist Larry Harlow as lead singer at the Seattle Latin Sea Fair, and was part of Seattle’s first All-Star Salsa Concert. Check out two great recordings from this group: Recuerdos and Hablando en Serio.
Listen for more Latin Jazz, homegrown or international, on Jazz Caliente, Thursday afternoons at 2pm on KPLU’s Mid Day Jazz!