Hot Summer Jazz Festival offers great Latin music


The “Hot Summer Jazz Festival” returns to the Twin Cities for its eighth year and features a slew of exciting Latin jazz performances – including local performers Nachito Herrera, George Avaloz and Salsa del Soul.

Each year the festival, which is held in various locations around the Twin Cities from June 11-25, draws upwards of 75,000 people. Past performers have included Dave Brubeck, Butch Thompson, Chic Corea and the Duke Ellington Orchestra.

Outdoor concerts locations include Mears Park, in Downtown St. Paul (June 16 & 17), and Peavey Plaza and three other nearby stages in Downtown Minneapolis (June 22 – 25). The main event of the festival; however, is held at Peavey Plaza. The festival also closes several blocks and utilizes clubs, restaurants and the Millennium Hotel bar for additional stages – the Artists’ Quarter in St. Paul and the Dakota Jazz Club in Minneapolis will present special shows during the Festival’s run. The Cities of St. Paul, Hopkins, Plymouth, Uptown, Eden Prairie and Wayzata have also recently partnered with the festival for additional events.

On June 22-23 there will be a club crawl from 8 p.m. to half past midnight. A $25 pin entitles entrance to all participating clubs, food/drink specials and trolley rides to and from selected venues. Proceeds from the pin sales will go to Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity and PPL.

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For Latin music fans
Latin music fans will have a great time at the festival, which will feature both national and local acts. They include:

Bobby Sanabria
Drummer, percussionist, composer, arranger, recording artist, producer and educator, has performed with a veritable Who’s Who in the world of jazz and Latin music, as well as with his own critically acclaimed ensemble, Ascensión. His diverse recording and performing experience includes work with such legendary figures as Dizzy Gillespie, Tito Puente, Paquito D’Rivera, Charles McPherson, Mongo Santamaría, Ray Barretto, Chico O’Farrill, Candido, Francisco Aguabella, Henry Threadgill, and the Godfather of Afro-Cuban Jazz, Mario Bauzá.

Bobby, the son of Puerto Rican parents, was born and raised in the “Fort Apache” section of New York City’s South Bronx. Inspired and encouraged by Maestro Tito Puente, another fellow New York-born Puerto Ricans, Bobby “got serious” andattended Boston’s Berklee College of Music from 1975 to 1979, obtaining a Bachelor of Music degree. He received their prestigious Faculty Association Award for his work as an instrumentalist.

Since his graduation, Bobby has become a leader in the Afro-Cuban and jazz fields as both drummer and percussionist, and is recognized as one of the most articulate scholars of la tradición. He has been featured on numerous Grammy-nominated albums, including The Mambo Kings and other movie soundtracks, as well as numerous television and radio work. His most critically praised work has been with the famed Mario Bauzá and his Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra. With them he recorded three Grammy-nominated CDs, considered to be the definitive works of the Afro-Cuban big-band jazz tradition.

Mr. Sanabria was also featured with the Mario Bauza orchestra in two PBS documentaries about Bauza and also appeared on the Bill Cosby Show with the Bauza orchestra. He appeared prominently in a PBS documentary on the life of Mongo Santamaria and on camera in the CBS television movie Rivkin: Bounty Hunter.

Nachito Herrera
Widely recognized as a young genius, Ignacio “Nachito” Herrera stunned Cuban audiences at the age of 12, performing Rachmaninoff’s Concerto No. 2 with the Havana Symphony Orchestra. His love of classical music quickly combined with traditional Cuban rhythms under the instruction of the Cuban masters: Rubén González, Jorge Gomez Labraña, and Frank Fernández. In his 20s, Nachito became the musical director at the famous “Tropicana” in Cuba, where he continued to deepen his repertoire. In the late 1990’s, Nachito joined the famed Cubanismo as its lead pianist, arranger, and musical director while cultivating a passion, talent and reputation in Latin Jazz; a striking influence in his music today.

Nachito has toured, performed, and shared the stage with exceptional musicians: Michel Camilo, Michael Tainer, Tata Quines, Carlos de Puerto, Tito Puentes, Oscar de Leon, Giovanni Hidalgo (Mananguito), Emilio del Monte, Jesus Alemany, Yellowjackets and many others.

In addition to being a talented and engaging performer, Nachito has been involved in 15 different album projects in various capacities: as a producer, collaborator, arranger, artist and musician. Today, a new project emerges on the market from Nachito Herrera: Bembé En Mi Casa.

Bembé En Mi Casa is a journey through rich combinations of Cuban rhythms, both old and new; a show of spiritual force and musical talent; and a demonstration of proud Cuban tradition. Bembé is supported by a talented, and acclaimed group of Cuban musicians including Raúl Pineda on drums, Jesús Díaz as lead vocal and percussion, Adalberto Lara on trumpet, Nardy Castellini on saxophone and Mirdalys Herrera on vocals.

George Avaloz Band
George Avaloz grew up on St. Paul’s West Side, where his entertainment career began as a young Mexican hat dancer at community celebrations. But drumming is how this hip performer has made his mark in show business, playing with greats like Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Sarah Vaughan, Quincy Jones, and a decade with vocal master Billy Eckstine. On his 2004 CD The Highest Mountain, Avaloz proves once again why he ranks among the best timekeepers and musical interpreters of the glory years of bebop and ballad jazz. George has lived in Chicago, New York and on the road, so we’re very happy to have him living in St. Paul and playing with a bunch of his fans, who also happen to be some of the finest jazz cats around.

Salsa del Soul
Twin Cities based Salsa del Soul is a 10-piece orchestra performing various styles of dance music from the Spanish speaking regions of the Caribbean. Salsa del Soul was formed for the express purpose of getting dancers on the floor. The musicians represent some of the finest in the Twin Cities Latin music scene. Whatever your style: Son Montuno,Cha-Cha-Cha, Meringue, Plena, Salsa , Salsa del Soul delivers the goods while having as much fun as you are.


Mercedes Benz Main Stage:
Thursday, June 22
5:00 MITY
6:30 Ginger Commodore
8:30 Dan Kusz

Friday, June 23
5:00 Air Force Falconaires Big Band
7:00 Frank Morgan with David Young
9:00 Barbara Morrison

Saturday, June 24
4:30 Norman Simmons with Anton Denner & Sheila Earley
7:00 Air Force Falconaires Big Band
9:00 Dewey Redman

Sunday, June 25
2:30 JazzMN Big Band
4:30 Nachito Herrera

Millennium Hotel Stage:
Thursday, June 22
8:15P Michael “Hook” Deutsch
9:00P Bill Crutcher & Work in Progress
10:45P Tanner Taylor with Doug Haining

Friday, June 23
9:00P Twin Cities Hot Club
10:45P Dennis Spears with Jon Weber & Peter Snell

Saturday, June 24
6:00P Tom Wegren
7:30P Butch Thompson
9:00P Larry McDonough
10:45P Jon Weber & Jerry Weldon

Sunday, June 25
12N TO 7:00P The Jazz Vocal Coalition featuring
Lila Ammons • Tommy Bruce • Dorothy Doring • Connie Dusseau • Arne Fogel • Maud Hixson • Rhonda Laurie • Connie Olson • Christine Rosholt • Sue Tucker • Vicky Mountain

Nicollet on the Mall Stage:
Saturday, June 24
12:00 Trumpet Summit featuring David Young, Kelly Rossum & Dave Jensen
1:30 Norman Simmons with Vicky Mountain
3:00 IAJE Mid-Level State Honor Jazz Ensemble directed by Doug Snapp
4:30 High School Big Band
6:00 IAJE Minnesota Chapter Resource Team
7:30 Swing Dance with Mood Swing featuring Laurie Trach

Sunday, June 25
12:00 MacPhail Center for Music • Jazz Combos
1:15 Jerry Weldon & Jon Weber
2:30 MacPhail Center for Music • Jazz Faculty Performance
3:45 Open Jam Session with MacPhail Faculty
5:00 The Schubert Club • Jazz Piano Competition • Winners Showcase

Summit Brewery Stage:
Friday, June 16
5:00 Chris Graham
6:45 Mose Allison
8:30 George Avaloz Band

Saturday, June 17
NOON Walker West Music Academy
1:30 Jesse Kegan
3:00 Bend in the River Big Band
4:30 Nachito Herrera
6:00 Salsa del Soul
8:00 Bobby Sanabria

Skyscape Stage:
(This stage is located at Nicollet Mall & 11th street)
Saturday, June 24
2:00 Kenny Horst Quartet
3:30 Jim Marentic and the Coltrane Connection Sextet
6:00 Jon Weber & Jerry Weldon
8:00 Connie Evingson & Debbie Duncan

Sunday, June 25
12:00 Alicia Reneé with Elizabeth Stoiaken
1:30 Yohannes Tona
3:30 Phil Hey Quartet