Review by Geoff Anderson of the February 27, 2015 benefit concert at Mount Vernon Country Club.
"Jazz, pass it on. That was a big part of what happened last Friday night at the Mount Vernon Country Club. National Endowment of the Arts Jazz Master and 15-time Grammy Award winner Paquito D’Rivera led an ensemble of primarily college students in an evening of Latin Jazz. The groove was solid, the song selection impeccable and the learning experience priceless.
The jazz program at the University of Colorado at Boulder was the specific beneficiary of D’Rivera’s visit. The student leader of the band, pianist Walter Gorra, doubles as a civil engineering student. In between the students and the master were a couple of well-known professional Denver musicians, including vibes man Greg Harris and percussionist Manuel Lopez.
D’Rivera acted as Master of Ceremonies throughout the evening, often speaking of his love for Brazilian music when he introduced tunes he wrote in the Brazilian style. A particular highlight of the set was a D’Rivera original - a tribute to James Moody called “Who’s Smoking?” - that featured such tight, intricate playing by the front line that it sounded like the group had been playing the tune together for years rather than mere days. The band also played a Gorra original called “Jazongo,” which won the 2014 Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Award."
For the entire review please click here
The Telluride Jazz All Star program brings students from all over the globe to participate in the Telluride Jazz Festival. I have been fortunate to have participated in this program three times, and I am grateful for the wonderful experience and new friendships.
The last minute of the video features one of my compositions, "Essence"