Entertainment Music

Sunday 18 February 2018

Get into the mood for salsa with an all-star Afro-Cuban ensemble

Grainne Farren

LONG before the term "world music" was coined, Dizzy Gillespie introduced the Afro-Cuban sound to jazz audiences. Tomorrow night, Juan de Marcos Gonzalez and the Afro-Cuban All Stars bring that authentic sound to the National Concert Hall.

A big band with a strong brass section and loads of percussion, they play all the dance rhythms of Cuba, including bolero, cha cha cha, salsa, rumba and abakua.

Recordings made by previous incarnations of the band include A Toda Cuba Le Gusta and Buena Vista Social Club. Younger musicians have joined the Afro-Cuban All Stars over the years, keeping it fresh, flexible and creative. In 2002, de Marcos founded his own label, DM Ahora! Records, and went on to record more albums by the band: Live in Japan and the Grammy-nominated Step Forward (both 2005).

Cormac O'Brien's Sunday residency is doing very well in the Central Hotel, Exchequer Street. The bass player leads a trio with John Moriarty (guitar) and Myles Drennan (drums), and a different guest soloist joins the group every week.

Last Sunday, the guest was Anders Bergcrantz (trumpet) from Sweden, a hardy bopper who regaled us with his own original treatment of tunes ranging from Errol Garner to Wayne Shorter. The venue is comfortable and the audience attentive. The gig runs from 5pm to 7.30pm. Admission is free, but a bucket is passed around at the interval to collect well-deserved donations.

The Bad Plus, with Ethan Iverson (piano), Reid Anderson (bass) and David King (drums), continues its Stravinsky tour, playing in the Hawkswell, Sligo, tonight, the Riverbank Theatre, Kildare, on Tuesday, the Belltable, Limerick on Wednesday and the Triskel, Cork, on Thursday.

Music and wit join hands when Susannah de Wrixon sings with Risteard Cooper (vocals) and Jim Doherty (piano), next Friday at lunchtime in the John Field Room, NCH.

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