Vail Symposium partners with Vail Jazz for in-depth look at Afro-Cuban jazz | VailDaily.com

Vail Symposium partners with Vail Jazz for in-depth look at Afro-Cuban jazz

Katie Coakley
Special to the Daily

VAIL — Strolling down the streets of Vail, it's not uncommon to feel yourself unconsciously moving to a beat. Whether it's the cover songs played on the deck of Pepi's or the live music (Vail Jazz at The Market) during the Vail Farmers' Market & Art Show, the streets are alive with the sound of music in Vail.

Today, the sounds wafting through the warm night air around the Sonnenalp will have a decidedly different beat. The Vail Symposium and Vail Jazz are pairing up to offer a program called Exploring Afro-Cuban Jazz, led by Dr. Michael Davison, D.M.A., and featuring a special performance by ¡Cubanismo! on Ludwig's Terrace.

'Perfect blend'

Spanning the 1700s to the modern era, the evolution of Afro-Cuban music has defined an isolated culture and influenced a global landscape. Davison, a celebrated educator and performer, will contextualize this musical tradition through an era-by-era analysis of Danzon, Son, cha cha cha, mambo and salsa.

Davison will be joined by internationally acclaimed Cuban ensemble ¡Cubanismo!, which will demonstrate the driving rhythms and diverse array of percussion instruments that bring each sub-genre to life.

"The history of Afro-Cuban jazz is fascinating and its influence on the global jazz community is profound," said Vail Jazz operations director James Kenly. "This event and partnership is going to be a spectacular take on our Vail Jazz Club Series. We'll get a mind-blowing performance in addition to educational insights."

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Select members of the 15-piece orchestra of Cuban all-stars, ¡Cubanismo! will illustrate the instruments, concepts and musical styles throughout Davison's presentation. Led by Jesus Alemany, one of Cuba's most beloved trumpeters, the band features a rotating cast of stars from leading Cuban bands. The result is an irresistible blend of traditional sounds woven with lesser-known danzon and pa'ca rhythms, arranged in the descarga (jam) tradition developed by Cuban jazz players of the 1940s.

"We are pleased to be working with Vail Jazz on this exciting evening that combines the strengths of both our organizations to create a unique program that appeals to a broader segment of our community," said Kris Sabel, executive director of the Vail Symposium. "The format is a perfect blend of discussion and performance."

If you go …

What: Exploring Afro-Cuban Jazz with Dr. Michael Davidson.

When: Wednesday, Aug. 9; Doors open at 6 p.m.; program starts at 6:30 p.m.

Where: Ludwig’s Terrace, Sonnenalp Hotel

Cost: $40 per ticket. Dinner and drink selections from the Bully Ranch menu available at additional charge.

More information: Visit http://www.VailSymposium.org, vailjazz.org or call 970-476-0954, 888-VAIL-JAM.