Nov. 27, 2003 – The sounds of Latin jazz will be filling the night air Saturday at the first-ever Jazz in the Moonlight concert at Island Center.
Headlining the evening is flutist Nestor Torres with his band. Also appearing are Venezuelan singer Adriana performing with legendary Cuban pianist Hilario Duran and The Latin Jazz All Stars.
Torres was born and reared in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, later lived in New York and now calls Miami home. He won a Latin Grammy Award in 2001 for his release "This Side of Paradise" and received his third Grammy nomination for his latest CD, "Me Alma Latina ("My Latin Soul").
Torres' music is a blending of his classical training and his Latin roots. After attending Puerto Rico's Free School of Music and Inter-American University, he pursued his studies at New York's Mannes School of Music and the New England Conservatory of Music. His Web site says that "Mi Alma Latina" "reveals a pure soul giving voice to emotions and feelings that are at once unique and universal to all of us. 'My Latin Soul' is both uplifting and inspiring … It's also a lot of fun."
Duran and Adriana are making return appearances to the Virgin Islands after taking part in a Moonlight Jazz event on St. John nearly a year ago. Duran headlined the Dec. 28 concert at the Westin, performing with Ernesto Simpson on drums and Roberto Occhipinti on bass, along with the local group Sambacombo. Adriana put in a guest appearance with Sambacombo.
Jazz in the Moonlight producer Steve Simon says he invited Duran back to accompany Adriana "because he is such a huge figure in Latin Jazz, and his piano playing is nothing short of amazing."
And as for Adriana, she "only had an opportunity to sing two songs for us last season with St. John's own Sambacombo," Simon said. "Her performance that night was so spectacular that I invited her to do an entire act."
Saturday's 8 p.m. program kicks off the 2003-04 season on St. Croix of three presentations by the Moonlight Foundation, created a couple of years ago by Simon, a full-time St. John resident. (To access a profile of the music producer, see "Simon says jazz, blues viable on St. John (and fun)".)
The concert is a repeat of the one that opened the season on St. John last Saturday. Tickets are $20. They're being sold at Morning Glory Coffee and Tea, Pier 69, Victor Mencho and the Island Center box office.
Although the season was announced earlier as two jazz concerts (counting Saturday's) on St. John, one on St. Croix and the 2nd annual St. John Blues Festival, there have been some additions, and the lineup now looks like this:
Nov. 29 — Nestor Torres, Puerto Rican flutist, and his band with Adriana and Hilario Duran, Westin Resort, St. John, 8 p.m.
Dec. 6 – Nestor Torres and his band with Adriana and Hilario Duran, Island Center, St. Croix, 8 p.m.
Jan. 9 – Gato Barbieri, Argentine saxophonist, Island Center, 8 p.m.
Jan. 10 – Gato Barbieri, Westin Resort, 8 p.m.
Feb. 7 – Special EFX world fusion band featuring guitarist Chieli Minucci, Island Center, 8 p.m.
Feb. 14 – Kim Waters, saxophonist, and Maryel Epps, rhythm 'n' blues singer, Westin Resort, 8 p.m.
March 3-7 – 2nd annual St. John Blues Festival starring Dr. John (he'll perform on March 6)
Proceeds from the concerts benefit the Moonlight Foundation, which provides scholarships for high school students to attend St. John's Coral Bay School and for college students.
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