March offered us so much musical activity that if you are like me you have just come out of a whirlwind of activity. The month came to a smashing climax with the 23rd Annual Jazz Festival at Cuates y Cuetes. It was a great one spanning over 10 music filled days.
March 21st, the big day of music on the beach was quite exciting. The day began with Tajín, an impressive duo formed by the talented and beautiful Magali Uribe on voice and violin and the legendary Nestor Villaseñor–guardian of traditional and prehispánic musical instruments–on harp and flute and for this performance joined by Roberto Falcon on Bass, Fernando Rojas on Guitar and Carlos Mantilla on Cajón They treated us to a collection of Latin American folkloric classics beginning with the spirited piece by Dominican singer-songwriter Juan Luis Guerra, Ojala Que Llueva Café (Hope it Rains Coffee) and finishing with the lovely voice of Magali performing an original piece that brought tears to the eyes of the romantics in the audience.
Next up we heard from Proyecto Montenegro with the tenor saxophone of Martin Montenegro, Miguel Rodriguez on keyboard, Roberto Falcon on Bass, Brian Macedo on guitar and Chuy Estrada’s percussion performing marvelous jazz.
Tatewari followed with a great show of their fiery flamenco music including my favorite, the beautiful original piece from their latest CD, Fuego Dentro.
The sounds of the Mediterranean were next with Moruno’s Diego Mateo and Nacho Flores joined by Oscar Terazzas on sax. Their new CD just came out including absolutely beautiful Mediterranean pieces and some smooth swing—Them Their Eyes.
Jaír and Caleb Cabrera and cousin Gibran Monzalvo Cabrera of Media Luna did not let us down offering their exciting music with their extended band including Colombian Guilio Urango on accordion and voice and Armando “Jimmie” Renteria of Queretaro on percussion.
The traditional blessing and celebration of the arrival of Spring segued into the performance we were waiting for by Tom Coster, internationally known keyboardist and composer of the fabulous piece he wrote for and recorded with Carlos Santana, Europa. Coster, highlight of the afternoon, performed in the company of a very talented line up including saxophonists Martin Montenegro and Oscar Terrazas, Brazilian Marco Milagros on Bass, Giovanni Figueroa on drums and Jimmy Rentería on percussion. They were indeed impressive!
Not to be out done, Mother Nature played a dramatic role at the end of the evening with a giant wave sending the crowd scrambling up the beach to higher ground and taking out the power source bringing the show to an unexpectedly early end, robbing us of the opportunity of hearing from the hard working Liliana Buneder of Faralae who had been running to and fro all day long helping with the coordination of the event and the remainder of great entertainers waiting to come on. Nevertheless, the day was a great success and a great time was had by all! Congratulations again to Doña Teté and the staff of Cuates y Cuetes and thank you for your wonderful gift to Puerto Vallarta!
Many of our winter visitors will be packing up to return to their northern homes soon but there is still time to get in some sunbathing, swimming and great entertainment. Coming up are Flamenco guitar maestros Lobo and Esaú April 9 at 8:00PM at Incanto’s Cabaret Theater and a great performance by the fiery flamenco group Tatewari on April 13, also at Incanto’s Cabaret Theater at 8:00, with guest songstress the beautiful Perla Alarcón. Media Luna’s next two concerts for the season at Incanto’s Theater will be at 9:30 instead of their usual 7:00 slot–(incantovallarta.com for tickets). Mark your calendars and plan to stay out late!
Los Bambinos are finishing up their season at their restaurant/bar Trattoria Los Bambinos on Aquacate and Carranza, but still have a few weeks left so catch them while you can. Babel Bar on the River Cuale Island continues to present a great program both afternoons 1-3 and evenings 6:30 to 8:30 and, of course, Cuates y Cuetes will keep you busy with great music nightly starting at 6:00 PM. And that is just a little of the action! Enjoy the music!
For details see my website vallartasounds.com