The city of Miami will host the South Florida Dominican Jazz Fest on Saturday, October 17, at the Ashe Auditorium at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, at 8 p.m. Renowned Dominican musicians from the D.R. and the U.S. have confirmed their participation in this fast-growing and very popular musical event.
This year’s festival is dedicated to musician Mario Rivera, one of the Dominican Republic’s most important exponents of this musical genre. Musicians who played with Rivera during his long musical career announced they will participate in this very memorable event. Festival musical director Alex Diaz will lead world-renowned jazz musicians such as Cuban jazz great Arturo Sandoval and Phoenix Rivera, Mario’s son.
Diaz will participate in the concert with his “Merengue Jazz Ensemble,” a sextet with top jazz musicians from New York and Miami.
Diaz is one of the country’s most important conga players who, during his prolific career, played with Tito Puente, Mario Rivera, Mario Bauza, Dizzy Gillespie, and others. His musical style is defined as “a fine and elegant mix of jazz, Latin jazz and Dominican rhythms like merengue, bachata and gagá, among others.”
Other musicians participating: Phoenix Rivera, on drums; Ivan Renta and Luis Disla, sax; Steve Sandberg, pianist; Rey David Alejandre, trombone; Manny Patiño, bass; Tony Reyes, Dominican drums; and Chellie G., vocalist G. Cuban jazz legend Arturo Sandoval will be the festival’s guest of honor.
Rivera, a distinguished musician, composer and arranger, played more than 15 instruments. However, he is mostly remembered as one of the country’s top saxophonists, and as a true exponent of “straight-ahead” and Latin jazz. His virtuosity attracted the attention of such famous jazz and Latin music exponents such as Tito Puente, Tito Rodriguez, Dizzy Gillespie, Chico O’Farrill, Mario Bauza, Eddie Palmieri and George Coleman, among others. He popularized “Merengue Jazz” through his two most popular groups, the “Salsa Refugees” and “The Mario Rivera Sextet.”
The annual festival is organized by “Landestoy Enterprises & Jazz en Dominicana.” Tickets: US$40. The Hyatt Regency Hotel is situated at 4000 South East Second Avenue, Miami.