News > Review | Buena Vista: Latin Night

Charleston Jazz Orchestra once more took to their ‘house of swing’ (also known as the Charleston Music Hall) for their uber-popular 6th annual Latin Night. Latin Night is always one of the most upbeat performances of the year, it literally transports you to a sexier time and place, say 1950’s Havana, a la Guys and Dolls or The Lost City.

gratuitous scenes from “Guys and Dolls” (left) and “The Lost City” (right)

The CJO has historically invited major players from the national Latin Jazz scene for Latin Night (Michael Mossman, Etienne Charles, etc). This year they opted to switch gears and focus the spotlight on the talent in town–the Latin Jazz Collective, Garage Cuban Band, percussionist and vocalist Gino Castillo, vocalist Roxana Hernandez. Supergroups formed and reformed before our very eyes, and the energy was as intoxicating as the rhythms of Castillo’s drums or the sway of Leah Suárez during a solo.

Suárez and Castillo

Suárez was magical, particularly on “Dos Gardenias” and in her duet with Castillo, “Quizás, Quizás, Quizás.” Considering that she sings and speaks many languages, several of which being Hispanic-based, it’s no surprise that her vocals were particularly stunning. Suárez is at the top of her personal and musical game.

Castillo gave a particularly wonderful performance. He is a tireless musician and composer, with regular gigs around town and a new album being released October 26. Check his website for the details on where you can see him. He’s a jovial fellow, with impeccable rhythm.

guest vocalist Roxana Hernandez

As per usual, the arrangements of each piece were done in house, further proving how gifted and resourceful our JAC and CJO are.

The Latin Jazz Collective was an extremely fun addition, since they featured John Cobb on the baritone sax. Latin music is percussion, rhythm, vocal and trumpet-centric; there wasn’t much in the way of my beloved baritone sax until the Latin Jazz Collective took the stage. You can catch them at The Mezz fairly regularly. Keep an eye to their Facebook page for more gigs.

Maestro Singleton

 Maestro Charlton Singleton got the evening’s groove going, encouraging guests to dance, and then categorizing each song–this one a slow dance, that one a “slow drag….you know, a dance where you have an agenda,” Singleton says with a sly wink.

The CJO has two more gigs this season, SWINGELECTRIC (October 25) and Holiday Swing (November 22). Mark your calendars now.

In the meantime, check their Jazz Around Town Calendar to get your fix, and support live music. If we don’t support the gifted musicians and artists in our community, we’ll lose them to bigger markets. And we just can’t let this gift go.

words: Stacy Huggins
images: Arielle Simmons

Chuck Dalton on trumpet

Jeremy Wolf on bass

Singleton and Suárez

Posted on September 26, 2014 by admin.

Categories: Performing Arts, Review

Tags: Charleston Jazz Orchestra, Charleston Latin Jazz Collective, Charleston Music Hall, Charlton Singleton, Cjo, Etienne Charles, Garage Cuban Band, Gino Castillo, Jac, Jazz Artists Of Charleston, Jazz Music, Latin Night, Leah Suarez, Michael Mossman, Roxana Hernandez, The Mezz

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