TicketMOMster review: Latin Night @ The Cube, June 17 / 2016 TD Winnipeg International Jazz Festival – Jazz Winnipeg
Tonight, more than 2,000 Winnipeggers won an all expense paid trip to Brazil (or Cuba or another Latin country) thanks to Jazz Winnipeg. Don’t believe me? If you were at The Cube you would, because it certainly didn’t feel like Winnipeg.
I’ve never been to Brazil, but tonight, I spent four hours imagining it through Latin flavoured melodies and rhythms created by our local musicians.
First up was Trio Bembe. I’ve wanted to see this band for some time and arrived just after they started (6 p.m.).
Their website states they create “infectious, danceable music that moves people; they’re the party down the street…” You know what? I didn’t get that vibe from them. I wrote in my notebook “easy, relaxing, pleasing Latin vibe”. I imagined myself walking down a street in Cuba and hearing them play in a little restaurant. All I wanted to do was sit in that restaurant with a non-alcoholic beverage and people watch. I’ve never been to Cuba; can I do that there? Can Trio Bembe come with me?
Anyway, I don’t know if the vibe was a little different than normal for them or if that’s what they usually sound like. I know they had a different percussionist than usual; Victor Hugo Lopez Bustamante filled Scott Senior’s role tonight. I’ve never seen him play and I thought he was great. All in all, I enjoyed Trio Bembe.
I love when bands make me daydream…I may have started the dream in a little restaurant in Cuba, but Marco Castillo’s Brazilian Beats Band took me to a larger festival in Brazil.
“Funky and brassy, festival music at it’s best. SO MUCH FUN!” is what I wrote about Marco Castillo and band. I’ve heard about Marco, but I’ve never seen him live. I really liked this band a lot. Everyone on that stage was having fun and really how could you not have fun playing that upbeat music? In the audience, heads were bobbing and toes were tapping to the beat.
I’ve mentioned saxophonist, Neil Watson in previous reviews and I feel the need to mention him again. If you ever want to watch someone who LOVES being a musician, check out Neil. Keyboardist, Mike Manny and Neil were playing off of each other tonight, having the time of their lives.
At one point Mike let loose during a keyboard solo which was crazy fun to watch. The whole band was great and super fun. Their songs were mostly instrumental and danceable; I loved it.
It was a perfect night for a festival, not too hot and not too cold with a bit of wind to keep things bearable. All that changed once Combo Latino took the stage. The crowd grew on the dance floor and things got a lot warmer and steamier.
Combo Latino had everyone up salsa-ing and cha-cha-ing. The band felt a little more “sophisticated” compared to Marco’s band. As a matter of fact, half of the Brazilian Beats band left the stage after Marco’s show, got changed and came back on stage to play for Combo Latino.
I left right after their set (10 p.m.) and from what I could see, the night was still young with more energy and more talented musicians on the way. I wished I could have stayed, but I’m not 22 years old anymore and I need to sleep or I won’t make it through the next nine days.
This may not be the most popular opinion, but I preferred Marco’s band over Combo Latino and I think Jazz Winnipeg should have scheduled Combo Latino after Trio Bembe and saved Marco’s band for later. You’re not going to agree with me if you love to dance, but I think Marco’s Brazilian Beats Band were more fun to watch and more energetic as well. I’m not saying I didn’t enjoy Combo Latino, they just felt out of order for me. It’s not a big deal. From what I saw, the night was a success. Long live Brazil!
TicketMOMster is a Rock and Jazz-loving Mom; single-handedly keeping Ticketmaster alive in Winnipeg. Follow her musical journey here: www.facebook.com/TicketMOMsters