East Los Angeles Latin Jazz Ensemble brings energy to first spring concert

By Maria Gonzalez

From classics to self-written songs, the East Los Angeles Latin Jazz Ensemble got the audience moving to the beat at their first concert Friday.

“Cuarto de Tula,” a classic Cuban song that has been performed by some of the best musicians of all time, highlighted the night and provided a challenge to the ensemble with a remarkable performance that was true to its legacy. The song was about seven-minutes long and was filled with timbales and a catchy chorus that kept people’s feet taping.

The endurance from the ensemble throughout the song was remarkable, given the length of it. A song that was relatively new to the ensemble was, “El Ladron.”

Cindy Paz’s vocals were splendid, especially because she had just learned the piece, according to Jesus Martines, ensemble conductor. The audience was ready to get up from their seats and start dancing, with a funky cha cha cha called “El Shiga-Li.”

Trombone player, Francisco Torres did the arrangement for this song. The ensemble played an original melody called “Tranquilo,” composed by pianist Allan Cate.

The sweet melody of Cate setup flutist Campus News staff writer Vivian Ramirez, who performed well. Being the ensemble’s first concert on campus this semester, everyone in the band was energetic and delivered a good performance as a whole.

The closing song was “La Pulga,” which was made popular by the late salsa singer Hector Lavoe. The ensemble will have another concert in May. They also stage a fundraiser every last Wednesday of the month at Little Tokyo’s 2nd Street Jazz Club.

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