The VJC Big Band salutes the Mambo Kings

The Vermont Jazz Center Big Band will host its annual big band gala on Friday, December 2nd. at 8:00 PM. For this concert they'll be adding a real twist: The Vermont Jazz Center Big Band will present a tribute to the Mambo Kings, performing the music of the original Mambo Orchestras: Tito Puente, Machito and Arsenio Rodriguez. To shake it up, the VJC has asked two of Boston's most influential Latin music performers to step in as musical directors: Timbalero, Eguie Castrillo and bassist, Alex Alvear. The music will be enhanced by vocalist Jesus Pagan and a Boston-area percussionist.

Be sure to mark your calendars and polish your dancing shoes to prepare for this fun evening of big band salsa, Mambo and cha cha cha. The Vermont Jazz Center Big Band is a 17-piece ensemble that rehearses for and performs one concert a year. This is it! For this special show, along with the VJC's treasure trove of soloists such as Charlie Schneeweis, Larry Tutt and Bob Stabach, the VJC is inviting guest saxophonists Michael Zsoldos and Scott Mullett and trombonist Ed Byrne.

The repertoire performed in this concert will be interpretations of the authentic charts played by the Tito Puente Orchestra with whom Mr. Castrillo performed for many years. Co-musical director Castrillo will be playing timbales given to him by Tito Puente and used on many of Puente's recordings. Now a professor of percussion at Berklee College of Music, Eguie Castrillo is considered one of the most important percussionists in the world. He has performed with such artists as Paquito D'Rivera, Giovanni Hidalgo, Jennifer Lopez, Steve Winwood, Arturo Sandoval and The Boston Pops.

Also acting as co-musical director is Ecuadorian bassist, singer, and composer Alex Alvear. Alvear has performed and/or collaborated with artists such as Celia Cruz, Orlando "Puntilla" Rios, Israel "Cachao" Lopez, Johnatha Brooke, Paquito D'Rivera, Isaac Delgado, Larry Harlow, Raul Midon, and Jimmy Haslip, to name a few. His ensemble, "Mango Blue" has performed extensively throughout the US and the rest of the world. Written and arranged by Alvear, the rhythmically charged music of Mango Blue includes songs of celebration, love and social conscience. Alvear has been a driving force in the promotion of Latino arts and culture in the region through his work with Villa Victoria Center for the Arts.

The Vermont Jazz Center Big Band is comprised of trumpeters Charlie Schneeweis, Donald Anderson, Rick Anderson, Chazz Canney; trombonists Ed Byrne, Bob Thies, Dan DeWalt; saxophonists Scott Mullett, Bob Stabach, Larry Tutt, Michael Zsoldos, Sherm Fox; the rhythm section is Julian Gerstin (congas), George Kaye (bass), Steve Rice (drums) and Eugene Uman (piano).

A Tribute to the Mambo Kings has been in the works for a long time and would have been impossible without the generosity of a grant from the New England Foundation of the Arts and the persistence and generosity of band manager Sherm Fox. VJC friends, Dianne Gallo and Steve Lieberman and the Hampton Inn are also sponsoring the program.

Admission, which includes a delicious desert buffet, is $25 general, $28 for reservations that include reserved seating. For local high school students, there is a special fund available to subsidize admission. Purchase tickets online at, at In the Moment Record Store in downtown Brattleboro, or call the VJC ticket line, 802-254-9088, ext. 1. Tickets can also be purchased at the door This concert is handicapped accessible, but please call in advance (802 - 254 - 9088) if someone in your party will require the use of an elevator.

Purchase your tickets early. It is anticipated that this exciting dance concert will sell out quickly! Dance the night away at the Vermont Jazz Center's tribute to the Mambo Kings, Friday, December 2nd at 8:00 PM..

Co-Sponsored by Diane Gallo and Steve Lieberman and the Hampton Inn

Friday, December 2nd
8:00 PM
Vermont Jazz Center
General Admission $25.00, $28 for reserved seating (please call early if you want seating), Ticket price includes delicious dessert bar buffett.
Buy tickets on-line (secure server)

Please purchase tickets on-line to help avoid a massive line on the day of the show. There will be separate lines for "will call" and ticket sales. Please read our new TICKET PRICING POLICY.

Other ticket payment/reservation options:
In the Moment, 143 Main St, Brattleboro, VT
Call the Jazz Center at 802-254-9088 to reserve tickets.

Please note: A surcharge of $1/per ticket will be added to all tickets purchased with a credit card.
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