Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota Presents Heat Latin Jazz Band
Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota spices things up with the Heat Latin Jazz Band, Sunday, April 18, 3:00 p.m., outdoors at Nathan Benderson Park, 5851 Nathan Benderson Circle, Sarasota. Heat’s seven young artists, most of them also students at Florida Gulf Coast University and Florida Southwestern State College, perform toe-tapping salsa hits from yesterday and today, showcasing the works of Oscar D’Leon, Celia Cruz, Joe Arroyo, Puerto Rican Power, Gloria Estefan and many more.
To ensure the safety of audience members, musicians, and staff, in addition to the outdoor setting, all seating, (provided by Benderson Park), will be socially distanced and masks or face coverings will be required. As a further safeguard, there will be no will call and tickets must be purchased in advance. Tickets are $35 and are available online at ArtistSeriesConcerts.org or by calling 941-306-1202, Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
The early seeds of Heat Latin Jazz Band were planted years ago, when percussionist Miguel Azcuy and two other of the band’s founding members were still students at Lexington Middle School in Ft. Myers. As Miguel explained in a 2018 interview on a local television station: “There was a Latin jazz project and our school’s music director had this idea that the three of us should start a salsa band. We toyed with it for a bit but then five years later said, ‘why not give it a shot.’ So here we are, playing salsa classics, Latin jazz and our own original compositions.”
Now a seven-piece ensemble, the Heat Latin Jazz Band continues to be a popular staple in and around Ft. Myers with an enthusiastic following of fans of its infectious, swaying Latin rhythms.
One fairly recent addition to the band is singer Maritza Cedeño, who hails from a musical family in Ecuador. In addition to being the band’s lead singer, Cedeño also has her own solo career with several album releases to her credit and she is also the manager of La Dinastía Cedeño, a music band formed by her and her siblings in Ecuador.
“Heat Latin Jazz Band is a wonderful amalgam of very talented and dedicated young local artists representing the musical heritages of Argentina, Cuba, Ecuador, Trinidad and Venezuela,” says Joseph Holt, director of artist programs for Artist Series Concerts. “While their genre is a bit of a departure from our usual offerings, this is such an impressive ensemble of young artists who so skillfully perform the infectious music of Latin America; music that has influenced many other genres throughout the years. We had to have them and I know they will have the audience swaying and their toes tapping.” Artist Series Concerts’ executive director Marcy Miller agrees: “These young artists beautifully embody our mission of presenting the next generation of great music makers to our region. And what better way to spend a Sunday afternoon than by enjoying the great outdoors of Benderson Park amidst the swinging sounds of this ensemble.”
The final performance of Artist Series Concerts’ Winter-Spring 2021 Outdoor Season features local singing sensation Maria Wirries and pianist Alan Jay Corey, performing popular hits from Broadway and the Great American Songbook, April 21 at Plantation Golf & Country Club. The socially distanced outdoor concert is at 4 pm, followed by dinner at 5. Tickets for this concert, which are selling quickly, can be purchased online at ArtistSeriesConcerts.org or by calling 941-306-1202, Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Other Special Events
- The Suncoast Music Scholarships, an annual collaborative competition conducted and funded by Artist Series Concerts and the Sarasota Music Club. This year it will award $8,000 to young musicians from high schools in Sarasota and Manatee counties. Applications for this year’s scholarship awards are available online at www.ArtistSeriesConcerts.org/suncoast-music-scholarships. The deadline for submitting applications is March 31, 2021.
About Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota
Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota was formed in 1996 as Artist Series of Sarasota. The non-profit organization presents world-class musical experiences in a diverse range of genres, including classical, cabaret, pop, Broadway, orchestral and opera. A central focus of Artist Series Concerts’ mission is to support the professional careers of exemplary emerging artists by presenting them to the audiences of Florida’s Gulf Coast. The organization also seeks to spark a lifelong love of the musical arts by exposing young people to interactive music experiences via performance-based outreach programs in area schools, creating unique learning opportunities for hundreds of students and educators each year. In addition, Artist Series Concerts has awarded over $300,000 to more than 80 gifted young musicians from around the country and in Sarasota and Manatee counties. Past winners have gone on to study at leading music conservatories and pursue successful music careers. For more information, visit the website.
Photo Courtesy of Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota