by Nicole Griet
Pastorius Park will echo with the sounds of Latin jazz, Salsa and Bossa Nova when Karen Rodriguez brings her Latin Jazz Ensemble to the concert venue at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 29.
Based in nearby Bristol, Rodriguez and the all-Puerto Rican band have been influenced by artists like Celia Cruz, Tito Puente, Carlos Gardel and Gloria Estefan, and generate an authentic and exotic sound.
Rodriguez and the ensemble have been together for more than nine years and offer up a wide variety of musical talent. Mariano Medina and Pedro Zayas both provide expert percussion for the band – a key element of the Latin sound – and keep the beat with congas, bongos and timbalis.
Rounding out the band are Juan Medina, who plays bass and provides vocals, and Suzzette Ortiz, one of the premier Latin Jazz pianists in the area. Together with lead vocalist Rodriguez, the ensemble has no problem creating a melodically spicy atmosphere for fans.
The rhythms of the Karen Rodriguez Latin Jazz Ensemble often bring followers to their feet and promise to transport listeners to a “Cuban nightclub, circa 1950.”
The Pastorius Park Concert Series is sponsored by the Chestnut Hill Community Association, the Chestnut Hill Community Fund and Chestnut Hill Hospital.