The Glenwood Springs Summer of Music series presents Cuban jazz legend Calixto at Two Rivers Park tonight at 7 p.m.
Calixto Oviedo and his band will bring their unique sound, with roots in African-influenced folklore and the hottest dance music, infused with the cutting edge of jazz, to the Summer of Music on Wednesday, July 2 at 7 p.m.
Ask jazz musicians Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Paquito d’Rivera, David Sanchez and Arturo Sandoval which way percussion should be played and you’ll get one answer — Calixto’s Way.
Latin Grammy-nominated Calixto is the first call percussionist for these Afro-Cuban All-Stars, who are a living encyclopedia of Cuban drumming and percussion.
According to his website, Calixto’s career began when the then 4-year-old budding musician set aside his toy violin and focused on a make-shift drum set that included a plastic bucket, a frying pan and a couple of cans. At the age of 5, he was sneaking backstage at the Cabaret Parisiene, in Havana’s Hotel National, where his father ran the hotel laundry, to admire the house band. At the age of seven, Calixto fell in love with a toy drum set in a shop window, but his family couldn’t afford the 55 peso price of the kit. Later, young Calixto was walking down a Havana street when he stumbled upon a 50 peso note. The drum set was purchased and Calixto was off and drumming — he still owns that toy set today.
International touring and 32 albums later, AllAboutJazz.com calls him “one of the most important representatives of Latin jazz in the world of drumming.”
Fate would later place two Glenwood Springs brothers, Walter and Pablo Gorra, at a Cuban restaurant in Lakewood, Colo. The Gorra brothers studied jazz with Chris Bank, Terry Bannon and Tim Fox from middle school through high school and had a growing reputation as excellent jazz musicians.
An employee approached their table and said “My son-in-law is a Cuban percussionist and he is moving from Stockholm to Denver. You should get in touch with him. Call this number.”
They did and Calixto answered the phone. They talked, were invited to his house, and with Walter on piano and Pablo on sax, they played. Calixto invited them to join his new band and the rest is history.
Opening act Vidicus Maximus will take the stage at 6:30 p.m.
Gandhi’s Indian Restaurant, The New Castle Diner, Jeffreezz Sorbetto, and Slow Groovin’ BBQ will be on hand with some of their fine cuisine available for hungry patrons.
Come get your face painted at the Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts information tent, which will be set up next to the food vendors. The show is free, but donations are appreciated.
The Gear Exchange has donated a recycled bike for one lucky attendee. Come to the Art Center tent to find out how to win this great prize.
Remember to follow the simple park rules: no pets, smoking or glass bottles allowed.
Next week, the Summer of Music presents The Samples.
For more information on the series please visit www.glenwoodarts.org or call the Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts at 970-945-2414.