August 2009 Convention
New York, NY

In Celebration: The Music of Paquito D’Rivera

Paquito d’Rivera

Paquito d’Rivera

Despite the late hour, there was a nice turn-out for this post-gala concert jazz event. An enthusiastic crowd greeted Paquito D’Rivera as he introduced the incomparable Marcos Granados to the stage to play “Fiddle Dreams.” The pianist for the evening was Alex Brown, a remarkable player and equal to the stunning playing of Granados. The second flutist to take the stage was Martha Councell playing “Invitacion al Danzon,” by D’Rivera. These are a lovely set of dance movements, which she played beautifully and competantly, as they are complex rhythmically and utilize the full range of the flute. The final selection was “Kites Over Havana,” for which Imani Winds was joined by D’Rivera as clarinet soloist. Again, the rhythmic intricacies of D’Rivera’s writing were perfectly captured by this vibrant group. By the end of the piece, the enthusiastic crowd leapt to its collective feet, bringing D’Rivera out again for a joke or two and a virtuosic clarinet encore with pianist Brown.

—Laurie Benson

photograph by Laurie Benson