Charleston Jazz Orchestra once more took to their ‘house of swing’ (also known as the Charleston Music Hall) for their uber-popular 6th annual Latin Night. Latin Night is always one of the most upbeat performances of the year, it literally transports you to a sexier time and place, say 1950’s Havana, a la Guys and Dolls or The Lost City.
The CJO has historically invited major players from the national Latin Jazz scene for Latin Night (Michael Mossman, Etienne Charles, etc). This year they opted to switch gears and focus the spotlight on the talent in town–the Latin Jazz Collective, Garage Cuban Band, percussionist and vocalist Gino Castillo, vocalist Roxana Hernandez.
Supergroups formed and reformed before our very eyes, and the energy was as intoxicating as the rhythms of Castillo’s drums or the sway of Leah Suárez during a solo.
Suárez was magical, particularly on “Dos Gardenias” and in her duet with Castillo, “Quizás, Quizás, Quizás.” Considering that she sings and speaks many languages, several of which being Hispanic-based, it’s no surprise that her vocals were particularly stunning. Suárez is at the top of her personal and musical game.