The sensational young Cuban vocalist Daymé Arocena introduces her gorgeous new album Cubafonía to Yerba Buena Gardens. A former member of the extraordinary Jane Bunnett & Maqueque sextet, Arocena is rapidly gaining international attention as a solo artist. Still in her mid-20s, she’s been recording for influential British producer Gilles Peterson’s Brownswood Recordings, honing a sound informed by jazz, soul and R&B. But her travels have inspired her to delve back into her Cuban roots, and Cubafonía is the work of a brilliant artist bringing an international perspective to the verdant rhythmic traditions of her homeland. This is a rare opportunity to catch an emerging superstar on the rise.
Under the leadership of Dr. John Calloway, the Latin Jazz Youth Ensemble is an invaluable proving ground for stellar young musicians. Living up to vaunted expectations, these high school players collaborate with legends like Armando Peraza, Jerry Gonzalez and John Santos, and write and arrange their own material, tunes documented on highly regarded recordings (most recently Con Mis Manos). While LJYE graduate Daniel Riera fronts San Francisco’s exciting band Soltron, others are tearing up the New York music scene (such as trombonist Natalie Cressman, flutist Elena Pinderhughes and drummer Charlie Ferguson). LJYE is the resident youth company of the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival.