Siler City, NC – Gregg Gelb and La Fiesta Latin Jazz Sextet will perform a free public concert at Jordan-Matthews High School on Friday, March 11, at 7 p.m., as part of a Latin Jazz clinic for middle and high school students.
The concert was originally scheduled in late January to conclude the clinic, but had to be postponed because of weather advisories for evening travel.
Gelb is a professional saxophonist, clarinetist, jazz composer and jazz band leader who leads The Heart of Carolina Jazz Orchestra and has performed with many different groups, including the North Carolina Symphony. He currently directs the award-winning Triangle Youth Jazz Ensemble, which has been selected five times for the finals of Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Essentially Ellington competition and festival, and has served as an interim assistant professor of jazz at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, N.C. State University and UNC Greensboro.
La Fiesta Latin Jazz Sextet includes players from North Carolina, one of whom is originally from the Dominican Republic. The ensemble teaches jazz history, the improvisation process and performs at events all across the state — drawing for its repertoire on music by jazz greats Louis Armstrong, Tito Puente, Mongo Santamaria, Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Chick Corea and Horace Silver.
Scheduled to perform in the 75-minute concert are Steve Anderson on piano, Andy Kleindienst on bass, Beverly Botsford on percussion, Ramon Ortiz on drums, Andrew Sanchez on trumpet and Gregg Gelb on saxophone. Some of the group’s featured tunes are “Cape Verdean Blues,” “Oye Como Va,” “Mambo Inn” and “Son de la Loma.”
Though Chatham County Schools policy could change based on future pandemic conditions in our community, beginning on March 7, masks will be optional while in the school building and attending this concert.
Kaleb Moffitt, a percussionist who heard the sextet perform in January as the clinic opened, thought the music was amazing and suggested that everyone come to hear the magic. “I thought it was beautiful; I got a little teary watching them,” he said. “I would pay to see them again. Anybody who likes music should come to this concert.”
Both the concert and jazz clinic are supported by the N.C. Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts. The 2021 Grassroots Arts Grant for $1,550 covers half of the program cost; the rest will be matched by JMArts through member contributions and fundraising projects like the sale of JMArts greeting and holiday cards.
More information about JMArts, including a schedule of all upcoming arts events and information on membership, is available online at JMArts.org