with the Claudia Villela Trio
When: Sunday, June 8
Where: Rodney Strong Vineyards, 11455 Old Redwood Highway, Healdsburg
Time: 3 pm (Gates open 2 pm)
Tickets: $65 | $45
Children 10 and under FREE | Low chairs only, no umbrellas
Winery sponsor Rodney Strong Vineyards
Mind, heart and feet will be the main attributes at the Festival Finale, as Latin jazz stars Poncho Sanchez and Claudia Villela supply grooves for dancing and grist for the imagination at Rodney Strong Vineyards. Opening the show, Rio de Janeiro-raised Villela is set to mesmerize the crowd with the haunting vocals and powerful piano playing that have made her a top attraction of Brazilian music, bolstered by the stunning and complex guitar playing of her longtime companion, guitarist, Ricardo Peixoto and the versatile percussion of Brian Rice who is a master of an entire range of Latin instruments including the pandeiro, a hand drum critical to the music of Brazil.
Anyone mesmerized by the end of Villela’s set won’t stay that way once Poncho Sanchez takes the stage with his eight-piece Latin Jazz Band, pushing the deep grooves that have made him the country’s most consistently popular Latin jazz artist. For more than 30 years Sanchez has done the good work of fusing dance music to modern jazz with an effortlessness that masks the virtuosity underneath. The result? The grooves get you moving while the solos dazzle.
As befits a Mexican-American who dove headlong into Afro-Cuban jazz in his early days, singer and conguero Sanchez delivers a true musical fusion. His pan Latin mastery has made him a valuable contributor to the music of Cal Tjader, Mongo Santamaria, Eddie Harris, Freddie Hubbard, Tito Puente and many more, and earned him a Grammy award for his own album Latin Soul, one of 25 discs he’s recorded for Concord. As Sanchez plays, his arms tell the story, moving elastically as they translate currents from the heart and mind into a mile-wide clave. Whether he’s delivering a cha-cha, bolero, timba or mambo, the rhythms and the riffs make sitting still impossible.
His band consists of Sanchez on congas and lead vocals, Francisco Torres on trombone, Ron Blake on trumpet and flugelhorn, Joey De Leon Jr. on timbales, Rob Hardt on saxophones and flute, Andy Langham on piano, Rene Camacho on bass, and Angel Rodriguez on bongos and percussion.