Before the live music starts, DJ Mark Sorto will spin salsa, merengue, bachata and more in the Concert Hall lobby. VJ Chris Fedak will project video art on the walls of the lobby for a real dance club vibe. In between the Latin Jazz Ensemble’s sets, dance instructors Clersida and Luis Garcia will teach salsa dance lessons, along with more music from the DJ.
The headlining group of the evening is the NIU Latin Jazz Ensemble, directed by percussion faculty member, Mike Mixtacki. The 17-piece Latin band will take the audience on a tour of Cuba and Puerto Rico, performing two sets of salsa, rumba, Latin jazz and Afro-Cuban folkloric music.
With generous support from the Center for Latino and Latin American studies, the band welcomes special guest trumpeter, Victor Garcia to join the stage.
Garcia, a former NIU music student, brings incredible energy and intensity to every style of music he plays. Among many projects, he co-leads the Chicago Area Latin Jazz Ensemble (CALJE), and is active in both the Latin and Jazz music scenes throughout Chicago.
To top it all off, appetizers will be served from local Mexican restaurant, Los Rancheros (again, a generous contribution from the Center for Latino and Latin American Studies).
Admission is free and is open to the public.