May-15th-2003, 02:56 PM
Sugarloaf Music Benefit
Ray Barreto and New World Spirit
On Sunday June 1 at 4PM, Latin Jazz legend Ray Barretto and his New World Spirit perform at Warwick's Kutz Camp. This special benefit performance for Sugarloaf Music's on-going jazz series at the Warwick Valley Community Center will also feature the Chris Barretto Quintet. Tickets are $25.00 and are available form Sugarloaf Music, (845) 986-6463. The performance takes place in Kutz Camp's recently finished, state-of the art 250-seat theater at
46 Bowen Rd, Warwick, NY.
While Ray Barretto's congas have graced more recording sessions than virtually any other conguero of his time, he has also led some refreshingly progressive Latin jazz bands over the decades. His records often have a tenser, more adventurously eclectic edge than those of most conventional salsa groups. Barretto is unafraid to use electronics and novel instrumental or structural combinations, which are driven hard by his rock-steady, endlessly flexible percussion work. This no doubt reflects Barretto's wide range of musical interests and also the fact that he came to Latin music from jazz, rather than the usual vice versa route for Latin-descended musicians. Indeed, he has said that he learned how to play swing-style before he came to master Latin grooves.
Eugene Holley of Downbeat Magazine writes:
"When the leader's maturity and experience perfectly compliments the innovations and offerings of his sidemen, creating a sublime unified field of creativity that simultaneous announces where the group is and where it is going, .Barretto and his bandoffers aural evidence of this ensemblešs mastery of improvisation, call and response, swing, and Afro-Caribbean rhythms. Barrettošs Latin sextet New World Spirit, which has made some absorbingly unpredictable albums for Concord Picante, was unveiled in 1992.
Puerto Rican by extraction, Barretto took up the congas while stationed in Germany during an Army hitch. He began working with American jazz musicians upon his return to New York, eventually replacing Mongo Santamaria in the Tito Puente band for four years, in the late '50s. Barretto made his debut as a leader for Riverside in 1962 and scored a crossover hit the following year with "El Watusi" (in tandem with a dance craze of the time). He made his mark in the '60s as a super session player, playing on albums by Gene Ammons, Cannonball Adderley, Kenny Burrell, Lou Donaldson, Red Garland, Dizzy Gillespie, Freddie Hubbard, Wes Montgomery, Cal Tjader, and several other jazz and pop albums.
In moving over to the Fania label in 1967, Barretto began to achieve recognition as one of the leading Latin jazz artists of the day, eventually becoming music director of the Fania All-Stars. In the '70s, he was incorporating rock and funk influences into his music while recording for Atlantic, and in 1981, he made a highly regarded album for CTI titled La Cuna, with Tito Puente, Joe Farrell, and Charlie Palmieri as guest players. He became music director of the Bravisimo television program and took part in the multi-idiom, all-star, anti-apartheid Sun City recording and video in 1985.
Ray Barreto shares the bill for the first time ever with his son Chris Barreto and his Quintet. Chris comes by his talent naturally through his musical lineage, but has worked hard to hone his musicianship. This special appearance by both father and son will prove that. For more information on the jazz series call Sugarloaf Music, (845) 986-6463.