Celebrate the Musical Legacy of Conga Legend Mongo Santamaria

Playboy Jazz Festival free community concert in Beverly Hills featuring Jose Rizo's Mongorama, May 6

By Ricky Ricardo
Published on LatinoLA: April 23, 2012

Celebrate the Musical Legacy of Conga Legend Mongo Santamaria

Beverly Hills will sizzle when acclaimed Latin Jazz artist Jose Rizo brings his new nineÔÇôpiece Latin jazz ensemble, "Mongorama" to the city for a free community concert, Sunday, May 6th. Presented by the Playboy Jazz Festival as part of their free community event series, the concert will take place from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Beverly Hills Civic Center Plaza, located at 450 North Rexford Drive, between Santa Monica Boulevard and Burton Way. The concert is the first of Playboy's free community events held in conjunction with the upcoming Playboy Jazz Festival June 16th and 17th at the Hollywood Bowl.

"Mongorama", led by Rizo, the musical director for noted L.A. jazz station KKJZ 88.1, and the bandleader for the popular Jazz On The Latin Side All Stars, will celebrate the musical legacy of conga legend Mongo Santamaria. by playing much of his early charanga-jazz material from the 1950's and 60's, featuring many of the original compositions he was famous for, including "Bacoso", "Que Maravilloso", "Las Guajiras" and more. The group's new, self-titled "Mongorama" CD received a Grammy nomination earlier this year. Driven by infectiously danceable rhythms and modern interpretations of charanga and straight-ahead jazz, the group's sound results in swinging salsa music that is hard to resist. The concert will also feature an opening artist soon to be announced.

"Our Beverly Hills concert has become a popular kick-off for the annual Playboy Jazz Festival season, and this year's roster of talent promises a lively afternoon of upbeat jazz entertainment at the Civic Center's attractive outdoor performing arts venue in celebration of our 34th Festival," stated Richard Rosenzweig, President Emeritus of the Playboy Jazz Festival.

Food and refreshments will be available for purchase to the public. Glass containers, alcoholic beverages and audio/video recorders are not permitted. Two free hours of parking are available at the Civic Center parking structure, adjacent to the Beverly Hills Public Library.

For more information regarding the community concert series or the Playboy Jazz Festival, visit www.playboyjazzfestival.com.

About Ricky Ricardo:
Ricky Ricardo is a Southern California based writer, music reviewer, and photographer, who covers Jazz, Latin Jazz and World Music events.

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