Celebrated Puerto Rican percussionist, Eguie Castrillo, was the star performer at the first of four Jazz & Blues concerts in Library Park on July 23rd. The Grammy Award winner played seamlessly with the members of Pat Loomis’s Friends, a local band that has electrified Library Park summer evenings for more than a decade. This year, for the first time, every concert has a Special Musical Guest performer, paid for by you, our generous donors, and recruited by Loomis, himself a well-known and popular saxophonist and vocalist.
What the Boston weather gods will bring to the park concerts is always the biggest source of anxiety its sponsors but, miraculously, the torrential rains of the previous night and morning deposited their last droplet at noon. This left enough time for Library Park to dry out, Parks Department employees to sweep up the debris, and for the big outdoors to broadcast the glorious sounds of a free, live jazz performance. It was the first concert since the Park’s redesign and upgrade last summer, when concerts could not be scheduled due to the reconstruction.
As is often the case in the South End neighborhood where the legacy of jazz and blues runs deep and wide, professional musicians not booked for the concert regularly walk on and join the performers. This year, a fabulous flutist, identified only as Julia, was the walk-on and, with the band, gave an inspiring performance of Dizzy Gillespie’s A Night in Tunisia. Other numbers included Mambo Inn (Mario Bauza); Senor Blues (Horace Silver); Chucho (Paquito D'Rivera); I Mean You (Thelonius Monk); and Samba De Orfeu ( Luis Bonfa).
In addition to Pat Loomis and Eguie Castrillo, the musicians playing their hearts out were: Angel Subero (trombone); Antonio Loomis (guitar); Joseph Rivera Sánchez (piano); Fernando Huergo (bass); David Rivera (drums) and the remarkable Julia, on flute.
The next concert in Library Park will feature the acclaimed New York-based composer and pianist, Kevin Harris, on Tuesday, July 30, at 6:30 PM.
At the moment (three days in advance) the prediction is for a hot and dry summer night, another perfect evening for outdoor music. Listen fro your roof decks, your patios or from inside the park. Bring your own chairs and refreshments. FOSEL serves watermelon.