Recap: 4th Annual Uptown Latin Jazz & Blues Festival

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Our 4th Annual Uptown Latin Jazz & Blues Festival was a blast.  The sound of renaissance filled the air as Houghton Park was filled with friends and family seeking quality music and time with each other. Although we may have run out of space on the dance floor, there was a surplus of good energy and community spirit to compensate. Halle Johnson, Brown Suede, Joe Colderon Trio, Boxcar 7, DW3 and Headliner, Tito Puente Jr. hit this stage in memorable fashion, keeping the spirit of Latin Jazz & Blues alive.  An estimated 2,500 people were counted in attendance, indicating the love and support we have for this annual effort.

The roots of the Uptown Latin Jazz & Blues Festival can be traced back to the efforts of former Councilmember Steven Neal, who envisioned enriching community morale through an unifying presentation of art.  This past year, we featured a dance floor, wine garden, V.I.P. section, arts and crafts, jumper and play area for the kids, and immense talent.

Halle Johnson started the show with melodies from her guitar and songs from the soul.  Shortly after, Brown Suede took the stage to follow up on a spectacular showcase presented during our State of the 9th District event.  They were definitely a crowd favorite to say the least.

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Jose Calderon Trio took the stage after Brown Suede with some of their own style.  Rockin' out Latin Jazz & Blues, the energy from the stage resonated throughout Houghton Park and the 9th district.  Box Car 7 provided nothing less than expected, providing sounds that sent residents into stylish grooves that smothered the dancer floor.  DW3 literally was begged to perform 'Purple Rain' to add to the track list of song they performed, but unfortunately, ran out of time.  However, they promised myself and fans a Prince-like performance with the song as their opener for next year.  Nonetheless, they were electric and exciting on stage.

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Tito Puente Jr., headliner of our 4th Annual Uptown Latin Jazz & Blues Festival, ended the show with smiles, laughter, and slight sorrow due to his departure from the stage.  Performing original songs, the emulation of his father was arguably exceeded by measure.  Towards the closing of his performance, Tito brought me out on stage for what seemed and sounded like live drum practice.  Even with myself banging away at the drums off tempo, the sound of Renaissance was definitely felt and inspired many.  All artists were presented with acknowledgement awards for their contribution to the spirit of community life and service.  We look forward to an even bigger and better 5th Annual Uptown Latin Jazz & Blues Festival next year!

To check out more photos of the festival, click here:

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