Come to the William and Helen Richards Theatre at Orange Hall for an evening of great New York-style Latin jazz that will have the audience dancing in the aisles.
Willie Martinez and La Familia Sextet will perform at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 7, at the William and Helen Richards Theatre at Orange Hall, at the corner of Wawayanda and Grandview Avenues in Middletown, N.Y. Martinez has deep-seeded roots in Latin jazz, which was handed down to him through his family. When he shares his feelings and knowledge through his music, he demonstrates not only enthusiasm but genuine love for what he learned from his grandfather and father.
For more than 30 years, Martinez has been a familiar face as a musician and gifted composer in New York City's eclectic music scene. He and his ensemble play together so well that they know each other’s moves and nuances and share each other’s excitement for the music.
“La Familia has given me the honor of breathing life into all the music I have written for them, over and over again,” says Martinez. "It’s just a very humbling and gratifying experience."
The instrumentation of the group is engaging and varied. Martinez leads as drummer/vocalist. His rhythm section is comprised of Renato Thoms – percussion, Bernie Miñoso – bass, Enrique Heneine – piano. In addition, Maximilian Schweiger plays baritone and curved soprano saxophones, while J. Walter Hawkes rounds out the sound on his trombone. La Familia Sextet’s music is the marriage of Afro-Caribbean rhythm and the harmonic structure and improvisational nature of American jazz.
In addition to the concert, Martinez and the rhythm section will give a music master class on Friday, March 6, at 11 a.m. in Orange Hall's room 23 that is free and open to the public. The four musicians will demonstrate the pounding, pulsing, and grooving of Latin jazz and answer questions in this up-close-and-personal session.