Concert Review: The Dizzy Gillespie Afro-Cuban Experience, June 28, The Hamilton


Never again will I think of jazz as ‘easy listening.’ After seeing the Dizzy Gillespie Afro-Cuban Experience show at the ever-impeccable Hamilton stage, I will never hear those sounds without imagining a group of super talented musicians doing their utmost to make sounds so intricately complicated and wonderfully dynamic you have to close your eyes at part to make sure you catch everything without visual distractions. As a side note/question to illustrate the physical duress,:is the cheek a muscle? Seeing the brass instruments played made me realize those musicians’ cheeks get more of a work out in a 90 minute set then my entire body gets in about 90 days.

The Dizzy Gillespie tribute band was playing as part of DC’s jazz fest and just rocked it. There were 8 musicians on stage, making music on instruments including but not limited to the piano, sax, flute, horn, trumpet, drums, and (my personal favorite) the maracas. There were also lovely vocals, friendly banter, and interesting historical facts about Dizzy thrown in along the way. The crowd, multi-generational-ethnic-and-attired (audience members ranged from bachelorette party festive to business suit formal) loved the show and applauded loudly after each piece. My favorite was probably the classic Black Orpheus, but honestly, I loved it all.

I think the only complaint one may have heard was the brevity of the set – the band was playing an early and late show and the room had to be cleared after about an hour and 30 minutes. I know I could have stayed most of the night without complaint.

Posted on by halley in Concerts