Live at the Dakota

The Dakota Jazz Club and Restaurant is one of my favorite places – where else can you hear international caliber musicians in a venue where they are close enough to touch!?! (And, if you are hungry, my former neighbor Jack Reibel is certain to be cooking up something totally amazing in the kitchen.)

Tonight’s show was Sir James Galway with the Cuban band Tiempo Libre.

From the Dakota’s website:The Man With the Golden Flute teams up with one of the hottest young Latin bands today! Sir James Galway is the most influential flautist of our time, and is the most televised and recorded classical artist performing today. With over 30 million albums sold, Galway is a modern musical master whose virtuosity on the flute is equaled only by his limitless ambition. This summer Galway is celebrating his 70th birthday with a number of events all over the world, including his collaboration with Tiempo Libre at the prestigious Ravinia Festival in Chicago. They are performing a special “warm up” show here in anticipation of that concert. Galway brought his boundless musical vision to his 2008 recording O’Reilly Street, where he worked with Tiempo Libre to re-create Claude Bolling’s Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano Trio and a number of vibrant new compositions by Tiempo Libre’s musical director and pianist Jorge Gomez. The result is rich in the traditions of multiple genres, authentic yet emotionally seductive, transcending the borders between classical, jazz and Cuban music. Named “Best Latin Band of 2008” by the Miami New Times, Tiempo Libre bring a true Cuban experience to their audiences. All of Tiempo Libre’s members were classically trained at La ENA, Cuba’s premiere conservatory, and are now based in Miami. TL is becoming an international sensation, celebrated for its incendiary, joyful performances of timba, an irresistible, dance-inducing mix of high-voltage Latin jazz and the seductive rhythms of son.Lane saw a similar show here last year (when I was out of town) and enjoyed it, but didn’t tell me how totally hot this Cuban band is. Whoowee! Sir James is still amazing (now I really want to buy a flute and start playing again) and this band is hot, hot, hot. A fabulous night!

A night at the Dakota usually isn’t cheap – but for what you would pay to see musicians of this caliber in some giant arena, you can come here instead and have a lovely dinner, fine wine, and seats next to the stage. To me that is a pretty darn good value.

The Dakota is one of those places that makes me realize just what a lucky girl I am.

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