- The free-entrance concerts will commence at 21.00 hours
Following its presence on the island of La Graciosa in the inaugural concert, the Festival Internacional Canarias Jazz & Más Heineken visits Arrecife this Friday with concerts featuring two North American groups, Palo! and ‘King’ Solomon Hicks. The free-entrance concerts will take place in the Plaza de El Almacén (Square adjacent to ‘El Almacen/The Warehouse), and will start at 21:00 hours.
Palo! is a band that have created their own style of tropical music they call “Afro-Cuban Funk”, which is a mixture of a series of genres that range from salsa to jazzy improvisationes with a funky beat that captures the allure of root Cuban music.
The group was formed in the year 2003, when producer/pianist Steve Roitstein (Celia Cruz, Willy Chirino, Tito Puente, Cheo Feliciano, Oscar d’ Leon) invited his fellow musicians to join him in an improvised musical experiment combining Cuban music with funky beats.
Palo! began piecing together & playing catchy original songs that were just made to order for the extraordinary sultry voice of Leslie Cartaya (nominated for a Latin Grammy). The scorching percussion and vocals of Philbert Armenteros (congas) and Raymer Olalde (timbales) punctuate the performances with the flavour & fire of traditional Cuban music.
Steve Roitstein was in charge of fusing these elements with a foundation of edgy, unforgettable rhythms akin to soul & funk. And to put the icing on the cake, the virtuosity of saxophonist Dr. Ed Calle, who featured in the band from 2003 till early 2017.
Since it took off, Palo! has become a featured act in Miami’s premiere live music venues, concerts, festivals and private events, and is their base of operations. Success of their many discs has taken the band on tour, performing to packed houses & festivals in major cities in the USA and Latin America, and more recently in Europe.
In June 2016, Palo! released their third album, Yo Quiero Guarachar, with a lead or advance single titled Al Monte, a catchy number that had more than 1.3 million visits on the Internet. In July 2016 the band went on a successful European tour, including París, Luxembourg, Belgium, Amsterdam and the prestigious Tempo Latino Festival in France, where they were named “Padrinos” of the Festival and Best New Artist, 2016.
In spite of his young age, ‘King’ Solomon Hicks is a recognised name in his own right, on the current international blues scene. At the age of thirteen, some saw him as the new B.B.King, George Benson or Wes Montgomery for his guitar skills and also for his special feeling & awareness when playing jazz. He began playing the guitar when he was only six years old and some of his friends in Harlem started to call him ‘King’ Solomon. He comes on tour to Europe presenting his latest disc, titled Carrying on the Torch of the Blues, in which he has the collaboration of saxophonist Jake Clemons (Bruce Springsteen’s E. Street Band), among others.
Jake Clemons took over the role of saxophonist in Bruce Springsteen’s E. Street Band from his late uncle, Clarence Clemons. The disc Carrying on the Torch of the Blues has many original songs written, arranged & composed by Solomon, as well as versions of other well-known tracks, such as the popular Homework by Otis Rush & The J.Geils Band.
An outstanding musician in the band touring with King is bassist & music producer Kirk Yano, winner of two Grammy awards for his participation in the recording of some of the best albums by Mariah Carey and also for his work with the legendary US rap-band Public Enemy. In keeping with this, there are about twenty Grammy nominations associated with different artists in which he has participated in his role as producer, engineer, sound-mixer and/or musician, and has also been inducted in the New York Blues Hall of Fame. To date, he has collaborated with artists as famous as they are different, from Plácido Domingo to Miles Davis, George Clynton & Funkadelic, Pat Martino and Soulive among others.