A great thing about summer in Boston is the free outdoor performances offered by Berklee’s Summer in the City concert series, presented by Natixis Global Asset Management. The Tito Puente Latin Music Series highlights an exciting combination of salsa, bolero, danzon, Afro-Latin, Caribbean, jazz, funk, R&B, and more. Not only will each concert feature a variety of Berklee faculty, students, alumni, and world-renowned artists from throughout Latin America, but will also be taking place at different venues each week, from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. every Thursday until August 9.
The first week features Homenaje a la Salsa, a salsa band led by Puerto Rican percussionist Frankie Rodriguez, who performs a captivating repertoire of salsa hits from the last four decades. Head over to O’Day Park on July 5 at 85 West Newton Street to listen to the talents of some of the best performers from the region.
On July 12, Mozart Park will be hosting Revelacion Latina: the Latin Project. Under the management of Mariano Neris and artistic direction of Berklee student Gerami Groover, this project brings together Cuban salsa music and American influences together by collaborating and uniting all of the performing arts through Latin music.
If you’re a fan of orchestral music, I would suggest meandering to Blackstone Park on July 19 to see the Boston Landmarks Orchestra. Founded by Conductor Charles Ansbacher, this professional orchestra strives to present music performances in significant architectural, historical, and geographical settings, and always performs free concerts.
The free summer concert series continues with Mango Blue, an Afro-Latin/world music group, at the East Boston Greenway Caboose on July 26. The band is led by Ecuadorian composer, bassist, singer, and Berklee alumnus Alex Alvear and strives to incorporate Latin music with many of their influences, such as R&B, jazz, funk, Caribbean and Afro-Latin music.
Combo Sabroso, who will be performing a wide range of repertoire at Sheehy Park on August 2, is a Latin dance band influenced by the ensembles of Eddie Palmieri and Tito Puente. Whether you like cha cha, danzon, bolero, salsa, plena or Latin jazz, this is the concert for you.
Last but not least is the final concert at O’Day Park on August 9 featuring Bloco AfroBrazil, a 12-piece percussion ensemble led by Mikael Ringquist and alumnus Marcus Santos. The performance will include an interactive show that combines traditional Brazilian grooves like samba and axé, with funk, rock, hip-hop, and jazz.
The Tito Puente Latin Music Series is presented by Berklee College of Music, Villa Victoria Center for the Arts, ParkARTS, and the Mayor's Office of Arts, Tourism, and Special Events. All locations are wheelchair accessible. As presenting sponsor of the 2012 concert series, Natixis Global Asset Management is committed to preserving cultural experience through the power of music. Call 617 927-1707, or visit berklee.edu/events/summer for information. I hope you all make your way to at least one of these shows. Great, free music every week at parks all over Boston? Win-win.