Wilton Library is pleased to welcome musical powerhouse Paquito D’Rivera to its stage for a Hot & Cool: Jazz at the Brubeck Room concert on Saturday, Oct. 28, from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.. Winner of fourteen GRAMMY Awards in both jazz and classical categories, he is celebrated both for his artistry in Latin jazz and his achievements as a classical composer and performer.
Born in Havana, D’Rivera performed at age 10 with the National Theater Orchestra, and by age 17 was a featured clarinet and saxophone soloist with the Cuban National Symphony. He was a founding member of the innovative GRAMMY-winning musical ensemble Irakere and the United Nation Orchestra, a 15-piece ensemble organized by Dizzy Gillespie to showcase the fusion of Latin and Caribbean influences with jazz.
D’Rivera’s numerous recordings, including more than 30 solo albums, reveal his widespread and eclectic musical interests ranging from Afro-Cuban rhythms and melodies, including influences encountered in his many travels, and back to his classical origins.
His many awards include the NEA Jazz Masters Award, the National Medal of the Arts, the Living Jazz Legend Award from the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from Carnegie Hall for his contribution to Latin music.
“This was such serendipitous timing while discussing the Hot & Cool concerts with Chris and Tish Brubeck,” explains Elaine Tai-Lauria, executive director of Wilton Library. “It all came into place and we are thrilled to welcome this extraordinary talent, especially as the performance complements our Wilton Reads selection this fall as we delve into Carlos Eire’s Waiting for Snow in Havana and our Cuban programming.”
The National Endowment for the Arts website affirms that D’Rivera, “…has become the consummate multinational ambassador, creating and promoting a cross-culture of music that moves effortlessly among jazz, Latin, and Mozart.”
He also is the author of three books: My Sax Life, Letters to Yeyiho, and a novel, Oh, La Habana. The first two have been translated into English and will be available for purchase and signing after the concert.
Saturday night’s performance with The Paquito D’Rivera Ensemble includes Cesar Orozco on piano, Zach Brown on contrabass, and Arturo Stable on percussion, in addition to D’Rivera performing on clarinet and saxophone.
An informal reception follows the concert, where D’Rivera’s CDs and books will be available for purchase. The suggested donation for the concert is $10. The Hot & Cool concert series is funded by the William and Karen Tell Foundation with special thanks to Ed and Catherine Romer and Chris and Tish Brubeck. Advance registration is strongly recommended. Pre-registrants should arrive by 7:20 p.m. to be guaranteed seating; wait-listed and walk-in registrants will be admitted after 7:20 p.m. if space is available. For information, registration and directions, visit the Wilton Library website or call 203.762.6334.
Wilton Library is located at 137 Old Ridgefield Rd. in the heart of Wilton Center.