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Jazz greats to make September swing


The Leisure and Cultural Services Department's Jazz Up Series continues in September. Vanessa Rubin and Her Trio will perform on September 9 (Tuesday) at 8pm at the Concert Hall, Hong Kong City Hall and Tiempo Libre on September 23 (Tuesday) at 8pm at the Auditorium, Kwai Tsing Theatre.

Vocalist Vanessa Rubin will perform with pianist Aaron Graves, bassist Michael Hawkins and drummer Alvin Atkinson. Rubin was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. After graduation from university, she taught for a few years while preparing for a career in jazz. From the time she joined the New York jazz community in the early eighties, under the guidance of such masters as Barry Harris and Frank Foster, Rubin's acceptance has been universal. Instrumentalists have always been impressed by her her innate ability to swing with the music.

Capable of employing the gamut of emotions, Rubin is confident and talented enough to address the work of composers as varied as Ellington, Gershwin, Weil, Dizzy Gillespie, Carmen McRae, Wayne Shorter and Sting. She also puts her pearly tones to work on songs of her own composing.

Rubin has worked with a team of great musicians, such as Monty Alexander, Cecil Bridgewater and Kenny Burrell. Recent successful global tours have found her in the company of Herbie Hancock and the Woody Herman Orchestra, among others. Labelled one of the "Diva Nouvelles" by Essence Magazine, Rubin continues to practice her singing technique to upgrade herself to a higher standard.

Tiempo Libre comprises seven of Miami's hottest musicians -- Jorge Gomez (director/piano), Jorge Bringas (bass), Fernando Pina (percussion), Raymer Olalde (congas), Rodolfo Fofi Gomez (flute/saxophones), Julio Ariel Diaz (trumpet) and Joaquin Diaz (vocals). The newspaper, La Nacion Miami, enthused: "Outside of Cuba, the art of timba has few practitioners. But here in Miami, Tiempo Libre creates a unique blend of Cuban tradition, contemporary sounds and hard-driving, seductive rhythms that leave their audiences begging for more."

The seven members of the band were schooled in different Havana conservatories and all enjoying thriving careers in Latin music. They came together to realise their collective musical dream: to create a new musical style by fusing their diverse individual talents with a unique mix of jazz, traditional Cuban and Afro-Cuban music. Their eagerness to share their music with others led these multi-talented musicians to come together between projects to develop their new style together, which was the inspiration for their name "Tiempo Libre".

Their performance with salsa legend Celia Cruz at last year's Ravinia Festival dazzled a crowd of more than 12,000 people. Individually, members of the band have performed with such stars as Albita, Cachao, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Issac Delgado and Roberto Torres.

Tickets priced at $350, $250 and $120 for Vanessa Rubin and Her Trio and $300, $220 and $120 for Tiempo Libre are now available at all URBTIX outlets. Half-price concessions will be granted to senior citizens, people with disabilities, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) recipients (limited tickets for students and CSSA recipients available on a first-come, first-served basis). A 10% discount is available for each purchase of standard tickets of both concerts. Friends of LCSD performing venues can also receive a 10% discount.

Appearing later in the Jazz Up Series will be Bill Frisell & the Intercontinentals (October 24), Charles Lloyd (November 30) and Tamaya Honda, Steve Hunter, Kristen Jorgensen and Ted Lo (December 17). Tickets for these concerts are available from September 11 at all URBTIX outlets.

Programme enquiries can be made on 2268 7321 and ticketing enquiries and reservations on 2734 9009. Internet bookings of tickets is available at For credit card telephone bookings, call 2111 5999. Visit for more information on the programme.

End/Tuesday, July 29, 2003

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