A Night of Latin Jazz With Spanish Harlem Orchestra

Last night UVM hosted the Grammy Award winning Spanish Harlem Orchestra at the Davis Center in Burlington, VT. I’d seen the SHO before when the performed at the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam last year. I was a little closer to the stage this time.

Doors opened at 7:30 and people mingled into a great atmosphere for the evening. Chips and salsa as well as Green Mountain Coffee and alcoholic beverages were available. Now chips and salsa are the perfect thing to have at a SHO show, especially when the salsa is top notch! I’m quite the salsa critic (well, not really but it’s a great excuse to try as many different types as possible!) and the salsa available last night was spicy fine!

Rows of chairs were setup in the back of the room while several large, 10-person tables were setup in front of the stage. My girlfriend, who is up in Vermont for the weekend, and I sat at table about 7 feet from the stage. It was as if the entire performance was for us. The intimacy of the setting couldn’t have been more perfect. There were times when we were so close, I felt like I should have been holding an instrument and performing as well.

At 8:08p, the band walked on stage and began an evening of Latin music that wouldn’t let your feet stop tapping or your hands clapping. The room was alive with a certain type of energy that I don’t think I’d experienced at a concert in a while. Maybe it was the small dance floor provided on the side of the room which was never empty. Maybe it was the excitement of the audience for such a lively performance. Maybe it was the world-class musicians on stage laying down Cha-cha after Bolero after Rhumba. (Maybe it was the salsa…?) Who knows, but whatever it was, it made for easily one of the most enjoyable concerts I’d seen in Burlington in quite some time.

The music didn’t stop until 9:46, after the much welcomed encore, an original composition by vocalist Marco Bermudez, had been performed. What an amazing night it was!


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