Wednesday Folk Traditions: Latin Jazz Evolution

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The Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum will continue its 31st season of Wednesday Folk Traditions on July 11, 2012 with Latin Jazz Evolution. Co-led by veteran percussionist Carlos Clinton and Latin jazz pioneer, composer/trombonist Ed Byrne, this exciting new instrumental ensemble further develops the fusion of these two traditions with Byrne’s original compositions. This and all other concerts are held Wednesday evenings at 6:30 pm in the Sunken Garden at the Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum, 130 River Drive, Route 47, Hadley, MA 01035. General admission is $10, or $2 for children 16 and under. Picnickers are welcome on the museum grounds beginning at 5:00 pm. This is a smoke-free site.

Latin Jazz Evolution is a band for both sophisticated listening and traditional Latin dancing. Co-leader Carlos Clinton grew up playing the trombone in Brooklyn, NY and later developed a passion for the bongos and congas after being exposed to Latin music greats Ray Barreto, the Lebron brothers, and Willie Colón. He has since lived and performed in Puerto Rico, playing with some of Latin music’s most beloved performers. Composer and co-leader Ed Byrne worked for sixteen years as a trombone soloist on the NYC music scene, performing and touring with the likes of Eddie Palmieri, Celia Cruz, and Herbie Hancock. Byrne has received numerous awards and honors for his recording work and has been on the faculty of Berklee College. He recorded lead trombone for Eddie Palmieri’s Grammy-winning album, Unfinished Masterpiece.

Bassist Art "Jayko" Clinton, Carlos’s brother and leader of Komboloko, began his career performing with Jesus Chuito Rodriquez's sextet, an experience which nurtured his passion for Latin music and supplied essential training. Jayko now divides his time between playing Latin jazz and salsa on both the NYC and Puerto Rican music scenes. Carl Clements (saxophones, flute) has a PhD in music from the CUNY Graduate Center. Having performed and composed extensively in a wide range of styles, his discography includes his own CD of his original compositions for jazz quartet. Keyboardist Damian Curtis has been studying piano since the age of 4. He earned a full scholarship to the Hartt School of Music and has performed with many great international artists. Timbalero Esteban Arrufatt is a graduate of the Jazz and Popular Music Department of the Hartford Conservatory. A Latin percussionist from Puerto Rico, he is also a composer, arranger, and educator. Violinist Maureen Choi has won numerous competitions and has performed extensively in classical and jazz genres throughout the United States, Europe, Australia and Asia.

Wednesday Folk Traditions continues on July 18th with a performance by The Total Praise Gospel Choir and will continue throughout June and July (with the exception of July 4th). The twenty-voice choir, based at the Macedonia Church of God in Christ in Springfield, performs a stunning repertoire of contemporary and traditional gospel songs.

Wednesday Folk Traditions is funded, in part, by grants from: the Marion I. And Otto C. Kohler Memorial Fund at the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts; and the Hadley Cultural Council, a local agency, supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency; and with generous support from many area businesses, including Hadley’s Mountain Farms Mall, Easthampton Savings Bank, and the Walmart Foundation.


The Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum is located at 130 River Drive (Route 47) in Hadley, two miles north of the junction of Routes 9 and 47. The Museum is open for guided tours Saturday through Wednesday from 1 pm to 4:30 pm and by appointment. The Museum is closed Thursday and Friday. For further information about tours and the Wednesday Folk Traditions series, call the museum at 413.584.4699 or visit