By Timothy Olsen
The Union College Jazz Ensemble and Latin jazz group Sensemaya will share the stage on Sunday, March 2 at 3:00 p.m. This special performance will take place in the Emerson Auditorium in the Taylor Music Center. Admission is free.
Sensemaya, under the direction of pianist and composer David Gleason, has established itself as one of the Capital Region’s leading exponents of Latin music, mixing mambo, salsa, samba, reggae and other Caribbean styles with swinging jazz grooves to create a highly energetic fusion. The group has appeared at numerous jazz and Latin music festivals throughout upstate New York, and their most recent recording, 2011’s Madrugada Habanera (Havana Before Dawn), has enjoyed international airplay.
The twenty-piece Union College Jazz Ensemble, directed by Professor Tim Olsen, is made up of Union students as well as musicians from around the Capital Region and performs a century of American popular music, including cakewalks and ragtime through classic big band swing, bebop, funk and soul.
The Union College group will perform a set including Gershwin’s Promenade, featuring saxophonist Warren Thompson; Sam Cooke’s A Change is Gonna Come, featuring vocalist Dominique Reed; Neal Hefti’s Cute, showcasing drummer Sam Walsh and Feelin’ Good, featuring vocalist Jessica Rivetz ’14. After intermission, Sensemaya will take the stage and present a collection of their original tunes. The program will conclude with both bands joining together for some screaming Latin fusion.