Saturday, June 19 at 8PM

World renowned, iconic Trumpeter, and musical visionary, Dizzy Gillespie’s fusion of Cuban, African, Argentinian, Brazilian, and Caribbean rhythms was groundbreaking, and ahead of its time.

The Afro-Latin Experience, led by Dizzy’s long time Bassist, and 2019 Grammy winner, John Lee, guides you through the journey, as the ensemble brings to life the driving rhythms, dynamic melodies, and flowing vocals of the Dizzy Gillespie vision of Afro–Latin music. SOPAC patrons may never again think of jazz as easy listening.

The addition of special guest, Cuban born, and multi-Grammy winner, Paquito D’Rivera to this evening’s Experience, brings virtuoso Clarinet, and Saxophone, to the existing super talented horn section of Freddie Hendrix, (Trumpet and Flugelhorn), and Sharel Cassity, (Saxophone and Flute).

The ensemble is rounded off by the rhythm section of former Dizzy Gillespie drummer Tommy Campbell, and master percussionist Roger Squitero. When the electrifying playing, and vocals of Brazilian born Abelita Mateus on Grand Piano are added to the mix, this Experience should prove to be a memorable one.

“Five Stars are simply not enough to classify the experience” said Robert Michael Oliver of the Kennedy Center Review.

This performance will be at 100% capacity as of May 28 when restrictions were lifted.

Performance length: to be announced
Intermission: to be announced

Covid-19 Precautions & Policies

Questions? Contact the SOPAC Box Office at
(973) 313-2787 or
Box Office hours are Monday-Friday, 12PM-4PM.

Paquito D’Rivera

Clarinetist and Saxophonist Paquito D’Rivera defies categorization. The winner of fourteen Grammy Awards, he is celebrated both for his artistry in Latin Jazz and his achievements as a classical composer. Born in Havana, Cuba, Paquito performed at age 10 with the National Theater Orchestra, studied at the Havana Conservatory of Music and, at 17, became a featured soloist with the Cuban National Symphony. He was a founding member of the Orquesta Cubana de Musica Moderna, and co-director of the innovative musical ensemble Irakere. In 1988, he was a founding member of the United Nation Orchestra, a 15-piece Grammy winning ensemble created by Dizzy Gillespie to showcase the fusion of Latin and Caribbean influences with Jazz.

While Paquito’s discography reflects a dedication and enthusiasm for Jazz, Bebop and Latin music, his contributions to Classical music are also impressive. They include solo performances with major orchestras and ensembles from around the world.

In addition to his extraordinary performing career as an instrumentalist, Mr. D’Rivera has rapidly gained a reputation as an accomplished composer. His numerous commissions include compositions for Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Library of Congress, the National Symphony Orchestra and the Turtle Island String Quartet,

Among his numerous honors, he is the recipient of the NEA Jazz Masters Award, the National Medal of the Arts, as well as the Living Jazz Legend Award from the Kennedy Center, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from Carnegie Hall for his contributions to Latin music.

MC: Bobby Sanabria of WBGO’s Latin Jazz Cruise

Bobby Sanabria is an eight time Grammy Award-nominee as a leader, drummer, percussionist, composer, arranger, conductor, documentary film producer, educator, activist, and bandleader. A native son of the South Bronx born to Puerto Rican parents, he has performed and recorded with such legends as Tito Puente, Mongo Santamaría, Dizzy Gillespie, Chico O’Farrill, Ray Barretto, Cándido, Henry Threadgill, Larry Harlow, and the Godfather of Afro-Cuban jazz, Mario Bauzá.