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Paquito D'Rivera & The Mambo Legends Orchestra @ Lehman Center, 10/29
(Published: October 14, 2011)

Lehman Center for the Performing Arts continues its dazzling 31st season with a not-to-be-missed evening of incredible Latin music on Saturday, October 29, 2011 at 8pm. Nine-time GRAMMY Award-winning saxophonist, clarinetist and composer PAQUITO D'RIVERA, who has won the honor in both Latin Jazz and Classical categories, is a true master of Afro-Cuban, Latin Jazz and Bebop. The concert will also feature the great MAMBO LEGENDS ORCHESTRA, comprised of former members of the Tito Puente Orchestra. Led by famed bongocero JOHNNY "DANDY" RODRIGUEZ and reedman MITCH FROHMAN, with musical direction by conguero and arranger JOSÉ MADERA, the band is dedicated to keeping the '50s and '60s Palladium-era sound alive as it explores new musical concepts.

Lehman Center for the Performing Arts is on the campus of Lehman College/CUNY at 250 Bedford Park Boulevard West, Bronx, NY 10468. Tickets for PAQUITO D'RIVERA and THE MAMBO LEGENDS ORCHESTRA on Saturday, October 29, 2011 at 8pm are $50, $45, and $35 and can be purchased by calling the Lehman Center box office at 718.960.8833 (Monday and Wednesday through Friday, 10am-5pm, closed on Tuesdays, and beginning at 12 noon on the day of the concert), or through 24-hour online access at www.LehmanCenter.org. Lehman Center is accessible by #4 or D train to Bedford Park Blvd. and is off the Saw Mill River Parkway and the Major Deegan Expressway. Low-cost on-site parking available for $5.

Paquito D'Rivera, born in Cuba, began his career as a child saxophone prodigy. A founding member of the Orquesta Cubana de Música Moderna, he directed the group for two years, while at the same time playing both clarinet and saxophone with the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra. He was also a founding member and co-director of the innovative musical ensemble Irakere, which toured extensively and won a GRAMMY Award in 1979. His first GRAMMY as a solo artist came in 1996 for Portraits of Cuba. Funk Tango, the first release on his new Paquito Records label, won his ninth GRAMMY for Best Latin Jazz Album in 2007. D'Rivera is a recipient of the 2005 National Medal for the Arts and was named one of the 2005 National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters. In 2007 he was honored with the Living Jazz Legend Award in a ceremony at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. He has gained a reputation as a dynamic composer, winning a 2007 John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in Music Composition and several classical composing commissions. While his discography includes over 30 solo albums in Latin, Bebop and Jazz music, he has also performed solos with countless symphony orchestras. A gifted author, he wrote My Sax Life and the novel Oh, La Habana. D'Rivera's latest releases are 2010's Panamericana Suite and Tango Jazz.

The Mambo Legends Orchestra, comprised of former members of the Tito Puente Orchestra, brings to an international audience the music they've been masters of performing for over 30 years. Co-led by famed bongocero Johnny "Dandy" Rodriguez and renowned reedman Mitch Frohman, and musically directed by conguero and arranger José Madera, each of whom spent over 25 years working with Puente, the orchestra has successfully kept the sound of The Big 3 (Machito, Tito Rodriguez and Tito Puente) alive and well, while setting a new standard for the genre. Johnny "Dandy" Rodriguez, son of respected Latin musician Johnny Rodriguez, began performing as a teenager with Tito Rodriguez and played with Ray Barretto and Típica ‘73 in the ‘70s before beginning his 27-year stint playing bongos in Puente's band. Mitch Frohman, sax/flute soloist with Puente for 25 years, has also played and recorded with numerous Latin artists and tours with the Spanish Harlem Orchestra. Musical director José Madera, born in NYC to José "Pin" Madera, the first arranger for the Machito Orchestra, started playing timbales with Machito as a teenager and was Tito Puente's conguero for 30 years and musical director for ten. A staff arranger at Fania Records since the 1970s, he has performed on over 100 recordings. The Mambo Legends Orchestra's latest release is the 2-CD set Watch Out! ¡Ten Cuidao! The band is featured in a documentary film, "For the Love of the Mambo," with an expected release date of spring 2012.

Lehman Center receives support from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and through corporations, foundations and private donations. The 2011-2012 Season at Lehman Center is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

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