Reviews of shows from the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts and other local venues published by the Los Cerritos Community News. The writer and paper are in their twentieth year of covering these events.

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Location: Fear City, Ca., United States

"My name is Addison DeWitt. My native habitat is the theater. In it I toil not, neither do I spin. I am a critic and commentator. I am essential to the theatre - as ants to a picnic, as the boll weevil to a cotton field." George Sanders in "All About Eve"

Saturday, March 02, 2013

Juan De Marcos and the Afro-Cuban All-Stars March 1, 2013

Juan De Marcos and the Afro-Cuban All-Stars: the Master Speaks
                        By Glen Creason

    Juan De Marcos is living the dream and that wonderful fantasy came to Cerritos over the weekend in the form of a marvelous couple of hours of the ensemble-driven magic of Cuban music. The concert showcased one of the truly irresistible forms of the terpsichorean art on the planet and they did it so joyfully it made indelible musical memories for the many who were on hand and on their feet for much of the show. Cuban music flows over you in waves, a multi-textured sound full of layers that are expressed by high-energy solos deftly handled by the many eager to please members of the band. In this case, a few of those talented members were from the Juan De Marcos family. Yet, they did not play because they have the band-leader’s blood but because they have the band-leaders talent running through their veins. Fourteen players shared the stage and the extremely generous Maestro De Marcos made sure everyone had their moments. Truly, what makes this show so great is that everybody is having a great time on stage and in the audience where most found it hard to stay seated.
     There were over a dozen titles performed, some segueing from the previous tune without a seam.  Many were Cuban classics like “Dos Gardenias,” “El Cuarto de Tula,” “Candela” and the one that put Senor De Marcos in touch with the “Buena Vista Social Club” phenomena “Dundumbanza.” Imagine my personal amazement when the three vocalists and the bandleader ended the first half of the show standing a foot from my seat in the orchestra while the entire hall went completely bonkers or whatever the word is in Cuban.  Part of the glory of this great show is the superb musicians who seem to leave egos behind but dazzle when their turn arrives. Such was the case for the incredibly expressive Gabriel Hernandez on Art Tatum-like piano-voyages, daughters Laura Lydia Gonzalez on clarinet, and Gliceria Gonzalez on keyboards along with the wholly groovy vocal trinity of Evilio Galan, Gilito Pinera and Emilio Suarez .  Yet, without shining a light too much on himself Juan De Marcos, was the center of this spectacle, exhibiting greatness with gusto. 


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