Manhattan School of Music Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra – Neidorff-Karpati Hall November 4, 2016
Once again Bobby Sanabria has whipped his student charges into shape (including getting them all dressed up) for an evening of new pieces or new arrangements of canonical masters (Wes Montgomery, Elmo Hope). The ensemble had no shortage of energy, the evening boasting a sustained dynamic tasteful and powerful groove. Many of the new compositions/arrangements were by MSM alumni (and one by a current AFJO member); quite a number were in attendance, and each of these was brought to the stage to bask in audience appreciation. As usual, Sanabria extends the eduational mission to the audience by providing background on the music and its historical context, and his sterling showmanship – he dances, he chants, he bangs timbale LOUD, he barks like a dog – is always part of the package.