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New Focus Jazz Quartet & Juan De Marcos Afro-Cuban All Star -GRCH – 22nd Jan 2018 -Review

New Focus Jazz Quartet & Juan De Marcos Afro-Cuban All Stars at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall – Monday 22/1/18

If you were looking for a night of rhythmic music filled with soul and passion this was the night for it. Starting the night were New Focus Jazz Quartet who are Euan Stevenson (piano), Konrad Wisniewski (saxophone), Mario Caribe (Double Bass) and Alyn Cosker (Drums). Their set was full of hard driving tunes mixed with wonderful melodic ballads.

This is a band with incredible musical prowess and creative writing skills thoroughly entertained the large audience playing music predominantly from their most recent album “On Song”. Their music is vibrant and exciting whilst also very relaxing. You could totally chill out listening to their music and could just imagine turning up the music and lighting a thick cuban cigar ……..

This takes me nicely onto the headline act of the night Juan De Marcos with his Afro- Cuban All Stars. This thirteen piece outfit led admirably by Juan De Marcos was a tremendous fusion of brass and percussion music full of rhythm and passion. Their music covers all types of Cuban music including bolero, chachacha, salsa and rumba. Juan De Marcos resplendent with long gray dreadlocks had an energy that belied his age was accompanied by the main vocalist Emilio Suarez. It was very much a family affair as Juan was joined by his wife of thirty nine years and two daughters. As well as being a musical extravaganza it was also a delight to watch as each of the very talented musicians swayed along to the music as one.

Never before and possibly never again have I experienced people dancing the salsa and rumba in the aisles of the concert hall however that was the scenario here. The audience showed their appreciation of the music by taking to the floor in their numbers to dance to the latin sound. Most people would be unable to understand the lyrics to the songs sung in the native Cuban tongue although that did not hinder their enjoyment of this fantastic musical evening.

Danny Matheson CMR

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