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Afro-Cuban quintet leads 8th jazz fest

At various town venues

The Arlington Jazz Festival, in its eighth year and running April 25 through 28, has scheduled a wide variety of musical events, presented over a four-day stretch in several venues around the town.

This year, the festival is headlined by Yosvany Terry, a Cuban-born musician, composer, Grammy Award nominee and Doris Duke Artist Award winner.

Fronting his world-class Afro-Cuban Quintet with his alto and soprano saxophones and beaded gourd chekeré, Terry will be joined by his longtime collaborators, Michael Rodriguez (trumpet), Osmany Paredes (piano), Yunior Terry (bass) and Obed Calvaire (drums).

Polyrhythms, postbop

Terry’s original music vividly embodies a sonic world marked by Afro-Cuban polyrhythms and exquisite postbop angles. He taps into his deep cultural roots as a Cuban leavened by insights gleaned on his global travels. Addressing ancient tradition and contemporary practice, Terry frames his charged improvisations within finely wrought small group arrangements that offer listeners easy access to music that’s genuinely new.


Arlington Jazz Festival, Thursday through Sunday, April 25-April 28, in various venues in town.

Admission price
depends on event: free to $20.

Further information:, arlingtonjazzfestival at, 1-339-707-5170. Schedule (for updates, final lineup click here >> and here >>

 Headliner concert: 7-9 p.m. Sunday, April 28, Yosvany Terry Afro-Cuban Quintet with Terry, Michael Rodriguez, Osmany Paredes, Yunior Terry and Obed Calvaire, 7:45-9 p.m.; opening with the Arlington High School Jazz Band, led by Tino D'Agostino, 7-7:30 p.m., Town Hall.

General admission: $20, students/seniors $10, kids age 12 and under $5, kids on laps free. Advance concert tickets here >> Such ticket holders may also attend free the Terry master class, earlier in the day.

Other festival events, listed chronologically:

Thursday, April 25, 8-11 p.m.: The Psychedelic Jazz Experiment, 8-8:45 p.m.; The Boston/Havana Connection, 9-11 p.m., Common Ground Bar & Grill, 319 Broadway. No cover.

Friday, April 26, 7-8:30 p.m.: Morningside Music Studio Teen Jazz Combo, 7-7:20 p.m.; The Bubblegum Quartet, 7:30-8:30 p.m., Kickstand Cafe, 594 Mass. Ave. No cover.

Friday, April 26, 9-11:30 p.m.: District 5 Jazz Band, 9-9:30 p.m.; Albino Mbie Group, 9:45-11:30 p.m., Town Tavern, 201 Mass. Ave. No cover.

Saturday, April 27, 11-noon: “Jazz: America’s Music,” a family show featuring faculty from Morningside Music Studio, followed by an “instrumental petting zoo,” Robbins Library Community Room. No cover.

Saturday, April 27, 8-10:15 p.m.: Tino D'Agostino Trio with D'Agostino, Mimi Rabson and David Harris, 8-8:45 p.m.; Carla Marciano Quartet (on tour from Italy), 9-10:15 p.m., artlounge Arlington, 1346 Mass. Ave.; general admission: $20, students/seniors $10. Advance concert tickets >>

 Sunday April 28, 1-2 p.m. (outdoors, rain or shine): The A-Town Brass Band, Town Hall Garden, 730 Mass. Ave. No cover.

Sunday April 28, 4-5 p.m.: Terry Master Class: open to musicians and all other music appreciators, Town Hall, Lyons Hearing Room, 2nd floor, 730 Mass. Ave.; $5 cover or free with headliner concert advance ticket >>

Quote bar, red

According to The New York Times, Terry’s music has “helped redefine Afro-Cuban and Latin jazz as a complex new idiom.” DownBeat Magazine praises his work as being “physical, cerebral and spiritual music, with a lot of stories to tell.”

The festival also continues to champion the vibrant jazz scene that flourishes beyond Boston’s city limits. An abundance of local talent will be on full display, including performances by Albino Mbie, Mimi Rabson, David Harris, Hilary Noble, Tino D'Agostino and special guest award-winning saxophonist Carla Marciano from Salerno Italy, making a special stop in Arlington while on a U.S. tour with her quartet.

Complete listing

For a complete list of all the artists involved this year, click here >> 

The festival, which receives organizing and production assistance from Arlington-based Morningside Music Studio, has this solid mission: to raise awareness and appreciation of jazz through the confluence of top performers, local rising ensembles and student groups, while also fostering a sense of community and an appreciation that Arlington and surrounding towns are indeed a cultural destination.

Further background

Since arriving in New York City in 1999, Cuban saxophonist, percussionist and composer Terry “has helped redefine Latin jazz as a complex new idiom,” The New York Times reports. Born into an illustrious musical family in Camaguey, Cuba, Terry is an internationally acclaimed composer, saxophonist, percussionist, bandleader, educator and cultural bearer of the Afro-Cuban tradition.

After immersing himself in European classics at Havana’s National School of Arts and Amadeo Roldan Conservatory he went on to perform with major figures in every realm of Cuban music, including celebrated nueva trova singer/guitarist Silvio Rodriguez, pianists Chucho Valdes and Frank Emilio, and Don Pancho y Los Terry, the band led by his father, violinist and shekere master Eladio “Don Pancho” Terry Gonzales.

From his earliest days in New York, Terry has been embraced by the jazz and contemporary music community, playing with Branford Marsalis, Rufus Reid, Dave Douglas, Steve Coleman, Roy Hargrove, Henry Threadgill, trumpeter Avishai Cohen, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Taj Mahal and the Eddie Palmieri Afro-Caribbean Sextet.

While best known as a blazing improviser, he’s rapidly gaining renown as a composer, bandleader and educator with a string of high-profile awards, appointments and commissions. In 2015, Terry received the Doris Duke Artist Award and was hired by Harvard University as director of jazz ensembles and senior lecturer on music.

Who's behind festival

The nonprofit annual Arlington Jazz Festival is coordinated with assistance from Morningside Music Studio, directed by Dan Fox, an Arlington resident, who is a multi-instrumentalist and music educator. He established Morningside Music Studio 12 years ago to provide area students of all ages and musical abilities the opportunity to play in weekly ensembles and in recital concerts open to the public.

In other words, he offers wholehearted encouragement to “keep the groove in your life.” The Arlington Jazz Festival, also established by Fox, is supported in part by a grant from the Arlington Cultural Council, a local agency supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

April is observed nationally as Jazz Appreciation Month, and since 2012, International Jazz Day has fallen on April 30. The festival coincides with the celebration of Jazz Week in Boston and surrounding areas. 

April 2019: Patitucci headlined 7th Arlington Jazz Festival

This announcement was published Thursday, March 21, 2019.

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