Safe Harbors will host a free concert with the Tito Puente Jr. Latin Jazz Ensemble, , with special guests Melina Almodóvar and Latin Jazz Express on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the Safe Harbors Green, at the corner of Broadway and Liberty Streets.
The Puente name is synonymous with Latin music, especially in the dance-oriented sub-genres of mambo, cha-cha, and salsa, but also in the jazz world.
His father’s big band arrangements from the 1940s and 1950s brought the horn sections and combined them with the Afro-Cuban sounds of the conga, timbale and the bongo. For many listeners, the gateway into the musical world of Puente was through the song “Oye Como Va.” Originally released in 1963, it was picked up and recorded by guitarist Carlos Santana in 1970. The popularity of the song helped boost both his and Santana’s careers.
Now, his son is on a mission to bring his father’s music to the world, music that vibrates at the intersection of big-band jazz and Latin rhythms. To do this music justice, you can’t skimp on the horns: Puente’s orchestra includes baritone, tenor and alto sax, one or two trombones and two trumpets.
“That’s something that’s lacking today,” he noted in a 2019 interview. “They don’t have that power of the brass section.” A five-piece rhythm section, with conga, timbales, bass, piano and trap set, completes the ensemble.
A pre-concert VIP event will take place at 5 p.m. at the Safe Harbors Lobby at the Ritz (107 Broadway, Newburgh) - Enjoy dance lessons, tapas, cocktails, a meet and greet with Tito Puente, Jr. plus reserved table seating on Safe Harbors Green for the concert. Tickets for the Pre-Concert VIP Event are $50, and available on Eventbrite Admission for the outdoor concert is free.