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Jimmy Rivera and Lyza Ramos Live at Casa Cuba, Puerto Rico

Contributors: Wilbert Sostre
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For two weeks on December, Casa Cuba in Puerto Rico, was the scene for the performance of some of the best jazz musicians in Puerto Rico. Casa Cuba is not a place people in Puerto Rico relate to Jazz music, but singer/producer Lyza Ramos is trying to change it into a Jazz venue. On thursday, December 15 the Puerto Rican jazz legend, drummer Jimmy Rivera, with bassist Freddie Gumbs and guest pianist Richard Trinidad played jazz standards like Body and Soul, the Bossa Nova classics, Garota de Ipanema and Desafinado, and even a jazzy arrangements of the Christmas song Jingle Bells. Jimmy Rivera is an experienced drummer who played among others with pianist Hilton Ruiz. For the last set guitarrist and ethnomusicologist Andre Avelino and singer Lyza Ramos joined the band to played some blues and sing a wonderful version of Summertime.

On friday, December 16, Lyza Ramos, a soulful singer and a master of scatting a la Ella Fitzgerald sang with her quartet that includes, drummer Gonchi Sifre, bassist Freddie Gumbs and pianist Fritz Kersting. The repertoire for the evening included heartfelt interpretations of What a difference a day makes, What a wonderful world and God Bless the child. A pleasent surprise was singer Jenny Gomez, who captivated the audience with a beautiful version of Stormy Weather and joined Lyza to sing Autumn Leaves, Somewhere over the rainbow and The Boy from Ipanema. Two magical nights full of good food, good company and some of the best jazz from Puerto Rico.

Casa Cuba is located in 10 Calle Iris Urb Biascochea (Atras de Ritz Carlton Hotel) Isle Verde, Puerto Rico 00979 Tel: 787-791-3475 Close to the beach, the Airport and some of the best hotels in Puerto Rico.

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