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HomeCultureYoung Lismore musicians to feature in Sydney Latin music concert

Young Lismore musicians to feature in Sydney Latin music concert

A young jazz band from Lismore will contribute to a night of Latin music and dance that could entice music lovers into the city and reverse the trend since Covid of people preferring to stay home.

That is the hope of Sydney musician and bandleader Gai Bryant, who said some of the country’s finest Latin musicians were guaranteed to ignite the dance floor at Club York on 23 September with a joyous night of Latin-inspired grooves.

The opening set will be provided by Cubano Jazz Combo, a young group from Lismore, followed by 16 talented musicians from the two headline bands, Caribe and Sonido,

The 2022 flood devastated Lismore and the rebuilding process has been long and difficult. So too has re-establishing cultural connections in the town, particularly for young people.

However, a dedicated group of local and visiting musicians and arts organisers have been working to restore Lismore’s once dynamic live music environment.

Ms Bryant has been travelling to Lismore to mentor young students with Anita Bellman, the director of the local Northern Rivers Conservatorium.

Ms Bryant said it gave young people an opportunity to gather and connect after the floods.

The Con lost all its pianos, drum kits, percussion and library of scores in the flood but now, following a donation drive for instruments, it is the only place in the area that has instruments and a musical infrastructure.

Caribe also has visited to work with the Youth Jazz Orchestra on a Latin-inspired repertoire, improvisation and the rhythm patterns needed to understand some basic styles.

Ms Bellman then found sponsors for airfares for a small group to come to Sydney to perform with Caribe. They will meet an extraordinary variety of musicians, attend Manly Jazz, and the Conservatorium of Sydney has provided free tickets to a Symphonic Wind Concert.

Ms Bryant said, “Events like this are so important because they motivate young adults who are living in a town that has suffered through incredible environmental challenges and where very little seems to have changed.

“Many of the shops are still deserted and a lot of people have moved elsewhere. This trip can give them a desire to come to Sydney to study and help them connect with other musicians and musical institutions.”

Caribe presents a collision of Cuban-inspired music and dance with Cuban dancer Cruz Vazquez Borges and eight musicians.

Sonido play Latin American-infused music, incorporating rhythms and instruments from further afield in Latin America, as well as from Western pop, rock, soul and jazz.

Ms Bryant said it had been hard since Covid for music events to get pre-sales, which in turn made promoters reluctant to risk putting on shows. She hoped Conga Night with Sonido and Caribe would help renew the confidence of audiences and promoters, and reinvigorate the Sydney music scene.

Caribe, Sonido and the Cubano Jazz Combo play at Club York, 95-99 York St – Sydney CBD, Saturday 23 September 7.30pm to late. Tickets here.

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