Songs composed by prominent jazz musicians such as Tito Puentes, Mario Bauzá, and Mongo Santamaria, filled the chilly starry night of Thursday March 26. Cali Rivera and his jazz quintet played a free concert for an audience mainly composed of UPRM students and faculty members. The second event of Presencias, an integrated cultural project, took place in the Antiguo Pórtico Colegial. Organized by Dr. José Antonio López, UPRM professor, the event received an audience of more than 600 people.
The tribute to Caribbean jazz musicians made the use of instruments such as the drums, a piano, bass, bongos- and the star of the night, the saxophone. Voiced by Dr. Aixa Rodriguez, each song was accompanied with a bit of history, announcing the various origins of each song. Her Campus was able to sneak a quick interview with Cali Rivera:
How did you get started in the jazz industry?
I first got involved in classical and romantic music, música de trio. I kept experimenting and I found jazz music so interesting and soulful.
What inspires you in your music and who inspired you to pursue jazz?
I play what I feel and I express it musically, with notes and sounds. Charlie Parker with his saxophone and all of those artists who play blues were my first inspirations.
Lastly, how did you like to participate for this type of activity, especially with a university type of public?
The experience was sensational for me and I want to thank Josean (Dr. José Antonio López) who invited me and trusted me, I didn’t fail. I brought what I had to and what I wanted to.