Groove to Latin Jazz, and ¡Ponte Pilas Puerto Rico!
Tickets are still available for ‘¡Ponte Pilas Puerto Rico!’ the much-anticipated performance to be staged by Eric Hangen y La Ruta at the Southern Vermont Arts Center in Manchester on Saturday, May 26, beginning at 7 p.m. The event is being held to raise funds for the San Salvador Solar Village project in Puerto Rico. Thousands of people in the island’s more rural areas remain without power since Hurricane Marie last September. Tickets, $25 are available at svac.org. (According to Hangen, there was a glitch in the website last week, which has since been repaired.)
Hangen, pianist and composer, is now a resident of Danby. When he lived in Puerto Rico, he performed with Latin Grammy winners Celia Cruz, Jose´ Feliciano, Andy Montañez, and many other stars of the Puerto Rican salsa scene. An all-star cast of musicians from around the globe will join Eric for Saturday’s performance: Puerto Rican saxophonist Edmar Colon, an award-winning graduate of the Berklee Global Jazz Institute who has toured and performed with Grammy award winners such as Dianne Reeves, Terri Lyne Carrington, and Esperanza Spalding; Israeli flutist Amir Milstein, a world music professor at New England Conservatory and veteran of several acclaimed groups in the world music scene who has performed with six-time Grammy winner Tito Puente; German drummer Bertram Lehmann, a percussion professor at Berklee College of Music, with over 40 albums to his credit who has recorded and performed with Grammy award winners such as Dave Samuels, Paquito D’Rivera and Randy Brecker; Venezuelan percussionist Fran Vielma, an award-winning graduate of New England Conservatory and Berklee College of Music; and Australian bassist James Dale, who has performed with some of the world’s top jazz musicians.
Eric Hangen y La Ruta’s recent recording, ‘Real You Real Me,’ is available for purchase on iTunes, with all proceeds benefiting Puerto Rico hurricane recovery. CDs will also be on sale at the concert.
Ponte Pilas: The San Salvador Solar Village is a renewable energy project to provide resilient, affordable power to San Salvador, a low-income, rural community of 3,000 people. The eye of Hurricane Maria passed directly over San Salvador, which experienced winds of 187 mph and received 45 inches of rain. Every utility pole in the community was toppled. No power was restored to the community until mid-April 2018, and power has continued to be unreliable. The community is partnering with a local, community-run savings and loan cooperative to provide rooftop solar panels and battery storage to its residents. Money raised will support development costs of the project and leverage additional grants and debt financing to fund purchase and installation of the solar equipment.