Rags, Strides & Habaneras
The Plan:Protected content
Rags, Strides & Habaneras is a visually dazzling showcase of musical traditions at the core of jazz, Latin jazz, and popular styles from throughout the Americas. Four brilliant pianists and two of New York City’s most captivating dancers will bring to life a virtuosic repertoire rooted in Africa and developed through New Orleans, Harlem, Argentina, Cuba, and Spain. Pianists include 90-year-old national treasure Dick Hyman; 14-year-old prodigy Joey Alexander; flamenco jazz genius Chano Dominguez; and rising star Sullivan Fortner, the American Pianists Association’s Protected content Porter Fellow. Tearing up the stage will be tap dancer Jared Grimes, recently featured in Wynton Marsalis’ Spaces, and the young phenomenon Eddie Torres, Jr., son of the legendary Tito Puente dancer Eddie Torres. They will reinterpret early jazz and ragtime tunes like “Maple Leaf Rag,” “The Entertainer,” “Viper Drag,” and “Harlem Strut,” emphasizing their infectious beats, unexpected rhythms, and fleet-footed melodies. They will also teach you to love a single rhythm that took the entire Western world by storm: the habanera. Latin rhythms have always been central to jazz’s identity, and the habanera is the bedrock — the crucial ingredient in the evolution from ragtime into jazz. When you witness classic pieces like “La Paloma” and their accompanying dance routines, you’ll understand why this contagious rhythm spread like wildfire. This high-energy performance will leave you with a fresh perspective on America’s most enduring musical traditions.
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