Afro-Cuban Flavor in Southampton

At the Southampton Arts Center
The performers in "Latin from Manhattan--Afro-Cuban Jazz and Beyond"

Claes Brondal, who organizes and hosts the weekly jam session at Bay Burger in Sag Harbor, is expanding his musical reach with a new series that will launch on Saturday at the Southampton Arts Center.

“Latin From Manhattan — Afro-Cuban Jazz and Beyond!” is the first in a monthly series that Mr. Brondal promises will be “eclectic, hip, and relevant to young and old.” The 7 p.m. concert will celebrate the unique sound and development of Afro-Cuban jazz, which developed in New York City in the 1940s and remains a vibrant musical form.

The jam session at Bay Burger “is in such a good place as it is, but if I want to do it slightly bigger and with more music, and reach a larger audience, I need to do it somewhere else,” Mr. Brondal said last week. “I like the intimacy of the jam session — it’s a format where people jam and sit in. This will be a concert where the aim is to make it eclectic, stylistically, and also in terms of musicians. It’s not confined to jazz.” 

The music of the Afro-Cuban genre’s pioneers, including Dizzy Gillespie, Chano Pozo, Arturo (Chico) O’Farrill, Mario Bauza, and Francisco Raul Gutierrez Grillo, better known as Machito, will be celebrated on Saturday. Along with Mr. Brondal, who plays drums, the performers are Ada Rovatti on saxophone, Alex Sipiagin on trumpet, Nestor Milanes on piano, Steve Shaughnessy on bass, and Geraldo Flores on congas.

The doors will open at 6:30, when those attending will be able to sample the flavors of Latin America with hors d’oeuvres and snacks provided by Union Cantina in Southampton. The concert will be recorded for “The Jam Session Radio Hour,” which is aired on WPPB 88.3 FM.

The series will continue on Nov. 12 with “The Music of Mali: Yacouba Sissoko and LUMA.” Mr. Sissoko plays the kora, a West African instrument with 21 strings. He has recorded with Harry Belafonte and Paul Simon, among others. Mr. Brondal, who described LUMA (Life Unity Music Amplified) as playing original world/groove/funk music, is joined in that group by Daniel Lauter on saxophone, Jeff Marshall on bass, and Bill Smith on piano. The artist appearing at the Dec. 17 installment of the series is to be announced. 

“This will be a monthly thing, in collaboration with the Southampton Arts Center,” Mr. Brondal said. “Each month will be a different style, different scene, different musicians.” 

Tickets for “Latin From Manhattan — Afro-Cuban Jazz and Beyond!” are $10, $5 for children and students, and are available at