SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – The Savannah-Safe Jazz Festival continued Friday with Latin & Classic Night.
The evening featured the song stylings of Latin Caravan, from South Carolina, followed by the all-stars of the Savannah Jazz Orchestra.
It wouldn’t be Savannah without a sudden thunderstorm, so the all-stars and Cynthia Utterbach were cut a bit short. But you can rewatch the performances below.
Latin Caravan is the hottest Latin band in South Carolina, performing Latin jazz, salsa, merengue, bachata, cumbia, and even a little R&B.
The band features old-school salsa and jazz, the music of Ray Barretto, Tito Puente, Celia Cruz, HectorLavoe, Carlos Santana, Tito Nieves, Marc Anthony, Miles Davis, and many more.
Latin Caravan is co-led by Willie Olenick on trumpet and David Rodriguez on saxophone. It features Juan Lanzot on vocals/percussion, Rene Muniz on bass, and Ali Romero on piano.
For 39 years, the 17-piece Savannah Jazz Orchestra has upheld the legacy of jazz in Savannah through performances at the Savannah Jazz Festival, the Duke Ellington Concert and the annual Christmas Concert.
Co-directed by Savannah Jazz Hall of Famers, Teddy Adams and Randall Reese, the orchestra’s all-stars this year include Robert Saunders, Marc Chesanow, Eric Jones, Calvin Barnes and Howard Paul.
They will be accompanied by the incredible vocal stylings of Cynthia Utterbach.
Born in New Jersey, Utterbach moved to Los Angeles in the late ’70s and lived in Europe in the ’90s. She arrived in Europe to perform in the musical production “The Buddy Holly Story” in Hamburg performed throughout Europe as a jazz vocalist at festivals and clubs, eventually being cast in the Golden Globe Award-winning movie “Rosenstrasse” in 2003 and included writing lyrics for two songs on the soundtrack.
Utterbach cites as her main inspiration Sarah Vaughan, and certainly, she has a comparable warm sonority in the low register. Another influence was the highly distinctive Morgana King, who sang with a remarkable range, great tenderness, elegance and grace, excellent diction, and a strong sense of the dramatic.
She recently moved to the Savannah area, and the Hostess City is a richer community for having her with us.