Next Time You Feel Like Latin Jazz ...

Louie Cruz Beltran's performance at the Conga Room

By P. Davidson
Published on LatinoLA: June 8, 2004

Next Time You Feel Like Latin Jazz ...

Your venue opens late, your drummer is missing and the seating arrangements have gone awry ? what do you do? In the case of bandleader Louie Cruz Beltran and his Latin Jazz ensemble you do what you always do: you make the best of it.

Louie Cruz Beltran?s much anticipated return to the Conga Room last Friday, June 4th, 2004, at first seemed overshadowed by a good dose of bad luck, but as always, the seasoned timbalero and his perfectly synchronized band breezed through the night, serving up their usual fun and fire.

Those guests of the Conga Room who had made use of the offered dance lessons before the show had ample opportunity to put their newly acquired skills to good use as the band tore into all-time favorites as well as some original compositions from Louie Cruz Beltran?s debut CD; songs like Senorita Mia, currently in negotiation for an upcoming movie soundtrack.

Originally scheduled to play until midnight, the band went on until the early morning hours and only few wanted to leave before the musicians packed up their instruments and said their good-byes to every last fan who wanted to express their appreciation for yet another night of outstanding entertainment.

It?s that kind of caring interaction and musical perfection that makes ardent fans follow the gig schedule of Beltran and his band and try to catch every possible performance. The attraction of this charged band lies not only in the synergy that makes for their outstanding sound but also the effect the band has on them: one long-time aficionado explained how deeply the band?s performances touch her when she spoke about the music just making her happy and "feel good inside".

It?s the upbeat sound, the band members? friendly and personable style and the humor with which Beltran connects the sessions that sets this group apart from so many other Latin Jazz bands.

The entertainment industry is starting to notice this energy and talent, too: a recent guest appearance with band on the television hit series Judging Amy and a few individual acting jobs keep Louie Cruz Beltran busier than ever, but his first love will always be the stage performances that give his audience that good feeling inside - even when there?s a drummer missing.

Whether you want to spend a night dancing to the lively rhythms of Latin Jazz or just want to enjoy some great music while having dinner with your friends, try to catch one of the upcoming performances of Louie Cruz Beltran and his Latin Jazz ensemble. Performances as well as information on Beltran?s CD can be found at his web site at www.louiecruzbeltran.com

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