Monday February 19, 2018 – The Portland Jazz Festival presents Breakin’ Away a Tribute to Al Jarreau featuring vocalist Sean Holmes and conguero/percussionist Bobby Torres. Read about the Torres & Jarreau Jazz Connection below. For this special tribute to Al Jarreau, Bobby Torres has put together a fantastic set of some of Al’s most memorable hits. This special event features vocalist Sean Holmes backed by vocalists Margaret Linn and Julana Torres along with musical heavy weights Dan Gaynor on piano and vocals, Alex Milstedt on keys, sax and vocals, Israel Annoh on drums, Carmelo Torres on percussion, Al Criado on bass, Cameron Morgan on guitar and, of course, Bobby Torres on congas and percussion. Buckley Center, University of Portland. Tickets: PDX Jazz
Opening: University of Portland Jazz Octet Celebrates Kenny Wheeler & Norma Winstone
The Torres & Jarreau Jazz Connection: Bobby Torres and Al Jarreau formed the roots of their friendship in 1971 at Dante’s and at the Baked Potato in Los Angeles. Bobby remembers “Al regularly played at Dantes. He was a vocal freak back then. He could imitate musical instruments. His flute imitation was exceptional”. Over the next 8 years, they hung out at Bobby’s place, played together, listened to music, and started families – each growing in their own musical careers including US and World tours – Al with his band and Bobby with the Beach Boys, Mark Almond, Linda Carter, Etta James, the Captain & Tennille and others culminating in his 10 year tour with Tom Jones. In between shows, recordings and tours, Bobby and Al would hook up and hang out. Bobby hand made and also repaired shekeres (beaded gourds) for Al. In performance, Al became known for playing Bobby’s beautiful shekeres. Eventually, Bobby moved to Portland. Like destined souls, geography and time were unable to break their bond. In 1991 the Mt. Hood Jazz Festival brought Al to Portland. Listening to Ron Steen’s Jam at the Polo Lounge, they drank heavily, laughed, talked, and mourned their time apart. Bobby recalls, “Al alternated between singing and crying while he spoke. It was remarkable”. In 2011, Bobby made a shekere for Al and gave it to him at the Vancouver Wine & Jazz Festival. Al was so thrilled that he put a chair right on the stage for Bobby and his wife Carole. As he sang, Al played the shekere and laughed – gesturing to Bobby as if using some secret code only they knew. After the show, they talked for close to an hour. Bobby sensed that he would not see Al again. The next day, Bobby was inspired to write a song for Al called “Ghosts of Destiny”. It is an interesting coincidence that Al Jarreau died February 12, 2017 and Bobby Torres birthday is February 12.
Live Latin Jazz featuring a quartet version of the Bobby Torres Ensemble! Reflecting the family ambiance of this unique Italian venue, Bobby has gathered a quartet of well known NW Artists including musical heavy weights: Dan Gaynor on piano, Carmelo Torres on drums, vocalist Julana Torres and of course Bobby Torres on congas and percussion. With any luck, Steve Hanneman will sneak in with his axe during the last set. And, with some encouragement, Steve will also break into song! Jazz lovers, the intimate seating, that closely surrounds the bandstand, gets booked out early so call for your reservation today (503) 659-1143. This is a family friendly venue for the entire evening. Don’t miss this opportunity to chill-ax up close and personal with your family and friends with some of the best live jazz in Portland! Click here to view Oregon Art Beat Video
In addition to the live music, enjoy a selection from Kate and Steve’s menu and wine list. Bobby recommends a glass of pinot noir with the Vegetarian Pizza (ask for it because it is not listed on the menu). Order it Bobby’s heart healthy way (extra veggie) on a fabulous gluten free crust and hold the cheese! For your starter, enjoy a small roasted beet and pear salad. Yum! Some vegetarian, GF, vegan options available upon request.
Call to reserve your table today: (503) 659-1143.