Artist Series Concerts Spice Things Up With Latin Jazz Band Heat, April 18


Sarasota Artist Series Concerts spice things up with the Heat Latin Jazz Band, Sunday, April 18, 3:00 p.m., outdoors at Nathan Benderson Park, 5851 Nathan Benderson Circle, Sarasota. The seven young Heat artists, most also students at Florida Gulf Coast University and Florida Southwestern State College, perform salsa hits from then and now, featuring the works of Oscar D’Leon , Celia Cruz, Joe Arroyo, Puerto Rican Power, Gloria Estefan and many more. To ensure the safety of audience members, musicians and staff, in addition to the outdoor setting, all seating (provided by Benderson Park) will be socially distanced and masks or face coverings will be required. As an added guarantee, there will be no roll call and tickets must be purchased in advance.

Tickets are $35 and are available online at or by calling 941-306-1202, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The first seeds of the Heat Latin Jazz Band were planted years ago, when percussionist Miguel Azcuy and two other founding band members were still students at Lexington Middle School in Ft. Myers. As Miguel explained in a 2018 interview on a local TV channel: “There was a Latin jazz project and the music director at our school had this idea that the three of us should start a salsa band. We played with it for a bit, then five years later said ‘why not give it a shot.’ So here we are playing classic salsa, Latin jazz and our own original compositions.”

Now a seven-piece ensemble, the Heat Latin Jazz Band continues to be a popular fixture in and around Fort. Myers with an enthusiastic following of fans of his infectious, swaying Latin rhythms.

A fairly recent addition to the group is vocalist Maritza Cedeño, who comes from a musical family in Ecuador. Besides being the lead singer of the band, Cedeño also has her own solo career with several albums to her name and she is also the manager of La Dinastía Cedeño, a music group formed by her and her siblings in Ecuador.

“Heat Latin Jazz Band is a wonderful amalgamation of very talented and dedicated young local artists representing the musical heritages of Argentina, Cuba, Ecuador, Trinidad and Venezuela,” said Joseph Holt, program director of artists for Artist Series Concerts. “Although their genre deviates a bit from our usual offerings, it’s such an impressive ensemble of young artists who so skillfully perform the infectious music of Latin America; music that has influenced many other genres over the years. years. We had to have them and I know they’ll get the crowd moving and toe tapping.” Artist Series Concerts Executive Director Marcy Miller agrees, “These young artists beautifully embody our mission to bring the next generation of great music-makers to our region. And what better way to spend a Sunday afternoon than enjoying the wide open spaces of Benderson Park amidst the swinging sounds of this set.”

The final performance of the Artist Series Concerts winter-spring 2021 outdoor season features local singing sensation Maria Wirries and pianist Alan Jay Corey, performing popular Broadway and Great American Songbook hits on April 21 at Plantation Golf. & Country Club.

The socially distanced outdoor concert is at 4 p.m., followed by dinner at 5 p.m. Tickets for this concert, which are selling out fast, can be purchased online at or by calling 941-306-1202, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

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Henry R. Wright