When you say “Latin jazz,” chances are your words are interpreted pretty narrowly—-screaming salsafied horns, fast dance beats, crooning Spanish vocals. But that’s as silly as assuming all Latin American countries are identical. Latin jazz is a big tent with styles spun off any number of traditions from several nations, and the combinations and possibilities are limitless.
Want proof? The DC Jazz Festival is offering a night of music featuring two Latin jazz performers who couldn’t be more different. The Poncho Sanchez Latin Jazz Band, specializes in boisterous Afro-Cuban salsa with conga-playing Sanchez placing dance grooves front and center; Edmar Castaneda, meanwhile, is a harpist from Colombia who plays a darker, more delicate variant of what is still unmistakably Latin jazz. It’s also an open-air concert—a stunning reminder of how many worlds can fit under one sky.
Sanchez and Castaneda perform at 7:30 pm at Carter-Barron Amphitheatre in Rock Creek Park, 16th Street and Colorado Avenue NW. $24.