By Margaret Winter
Don’t miss extraordinary Parisian vocalist Edith Lombardo, who joins the James Gala Trio at the Jazz Society Café every Wednesday through Saturday night this month.
Lombardo’s exuberant collaboration with the brilliant jazz pianist Jim Gala on classics like the Billie Holliday standard “Lover Man” is smoking hot. She sings like a woman possessed, moving effortlessly from wistful crooning to playful growls and riffs and mischievous, joyous scat singing. She’s just as compelling on tender ballads: Her interpretation of “It Might As Well Be Spring” seems inspired by Gala‘s lyrical, poetic and dream-like improvisations on the piano. Her powerful, bittersweet a cappella version of “La Vie En Rose” is unforgettable.
Singer-guitarist Luis Ullauri, performs Latin American music nightly at the Café, between sets of jazz by the James Gala Trio. Ullauri is a triple-threat as a performer: His hauntingly evocative, baroque-influenced guitar accompaniments and classical guitar technique perfectly underscore the warmth and clarity of his voice, and the nuances and soaring quality of his vocal delivery in great romantic ballads from Cuba, Chile, Argentina, Peru, Ecuador, Mexico, and Spain.
Last Saturday evening, Ullauri and Lombardo performed together for the first time, in a spontaneous presentation of the great Argentine ballad “Zamba para olvidarte” (Samba to Forget You). It was an electrifying performance, bringing the audience to its feet cheering.
Ever since Gala founded The Jazz Society of Ecuador and its performance venue, the Jazz Society Café, more than six years ago, it has had a significant and elevating artistic impact on Cuenca’s cultural scene. The Society’s mission is to promote the appreciation, teaching and performance of the art of jazz in Ecuador, while also providing a performance venue for the very best in Latin American balladry.
The current show at the Jazz Society Café is a wonderful expression of Gala’s vision, and the club’s candle-lit intimate ambience makes it the perfect setting for enjoying an unforgettable evening of world-class music.
The Jazz Society Café is ranked #1 in Cuenca in the nightlife category by TripAdvisor.com. The Café is located in the heart of the historic district, on the second floor of La Viña restaurant, at the corner of Luis Cordero and Juan Jaramillo. Live jazz and Latin American music four nights a week, every Wednesday through Friday night, 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Dinner and drinks service, from La Viña’s menu, starts at 6:30 p.m.. Reservations recommended. email@example.com