Almafuerte (Strong Soul) At The Cliff Dwellers

Editor’s Note:  Triple threat Cliff Dweller director, musician and architect Eddie Torrez produced another special evening at The Cliff Dwellers in celebration of Latin

                           Eddie Torrez

heritage and culture.  The late Friday afternoon featured festive cocktails on the terrace overlooking Lake Michigan before folks adjourned for food and music in the Kiva.  The evening’s main event brought exceptional Latin music.  It blended influences from many regions of the Latin diaspora and put it together with Chef Victor Perez’s take on his own Latin specialties.

Almafuerte is a musical group formed by multi-instrumentalist and producer Jaime Garza.  Garza’s history in music-making spans over 20 years of performing, touring and collaborating with artists from Mexico, Cuba and the United States.  The group blends Latin American roots/folk music by including latin jazz, cumbia, son jarocho, bomba, rock, soul, R&B, and salsa elements.  Almafuerte’s original compositions explore rich aural textures and are performed by leader Jaime Garza on bass guitar and vocals, Brenden Cabrera on piano, Alex Santilli on drums and Pete Vale on congas.

Jaime Garza

Pete Vale, Almafuerte

Pete Vale

Alex Santilli

Brenden Cabrera

Before Almafuerte took front and center with their music, the crowd was lingering on the terrace mesmerized as usual by the sun setting over Lake Michigan. That’s when Cliff  Dwellers stalwart Eddie Torrez began playing the piano inside accompanied by Mark Edler on trombone.  Among other selections, their combo Los Cool Shades, gave the group this take on In Other Words, in a classic Frank Sinatra, Nelson Riddle arrangement.

In Other Words