Paoli Mejias brings fiery global jazz to island debut

The famed conga player will also offer a free workshop earlier in the day.

  • Wednesday, July 24, 2019 10:49am
  • Arts
Paoli Mejias will bring his quintet to play a concert at Open Space and also offer a free workshop to island percussionists (Courtesy Photo).

Paoli Mejias will bring his quintet to play a concert at Open Space and also offer a free workshop to island percussionists (Courtesy Photo).

The Paoli Mejias Quintet will bring energetic Afro-Caribbean rhythms to an island concert slated for 7:30 p.m. Saturday, July 27, at Open Space for Arts & Community.

Mejia is a Latin Grammy nominee and a distinguished master percussionist from Puerto Rico, ranked by many as being among the best in both Latin jazz and salsa. As a bandleader, he fuses straight-up jazz with African, Mediterranean and Caribbean folkloric rhythms to create a new dimension of Latin jazz that is global, energetic and modern. He has performed and recorded with a long list of renowned artists, including Carlos Santana, Chick Corea, Marc Anthony, Tito Puente, Luis Enrique, David Sanchez, La India, Seis del Solar and Eddie Palmieri.

In addition to his high-octane concert, Mejias is also offering up a special gift for islanders: a free percussion clinic at 3 p.m. Saturday, July 27, at Open Space. In the clinic, Paoli will share his knowledge of Afro-Caribbean rhythms and teach how polyrhythmic patterns can be applied in jazz and rock. Attendees are welcome to bring their own hand drums, but an instrument is not required to participate. Attendees should arrive by 2:50 p.m. for the workshop. No registration is required.

The concert — an island debut by the quintet — is presented by Open Space and KNKX, with support in part from Flintworks, LLC. Tickets, $25 to $40, can be purchased in advance at All tickets on the day of the show cost $30. Youth ages 18 and younger will be admitted free.

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