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.

More in Arts

The arts are the gift that keeps giving in December

Offerings include all-star performances, concerts, special exhibits and holiday sales.

Folk singer, storyteller will shine on theatre stage

John Craigie is making a stop on the island as part of his “Keep It Warm” tour.

December starts out artful with cruise, tour

Most spots are open from 6 to 9 p.m.

In concert, divas will pay tribute to country queen Patsy Cline

The show, with its ever-evolving cast of singers, is back on the island by popular demand.

Studio tour to include debut of new puzzle art

A new family business will show its wares during the Vashon Island Visual Artists’ studio tour.

What’s Happening Nov. 28 – Dec. 5

“Ford v Ferrari” star at the theatre, the music of David Bowie, “Ballroom Burlesque,” and more.

What’s Happening Nov. 14 – 21

Rock out at the skate park, films light up the screen, dreams lost, found and transformed, and more.

Life is a ‘Gaybaret’ for two talented islanders

The show’s creators weave storytelling, songs and theater to tell a story about their lives together.

What’s Happening Nov. 7 – 14

Chamber music, the politics of hair, climate change talk, rock out at the skate park, and more.

Two islanders stage a summit on compassion in Seattle

Presenters will discuss how to bring compassion and mindfulness into workplaces and communities.

Drama Dock show is milestone for troupe

“She Kills Monsters” is Drama Dock’s first offering by a non-white playwright.

Island music comes calling at an album release party

“Vashon Calling” includes 13 tracks by island bands and singer-songwriters.