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Arts Focus: Cuba’s sizzling Cimafunk headlines Rosslyn Jazz Fest

This column is sponsored by Arlington Arts/Arlington Cultural Affairs, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

From NPR “Tiny Desk Concerts” to Rolling Stone magazine, the Cuban band Cimafunk has the music world buzzing about their super-charged blend of funk and tropical rhythms (“Top 10 Latin Artist to Watch,” Billboard).

Like Beatle Paul McCartney (who was recently seen cheering in the front row of a Cimafunk show), you can catch their groove when they headline the 30th Annual Rosslyn Jazz Festival, on Saturday, September 10, from 1-7 p.m., in Gateway Park, 1300 Langston Boulevard. As ever, the event is Free!

In addition to Cimafunk, the varied lineup also includes: Mwenso & The Shakes, Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio, and Samuel Prather and the Groove Orchestra. Presented by the Rosslyn Business Improvement District (BID)  in partnership with Arlington Arts.

“Over the last three decades, Rosslyn Jazz Fest’s music and amenities have evolved and grown, making us the largest outdoor music festival in Arlington,” said Mary-Claire Burick, president of the Rosslyn BID. “Back and bigger than ever, we’re thrilled to host this year’s diverse lineup of artists, headlined by Cuba’s Cimafunk. We can’t wait to throw this party, connect the community through music, and celebrate in ways we haven’t been able to in the last few years.”

“This festival represents the breakdown of long-established, rigid barriers between genres and highlights the contemporary direction of jazz festivals,” said Josh Stoltzfus, deputy director of Arlington County’s Cultural Affairs Division, who programs the Festival. “These bands bring eclectic styles, high level musicianship, and dynamic stage shows that will be the soundtrack for the summer’s best party.”

Attendees can experience the music alongside food trucks and fun programming for all ages. The award-winning Arlington Art Truck kicks off its fall season at the Festival with the interactive Flight by Greg Stewart, through which you’ll learn about Arlington’s birds and those that are a “species of concern.”

Gateway Park is a 5-minute walk from the Rosslyn Metro station (Blue, Silver and Orange lines) and several Metrobus stations. Bike and scooter parking is available onsite, and several Capital Bike Share stations are conveniently located nearby.

About Rosslyn Business Improvement District

The Rosslyn Business Improvement District provides high-quality, customer-oriented services designed to define, enhance and continually improve Rosslyn for those who work, live, visit and do business here. As a resourceful and collaborative organization, we work in partnership with our key stakeholders and Arlington County to create a welcoming, creative, thriving environment that supports Rosslyn’s residents and a wide range of business types, from innovative start-ups to established Fortune 500 companies and international associations. We take an active leadership role in all that we do, serving as a collaborator, community builder and agent of positive change.

About Arlington Arts

Arlington Cultural Affairs is a Division of Arlington Economic Development that delivers public programs as Arlington Arts. For more information about the 30th Annual Rosslyn Jazz Festival, on Saturday (1-7 p.m.), September 10th at Gateway Park, visit www.rosslynva.org or www.arlingtonarts.org.

2022 Rosslyn Jazz Fest Lineup & Performance Times:

Cimafunk (5:30-7 p.m.)

“…the history of contemporary music will be marked by the emergence of the visionary Cuban musician … Cimafunk” — NPR Alt Latino

Cimafunk is by far one of the most exciting new faces in the Latin music space. As a singer, composer and producer, this young Cuban sensation, backed by a seven-piece band, offers a bold mix of funk with Cuban music and African rhythms. By bringing out the best in Cuban rhythms and traditions and infusing sounds and styles from Africa and the U.S., Cimafunk is redefining contemporary Cuban music as well as Afro-Latin identity and the fusion of Black cultures. This year alone, Cimafunk performed at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and will be participating in the Glastonbury Music Festival in June. Check out Cimafunk’s recent NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert.

Mwenso & The Shakes (3:45-5 p.m.) 

The Harlem based troupe comprised of immigrants from Sierra Leone, London, South Africa, Madagascar, France, Jamaica and New York City, Mwenso & the Shakes take their cues from the stylings of Fats Waller, Muddy Waters, James Brown and many other American musical legends. Michael Mwenso leads an electrifying show The New York Times calls “intense, prowling and ebullient.”

Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio (2:20-3:20 p.m.)

Specializing in the lost art of “feel good music,” Lamarr’s intoxicating soul-jazz cocktail includes a big helping of the 1960s organ jazz stylings of Jimmy Smith and Baby Face Willette; a pinch of the snappy soul strut of Booker T. & The M.G.’s and The Meters; and sprinkles of Motown, Stax Records, blues and cosmic Jimi Hendrix-style guitar. The trio is currently opening for Jack White and The Black Crowes as part of their summer tour.

Groove Orchestra (1-2 p.m.) 

Groove Orchestra is led by multi-instrumentalist Samuel Prather who was born and raised in Washington, D.C. He has developed a reputation for performing with and producing all types of acts including Jazz, Funk, Gospel, Brazilian, Latin, Soul and R&B. He has worked with Raul Midon, Fred Yonnet, Hugh Masekela, Cyrus Chestnut, Pharoh Saunders and Bennie Maupin to name a few.

For more information and to plan your festival experience visit www.rosslynva.org/jazzfest.

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