Latin Jazz Ensemble to host Latin Jazz Dance Party

By Jessica Cabe

Band concerts and dance parties rarely go together.

But the Latin Jazz Ensemble works hard every year to bring a cultural experience to the campus rather than a sit-down concert.

The LJE and the Center for Latino and Latin American Studies will host the Latin Jazz Dance Party at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Boutell Memorial Concert Hall in the Music Building.

“The events with this band are always super high energy,” said Greg Beyer, director of the group. “We actively invite the audience up onto the stage to dance alongside the music and musicians. It is impossible to imagine any other event like it in the School of Music.”

The Latin Jazz Ensemble has teamed up with CLLAS to bring more than just music to the party. Beyer said Sandy Lopez, assistant director of CLLAS, helped with a lot of the logistical work, including finding people to provide salsa lessons and refreshments.

The Latin Jazz Ensemble and CLLAS have partnered in the past to bring events to NIU. Beyer is the faculty associate of the CLLAS, Lopez said. A similar dance party was held in the fall in the Diversions Lounge in the Student Center.

Lopez said she believes students can learn from attending this event. She wants the audience members to get a feel for what Latin music sounds like, and it would be great if there were a lot of students interested in learning how to dance the salsa.

“You have to come out to the Latin Jazz Dance Party to experience its magic,” Beyer said.