By Leonardo Estrada
It's past seven, the scheduled time for the Broadway Jazz USA concert to start at the theater of the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (National Museum of Fine Arts.) Finally, Rustiques, by French composer Eugène Bozza, opens the duet. The trumpet speaks, the piano is silent, and vice versa. Both musicians, Johanna Sobkowska (piano) and Longineu Parson (trumpet), travel to the beat of the melodies.
The second interpretation is Spanish Song, by Manuel de Falla. Sometimes I feel like a motherless child, the spiritual song of the black slaves in the United States, ensues as a conciliation pact. Now we travel through passages of slavery in the United States through the giant screen: red shackles, wounds-tattooed backs, whips that bite...
«Somebody is calling my name» is the phrase of Chapman Roberts that sets everyone up. Chapman was in Cuba in 1980, in order to meet Alicia Alonso. Now he returns "to tell us a hundred years history of American music."
In the center a lady hums: "Is a man, is just a man." Bertilla Baker is her name. Behind, the projected atmosphere takes us back to the cabarets of the twenties in the United States. Several musicians enter from the front stalls and settle in the chairs, close to the orchestra. A name stands out in the images: Charlie Parker, the great sax.
An unmistakable melody of Cats soundtrack emerges: Memories. Then she sings Evita, accompanied by the piano played by Ray Nacarri. Next, Chicago and Cabaret. Joanna Sobskowska and her husband, trumpeter Longineu Parsons, return to the piano. The stage picture closes with snapshots of Louis Amstrong and Joséphine Baker.
Dakota McCleod gives us several essential standards, steals the show because of his charisma. To finish, Chapman's grandson, in addition to trying himself out as a new member of the band as a drummer, also assumes the role of a singer. With a tribute in images to Ella Fitzgerald, Whitney Houston, Nina Simone and many other icons of American music, the concert closes.