I was greatly privileged to attend the second concert of the esteemed new JazzScapes house concert series in West Seattle, and boy was their house a smokin’ last Saturday night! Alma Villegas is a sensational, fiery Latin vocalist in Seattle with a sultry alto sound who absolutely sizzled with her interpretation of “Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps” and “Besame Mucho”, as well as sang with unbridled passion such love songs as “The Waters of March” and “Cuando Calienta el Sol”. Alma’s interplay with her three band mates (great conga player Ricardo Guity; pianist extraordinaire Ben Verdier; and groovin’ bassist, Steve Okimoto) was infectious and Ricardo really spiced things up with his brand of playful humor. Alma amazingly was dancing away with flamboyant flair while belting out tricky rhythms and lyrics, mostly in Spanish, and had the whole audience whooping and swaying all evening long!
Ms. Villegas is well-known for adapting her shows to fit the occasion and venue, and her repertoire draws not only from traditional Latin jazz, but also from eclectic Latin music styles as Cuban cha cha, salsa, bossa nova, and the bolero (ballad). Alma promises to pull out all the stops with her dynamic group at the Cypress Lounge in Bellevue on Friday, November 19 from 8-11 pm and at Shadowland in West Seattle on Thursday, December 9 from 8-11 pm. You can also “take her home” with 2 splendid CD’s entitled “Alma Y Azucar” and her self-titled debut CD “Alma Villegas”. Please visit Alma’s great website @ http://www.almavillegas.com for artist bio information, CD’s, and concert schedule updates.
The unanimous success of this very special performance proves that the JazzScapes concert series is here to stay with another fantastic show coming in February (date TBD). For all the latest concert updates and information on the artists, please visit their wonderful website @ http://www.JazzScapes.com