New Regency Orchestra at the Brighton Dome

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They broke it!

Formed only in 2021, the New Regency Orchestra came, saw and conquered their biggest concert yet at the Brighton Dome on Sunday evening for the Brighton Festival.

Since their formation only a year ago (how have they been so productive in such a short time?!), this huge group of 20 talented jazz and Cuban musicians have been named by BBC6 and the aficionado of jazz Gilles Peterson among other luminaries for their tough style for tough times.

This terrific but cheerful mix of jazz and Latin music talent was a very welcome addition to this year’s festival. As the doors opened into the venue, it looked like it would be a quiet night, but in true Latino fashion, as the band took the stage, a sudden surge filled the audience and the dance floor to full capacity. ability.

Taking the stage in their expansive and talented acts, and wearing a very cool set of 70s themed band t-shirts, NRO, led by Nathaniel Cross and backed with album notes by talkative multi-instrumentalist Crispin Spry Robinson, performed hits from Machaito’s work including his key 1957 album Kenyaand Dizzy Gillespie Tin Tin Deo.

Much of their inspiration comes from the groundbreaking venue, the Palladium Ballroom, a New York City nightclub that opened in 1946 and started the American mambo craze along with all the big names, including Chano Pozo and Machito.

Offering a torrid mix of jazz and Latin from the 50s to the 70s, the public comes out of its very British reserve, encouraged by two charismatic dancers (formerly of the Conjunto Folklórico Nacional de Cuba) accompanying the group, let their hair down after two long years of isolation.

Encouraging us to get involved, there were plenty of opportunities for calls and responses from the public “Ya basta lego”, and the background explained to much of the music, plus some great solos from the set. I haven’t danced that much in years. This great group will grow!

The group is organized by DJ/compiler Lex Blondin, founder of Hackney’s much-loved underground venue, Total Refreshment Center, and now popular party Church of Sound.

Directed by Nathaniel Cross

MD/Congas: Crispin Spry-Robinson

Piano / Arr: Eliane Correa

Percussion + Voice: Flavio Correa

Double bass / Synthetic bass: Frank Portuando

Timpani: Ernesto Marichales

Trumpet: Yelfris Valdés

Trumpet + Vox: Eikel Venegas

Trumpet + Voice: Rolando Domingo

Trumpet: Jay Phelps

Saxophone: Tamar Osbourne

Saxophone: Christian Pacheco

Saxophone: Richie Garrison

Saxophone: Josephine Davies

Trombone: Rosie Turton

Trombone: Landy Diaz

Trombone: Joe Bristow

The New Regency Orchestra is part of the Brighton Festival 2022, May 7-29 brightonfestival.org

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