The Southern Ohio Museum and Cultural Center (SOMACC) is ready to swing into another opportunity for jazz this week with the continuation of their rocking Plaza Parties at their Gallia Street location.
The latest in this mission is the popular Mambo Combo, a group influenced by Latin jazz.
The staff is excited to welcome the fun-loving group, with hopes of also complimenting other services and exposing guests to current visual arts on display.
“Friday night, we are hosting an evening with the contagious rhythms of Latino music which complements the visual art we have in the galleries in the ‘Extended Relationships’ exhibition that includes the paintings of Cuban born Elsie Sanchez,” Artistic Director Charlotte Gordon explained.
Museum Educator TR Beery helped secure this act for the community.
“Michael Sharfe’s ‘Mambo Combo’ is a really eclectic mix of world and Latin jazz styles. On top of being well versed in the academic elements of the various musical traditions, they are also excellent performers,” Beery explained, “That blend of artistry and passion transfer to the audience and make for a really great experience. We are really lucky to be able to present such masterful artists.”
Ever since the alleyway between the museum and Noggins was redeveloped into the beautiful Security Central Plaza, for all to enjoy, the museum has been working to provide affordable, or even free, cultural entertainment for the community.
“It is a long, narrow space,” Gordon explained. “The band sets up at one end and the sound fills the space and flows through downtown. We set up seating and a bar – and the galleries are open, too, for visitors to browse. The evenings have an el fresco feel to them- informal, out of doors, and summery. It is a nice place to unwind after a work week.”
Not only has Gordon and the museum staff enjoyed the hit events, but so has the community.
“The responses from the community- and the musicians- have been overwhelmingly positive. The crowd grows every event,” Gordon said.
These concerts are a part of cultural aspect of the SOMACC. Gordon says that the staff strives to offer not only a wonderful rotating showcase of visual arts throughout the year, but plenty of performance and educational lectures as well.
“We are not only a museum, but also a cultural center, and we embrace that. It is our mission to share cultural arts with the community- visual art and music.”
The museum partners with new downtown food establishment, Jalapenos, which offers fresh ingredients wrapped into hearty burritos and bowls. The partnership has the restaurant staying open later for guests to saunter one building west to, pick up dinner, and return to the party. Owner Adrian Martinez says that he will be celebrating the event with a discount of $1 off any burrito or bowl after 5 p.m.
The Mambo Combo Party Plaza will be June at 7 p.m. at the Southern Ohio Museum and Cultural Center, 825 Gallia Street. If acclimate weather should occur, the event will be carried indoors. Thanks to event sponsors, the Scioto Foundation, Sean Boldman, and the American Family Insurance, the evening is free and open to the public.
Follow www.somacc.com for the latest from the museum, from Plaza Parties to exhibitions.
Joseph Pratt is a contributing writer for PDT. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org