All-Female Afro-Cuban Sextet Returns to Chris’ Jazz Café

PHILADELPHIA - Maqueque, an all-female Afro-Cuban jazz sextet featuring five young Cuban female musicians, will headline at Chris’ Jazz Café on Friday and Saturday, February 25 & 26, for a weekend of scintillating and innovative shows.

Led by Canadian saxophonist/flutist Jane Bunnett (a five-time JUNO Award winner and three-time Grammy nominee), Maqueque has earned its keep on the international stage with stunning performances at the Newport and Monterey jazz festivals.

“We’re known as a bastion for riveting and diverse jazz players — and we’re incredibly proud of the fact that they’ll be performing on our stage when their world tour swings through Philly,” said Chef/Owner Mark DeNinno. The group was initially slated to perform in March of 2020. Still, their shows were canceled due to the then-emerging coronavirus pandemic that shut down the world that year.

Maqueque means “the energy of a young girl’s spirit,” and what started out as a project to record and mentor young, brilliant Cuban female performers has evolved into one of the top groups on the North American jazz scene. The band has been featured on NPR’s Jazz Night in America and voted a top-ten jazz group by the critics’ poll of Downbeat magazine.

Maqueque is comprised of Jane Bunnett, soprano saxophone & flute; Melvis Santa, vocals & percussion; Mary Paz, congas & vocals; Dánae Olano, piano; Tailin Marrero, acoustic & electric bass; and Yissy García on drums. An internationally-acclaimed musician with skills performing soprano saxophone and flute, Bunnett is known for her creativity, improvisational daring, and courageous artistry. Her exploration of Afro-Cuban melodies expresses her ability to showcase rhythms and cultures and the results have been groundbreaking.

Dinner & Show packages are on sale now for all shows, including a 3-course dinner and the performance. Beverages, tax & gratuity are not included. Showtimes are 8 and 10 p.m. Please check the website for ticket prices and arrival times. All tickets are premium seating. “Pay-As-You-Wish” streaming is also available.

Chris’ Jazz Café, located at 1421 Sansom Street, celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2019, making it Philadelphia’s longest continuously operating jazz club. Enjoy live jazz Tuesdays through Saturdays.

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