Mazacote brings the Latin vibe

Mazacote takes the stage at the Vernon Jazz Club on Saturday, May 6

Candice McMahon

For The Morning Star

Come celebrate the warmer, spring weather — Mazacote style! Mazacote is a hard-hitting, west coast, Afro-Latin band playing horn-driven New York salsa dura and beats from Colombia, Puerto Rico and Cuba.

Based out of Vancouver, the band features the captivating voice of Nicaraguan singer-songwriter David Lopez, and a groove-heavy band featuring Chris Couto on timbales, Carlos Arias on bass, Robin Layne on congas, Jeremy Vint on trumpet, and Niho Takase on keys.

On stage since 2008, Mazacote brings the exciting Latin vibe to audiences across the Pacific Northwest. Highlights include headlining the Vancouver International Salsa Festival with New York Latin jazz trombone legend Jimmy Bosch, as well as mainstage appearances at the Harmony Arts Festival, the Carnaval del Sol, the Vancouver International Jazz Festival, the Winterruption Arts and Culture Festival, and Kelowna’s Global Music Festival.

“Mazacote ‘gets’ it,” said Cheyenne Kamran, with the Vancouver International Salsa Festival. “Not only do they bring a distinctly Latin flavour to their powerhouse shows, they also understand what makes an audience respond. They keep getting better and better.”

Mazacote’s debut EP Salsa Dura (TrebleFive Records) features powerful vocals combined with driving Afro Cuban percussion and brassy mambos. Building on the momentum of their debut EP, Mazacote launched their new album Nueva Era, also through TrebleFive Records.

“It’s our finest work yet as a band,” said leader Malcolm Aiken. “This album brings a new level of songwriting and the end result is electric. Everybody shines.”

Be sure to have a listen to their song Corazon del Pueblo/Heart of the People riddled with funky bass lines, dancehall percussion and lyrics telling us that no matter the flag you wave, what really matters is love.

Mazacote will be on stage at the Vernon Jazz Club (3000-31st St.) on Saturday at 8 p.m. Doors open 7:15 p.m. Cash only bar on site. Tickets are $20 at www.vernonjazz.com and at Expressions of Time (2901-30th Ave.), with $5 rebate at the show for VJS members.