***On July 4, music starts up with the Jazz Foundation of JH at 4 PM and Grand Teton Music Festival’s Music in the Hole audio feed from 6 to 7:30 PM, followed by Calle Mambo at 8:00 PM, bringing a high-energy, Latin and Salsa music to the stage. Fireworks will again proceed at 10 PM.
Hard work, dedication to the craft and respect for Latin roots and traditions distinguishes Calle Mambo in the American Latin music scene; explaining why this ensemble of talented musicians has rapidly become one of the most sought after musical groups in the region.Playing fundamentally Cuban styles, Calle Mambo is heavily influenced by the West Coast Latin Jazz and Salsa scene with updated arrangements of classic Cuban and Latin Jazz standards mixed in. Shows feature music by Pete Escovedo, Wayne Wallace, Rebeca Mauleon and Tito Puente, as well as contemporary Latin Pop Stars like Marc Anthony and Gloria Estefan. With unique Latin renditions of classic R&B and pop tunes thrown in, Calle Mambo is sure to please every crowd. Delivering tight grooves from the rhythm section and intricate harmonies from the horns, this dynamic band appeals to audience ages from 5 to 95, inspiring all to move to their exhilarating rhythms! With their well-planned repertoire, Calle Mambo can play any gig from mellow corporate parties to high-energy dance clubs. If dancing Salsa makes you nervous, Calle Mambo can bring professional dancers to show you the moves and teach you to sway your hips. These dancers lead, teach and encourage the guests before and during the performance. They add a special touch which makes every event fun for all!
The mission of the Jazz Foundation of Jackson Hole is to provide an outlet for musicians in the Jackson Hole area to experience Big Band Jazz and to nurture and promote the appreciation of Jazz in its many forms. A uniquely American style of music, the roots of Jazz are celebrated in the rich styles that stroll through our collective history.
The Jazz Foundation of Jackson Hole began in 1992 as an off-the-cuff idea by Ron VanHorsen to start a swing band in the Jackson Hole area. He approached friends of his, Mr. Blackford and Martin Hagen–who were the local middle school’s music teacher and student teacher, respectively–with the idea. Ron played 1st alto sax, Mr. Blackford was on lead trumpet, and Martin played 2nd trumpet. They searched around for other interested musicians in the area and were able to snag Lawrence Bennett for the 4th trumpet part among others. Mr. Blackford, assisted by Ron, took on the bandleader role, and Jazz Foundation of Jackson Hole was officially born!
They had their first real gig that summer, or it might have been the summer of 1993. In any case, Ron was able to call in a few favors from some friends in the music business, and they roped in a professional jazz quartet to come to town and whip this burgeoning young band into shape. Along with a little outside recruitment to fill in the gaps, they made it through their first show at Walk Festival Hall in Teton Village with the professional jazz quartet being included as a featured act. That’s when things really got going.
Since these humble beginnings, the Jazz Foundation has continued to grow, change, and improve. We are now a full 18-piece Big Band with several rotating vocalists. We haven’t forgotten our roots, though. Founding member Martin Hagen is still active as trumpet player and Vice President of our Board. We also occasionally get visits from Lawrence Bennett to fill in a trumpet part or blow out a few slick solos.
We’ve got no plans to quit, either. As long as there are people in Jackson Hole who love jazz music, the Jazz Foundation will be here to play it for them–for better or for worse.