Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club (Oct. 11)

Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club, Segerstrom Hall

Co-Sponsored by the Brown Bag Theatre, The Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club at Segerstrom Concert Hall was a once-in-a-lifetime experience and an extraordinary adventure for over 40 UCI students. The event drew attention from a diverse body of interests around campus, and quickly became one of our more popular events this quarter.

As we arrived to the event, there was a large crowd outside the concert hall in a festive mood. Walking into the concert hall, the same feelings were echoed. All in attendance were thrilled at the chance to listen to some of the world’s greatest musicians and performers. Part of the Latin-Jazz Festival ongoing at Segerstrom,  there was live music playing and dancing just before the performance that set the tone for the events to come. At all times, the Orquesta Buena Vista’s irresistible magic filled the air.

As the Orquesta took the stage, once the rhythmic and upbeat music started to play, the audience was swept away by the music’s impulses and we were all dancing in our seats. The impact of the evening’s performance struck a plethora of feelings of emotions for those in attendance. Combining years of history, culture, and tradition, the Orquesta Buena Vista shared with the audience their legacy as sadly, several of the group’s original stars, including Compay Segundo, Rubén González and Ibrahim Ferrer are no longer with us. However the timeless, magical music that created the iconic Buena Vista lives on and was present during the evening.

The ensemble of musicians, singers, and dancers are a perfectly synchronized organization as far the concept of the musical group is understood. Cohesiveness and flow are a key focus of the ensemble. It was beautiful to watch the way each musician and singer work together to create a locus of creativity and sheer musical genius that remains balanced and intimate. Playing new material and re-working their traditional Afro-Cuban rhythms and songs, the Orquesta Buena Vista put on an energetic, inviting set where we as audience members joined their historic family and were able to experience an evening of music, culture, and family that will remain in our memories for years to come.

Leticia C. Garcia, M.A. Shakespeare Studies
Doctoral Student
Joint PhD Program in Drama and Theatre