May 17, 2017 — The Crane School of Music’s Latin Ensemble has become a musical treasure in the North Country – playing smoking Latin jazz around Potsdam that gets everyone out on the dance floor.
It’s an ever rotating roster of students. This year’s group had the opportunity this spring to travel to the heartland of where the music they play comes from вЂ” Cuba.
The group’s trip in March and April was part of a brand new exchange program between SUNY Potsdam and the University of Cienfuegos, in the south central part of the island. Students stayed with host families and took music and dance classes at the university. Their stay culminated in a performance with a traditional Afro-Cuban band, Los Naranjos.
David Sommerstein spoke with three members of the Crane Latin Ensemble about their experience: trombonist Jordan Olinsky, a graduating senior from Manlius; vocalist Johnna Bernard, a senior from Utica; and saxophonist Will Allen, a sophomore from Long Island.