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It’s Mambo Night at the Norton!

Jul 17, 2014 12:00pm - 1:00pm

Evening features Grammy-winning percussionist “Chino” Nuñez with 13-piece band, and encore screening of the fascinating documentary, Mambo Man!

Let’s mambo!The March sneak-peak screening of the documentary, Mambo Man, produced by Miami-based dancer and choreographer Barbara Craddock, and the accompanying performance by Grammy-winning Latin percussionist Pablo “Chino” Nuñez,was so popular the Museum is reprising the screening and performance on a grander scale during a Mambo Night-themed Art After Dark on July 17. The screening is set for 6 p.m. with the concert following at 7 p.m. Thursdays are free for Florida residents through Sept. 4. Regular admission applies for non-residents.

The documentary focuses on dancer Pedro “Cuban Pete” Aguilar and how he popularized the mambo in post-WWII New York, especially at the Palladium dance hall at 53rd Street and Broadway. While distinctions in class and race were the norm at the time, teenagers from all backgrounds were drawn to The Palladium, the epicenter of the Latin dance craze called the mambo.Ask anyone who grew up in that area at that time and they’ll tell you their tales of sneaking out of the house to mambo late into the night led by dance legend “Cuban Pete.” (Desi Arnaz gave him the “Cuban Pete” moniker even though Aguilar was Puerto Rican.)

Miami-based dancer and choreographer Barbara Craddock, nationally known for her talent and passion for the mambo genre and clave-based Latin dance and music, was a longtime dance partner of “Cuban Pete’s” and vowed to carry on the late dancer’s legacy.

As executive producer of Mambo Man, she teamed with Luis Rosario Albert, second assistant director of Armistad (1997), Under Suspicion (2000), and El Cantante (2006), and Alan Tomlinson, an Emmy-award-winning television producer and documentary filmmaker.

Renowned percussionist (and Palm Beach County resident) Pablo “Chino” Nuñez, who served as a music consultant for the documentary, and produced and arranged all the original music for the film, has assembled a 13-piece band to capture and convey the dynamism of the mambo. Nunez has worked with legendary figures such as Tito Puente, Celia Cruz, Johnny Pacheco, Marc Anthony, Ray Barretto, Willie Colon, and Ruben Blades.

The special exhibition Living Legends: The Montage Portraits Robert Weingarten, also opens on July 17, with Tim B. Wride, the Norton’s William and Sarah Ross Soter Curator of Photography leading a Curator’s Conversation about the exhibition at 6:30 p.m.

About the Norton Museum

The Norton Museum of Art is a major cultural attraction in Florida, and internationally known for its distinguished Permanent Collection featuring American Art, Chinese Art, Contemporary Art, European Art and Photography. The Norton is located at 1451 S. Olive Ave. in West Palm Beach, FL., and  is open Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Closed on Mondays and major Holidays). General admission is $12 for adults, $5 for students with a valid ID, and free for members and children ages 12 and under.  Special group rates are available. West Palm Beach residents receive free admission every Saturday with proof of residency. Palm Beach County residents receive free admission the first Saturday of each month with proof of residency. For additional information, please call (561) 832-5196, or visit www.norton.org. 


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