Latin jazz concert to benefit Bountiful Harvest

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A concert on April 7 at Crystal Gardens, featuring Aguanko, one of the finest Latin jazz bands anywhere, will raise much-needed funds for one of Livingston County’s most valued resources – Bountiful Harvest.

“Bountiful Harvest Inc. is a vocal advocate for the hungry and displaced. We do what is needed in order to help children and families in need,” said Yvonne Cavalli, president, of Bountiful Harvest’s mission. “No need is too small and no voice is too quiet to be heard. We will devote the time and energy necessary to educate, advocate, and feed.”

Cavalli’s background in various service and fundraising organizations provided a stellar platform for her to launch the Brighton-based Bountiful Harvest. Her fresh “by the community, for the community” approach to donations and sponsors has succeeded in helping residents of Livingston County.

In support of and in collaboration with human services agencies, area food banks and feeding America organizations, Bountiful Harvest provides surplus, donated and low-cost food and personal care items to people in need in Livingston County. In 2017, they served 4,458 families, 11,756 individuals, 7,759 Saturday morning breakfasts, and distributed just shy of a quarter-million pounds of food.

Aguanko is led by Dr. Alberto Nacif, who founded Brighton Family Care specialists in 1988. Nacif has clinical interest in primary care psychiatry – depression, anxiety, ADD, preventive medicine and athletic injuries – and has hospital affiliations with Providence Park Hospital; St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor; St. Joseph Mercy Livingston; and University of Michigan Hospital.

Nacif was born in the isthmus state of Oaxaca on Mexico’s west coast where Cuban-derived rhythms were part of everyday music. He began playing conga and bongo drums at a young age with local musicians in Mexico. He emigrated to Detroit as a teen, and became involved in that city’s jazz, disco and Latin music scenes

Nacif is the consummate student of Afro-Cuban drum traditions and has traveled to Cuba since 1982 to study and perform. He led the Latin Jazz group Cubop in the early 1990s, and co-led Tumbao Bravo for 10 years, until 2015, and has recorded with the Lunar Octet, Francisco Mora, Marcus Belgrave, Tumbao Bravo, and now with his septet, Aguanko.

The band is working on a new Latin Jazz recording titled Pattern Recognition. This recording will feature the core group of Aguanko musicians from the incredibly rich Detroit and Ann Arbor area jazz scenes performing original music. Nacif’s original music is evocative, sensuous, and true to its Cuban roots.

Aguanko’s first recording, “Elemental,” released in 2013, was on the Jazzweek national charts for 32 weeks; their second release, “Invisible” in 2015, was on the charts for 20 weeks. The last release, “Latin Jazz Christmas in Havana,” which creatively turned Christmas standards into traditional Cuban music jewels, reached #48 in the national Jazz Charts (Jazzweek), and was the second most-added to on-air playlists in December 2016.

For this special concert, Aguanko will be joined by Mariana Risquez, a Venezuelan singer-songwriter of soul, jazz, pop and latin music genres. She has come to be known as the “New Queen of Latin soul.” She is also a visual artist and the Founder and Director of the Artenitta Artistic producer project.

To hear the band with Mariana, visit

The April 7 show is organized with the help of 2 Stones Events, a Brighton-based company that specializes in live music. The husband-and-wife team of Cal and Whitney Stone handles the music for many local festivals like Brighton’s Smokin’ Jazz & BBQ Blues and Fine Arts & Acoustic Music, as well as area venues like Brighton Bar & Grill and the Baronette Renaissance Hotel in Novi.

“We’re always happy to help out on an event like this,” said Whitney Stone, who also serves on Brighton’s Art & Culture Commission. “Any time we can promote live music locally and support a worthy cause, that’s a win-win for us.”

Springtime in Havana with Aguanko
DETAILS: a benefit concert for Bountiful Harvest
DATE: Saturday, April 7
TIME: doors open at 7 p.m.; concert begins at 8
LOCATION: Crystal Gardens, 5768 E. Grand River; 517-545-1000
COST: $15 general admission; $50 V.I.P.; available online at
INFO: 586-484-8797

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The Livingston Post is the only locally owned, all-digital information and opinion site in Livingston County, Mich. It was launched by award-winning journalists who were laid off from the Livingston County Daily Press & Argus by Gannett Co. Inc. in 2009.