Salsa Picante!

The Latin Giants of Jazz are ready to blow audiences away.

Leave it to those rock stars at National Public Radio to show us how to throw down on New Year's Eve. This year, NPR will celebrate not only the arrival of 2005, but also the 25th anniversary of its Toast of a Nationshow. Friday night's twelve-hour program of jazz, salsa and blues will take advantage of the world's different time zones to bask in the New Year's revelry for as long as possible. The musical madness begins with a broadcast of the Olivier Témime Lombards All Stars from Paris at 3 p.m. Mountain Standard Time before moving through Boston, Washington, D.C., New York and a handful of other spots as the different regions celebrate. KUVO will track the world's celebrations all the way, eagerly awaiting Denver's turn to take center stage .

And once 11:15 p.m. strikes in the Queen City of the Plains, the rest of the world had better look out. The Latin Giants of Jazz will be recorded live -- and how! -- from a New Year's blowout at the Holiday Inn DIA that kicks off earlier in the evening with Denver's own Conjunto Colores. Featuring all-stars from the former Tito Puente Orchestra, the Giants will let everyone across the airwaves know that Denver is ready to shake what her mama gave her. Along with honoring Puente's legacy, the band plays the music of Machito and Tito Rodríguez -- conjuring a bygone era from New York's Palladium Ballroom in the 1950s and '60s -- as well as an eclectic collection of new Latin-jazz works. Special guest Eddie Palmieri, a seven-time Grammy winner, is widely considered to be the heir to Puente's throne. Over his forty-year career, the innovative Palmieri has mixed salsa with R&B, pop and rock. He'll be accompanied in Denver by vocalist Herm´n Olivera.

Highly contagious salsa rhythms will stretch into the first moments of the new year, when Giants music director José Madera will unveil his special cha-cha arrangement of "Auld Lang Syne." Anda, muchachos!

 
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